iPhone 12 Mini Review: Final Verdict, size, Battery Performance, Camera, Price and Many More You should Know Before Buying

The iPhone 12 mini is a dainty delight

iPhone 12 mini

OUR VERDICT

The iPhone 12 mini is built for those who have been dreaming of a small phone however don’t need to compromise on high quality, and Apple has completed an exceedingly good job at making {that a} actuality. It isn’t good, with middling battery life and a excessive worth for simply 64GB of storage, however if you happen to can put these negatives apart you’ll love what the iPhone 12 mini can do in its miniature package deal. The camera is flexible, the display is incredible, it comes with reams of power and the added advantages of 5G and MagSafe imply it is a phone that can last you for years to return.

FOR

  • Smaller design looks great
  • Fantastic display
  • Futureproofed with 5G

AGAINST

  • 64GB isn’t enough for some
  • Wireless charging is slower
  • Middling battery life

Two-minute review

Apple’s iPhone 12 mini is a triumph, with top-end tech and a premium design combining to produce a phone that may compete with some of the best handsets on the market, and all in a smaller body than you’d expect for a flagship device.

This is essentially the iPhone 12 reprised, but in a smaller type factor that will suit these looking for a extra compact phone than top-end manufacturers – including Apple – have been able to provide for the previous few years.

That is the smallest iPhone because of the iPhone 5S, and you’ll discover it as quickly as you choose it up. Even evaluating this phone to the iPhone SE 2020 makes it really feel small, but it surely doesn’t lose any of that premium edge we found with the iPhone 12.

You will get a slightly improved experience with the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max because of their extra powerful engines, greater batteries and quite a lot of different tweaks, however if you happen to’re after a small iPhone you no longer have to worry about lacking out on one of the best features.

The 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display is pin-sharp, and it’s markedly higher than the LCD display on the iPhone 11. You’ll particularly see the improvements when watching video that helps HDR.

The iPhone 12 mini additionally has a premium design, with a protected glass design known as Ceramic Shield and angular aluminum edges that can pull your mind again to the times of the iPhone 4 as quickly as you first handle it. It comes in a choice of 5 colors (black, white, crimson, inexperienced or blue).

It might really feel like an iPhone for the nostalgists, but it surely’s something however in the case of spec. The most recent A14 Bionic chipset powers this machine – we discovered it to work practically flawlessly, no matter we threw on the phone – and also you’ve bought a top-end camera array with two 12MP rear shooters that carry out simply as well as those on the iPhone 12.

Then there’s the addition of next-gen 5G connectivity technology, allowing you to expertise sooner speeds and simpler connection when utilizing cellular data. This is nice futureproofing know-how to have on board, however at launch 5G isn’t broadly accessible in lots of areas, that means it won’t be a transformative expertise for most people right away.

There’s also MagSafe, Apple’s new magnetic docking tech, which enables you to join a wi-fi charger and different accessories (only a couple at launch) by simply snapping them to the rear of the phone.

iPhone 12 mini

The iPhone 12 mini isn’t without its frustrations, as the battery life isn’t as powerful as some might hope for, and 64GB of storage doesn’t feel like enough for a phone in 2020. That stated, these are minor points that many who like the choices Apple has made elsewhere will be able to live with.

The iPhone 12 mini is built for those who have been eager for a smaller iPhone that’s simple to make use of in a single hand, and if you want Apple’s full-on smartphone expertise in a extra compact package, this is the iPhone for you.

iPhone 12 mini release date and price

The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699 / £699 / AU$1,199. That’s for 64GB of storage, and the price goes up for extra storage – check out the chart below for full pricing.

iPhone 12 mini prices
Region 64GB 128GB 256GB
US $699 $749 $849
UK £699 £749 £849
AU $1,199 $1,279 $1,449

For context, the iPhone 12 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,349, the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,699, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$1,849.

iPhone 12 mini preorders are open now, and you’ll be able to buy the phone from November 13. You probably need to get your orders in early as well – Apple has gone on the document as saying provides are going to be “constrained” for the foreseeable future.

The iPhone 12 mini comes without a charging block or earbuds within the field, with Apple seeking to minimize down on e-waste. If you don’t personal the precise charger or a pair of headphones, that is set so as to add to the cost of your machine as you’ll want to purchase these separately.

If you want some new Apple headphones, you may need to try the AirPods.

Design

The iPhone 12 mini’s design is its unique selling level, and it’s a welcome various for many who desire a smaller iPhone, and who’ve seemed on in dismay as Apple has launched ever-larger handsets (but also don’t desire the dated-looking design of the iPhone SE, Apple’s different mini-sized phone).

