iPhone 11 vs 12 vs 13

iPhone 11 vs 12 vs 13: The decision was not difficult for us.

We tested the three iPhones and give you the best tips here

The iPhone 13 released in 2021, and as always, the question must be answered: Is it worth upgrading and just how much actually changed? 🤔

We took a look at the three smartphones – the iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 – to give you tips for your purchase here. Depending on your use case, different models will be better options for you. You can save money and protect the environment with refurbished second-hand devices too.

iPhone 11 vs 12 v 13 in direct comparison

iPhone 11

iPhone 12

iPhone 13

12 MP dual camera (wide angle + ultra wide angle)

12 MP dual camera (wide angle + ultra wide angle)

12 MP dual camera (wide angle + ultra wide angle)

6.1 inch LCD display

6.1 inch OLED screen

6.1 inch OLED screen

Resolution 1,792 x 828 pixels at 326 ppi

Resolution 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 ppi

Resolution 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 ppi

Battery 3,110mAh

Battery 2,815mAh

Battery 3,227mAh

A13 Bionic SoC (max. 2.66GHz)

A14 Bionic SoC (max. 2.66GHz)

A15 Bionic SoC (max. 2.99GHz)




Memory 64, 128 and 256 GB

Memory 128, 256 and 512 GB

Memory 128, 256 and 512 GB

No 5G




The hard facts of the iPhone 13 right at the beginning

Now it's going to get nerdy for a moment, as we jump straight into the technical details.

This is new: The latest innovation in the iPhone 13 is Apple's integrated A15 Bionic chip. This is a SoC (System on a Chip), on which all the important components are located, just like in the predecessors.

The differences in the iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12 are actually minimal in the area of chips in everyday handling. In the latest model, the SoC is designed a little more efficiently and thus ensures more savings in power consumption. The Apple A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11, on the other hand, lags a little behind in performance.

However, a stronger processor not only affects the number of hours the battery lasts, but also other areas of iPhone handling. As an example, the upgraded chip allows the iPhone 13 Pro the ability to film in cinematic mode where previous generations could not.

🔋 The performance of the three summarised:

  • Apple A13 Bionic vs A14 Bionic vs A15 Bionic

  • Integrated GPU and NPU on all three.

  • iPhone 13 is more powerful compared to iPhone 11

  • iPhone 13 is more power efficient compared to iPhone 12

Find more info on the three iPhones here:

👉 iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12👉 iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13

What are the similarities?

  • 60 Hz remains standard (for the non-Pro version).

    There are no major differences in the display between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13: both hav ethe same resolution (2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 ppi) and an OLED display. In addition, despite other plans in the 13 Pro, they have kept the 60 Hz refresh rate on the 13. 

    With the iPhone 11, you’re given an LCD display and a resolution of 1792 x 828 at 326 ppi.  

  • What about the camera?

    With the iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 you can take pictures with a dual-camera setup that includes a wide and ultra wide lens. All models can take 12MP pictures but have different apertures. More about this in the differences section.

    It is also important to mention it’s not just megapixels that matter; software is also very relevant, which is connected to the processor and ensures better image processing. The improvement of the software ensures that with every new iPhone the quality is at least a bit better than before.  

  •  The size of the three iPhones

    The iPhone 13, 12 and 11 all measure 6.1 inches - so basically exactly the same size. 

  • How much storage space does the iPhone 13 have?

    The integrated storage on the iPhone 13 is available in either 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB. And here I have to comment briefly that I'm glad the standard model will finally come with 128 GB from Apple. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 are sold with 64 GB at the base versions, which I don't think is enough in 2021. 

  • Is there facial recognition on the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13?

    You can use the front camera to unlock the phone via facial recognition on all three models.

👉 Find your deal - the cheapest second hand iPhone 12 is waiting for you!

What are the differences?

  • The camera

    The differences here lie in the apertures of the cameras: the aperture of the wide-angle lens changed from f/1.8 on the iPhone 11 to f/1.6 on the iPhone 12, which means that more light can enter the lens. This leads to better pictures especially in low-light situations. However, there was no change from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 13. 

  • The battery performance

    The most noticeable change between these iPhones is in the battery. Whereas the battery had a capacity of only 2,815 mAh in the iPhone 12, Apple offers 3,227 mAh in the iPhone 13. This means that the device lasts for a couple more hours - which is of course also made possible due to the new A15 Bionic processor. 

