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Is 64GB enough for iPhone 12 or 12 mini? Is it worth getting a 128 or 256GB model instead?

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Is 64GB enough for iPhone 12 or 12 mini? Is it worth getting a 128 or 256GB model instead?
At Apple's recent iPhone 12 event, the Cupertino company also announced a smaller version of the smartphone in question, but with the same impressive specs – the iPhone 12 mini. There's just one spec in particular that still leaves more to be desired and that's the base storage options for those two new smartphones.

Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come with a base storage capacity of only 64GB, at the cost of $829 and $729 respectively. For comparison, the newly-announced OnePlus 8T, which costs around $700 comes with a base storage of 128GB, which is also the minimum storage option for the likes of Google Pixel 4a and many other 2020 smartphones.

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So, should you consider getting a pricier iPhone 12 or 12 mini, or will the base 64GB models be sufficient for your needs? Let's find out!

Apple iPhone 12

- 6.1" Super Retina XDR, Apple A14 Bionic, 5G, Dual camera

Buy at Apple

How much free storage will my iPhone 12 or 12 mini have out the box?

Much like how it is with Android smartphones, iPhones too don't come with exactly the advertised storage completely free for you to use. When you buy an iPhone that has a storage capacity of 64GB, you're actually getting roughly 57GB of free storage to use.

The reason for this is that the iOS operating system, which your iPhone needs in order to function, takes up about 7.50GB of storage. Classified as System storage, that 7.50GB (rough estimation) will forever be taken up and cannot be reduced. In addition, your smartphone may come with preinstalled apps out the box, which take additional space. You can, however, uninstall certain apps if you don't find them useful, in order to free up some space.

Will the apps that I need fit on the 64GB iPhone 12 or 12 mini?

You needn't worry about your apps fitting in the iPhone 12's base storage option, as most apps are generally small (at least when compared to games and movies). 64GB is enough to fit all the apps you'll ever need.

But for a better perspective, let's just see how much storage apps generally take on an iPhone. Google Maps, for example, takes about 202MB on iOS, while Gmail takes roughly 285MB. Instagram is around 190MB, Netflix is another 165MB, Skype is 119MB, SoundCloud is 73MB and Discord is 91MB. Those 7 apps will only take up about 1.12GB of your 64GB. Any other apps you may be interested in will likely be close to the sizes of the ones we just listed.

As for games, the bigger ones will expectedly eat up much more of your storage. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for iPhone takes up about 2GB, while Max Payne Mobile takes 1.8GB. PubG Mobile is around 2.43GB and Call of Duty: Mobile is 2.64GB. Those 4 games alone will bite off about 8.87GB of your storage. However, if you play casual 2D games, such as Chess or card games, those are about as small as regular apps, so you'll fit countless of them.

How many photos and videos can I take before a 64GB iPhone 12 or 12 mini fills up?

You won't face any limitations when it comes to taking photos on your new iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini. Even with just 64GB of storage, you'll be able to fit tens of thousands of photos, way more than you'll ever take.

The situation is a bit different with shooting video though. Both the iPhone 12 and 12 mini can capture video at up to 4K and up to 60 frames per second. Filming at those maxed out settings will fill up your 64GB phone quite quickly, and if planning to do that often – you'll definitely want to consider spending for more storage. However, even at 64GB, you should be able to fit up to 3 hours of recorded 4K video, which isn't too shabby. Alternatively, if you plan on filming your videos with the default settings, the base 64GB should be plenty sufficient for your needs.

Which iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini storage option should I get: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB?

Get the 64GB iPhone 12 or 12 mini if you don't plan on downloading many large games and movies, or storing your music collection on your phone, but will instead stream your movies and music off the internet. You'll still be able to fit all the apps you may need, take countless photos and shoot many hours of videos comfortably.

Get the 128GB iPhone 12 or 12 mini if you wish to download tens of heavy games, many of your favorite movies or your music collection directly on your iPhone, for offline use. In addition, 128GB is a good option to pick if you're a vlogger or YouTuber who wishes to film a lot of high-resolution 4K videos without having to worry too much about filling up the phone.

Get the 256GB iPhone 12 or 12 mini if you're certain that the lesser options won't be enough for your needs, or you simply never want to bother managing your storage. This storage option is also recommended to get if you plan on using your iPhone 12 or 12 mini for many years to come.

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Apple iPhone 12 specs
  • Display 6.1 inches 2532 x 1170 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2815 mAh
  • OS iOS 15.x
Apple iPhone 12 mini specs
  • Display 5.4 inches 2340 x 1080 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2227 mAh
  • OS iOS 15.x

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