Apple iPhone 12 Mini review: Pint-sized power


If you’re seeking to purchase a brand new iPhone in 2020, you’ve frankly obtained a ton of options. From the super-affordable $399 iPhone SE to the $1,199 iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple now affords an iPhone in each pricing tier. But past pricing, it additionally affords iPhones in quite a lot of sizes. While you beforehand needed to choose up an iPhone SE to get one thing on the smaller facet, Apple’s new iPhone 12 Mini is a improbable combination of premium and pint-sized.

But what are you lacking out on by choosing up Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini, and is it really snug to make use of? Find out in Android Authority‘s iPhone 12 Mini evaluation.

About this iPhone 12 Mini evaluation: We spent seven days with the iPhone 12 Mini. It was working iOS 14.1. Android Authority bought the unit straight from Apple for the aim of this evaluation.

What is the iPhone 12 Mini?

iPhone 12 Mini back held up with hand 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest of the 4 iPhone 12 fashions that Apple launched within the second half of 2020. It is successfully a miniature model of the standard iPhone 12. It even sports activities the very same internals, not counting battery capability, making it one of many quickest small telephones you will get in 2020. With Apple’s class-leading A14 Bionic SoC and stellar digicam system, it could be laborious to search out competitors on this type issue.

The show of the iPhone 12 Mini is simply 5.4-inches, which is sort of a bit smaller than even Google’s tiniest providing for the yr, the Pixel 4a. While small screens are sometimes compensated by huge bezels, the iPhone 12 Mini doesn’t have this downside. It sports activities the identical minimal bezels as the larger, costlier iPhone 12 fashions. This means the telephone nonetheless feels pretty immersive, even in a physique this small. While it actually gained’t be as immersive as most telephones with greater shows, the small type issue is nice for many who like their telephone to take up as little house as attainable.

Is it snug to make use of?

iPhone 12 Mini screen in hand 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

For me, the iPhone 12 Mini is extremely snug to make use of. It’s refreshing to make use of a telephone the place I can attain the highest of the display with my thumb. That mentioned, two-handed typing can really feel a bit cramped in comparison with a bigger show. I virtually at all times opted for swipe-typing. If you’re used to two-handed tapping, that is one thing it’s best to be aware of.

I like small telephones, and the iPhone 12 Mini is among the quickest small telephones you will get.

If you’re somebody who consumes a ton of media in your telephone and desires a giant display to do this, you would possibly need to look elsewhere. While I personally love how compact this factor is, bigger flagship telephones just like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, or Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 will virtually undoubtedly provide you with a greater media expertise.

What is the battery life like?

iPhone 12 Mini back in hand 1 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Probably the largest draw back of getting a small iPhone is the bodily smaller battery packed contained in the gadget. The iPhone 12 Pro clocked me six hours of screen-on time and the even greater 12 Pro Max gave me a staggering eight hours of display time. The iPhone 12 Mini, then again, slumps to only over 5 hours. This is actually lagging behind most telephones you’ll discover these days. It’s maybe the largest trade-off when choosing up a smaller telephone. Considering the iPhone 12 Mini is packing the super-fast Apple A14 Bionic processor, this isn’t going to be essentially the most power-efficient gadget you’ll discover.

In each day use, I typically obtained by an entire day with the iPhone 12 Mini, however not rather more. If I unplugged round 9 am, the telephone would die a bit previous midnight. This could also be tremendous for many individuals. However, you’ll virtually actually have to high up mid-day should you’re planning on staying out for the evening.

 

That mentioned, the small battery within the iPhone 12 Mini additionally means it costs fairly darn quick. It makes use of the identical 18W wired charging as the opposite iPhones. With the smaller 2,227mAh battery, the telephone reached 50% in simply 15 minutes. This slowed down over time because the telephone obtained nearer to full, however should you want a fast top-up mid-day, it’s best to have the ability to get a good leap with a cable.