    However, you pay significantly more for this extra battery compared to a used iPhone 12. So you should weigh up whether you really need that many hours of battery life or whether you can get away with still above-average battery performance for less money.

How much does the design differ?

The iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12 saw a design change that excited most Apple fans: instead of rounded corners, the iPhone 12 newly featured an angular design that many still remembered from the iPhone 5. 

But the design differences are less drastic in the next generation. In fact, the iPhone 13 is almost a one-to-one copy of the iPhone 12, with the one small difference being the arrangement of the rear lenses. The Internet had fun making memes in light of this, as many questioned if this change was really necessary, or if it was only done so there would be at least one thing different about the design.

What colours can you expect in the models?

For all those who feel a bit overwhelmed by all the numbers and technical information, we now come to the really important decision criteria: What colour choices do I have with the three iPhone models?

iPhone 11

iPhone 12

iPhone 13

Black, White, Purple, Red, Yellow, Green

Black, White, Red, Green and Blue

Blue, Rose, (Product) Red and Black


I have to be honest that the colors all look really good in-person and - although I'm not usually a fan of white - I like the matte finish on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

It is too bad Apple no longer offers the iPhone 13 in green though, that probably would have been my pick.

All those who like colourful accents should rather get one of our cheapest iPhone 11 deals, because here you have the most exciting colours with purple, green and yellow!


Is it still worth buying the iPhone 11?

The iPhone 11 came out in 2019 and already at that time, it was a device designed to meet consumer demands for the next ten years. What are the points that make that apparent?

➕ Advantages

  • Apple's A13 Bionic chip (CPU, GPU and NPU) has a maxiumum clock speed of 2.66 GHz that still holds up today

  • Excellent camera with optical image stabilisation and a 13 millimeter ultra-wide-angle camera with a viewing angle of 120 degrees

  • Night mode for low-light shooting

  • Available in many colours: black, white, purple, red, yellow, green

  • Price advantage: price for an iPhone 11 is currently under 300 pounds at Back Market

➖ Disadvantages

  • LCD display instead of OLED display

  • No 5G 

  • No telephoto lens

So for those looking for a powerful and affordable phone from Apple, you’ll definitely be happy with the iPhone 11. 

👉 Check out our iPhone 11 review here and get all the details about the phone.

Okay, so which one should I choose?

The iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 are far from being outdated, even though the iPhone 13 is now available. Our summary and tests have shown that the iPhone 13 is not a revolutionary update from Apple and that you can safely turn to its predecessors without missing much. The iPhone 12 in particular impresses with a very good performance that is in no way inferior to its successor.

Well, which one do you choose? 👀


Can you buy used iPhones in refurbished condition?

You can save a lot of money by buying a used iPhone and still get top quality. Our 1000 or so partner workshops comprehensively refurbish second-hand iPhones. So you don't necessarily have to get a brand-new iPhone 13; also the iPhone 12 price is lower for a refurbished device. You can also get your hands on a refurbished iPhone 11. 

At Back Market you can get it for less than the original price from Apple. The exact iPhone price depends on the actual condition of the smartphone. This is described transparently so that you don't buy a pig in a poke. We even give you an additional 24 month guarantee that the device functions flawlessly. In addition to the models presented in this article, you can get cheap iPhone deals at Back Market, so you have the widest possible selection available to you.

👉 Check out our iPhone 13 prices.

The warranty is guaranteed by our partner repair shops, as is any additional warranty you can choose to buy. By buying a used iPhone, you're also helping to reduce the amount of electronic waste on our planet 🌿 and saving resources.

Is it still worth buying the iPhone 11?

For those looking for a powerful and affordable phone from Apple, you’ll definitely be happy with the iPhone 11.

Can you buy used iPhones in refurbished condition?

You can save a lot of money by buying used and still get top quality. Our 1000 or so partner workshops comprehensively refurbish second-hand phones. So you don't necessarily have to get a brand-new iPhone 13; you can also get your hands on a refurbished iPhone 12 or iPhone 11.

Back Market

Written by BrianMarketing Manager Back Market UK & Ireland

When not talking about the latest eco-friendly tech and reducing our carbon footprint, Brian enjoys the odd game of football, a classic horror (book or film) or just to kick back with a beer or a proper Scottish whisky. Slàinte Mhath!

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