It essentially mirrors the iPhone 12 design, however in a smaller physique that’s simpler to wrap you hand around; and despite the smaller size the phone still manages to pack a large 5.4-inch screen – extra on that under

With dimensions of 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm it’s the smallest iPhone in a very long time, and that’s including the iPhone SE that was released earlier in 2020. It’s additionally mild, with out feeling too mild – at 135 grams it’s simple to slip right into a pocket, however doesn’t really feel low cost.

It may seem obvious, however if you’re looking for a small iPhone and also you’re not too nervous about the fee, then the iPhone 12 mini is immediate, do the n’t-even-think-about-anything-else selection.

Away from the phone’s sheer size (or lack thereof), the iPhone 12 mini comes with flatter edges than we’ve seen on recent iPhone generations. It’s always good to see design evolution in an iPhone, however this move, which nods to the look of older iPhones, won’t be to everyone’s taste.

We found the phone easy to hold, and it feels as premium as the other members of the iPhone 12 household. The mini’s design certainly isn’t a case of Apple utilizing cheaper supplies as a way to hit a lower price level, and also you’re getting the identical design parts and build high quality as in the rest of the iPhone 12 vary, including the aluminum frame.

The rear of the phone is glass, and it doesn’t feel slippery, as glass on some smartphones can. You’ll rapidly begin to discover fingerprints appearing on the rear of the phone though.

The power button is on the precise facet of the phone, whereas on the left are the amount buttons and silence swap. On the underside edge are the Lightning port for charging, and the stereo speaker, with a grille both facet of the connector.

Your colour selections are blue, white, crimson, inexperienced, or black, and that closing one you’ll be able to see pictured all through this evaluation. It looks like a mixture of ‘normal’ colors and choices for those who need something a little brighter for their phone.

One of many huge modifications design-wise is one you can’t see: MagSafe, a sequence of magnets contained in the rear of the phone, which let you join quite a lot of equipment corresponding to cases, wi-fi chargers or a car mount.

That is one thing Apple already offers accessories for, and we’re positive to see extra, each Apple and third-party sooner or later. It’s a worthwhile update, even if you don’t want to use the accessible accessories from day one.

Display

The iPhone 12 mini has a phenomenal screen, and it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen on an iPhone. For the first time, the company has introduced its Super Retina XDR OLED technology to all its new iPhones, and the distinction between this and LCD is remarkable.

The screen here is 5. 4 inches, and you’re comfortably able to attain all corners when using the phone one-handed.

The decision is higher than on the iPhone 11 at 1080 x 2340, and the difference is noticeable. That decision works out to 476 pixels per inch, and it’s the sharpest display we’ve ever seen on an iPhone, so whereas the display is smaller than the iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max, it’s arguably better. The picture is crisp and clear, and the brightness is impressive too.

iPhone 12 mini

The display is also HDR10-ready, meaning you’ll notice extra detail in dark and light areas when watching content encoded with the know-how. The difference is most notable whenever you’re watching video from sources like Netflix or iTunes, but it additionally means photos and different pictures look higher.

A lot of Android manufacturers are now including high-refresh-rate screens on phones, which makes for smoother pictures when you’re gaming, watching video or scrolling your Twitter feed, however Apple hasn’t included this on the iPhone 12 mini.

The 12 mini is still using a 60Hz display, so the scrolling expertise isn’t as spectacular as on another phones that price a similar quantity – and if you’re swapping from a phone that does have the next refresh fee, you’ll possible miss it here. It’s unlikely you’ll discover in any other case, but it surely’s a feature we’ve enjoyed seeing come to phones, and we’d wish to see Apple implement it quickly.

Camera

iPhone 12 mini

On paper, the iPhone 12 mini’s camera setup seems similar to the iPhone 11’s, however there are sufficient tweaks to justify the next-gen billing – and note that that is exactly the identical camera array as on the iPhone 12 although, so that you won’t miss out on anything by choosing the smaller phone.

There’s a 12MP ‘standard’ wide-angle camera with a f/1.6 aperture, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view and an f/2.4 aperture. There’s no telephoto sensor right here, as on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, and that means your zoomed shots won’t look as spectacular, as there’s no devoted camera to do the heavy lifting.

Apple’s cameras are among the most successful automatic shooters available on the market, and the snappers on the iPhone 12 mini performed very well in our testing.