The iPhone 12 Mini additionally has the identical MagSafe-enabled wi-fi charging as different iPhone 12 fashions. Nevertheless, it’s going to solely wirelessly cost at 12W in comparison with the 15W MagSafe charging on the opposite iPhone 12 gadgets. If you utilize a typical wi-fi charger, the telephone nonetheless solely costs at 7.5W.

The iPhone 12 Mini would not have the very best battery life but it surely costs fairly darn quick for fast top-ups.

It must also be famous that the iPhone 12 Mini could be a bit awkward to cost wirelessly with out a MagSafe charger. Due to its small dimension, it’s tough to get it charging on most standing wi-fi chargers. The positioning of the digicam bump additionally means you’ll have to search out the precise right place to set your telephone if you wish to high it up on a charging pad. I discovered myself charging this telephone with a cable each evening due to this, which isn’t one thing I can say about another telephone with wi-fi charging.

How are the cameras?

iPhone 12 Mini back in hand 2

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The digicam system on the iPhone 12 Mini is the very same you’ll discover in the usual iPhone 12. That means you’re getting two 12MP cameras on the rear of the gadget and a 12MP selfie digicam hidden within the notch on the entrance. While you’re lacking the 2x telephoto digicam you’ll discover on the iPhone 12 Pro and the two.5x telephoto digicam you get on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the usual and extensive cameras on the iPhone 12 Mini are nonetheless extremely good.

See additionally: The best Android camera phones you can get

Image high quality from each the principle and extensive lens is excellent on the iPhone 12 Mini. It affords a pleasant stability of dynamic vary and distinction. There is a variety of coloration retained within the picture with little or no coloration shift general. Photos look similar to how they regarded in actual life. Sharpness is improbable even on 12MP sensors.

One factor you miss out on by choosing a non-pro iPhone this yr is evening portrait mode. Nevertheless, you possibly can nonetheless use evening mode, and you may even apply it to the wide-angle digicam. Night mode will kick in robotically if the telephone detects a low-light situation, however you possibly can flip it off should you like. Still, it makes a reasonably large distinction, and you may nonetheless take some good portraits of individuals, even should you’re not utilizing portrait mode.

If you do need to use portrait mode, you are able to do so so long as the digicam has sufficient mild. Even with out the LIDAR sensor, you’ll discover on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the stereo-based separation of portrait mode works pretty nicely.

I nonetheless suppose portrait mode must get higher on all smartphones, nonetheless. The binary cutout of in focus or out of focus simply appears faux. Still, the telephone did an excellent job of brightening shadows within the garments and face throughout this mode, delivering a delightful picture.

In lower-light situations, the iPhone 12 Mini nonetheless produced an excellent picture. However, particulars actually begin getting mushy, particularly on the extensive digicam, which has a smaller aperture. Low-light situations may even catch flare extraordinarily simply, manifesting within the type of small floating balls across the scene. Apple’s smartphones have suffered from this for some time now. It can be good to see the difficulty fastened in subsequent yr’s gadgets.

Video high quality on the iPhone 12 Mini is simply nearly as good as it’s on the iPhone 12, which is to say, stellar. Color is extraordinarily true-to-life, and the 4K 60fps video seems improbable. It’s additionally extremely secure. I’d really feel snug utilizing video from the iPhone 12 Mini for a fast pickup shot in a video. If you need to shoot Dolby Vision HDR video that’s right here too, however within the type of 4K 30fps vs the 4k 60fps choice you’ve obtained on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Note that each one the pictures and video above have been compressed to optimize page-load instances. If you need to test any of those information out of their full decision, you are able to do so on the Google Drive link here.

Overall, I believe the cameras on the iPhone 12 Mini might be fairly nice for most individuals. They have nice coloration, great video, and may do nicely in low-light situations. If you need to zoom in they’re sadly a bit missing. If that’s one thing you need, you’ll have to go along with a tool that has an optical telephoto digicam.

