iPhone 12 Mini Review: Don’t Let the Size Fool You

The iPhone has constantly grown in size, from a 3′′ display on the original iPhone to a monstrous 6.7′′ display on the latest behemoth iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 Mini is a surprising addition to the iPhone lineup, standing tall with other premium giants despite its little stature. I’ve used the small iPhone since it was released, and these are my honest thoughts after months of use. Here is the detailed iPhone 12 mini-review. Let’s get started.

iPhone 12 Mini Review

What’s in the box?

Apple made headlines when they announced that the charger and earbuds will no longer be included in the box, citing environmental reasons. Only a USB-C to Lightning Cable and some documentation is included in the box, which is substantially smaller than prior iPhone boxes.

iPhone 11 box and iPhone 12 mini box side by side

The iPhone 12 Mini also includes MagSafe capabilities, which means you can charge it wirelessly by connecting it to the MagSafe puck. Because I don’t utilize MagSafe, so I can’t comment on its usage and experience.

Form Factor

With the iPhone SE (1st generation), I entered the Apple ecosystem and fell in love with the smaller form factor and boxy design right away. I couldn’t get used to the iPhone 11’s enormous weight hike because the compact form factor was such a blessing for my wrists.

iPhone 12 mini form factor

One of the main reasons I chose the iPhone 12 Mini was because I wanted to carry a phone rather than a brick. The iPhone 12 Mini is only 135 grammes in weight and does not tyre my wrists as much as the iPhone 11. Not to mention the fact that the 12 Mini fits into my snug jeans pocket without taking up the full pocket.

Because the iPhone 12 Mini is a one-handed device, you can reach the top of the screen with your thumb without shifting your hold. Try it on the screens of your iPhone Pro Max.

Build Quality and Design

The iPhone 12 Mini borrows the design language of the iPhone 4 and does away with the rounded sides entirely. It’s a welcome change to have an iPhone with a boxy design that can actually stand on its own. I appreciate that, but your viewpoint may differ from mine. The chassis is sandwiched between the front and back glass, which is composed of aluminium.

iPhone 12 mini design review

Shatter Resistance

The iPhone 12 is said to be four times more shatter-resistant than prior generations, according to Apple’s Ceramic Shield technology. Because the glass edges are the weakest place on the iPhone, the iPhone 12 Mini has hidden those edges into the aluminium frame, considerably reducing the odds of your iPhone being dropped and the screen or glass back being broken.

I wouldn’t call it a formal test, but I dropped the Mini without a case from a height of roughly 6 feet into the concrete ground. It was scratched along the edges, but the glass back and screen were unharmed.

iPhone 12 mini scuffed on the edges

Display

The LCD display on the iPhone 11 is adequate, but the 12 Mini’s Super Retina XDR display utterly outperforms it. Although the OLED screen is just 5.4 inches in size, it has a higher pixel density and contrast than the LCD screen on the iPhone 11. In comparison, the iPhone 12 Mini has a density of 476ppi, while the iPhone 11 has a density of 326ppi. Not only that, but the Mini offers a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 and a peak brightness of 1200 nits.

When I first compared the 12 Mini with the 11, I was struck by how bad the LCD screen appears. You’d never want to use the LCD screen again.

Screen Flickers when Watching Dark Scenes

The improved display, on the other hand, isn’t without flaws. When the iPhone 12 was first debuted, users complained about the display flickering when watching dark content. When you’re watching video content with pitch-black scenes, you’ll notice this flashing. With this Black Screen test on YouTube, I tested it on the Mini. The flickering is there, but it’s barely detectable, and it’s not even visible unless I’m looking at an absolutely black screen.

A green tint on some iPhone 12 devices has also been noted as an issue with the iPhone 12 series. It’s a known issue with OLED panels, however, I never had this issue with my 12 Mini.

Battery Life

Don’t be fooled by the iPhone’s modest size and battery life. iPhones are known for their top-notch optimization, which extracts every last drop of power from the battery and puts it to good use. The iPhone 12 Mini has a 2227 mAh battery, compared to the iPhone 11’s 3110 mAh. Despite this significant disparity, I am able to get 5 hours of screen time into an average day.

The average screen-on time, 4 hours 44 minutes

This isn’t to say the battery on the 12 Mini is wonderful; it isn’t. What I’m trying to convey is that if you use the iPhone as a phone, you can still have a productive day with some battery left at the end of the day. I can and have emptied the Mini’s battery in less than 5 hours, but the iPhone 12 Mini’s battery is plenty for me.

As a side point, I should mention that I charge the iPhone via the USB connector on my MacBook, and it still charges from 20% to 80% in under an hour.

20% to 80% battery in one hour

Camera: iPhone 12 Review

One of the best smartphone cameras is the iPhone camera. The camera in the iPhone 12 has only received a slight boost. And the 12 Mini cameras may readily be compared to those on the iPhone 11. Because the sensors and software processing are equal. So there is no discernible change in picture quality for the typical person to perceive.

iPhone 12 Camera Review

The iPhone 12 Mini’s lone new feature is the ability to take 10-bit HDR films.

Performance

The iPhone 12 Mini’s hardware and software performance has been outstanding. When combined with iOS 14, the A14 Bionic provides a seamless user experience that consistently excels most benchmarks. I’m interested in real-world performance, like how quickly I can open the Camera app. And start recording or switching apps, and the iPhone 12 Mini has performed admirably.

Quirks: iPhone 12 Review

I must point out a few peculiarities I noticed when using the iPhone 12 Mini. In comparison to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 Mini’s buttons are less responsive. When I was simply snatching the phone, I accidentally pressed them.

Furthermore, iPhone 12 mini-review shows when you watch an HDR movie recorded with your iPhone, the iPhone boosts the brightness to 1200 nits and then returns to normal brightness as soon as you close the Photos app. The abruptness irritates me, so I had to turn it off in Settings.

Media Consumption

We’re spending more and more time on our smartphones consuming material, and it’s a key consideration when choosing a device. For me, the iPhone 12 Mini isn’t a video streaming gadget. But that’s about it. I use it to scan through emails, feeds, Instagram Reels, and Reddit. I never felt the need to watch YouTube or Netflix on my iPhone because I had a huge TV.

Media consumption device with XDR display

The XDR display, on the other hand, produces sharp frames. So you can easily use the 12 Mini as your primary media consumption device.

Purchase the Apple iPhone 12 Mini (Amazon | Apple).

Final Remarks: iPhone 12 Mini Review

After spending a few months with the iPhone 12 Mini, I can confidently recommend it to anyone looking for a small, light phone with plenty of capabilities. You can acquire it if you don’t use your iPhone frequently and don’t mind paying $699 for it. There are fewer reasons to recommend the Mini if you already own an iPhone X or newer. What are your thoughts? Would you consider purchasing the iPhone 12 Mini? Please notify me via Twitter.

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