Low-light efficiency is the main improvement over the last-gen device, based on Apple, largely all the way down to the principle camera’s aperture going from f/1.8 on the iPhone 11 to f/1.6 here, and positive sufficient we found that the camera performed very well in darkish settings – you can see an instance of this under.

Apple’s Nighttime Mode works with both the rear cameras this year (and on the selfie camera), and it really works in a similar strategy to other producer’s know-how the place the iPhone will discover the shortage of sunshine and asks you to carry the phone nonetheless, for a variable amount of time (relying on how a lot mild is around )to ensure it could shoot.

You’ll usually be asked to maintain the phone nonetheless for something as much as 15 seconds, and if you happen to’re ready to do that we discovered that Night time Mode produced handsome photographs – though this also depends on your topics not shifting, so it’s not an incredible possibility for photos of your pets or different topics that aren’t good at following orders.

If you’re capturing in near-complete darkness then even Nighttime Mode goes to battle, however you’ll be impressed by how a lot the camera is ready to brighten the publicity to make a photo taken in darkness feel like it was shot in daylight.

Portrait shots – the place the phone can alter your background to focus in your face both by blurring it or filling it with a color – return right here, and we found them to work well on the rear camera without a lot fiddling around.

The cameras can feel a touch gradual at occasions, however that’s possible owing to the Apple’s Good HDR 3 technology, which works automatically on some photographs. This makes use of synthetic intelligence to identify parts of what you’re capturing and optimize the exposure to highlight sure features or areas.

Video recording on the iPhone 12 mini is impressive – you’re able to record in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second, and Full HD recording is available alongside features like slow-motion.

The biggest change here is the introduction of Dolby Vision HDR, and in our testing we found the quality to be markedly higher than that of non-HDR clips we shot, with footage wanting extra colourful and detailed. It’s a strong upgrade for those who need higher video quality, even when by itself it’s not a cause to purchase the iPhone 12 mini.

The front-facing camera is another 12MP sensor, and this can be more than appropriate for selfies and video calling. The quality is spectacular, and Portrait mode works fantastically properly because of the 3D depth sensor doing the heavy lifting (it’s also this sensor that powers Face ID).

iPhone 12 mini camera samplesThis isn’t a hugeupgrade over current iPhones, however that isn’t a problem, because the selfie camera has been consistentlysturdy over the last few generations of iPhone. Low-light performancecould behigher, but it surelystill works properly sufficient – and, as talked about, Night time Mode is obtainable right here too, so your night-time selfies ought to look simplynearly as good as your daytime ones.

Camera samples

Specs and performance

The iPhone 12 mini may be small, but it actually doesn’t lack power. Apple’s latest chipset, the A14 Bionic, is similar processor that you just’ll discover in the rest of the iPhone 12 household, and it’s the most powerful engine that the corporate has ever made for a smartphone.

We’ve previously seen this in the iPad Air, in addition to the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, and it performs simply as properly right here. We put the chipset via its paces with a variety of multi-tasking actions, and the A14 Bionic always managed to keep pace with everything we needed it to do, including working graphically demanding games.

There’s 4GB of RAM on faucet, and while that won’t match a variety of different producers on paper, we discovered that the iPhone 12 mini never lacked for grunt. If you happen to want slightly extra power for high-end video processing or related, then the 12 Pro series packs 6GB of RAM, however for most people 4GB is fine.

One issue we do have is the onboard storage: you’ve bought the selection of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB for the iPhone 12 mini. If you want extra, you’ll need to go for an iPhone 12 Pro if you happen to’re a power consumer, which begins at 128GB and goes all the way as much as 512GB

The very fact is 64GB isn’t a lot house on a phone nowadays, and most of people will not take lengthy to fill it up with apps, photos, music and other media.

We discovered that after only a week of loading our phone with apps and media we have been nearing the restrict, so it’s possible you’ll want extra space if you happen to don’t need to be greeted by the ‘storage full’ notification at some point.

The iPhone 12 mini comes running iOS 14.2 out of the box, so you’ve bought all the  benefits of the newest model of Apple’s cellular OS, such because the App Library and home display widgets. You must expect this phone to get updates for at least the next few years too, as Apple is in keeping with its software upgrades.

Battery life

Apple has yet to verify the exact battery size on the iPhone 12 mini, however filings from a mobile company in Brazil suggest it is a 2227mAh cell. As with most recent iPhone models, the battery life has improved over older devices, but it still isn’t going to give you the finest life.

