With the first of the iPhone 12s launching last month, now is a great time to buy an iPhone.
Apple is notorious for rarely offering discounts on its pricey products. However, when a new phone launches older models usually see a price drop, plus we’re seeing the usual seasonal discounts ahead of Black Friday.
To find out we’ve trawled the deals in the run up to Christmas, and crunched the numbers to see if you’re better off going for a contract or Sim-free deal on these phones. We used mobiles.co.uk to check for the contract deals and prices are based on 24-month contracts.
iPhone 12 (£799) vs iPhone 12 Pro (£999)
|iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Pro|
|Screen size||6.1 inches||6.1 inches|
|Rear cameras||2 (12Mp wide and 12Mp ultra-wide lens)||3 (12Mp wide, 12Mp ultra-wide and 12Mp telephoto lens)|
|Front cameras||1 (12Mp wide lens)||1 (12Mp wide lens)|
|Battery size||2815 MaH||2815 MaH|
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are the first to launch in the new 12 series. The 12 mini and 12 Pro Max are available from 13 November.
These first phones have a lot in common. Their large 6.1-inch display is the same size as last year’s iPhone 11, though it’s been upgraded from Super Retina LCD to an OLED screen.
The main difference is storage. At 128GB the 12 Pro has double, which could be useful as there’s no slot on either phone to add on more. The 12 Pro also has an extra camera on the back to tempt you to go for the pricier model.
Should I buy an iPhone on contract or Sim-free?
Though it’s not always the case, at the moment it looks like for every iPhone, Sim-free is your best option.
Last year’s contracts offered better value than we’re seeing this year. They will cost you more over the two years, and for the newer models you’ll often need to pay a lot upfront, so if you can, it’s best to buy the handset outright. Use our phone contract calculator tool to find out if deals you’ve seen work out better on contract.
Read on for our deals comparison, and check back as more appear – we’ll be updating this page as the sales pick up.
iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12
With the same 6.1-inch screen size, two 12Mp wide rear cameras and IP68 waterproofing, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 are very similar phones.
The 12 does have some new features though. The main one is 5G, but it also has an upgraded OLED display and a magnetic ring on the back for wireless charging and attaching accessories.
If these new features aren’t essential to you, there are temping deals on the older model, whether you want to buy it outright or get a 24-month contract.
Best iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 contract deals
iPhone 11, 64GB
Vodafone – 30GB, £220 upfront, £26 a month (£844 total cost) at mobiles.co.uk
iPhone 12, 64GB
Vodafone – 54GB, £330 upfront, £30 a month (£1,050 total cost) at mobiles.co.uk
Best iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 Sim-free deals
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro is 2019’s 11 Pro’s natural successor, with the same triple 12Mp rear camera set up and OLED, HDR display.
You get a bigger screen on the 12 Pro (6.1-inches to the 11 Pro’s 5.8), a newer processor (Apple’s own A14 Bionic chip) and 5G capability. It also has double the amount of storage, which could come in handy as you can’t extend this on either phone.
Although you’ll save money when buying outright by picking the 11 Pro, it actually works out cheaper to choose the new 12 Pro if you’re after a contract.
Best iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro deals
iPhone 11 Pro, 64GB
Vodafone – 30GB, £627 upfront, £26 a month (£1,251 total cost)
iPhone 12 Pro, 128GB
Vodafone – 30GB, £599 upfront, £26 a month (£1,223 total cost)
Best iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Sim-free deals
iPhone 11 Pro, 64GB: £899 (At Laptops Direct)
iPhone 12 Pro, 128GB: £999 (At Carphone Warehouse)
iPhone SE vs iPhone 12 Mini
Apple’s most recent launches have favoured large screens and ‘phablet’-style phones, so those with smaller hands (and pockets) may be relieved to see a smaller phone in the 12 range.
The 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch edge-to-edge screen, so it’s still larger than the 4.7-inch 2nd Generation SE.
There are other differences too, mainly the 5G capability, extra camera on the back, more advanced waterproofing, Face ID to unlock the phone and a newer processor.
You’ll need to pay for these extra features. Both a contract and a SIM-free iPhone 12 Mini will cost nearly £300 more than the SE.
Read our iPhone SE review to see if it’s a worthy contender before the iPhone 12 Mini launches.
Best iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Mini deals
iPhone SE (2nd Generation), 64GB
Vodafone – 6GB, £50 upfront, £23 a month (£602 total cost)
iPhone 12 Mini, 64GB
Vodafone – 6GB, £330 upfront, £23 a month (£882 total cost)
Best iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Mini Sim-free deals
iPhone 12 Mini, 64GB: £699 (At ao.com)
- Looking to spend even less ? Browse our guide to the best cheap smartphones.