Things I like concerning the iPhone 12 Mini

  • Size: I actually love how compact the iPhone 12 Mini is. While many different telephones take up virtually all of my obtainable pocket house, I’ve really thought I misplaced the iPhone 12 Mini due to how little house it takes up in my pocket. It additionally suits actually completely in my palm, and it’s refreshing to have the ability to simply use the telephone with one hand. Personally, that is my best telephone dimension.
  • Performance: Even at $700, the iPhone 12 Mini slays in efficiency. It beats almost each telephone in its pricing tier in RAW efficiency. I didn’t expertise a single slowdown throughout my time with the gadget.
  • Design: Apple’s iPhone 12 sequence has fairly a novel design. The flat sides really feel futuristic whereas on the similar time retro. The compactness of the iPhone 12 Mini takes this to the subsequent degree, mixing miniaturization with a premium design.
  • Ecosystem: If you’re invested in Apple’s different merchandise, be it the Apple Watch, MacBook, AirPods, or HomePod, Apple’s ecosystem of devices really play fantastically collectively. AirDrop permits you to share information in a pinch, iMessage is the killer messaging app conserving loads of folks on iOS, and the Apple Watch is among the greatest smartwatches you should purchase. It all works so nicely collectively, which isn’t one thing that may be mentioned of many Android producers.
  • Face ID: Face ID is an extremely quick and safe strategy to log into your telephone and safe apps. It works completely virtually each time, even after I’ve gotten a hair minimize. While I want the iPhone 12 Mini had a fingerprint reader as nicely, Face ID stays a improbable choice for bio-authentication.

Things I don’t like concerning the iPhone 12 Mini

  • Battery life and wi-fi charging awkwardness: Unfortunately, a pure trade-off of a smaller telephone is worse battery life. The iPhone 12 Mini doesn’t get abysmal battery life by any means, however should you’re going to be out for the evening, you’ll have to offer your telephone a bump to ensure you could make it residence.
  • Interface: iOS simply isn’t that customizable. While it’s been getting progressively higher through the years, it nonetheless doesn’t come near the customization of Android. You do, nonetheless, get the safety of realizing your telephone might be up to date for a few years to return, in contrast to a variety of Android gadgets.
  • Siri: I really missed Google Assistant when testing the iPhone 12 Mini. Siri’s restricted performance isn’t almost as highly effective as what Google is providing. Google’s integration with sensible properties is much superior to that of Siri too.
  • Lightning charging: Apple refuses to maneuver over the USB-C. That means I want to hold one very particular cable with me each time I am going out. I’m no less than glad to have wi-fi charging on this gadget, however contemplating the iPad and MacBook don’t use Lightning, the port stays awkwardly specific.

Specs

  iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max
Display 5.4-inch OLED show
2,340 x 1,080 decision
6.1-inch OLED show
2,532 x 1,170 decision
6.1-inch OLED show
2,532 x 1,170 decision
6.7-inch OLED show
2,778 x 1,284 decision
Processor A14 Bionic A14 Bionic A14 Bionic A14 Bionic
Storage 64, 128, and 256GB 64, 128, and 256GB 128, 256, and 512GB 128, 256, and 512GB
Camera Rear:
12MP Wide digicam, ƒ/1.6 aperture

Front:
12MP digicam, ƒ/2.2 aperture
12MP Ultra-wide digicam, 120 levels, ƒ/2.Four aperture

Rear:
12MP Wide digicam, ƒ/1.6 aperture
12MP Ultra-wide digicam, 120 levels, ƒ/2.Four aperture

Front:
12MP digicam, ƒ/2.2 aperture

Rear:
12MP Wide digicam, ƒ/1.6 aperture
12MP Ultra-wide digicam, 120 levels, ƒ/2.Four aperture
12MP Telephoto digicam, ƒ/2.zero aperture
4x optical zoom vary
iDAR scanners

Front:
12MP digicam,
ƒ/2.2 aperture

Rear:
12MP Wide digicam, ƒ/1.6 aperture
12MP Ultra-wide digicam, 120 levels, ƒ/2.Four aperture
12MP Telephoto digicam, ƒ/2.2 aperture
5x optical zoom vary
iDAR scanners