We found that the iPhone 12 mini would last us for a full day from a single charge, but on the odd event it will die off towards 10pm after an excessive day of usage. This was a very intensive day, although, and on other busy days we also found the phone would make it via to bedtime.

In a mid-to-high depth use day, we found the iPhone 12 mini got to the end of the day with 22% left within the tank. That was with 4 hours and 20 minutes of screen-on time, and a variety of duties working within the background such as music playback and notifications.

We had other days where we managed over six hours of usage, however, that was usually after we didn’t connect to a cellular unit and we didn’t take the phone out of the house as a lot.

If you’re switching between 5G and 4G connectivity while on the go, you’re likely to see the battery life drop down from that as well. We found on the days the place we have been away from Wi-Fi – few and far between owing to lockdown restrictions – the battery life would drop sooner.

Again, this will provide a strong day of battery life for a middling quantity of usage, however if you happen to’re utilizing your phone constantly all through the day on cellular networks, you’ll discover this phone will want a recharge mid-way via the day.

Apple says the iPhone 12 mini will last for up to 15 hours of video playback, whereas the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 each are capable of 11 hours, and those claims are accurate based on our testing, and it’s reflective of how the battery life differs between the iPhone 12 mini and the larger iPhone 12.

iPhone 12 mini

Apple has improved its fast-charging technology here over the iPhone 11 a touch, which means you now get 20W fast-charging. What does that really imply? We discovered the iPhone 12 mini was able to cost from zero to 60% in just 30 minutes.

It’s also vital to note that this was utilizing a specific charging block provided by Apple. If you want to take advantage of these speeds, you’ll want to buy this charging block (if you don’t already personal it) for $19 / £19 / AU$29.

This is a part of Apple’s mission to cutdown on ewaste, so that you solely have a charging cable in the field. The problem is, the cable is USB-C to Lightning, which is a connector that many who previously personal an iPhone don’t have, so it’s likely you’ll have to buy a charger to make the most of wired charging.

Qi wireless charging makes a return here for the iPhone 12 mini, and this typically labored properly in our testing. Using the MagSafe fast-charger (the official Apple one is 12W) we found the phone was able to charge 12% in half an hour.

That is slower than all the opposite members of the iPhone 12 family. Precisely why that’s is unclear, and it means you’ll get a barely slower charging phone here from Apple if you actually do want that top-end spec.

You’re likely to find the battery life on the iPhone 12 mini is best than any older iPhone corresponding to an iPhone 8, especially if you’ve been utilizing and older phone for a few years, however, this isn’t going to be the best battery life you can get from a smartphone.

We regularly found the battery would die earlier than the top of a full day (though it did usually make it near the complete stretch, and simply wanted a fast recharge proper earlier than the top of the day) so which will prove irritating for some power customers.

Should you buy the iPhone 12 mini?

iPhone 12 mini

Purchase it if…

You want a small iPhone

This may appear obvious, but this phone’s largest selling level is its unique size. If you happen to’re going to go for an iPhone and also you want a smaller machine, that is the proper possibility for you – and it’s one of many smallest 5G phones on the market too.

You’re excited about 5G

If you happen to’re wanting to take benefit 5G connectivity, the iPhone 12 mini is one of your first alternatives to take action. On the time of writing, 5G remains to be a nascent know-how, however if you’re prepared for the future of cellular data speeds you should buy the 12 mini so that you just’re future-proofed.

You need the cheapest strategy to get an iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 mini is the cheapest member of the iPhone 12 family, but it doesn’t really feel like a ‘low cost’ iPhone. The spec and expertise is much better than the iPhone SE (2020) so if you happen to’re after a less expensive member of the iPhone 12, go for this model.

Don’t buy it if…

You want the very best from Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the definitive champion of this household of phones, and if you would like the perfect specs with top-end cameras and a few fantastic efficiency you’ll need to look there. The worth could also be increased, and it’s a physically a lot greater phone, but it surely, or the 12 Pro, will suit some a lot better than the mini does.

You need top-end wireless charging

Wireless charging on the iPhone 12 mini is slower than the rest of the corporate’s series of units, so if you happen to don’t need to use a cable to cost your handset up at speed you could want to go for one other member of the family instead.

You’re looking for a cheap phone

The iPhone 12 mini is the cheapest member of the iPhone 12 family, however we’d suggest choosing an older iPhone or an Android producer if you’re after a very cheap device. Handsets just like the iPhone 11, iPhone SE and iPhone XR are now cheaper than ever, and may suit some people higher than this phone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *