Apple iPhone 12 Mini Review
The Apple iPhone 12 Mini is the bitesize version of the iPhone 12. It does surprisingly well with performance, screen quality and cameras, but its battery life lets it down. It’s still a great phone, however, and perfect for anyone who wants a relatively affordable pocket-size phone with the features and specs of a larger model.
4.5 out of 5 stars
- Small design fits comfortably in pockets
- Super Retina XDR display and brilliant resolution
- Future ready with 5G
- Specs and features from the iPhone 12
- Smallest storage, 64GB, is not enough
- Wireless charging takes longer
- Battery life is middling with average use
- Battery life is poor with 5G
- Small screen is difficult for large fingers
Apple iPhone 12 Mini Full Review
At first glance, there do appear to be more cons than pros, but believe us, that 4.5 rating has been earnt! The battery life is the only big problem here, the other cons are really down to personal preference.
In this full review of the Apple iPhone 12 Mini, we’ll give you a run-down of the main features, briefly go over the key features Apple are promoting with this phone, then go in-depth on the screen, battery life, performance, and cameras.
To quickly compare one phone to another, here are the main specs and features you can expect from this phone model.
- Released: November 2020
- Weight: 133g
- Dimensions: 13.15 x 6.42 x 0.74cm
- Display: 5.4 inch Super Retina XDR display
- System: Apple A14 Bionic processor with iOS 14
- Cameras: Dual rear 12MP cameras, single 12MP selfie camera
- Storage: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB, with 4GB RAM
Here are the key features Apple are excited to offer with the iPhone 12 Mini:
Key Feature – iPhone 12 Performance
Smaller =/= simpler.
The iPhone 12 Mini has been designed to provide the features and performance of the popular iPhone 12… but in a smaller size. In theory, the performance should be the same or comparable to a larger phone.
There hasn’t been a phone this small from Apple since the iPhone 5S, but it’s certainly not a step backwards. The A14 Bionic processor, iOS 4 operating system, capacity, HDR display, dual cameras, TrueDepth camera, external buttons… it’s all the same for both models.
Key Feature – 5G for the Future
5G isn’t widely available around the UK – yet. With this feature, Apple is thinking of the future by offering 5G connectivity. Toggle it on and connect to 5G for better speeds and connectivity when you’re using your mobile data.
In theory, this is great. Even though the feature might not be useful now, in a few years, you might be able to take advantage of 5G in your area.
The downside, however, is that having the 5G on and searching for a compatible network 24/7 really drains the battery. So, perhaps this feature isn’t as practical as Apple want it to be.
Key Feature – Small Size
The small size of the phone is, in itself, one of the key features. If you’re tired of phones getting larger and larger, this model will quickly catch your attention. It’s available in black, red, white, green, and blue.
Overall, this model weighs 133g and fits comfortably in your pocket. Combined with glass back and aluminium frame, it looks and feels like what we expect from a flagship mobile phone – just smaller.
Model Weight Dimensions Screen Size
iPhone 12 Mini 133g 13.15 x 6.42 x 0.74cm 5.4 inches
iPhone 12 162g 14.67 x 7.15 x 0.74cm 6.1 inches
iPhone 12 Pro 189g 14.67 x 7.15 x 0.74cm 6.1 inches
iPhone 12 Pro Max 228g 16.08 x 7.81 x 0.74cm 6.7 inches
This doesn’t make it massively smaller than the iPhone 12 but you certainly will notice a difference. The smaller size but with exactly the same design and specs just makes the phone seem compact – rather than a dumbed down version. It’s not like Apple have compromised features and specs to make it smaller. And that’s why we like it so much! And that leads us onto the screen size…
- Display: Super Retina XDR
- Size: 5.4 inches
- Resolution: 2340 x 1080
- Pixels Per Inch: 476
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
The edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display is the same as the iPhone 12, with slightly lower resolution and slightly higher ppi. It is very sharp, clear, and everything you’d expect from an iPhone. Only two issues arise with the screen size – the first is that typing on such a small phone is difficult with large fingers. Though if you had this problem a decade ago when phones were small, it’s unlikely that you’ve forgotten the frustration.
The other thing is the 60Hz refresh rate. It’s a decent rate but many who had hoped for a 120Hz on the iPhone 12 mini have been let down.
- Energy: 2227mAh
- Performance: Up to 15 hours of video playback
Considering how much smaller the iPhone 12 Mini is compared to other models, these are some decent stats. The iPhone 12 provides up to 17 hours of video playback and the iPhone 12 Pro Max can provide up to 20 hours. So, 15 hours isn’t bad at all considering how much smaller the battery must be to fit in the phone.
The problem is, it’s still not enough. One of the biggest problems with this model is the battery life. If you aren’t glued to your phone 24/7, you probably won’t notice it. But for gamers, heavy phone users, and anyone using the new 5G features permanently, you’ll see the battery life drain away incredibly fast.
And the wireless charging? It’s torturously slow. Best to stick with the lightning cable.
Memory & Performance
Having the performance of the iPhone 12 shrunk to fit a smaller phone is one of the key features of the Mini that we discussed above. But how does the memory and performance stack up in general?
- Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
- Operating System: iOS 14
- Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
- RAM: 4GB
Processor, operating system, and RAM are all brilliant. This is a fast, responsive phone with all the up-to-date specs and features. The usual range of built-in apps and accessibility features are already pre-loaded onto the phone.
There’s nothing on the iPhone 12 that you can’t also get on the iPhone 12 Mini.
64GB of storage is small by 2021 standards, however. You do have the two larger capacity options, but of course you’ll need to fork out more for them. With a 64GB model, you might find yourself with limited space sooner rather than later.
- Rear Camera: 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.4)
- Rear Camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6)
- Front Camera: 12MP TrueDepth (ƒ/2.2)
On the back of the iPhone 12 Mini you’ll see the familiar dual camera set up. The wide and ultra-wide lenses make photography fun and easy – whether you’re a serious photographer or just want to use film that special birthday party. HDR video recording, 2x optical zoom out, and time lapse are among the features available.
The front-facing selfie camera has impressive depth control and enables facial recognition. We thought the portrait mode was particularly great and the photos we took from the phone were definitely keepers!
All in all, we have no complaints about the cameras on this iPhone. The images it takes are crystal clear.
How does it compare to the Apple iPhone 12?
After comparing the features and reading through our review, you might be wondering if there is any difference between the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 at all. Well, besides the obvious size difference there are just two differences to consider when you’re comparing the models:
- The Mini has 2340x1080-pixel resolution at 476 ppi, while the standard iPhone 12 has 2532x1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi.
- The Mini battery provides up to 15 hours video playback, while the standard iPhone 12 provides up to 17 hours.
Slightly lower pixel resolution and 2 hours less of battery life aren’t dealbreakers. Once again, it’s likely that the size of the phone will be the deciding factor.
Conclusion – Should you buy the Apple iPhone 12 Mini?
Yes! This is a great phone that we’ve scored 4.5 out of 5. If you want a small and affordable phone with all the bells and whistles that an Apple iPhone 12 comes with, this is the phone for you. However, if you struggle with small phone screens and need extra-long battery life, the iPhone 12 or even iPhone 12 Pro might be better.Click here to find and compare Apple iPhone 12 Mini prices