Picking the right iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro storage size will be tricky so we want to help you decide between Apple’s cheapest option, middle option, and the most expensive versions of these new devices.
You might be tempted to buy the cheapest version of the iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro or the model with the most storage. And while a lot of you will be perfectly fine with one of those, many others will want to buy something in between.
One thing you need to remember is that you will probably end up paying for more storage one way or another. Either you’ll spend the money up front or you’ll wind up paying a monthly fee for additional storage via Apple’s iCloud service.
There are several factors to consider before you settle on one iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro storage size or another and we’ll break down all of the things you need to think about in this guide.
- iPhone 12 Storage Options
- iPhone 12 Pro Storage Options
- Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
- Who Should Buy the 64GB iPhone 12?
- Who Should Buy the 128GB iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro?
- Who Should Buy the 256GB iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro?
- Who Should Buy the 512GB iPhone 12 Pro?
- How to Check Your Current Storage
iPhone 12 Storage Options
Apple offers three iPhone 12 storage options at different price points.
The iPhone 12 starts at 64GB with 256GB and 512GB options available for people who want more space. The 64GB model is the cheapest option while the 512GB model is the most expensive.
If you don’t want to pay full price for your new iPhone, you can save money if you’ve got a smartphone to trade-in. We expect some price cuts in the weeks ahead if you don’t.
iPhone 12 Pro Storage Options
As for the iPhone 12 Pro, there are also three storage options, but they’re a little bit different than the iPhone 12’s.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at 128GB instead of 64GB. From there, it goes up to 256GB and 512GB.
Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
While you can add additional storage to some Android devices, the iPhone 12 series doesn’t come with a microSD card slot. If you want to add additional storage you’ll need to use iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.
If you plan to shoot 4K video, download movies or songs, or play games on your new iPhone, you’ll need quite a bit of space.
While 64GB or 128GB might seem like enough, there’s a chance you fill up that space up quickly. At that point you’ll be forced to a) continuously delete files you no longer need or b) pay for iCloud storage.
Fortunately, iCloud storage is fairly inexpensive. You can get 50GB of cloud storage for a dollar a month. Here’s how the current pricing breaks down:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
Remember, you can share iCloud storage with your family members.
Who Should Buy the 64GB iPhone 12?
The 64GB iPhone 12 is the cheapest option ($799/$829) and should be considered if you don’t think of yourself as a power user. Here are a few reasons to consider buying the 64GB model:
- You stream most of your movies and music.
- You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K video.
- You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
- You come nowhere close to using 64GB of storage on your current phone.
Who Should Buy the 128GB iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro
If you’re interested in going with the iPhone 12 Pro, the cheapest option is the $999 128GB variant. Apple also sells a 128GB version of the iPhone 12 ($849/$879) which sits between the cheapest and most expensive versions of the device.
Here are a few reasons to think about buying the 128GB iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro:
- You like to store some movies, photos, and music locally.
- You plan to shoot some 4K video.
- You’re close to using 64GB of space on your current phone.
- You hate having to occasionally manage the data on your phone.
Who Should Buy the 256GB iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro?
Some of you might want to spend the extra money for the additional 128GB of space, even if it’s for the peace of mind that comes with having a bit more storage to play around with,
Here are a few reasons to go with the 256GB iPhone 12 ($949/$979) or 256GB iPhone 12 Pro ($1099):
- You like to store lots of movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
- You’re close to using 128GB of space on your current phone.
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your phone.
The 256GB model is an excellent middle-of-the-road option that can work with or without iCloud.
Who Should Buy the 512GB iPhone 12 Pro?
The 512GB iPhone 12 Pro ($1299) is a solid option for those that want, or need, a ton of local storage. It should provide enough space for photography buffs, avid gamers, and those who plan to tackle work projects on the go.
Unless you’re already using well over 256GB or don’t use the cloud, you most likely don’t need this much storage. Here’s who we think should buy this model:
- You’re an extreme power user.
- You’re planning to use the iPhone as a professional creative.
- You’re a photo buff who doesn’t want to use iCloud.
- You’re someone who travels often and wants everything store locally.
How to Check Your Current Storage
Before you pick one of these, you should check your current storage because you’ll be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPhone Storage.
This will show you how much free storage you currently have and how much you are using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be photos and videos, apps, and messages.
If your current device is around a year old, you should still have around 50% of your storage left. If you are within 10-15% of its capacity, you probably need more storage.
If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.
Install iOS 14.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 14/iOS 14.1 update right away.
iOS 14.1 doesn't bring any known security patches to the iPhone, but if you skipped iOS 14.0, you'll get its security updates with your upgrade.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to your iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14.1 update.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
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