iPhone 12 Pro Review 2024 – still good to buy?

When the iPhone 12 Pro (and 12 Pro Max) were first released, they promised groundbreaking features and performance that were ahead of their time. In the years since the 12 Pro was released, it seems that Apple has held true to that promise – as we’ve seen relatively minor improvements to the more recent iPhones compared to how groundbreaking this one was.

The bottom line is this: in 2024, the iPhone 12 Pro Max can still seriously compete with models like the iPhone 15. Its processor (while slightly lower-spec than the latest technology) is still perfectly capable of handling anything you’ll need on a day-to-day basis, and you get all of the added benefits of the Pro line of iPhones, from the signature telephoto zoom lens to the more rugged build quality.

Unique features

While the iPhone 12 introduced 5G connectivity to the iPhone series, the iPhone 12 Pro keeps its head above its cheaper cousin by introducing a LiDAR sensor for better night photography, and a brighter display for better visibility in direct sunlight.

Design and Build

The iPhone 12 Pro returns to the classic iPhone design of flat, boxy sides, and the camera and speaker sit in the now-familiar notch at the top of the display.

The 12 Pro is built with a stainless steel chassis rather than the iPhone 12’s aluminium frame, which adds some weight to the device but overall gives it a more premium feel.

Finally, the iPhone 12 Pro is IP68-rated against dust and water, the same rating as every other modern iPhone. (Do be aware that if you’re buying refurbished, lower-grade phones may have reduced water resistance).

The iPhone 12 Pro is ridiculously cheap for a Pro phone. With refurbished models starting from just over £300 (at time of writing), you’re looking at a discounted price tag of less than a third of the original price!

It’s hard to find a more affordable phone that has this level of impressive tech under the hood. Given how similar the everyday performance of the iPhone 12 Pro feels to more modern iPhones, the value for money on this device is truly incredible.

Finally, the 12 Pro comes in a range of storage options – but the cheapest storage for an iPhone is usually to use an iCloud subscription.

ModelPriceOur Price*
iPhone 12 Pro£999 (128GB)£309 (Good Condition)
iPhone 12 Pro Max£1099 (128GB)£359 (Good Condition)
*prices checked Feb 2024, available only while refurbished stock lasts
Did you know?
Unlike many Android phones, iPhones don’t come with expandable storage – which means there is no option to add storage with a microSD card.
Read More: Is 128GB enough in 2024?

Is 128GB enough storage for you?

For most users in 2024, we think 128GB is absolutely enough.

Once you take away the storage space you need to cover the bare minimum functions, you’re left with a comfortable 100GB. That’s enough for up to 30 hours of Full HD video, up to 22,000 photos, or 5 huge mobile games (we’re looking at you, Genshin Impact).

If you have a love for taking 4K videos with your iPhone, then you’ll only squeeze a few hours of footage onto your phone before needing to delete something, but serious camera lovers should consider a higher-spec iPhone anyway. Also, Apple offers affordable cloud storage options with iCloud+!

3.0 GHz

(max. CPU Speed)


(aka Memory)

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max both use the A14 Bionic chip, the same as the standard iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. This chip has an impressive top speed, and even some basic AI processing power, but what does that all do for you in practice?

The answer is simple: the A14 chip is dependable, reliable, and more than powerful enough to keep your iPhone running smoothly throughout your day. The biggest downside is that some of the more recent mobile games are optimized for even beefier processors, so you might have limited performance when it comes to those. If you’re a keen gamer like me, then keeping up with the latest tech is the unfortunate burden we have to bear.

Finally, the iPhone 12 was launched with iOS 14, and is upgradable to the most recent versions of iOS. Assuming 6 years of software updates (as Apple have previously stuck to), it will keep running smoothly and securely until 2026.

The iPhone 12 Pro offers streamed video playback of up to 11 hours when new, with the 12 Pro Max only offering 1 hour more at a surprisingly low 12 hours. More recent Pro Max iPhones have boosted the battery capacity more than that.

Charging your iPhone 12 Pro can be done with any made-for-iPhone lighting charger, and fast charge is unlocked by using a fast-charging plug from Apple. Wireless charging (compatible with any modern wireless charger thanks to the Qi standard) is built in to these phones, same as any modern iPhone.

Read More: A note on Battery Health

Phone batteries can degrade as you use them, depending on a huge number of factors such as your charging habits and how you take care of your device. You can protect your phone battery by enabling the smart battery optimizations and optimized charging on your iPhone.

When you’re buying a refurbished phone, battery health can vary depending on the grade of the phone. At The Big Phone Store, our refurbished iPhones have a MINIMUM of 80% battery health – and if you’re not satisfied with that, we even offer battery replacements on all our refurbished iPhone models!

To read more about battery health, click here.

The iPhone 12 Pro’s camera is a step up from the standard iPhone 12 in a number of ways. First, it includes the Telephoto lens that appears on Apple’s Pro iPhones. This is the same 2x magnification lens as found on the iPhone 11 Pro. If you want more magnification for your money, you’ll need to upgrade to a more recent Pro iPhone.

The iPhone 12 Pro also introuced a LiDAR sensor, which through some impressive software gives much more accurate autofocus, and great portrait-mode photos even at night.

Speaking of night photography, the iPhone 12 Pro joins the iPhone 12 in introducing improved Night Mode for better low-light shots.

iPhone 12 Pro Camera Specs
Main (Wide) Lens: 12MP, ƒ/1.6 (great low light performance)
Ultrawide Lens (120° FOV): 12MP, ƒ/2.4
Telephoto Lens: 12MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture.
Selfie (TrueDepth): 12MP, ƒ/2.2

On paper, the iPhone 12 Pro’s display seems the same as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 Pro. The Super Retina XDR display (also found on every iPhone released since) boasts a pixel density of about 460ppi (pixels per inch) – which for a phone held at a normal distance from your face, is a higher resolution than the human eye (hence ‘retina’).

Here’s how far you need to zoom in before you can see the individual pixels on the screen:

Steve's headshot
Steven Athwal
Sustainability Expert

Apple uses carbon offsetting to make their own operations 100% carbon-neutral, and have the ambitious goal of offsetting the total carbon footprint of all of their products by 2030.

The fact that you can’t buy a new iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max direct from the manufacturer means that these are no-guilt purchases in 2024. Only refurbished models remain, which means that if anything, by buying an iPhone 12 Pro and taking care of it, you’re saving a device from ending up in a landfill site.

– Steve

You should buy the iPhone 12 Pro if…

You should buy the iPhone 12 Pro if you need a Pro iPhone that does the basics well. The gap between the 12 Pro and the 15 Pro is noticable, but smaller than the distance between the 12 Pro and the iPhone XR. This is truly a phone that was ahead of its time.

You should avoid this phone if…

If you want a phone that can handle any game with ease, or take breathtaking photos, the iPhone 12 Pro might leave you a little disappointed compared to other phones available today.