Front:
12MP digicam, ƒ/2.2 aperture

Battery N/A
MagSafe Wireless Charging as much as 15W
Qi wi-fi charging as much as 7.5W
N/A
MagSafe Wireless Charging as much as 15W
Qi wi-fi charging as much as 7.5W
N/A
MagSafe Wireless Charging as much as 15W
Qi wi-fi charging as much as 7.5W
N/A
MagSafe Wireless Charging as much as 15W
Qi wi-fi charging as much as 7.5W
Software iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14
Dimensions and Weight 131.5 mm x 64.2 mm x 7.Four mm; 135g 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.Four mm; 164g 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.Four mm; 189g 160.eight mm x 78.1 mm x 7.Four mm; 228g
Color Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue

Value for cash and competitors

  • Apple iPhone 12 Mini: 64GB Storage — $699/£699/€809
  • Apple iPhone 12 Mini: 128GB Storage — $749/£749/€859
  • Apple iPhone 12 Mini: 256GB Storage — $849/£849/€979

At $699, the iPhone 12 Mini is among the strongest smartphones you will get for the value. That’s fairly a flipped script from what we’ve seen beforehand. There are, in fact, many Android telephones round this value. They supply related efficiency in addition to issues like excessive refresh charge shows, super-fast charging, and extra, so let’s speak about them.

At its pricing tier, essentially the most speedy comparability to be made is between the iPhone 12 Mini and Google Pixel 5. Both begin on the similar value, however Google’s choice does some issues higher and a few issues worse than the iPhone. In my opinion, Google’s Pixel UI with Google Assistant is much superior to iOS and Siri. Additionally, the 90Hz show Google touts is extra fluid to make use of. However, the iPhone 12 Mini has a a lot sooner processor, a extra premium design, and a deeper ecosystem of merchandise.

The Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE is one other competitor with an identical $699 price ticket. It comes with a 3x optical telephoto lens, alongside different issues like 25W wired charging, a 120Hz show, and expandable storage. The S20 FE is a good choice should you worth this stuff in your gadget, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 packed into this gadget isn’t far behind Apple’s A14 Bionic. That mentioned, Samsung’s competitor is far greater and makes use of a plastic construct. If supplies high quality and dimension is vital to you, you might end up wanting in direction of the iPhone 12 Mini as an alternative.

Related: Apple A14 Bionic benchmarked: Still more powerful than Android?

At $49 extra, the OnePlus 8T affords 65W wired charging and a 120Hz show. While the 8T doesn’t have issues like wi-fi charging and the digicam expertise isn’t almost as spectacular, it’s value a glance should you’re searching for a quick and succesful Android handset.

Something ought to be mentioned for Apple’s traditionally wonderful software program help, although. Apple gadgets frequently obtain 5 or extra years of full OS updates, one thing that may’t be mentioned of almost any Android producer. If you purchase an iPhone 12 Mini right this moment, there’s an excellent probability it’s going to obtain OS updates by 2025 or longer. Plus, the A14 Bionic chip will make sure that it runs easily the entire time. That’s huge.

iPhone 12 Mini evaluation: The verdict

iPhone 12 Mini display in front of neon

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Starting at $699, the iPhone 12 Mini is among the best small phones you will get. It runs the identical flagship processor because the costlier iPhones in its household, it has a improbable design, and Apple’s ecosystem is almost unmatched. Nevertheless, it’s additionally lacking a variety of bells and whistles. If you’re somebody who needs a excessive refresh charge show, a telephoto digicam, or super-fast charging, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

With all that mentioned, I actually, actually like Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini. Small telephones are simply my forte. Getting nice construct high quality and unimaginable efficiency in a telephone this small, for this value, is nice. If you’re somebody who’s been seeking to downsize your gadget and also you’re okay with Apple’s ecosystem, it’s best to completely give the iPhone 12 Mini a glance.

Apple iPhone 12 sequence Four to select from

There are a complete of 4 new iPhones in Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Brighter shows, sooner processors, and extra sturdy construct high quality are what you possibly can anticipate with all 4 of those new telephones.


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