iPhone 12 Mini Review - So small so good | TechBuyGuide
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iPhone 12 Mini Review – So small so good

The iPhone 12 Mini changes the direction and gives hope to those seeking phone which just fits well in their hand. It’s small indeed.

iphone 12 mini header
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It has become almost a standard these days, that most of the phone currently made are just very big, even those which are classed as small and compact are still much bigger then they used to.

The iPhone 12 Mini changes the direction and gives hope to those seeking phone which just fits well in their hand. It’s small indeed.

When Apple and the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max revealed the Mini, it was a remarkable moment for all small phone lovers as Apple seemed just going with the flow of making the phones larger and larger every year. Many of us wanted a very small iPhone in the vein of iPhone 5, 5S or the original SE for a long time.

Made of compromises? Not this time.

Obviously, there are going to be trade-offs when it comes to making something smaller than usual and we braced ourself, wondering what features Apple had to sacrifice in 2020 to make the small phone.

iPhone 12 Family
Image credit: techradar.com

The iPhone 12 Mini, however, has all that the iPhone 12 has — it’s just smaller. It has the same flat-sided design, 5G and OLED screen with HDR support. The screen is covered with a ceramic shield by Apple. The body has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and supports wireless charging and accessories from MagSafe.

It has the same A14 Bionic processor, runs on same iOS 14, and also has the same cameras. It’s basically iPhone 12 just in a smaller housing.

Region64GB128GB256GB
US$699$749$849
UK£699£749£849
AU$1,199$1,279$1,449
Prices of iPhone 12 Mini in US, UK and Australia

The iPhone 12 Mini looks like a premium version of the iPhone 5, which is absolutely a positive thing, with smooth aluminium sides and a glossy glass back. The iPhone 12 Mini is not much larger than an iPhone 5 or the iPhone SE 2020. The 12 Mini has a much higher screen-to-body ratio than the SE, which makes it better for watching videos or just showing more details on the screen.

Unfortunately, its glass back picks up fingerprint smudges and dust very easily

Big camera in tiny body

Luckily, the compact size of the 12 Mini does not influence the camera hardware as it keeps its high performance from the larger models.

The 12 Mini is actually fitted with the same wide, ultra-wide, and selfie cameras which we find on the iPhone 12. All those camera sensors capture outstanding photographs and videos and delivery quality pictures most of the time. The Mini can also capture videos in Dolby Vision at up to 4K resolution with 24, 30 or 60 fps (frames per second), full Hd or slow-motion.

Sample photos taken by iPhone 12 Mini

We may have already forgotten how easy taking pics with a small phone actually is, when you take photos or record videos one-handed, with all your fingers able to reach anywhere across the screen.

The iPhone Mini has also inbuilt 5G antenna and is thus the smallest phone ever made with this feature.

Battery life

If there’s one impact of having a small phone, it’s the life of the cell. Even though Apple does not share the size of the batteries, it’s clear, however, that the 12 Mini has a battery smaller than the 12 or 12 Pro.

As per Apple’s specification, the Mini should last 15 hours and we must say it lived up to its expectations, and with a regular use might last just about a day, which is still less than other flagships.

iphone 12 mini
Image credit: techradar.com

Compared to iPhone 11, Apple has enhanced its fast-charging technology here, meaning you get 20W fast-charging now, even in Mini. What exactly does that mean? In just 30 minutes, the iPhone 12 mini is able to charge from zero to 60%.

It is also important to remember that a particular charging block given by Apple has to be used for this. You will need to purchase this charging block (if you don’t already own it) for $19 / £ 19 / AU$29 if you want to make the most of these speeds.

iPhone mini 12 screen
Image credit: techradar.com

Qi wireless charging also works with iPhone 12 Mini, and works well. The phone is capable of charging 12 percent in half an hour using the MagSafe fast-charger (the official Apple one is 12W).

Good hardware with a small storage

As with the rest of the iPhone 12 family, the iPhone 12 Mini uses the same A14 processor. The phone is quick, the animations are smooth. The camera opens up immediately. Easy to edit photos or videos, with no lags. The gameplay is also smooth, however, after a few minutes, the 12 Mini got quite warm.

Image credit: techradar.com

The iPhone has 4GB RAM, which seems enough and the phone never seemed to struggle to breathe, even while multitasking.

One concern we have is the inside storage: for the iPhone 12 mini, you have the option of 64 GB, 128 GB or 256 GB.Shall you require more, you will have to go for an iPhone 12 Pro, which starts at 128 GB and goes all the way up to 512 GB.

iPhone 12 Mini from bottom
Image credit: techradar.com

The truth is that 64 GB isn’t enough on a phone these days, and it won’t take long for most people to fill it up within weeks with games, images, music and other data, so we would recommend going at least for the 128GB version.

Conclusion

The iPhone Mini is in most of its aspects same as the largest models and will most likely find its owner only among those, who never gave up on small phone’s concept.

It boasts great display, perfect camera, 5G and even though it is the cheapest member of the ’12 family’, it certainly doesn’t feel cheap in your hands. If you were waiting for a new and small iPhone and don’t mind its smaller storage (you can order bigger one), a bit slower wireless charging or battery which lasts just a day, that this might be the phone for you.

On the other hand, you might look for iPhone 12 Pro/Max if your expectations and needs are high, you require a professional ‘equipment’ at all times, having the best camera, top-end wireless charging, large battery and extra large screen and if money is not an issue.

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