Apple iPhone 12 Mini review: petite yet powerful

Back in October 2020, Apple unveiled its newest line of mobile phones in the shape of the iPhone 12 series. Amongst them, a rather diminutive (by 2020 standards) iPhone 12 Mini captured my eye.


✓ Compact size

✓ A14 Bionic performance

✓ Pleasing cam performance

✓ The most customisable Apple software application ever


✕ Battery life is the compact compromise

✕ Only 12W wireless charging

✕ Entry-level 64GB design is inadequate storage in 2020

Lowest rate: Apple iPhone 12

Best cost

Apple iPhone 12 release date and rate

The notch is the very same size as on the larger models./ © NextPit.

A splitting little camera.

Flagship efficiency.

A Super Retina thats not Super Smooth.

The iPhone 12 Mini loads an A14 Bionic./ © NextPit.

By installing apps like Gmail and Chrome and, for the first time ever on iOS, being able to alter the default browser and mail apps to something thats not Apples first-party offering, its reasonably simple to develop a type of Google-fied iPhone nowadays. With Apple hardware and Google software application, you get the true strengths of both tech giants at the very same time, whichs a rare thing of appeal when it comes off.
For routine iOS fans though, Apple made a huge deal about customisation with the launch of iOS 14. Widgets are an iPhone thing now, and people are getting extremely thrilled about it. But in all severity, I found coping with iOS 14 a lot simpler than I did with, state, iOS 11 or 12. If youre an Android user whos been tempted by Apples hardware however has resented the software, it could be time to reevaluate.
Weve covered iOS 14 in detail on NextPit. You can read all about the brand-new functions, and how to use them, in the dedicated short articles connected below:.

Compromise is likewise not necessary when it concerns the.

King of the compacts.

The elephant in the room here, and the subject of much of the hype-cycle pre-launch, is the lack of a high refresh rate such as the 90Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz display we see throughout the Android world. The reality that ultra-smooth 90Hz.

Apple kept the very same display screen technology throughout the variety this year./ © NextPit.

are showing up on Android phones that cost ₤ 199 has actually got to sting a bit when youve paid ₤ 700 for a brand-new iPhone. Apples software and smooth animations make up for this when opening and changing apps and browsing around the iPhone 12 Mini in general, however there is no other way to disguise the sluggishness when scrolling through a website or social media feed. Yes, you can feel the difference and see. Dont @ me. iOS 14 is all about customisation.

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini ships with.

The iPhone 12 Mini is, as you d anticipate, the most economical of Apples flagship smart device series for 2020. Beginning at ₤ 699 in the UK, the iPhone 12 Mini is positioned exactly midway between the businesss budget-friendly iPhone SE (₤ 399) and the top-of-the-range iPhone 12 Pro (₤ 999).
The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini launch in a total of five colours this year: white, black, blue, green, and a special red version for which every unit sold contributes directly to the Global Fund to combat COVID‑19.
The caveat here, nevertheless, is that the base model only comes with 64GB of internal storage, whichs just not going to suffice in 2020 as soon as you start taking great deals of photos and shooting videos. The more proper 128GB model will cost you an additional ₤ 50, and thats the version I would suggest if you are thinking about an iPhone 12 Mini this year

electronic camera.
on the iPhone 12 Mini. You get the exact same setup as you get on the regular iPhone 12. It includes the following lenses:.

The display screen is just 5.4-inches (the tiniest Samsung flagship display you can buy is 6.2 inches) and the iPhone 12 Mini includes the same slim bezels you get on the bigger models, making the total footprint of the gadget practically laughably small in todays market.
Upon picking up the iPhone 12 Mini for the first time I was reminded of my old iPhone 5. It takes time for your eyes to change even when you are coming from reasonably small smart devices such as the Google Pixel 5 I was utilizing alongside the Apple phone during this evaluation procedure. It feels excellent to hold, and thats what counts for a device we spend our lives holding.

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini has the very same.

In terms of.

, the iPhone 12 Mini is simply a shrunken variation of the regular iPhone 12. The very same electronic camera bump on the back, the same notch on the front, the very same square edges, the very same buttons, the entire package. The last iPhone I actually utilized for any substantial length of time was the iPhone XS Max, and the new iPhone 12 lineup does feel worlds far from that style language now.
Apple fans looking for a brand-new iPhone at the end of 2020 have actually got loads of options, not simply in regards to cost however also colours and sizes. The iPhone variety has never ever been so vibrant and differed. The 12 Mini is the most compact of the lot, smaller than even the iPhone SE 2020, in spite of having a larger display.

To come back to the concern of compromises you need to make to have a super-compact smart device in 2020, in the case of the Apple iPhone 12 Mini, performance is definitely not one of them. There is also support for mmWave 5G (US variation just) in the tiniest iPhone. You may not be using it immediately, but you d rather have it therein than not have it.


If you are looking for a compact iPhone, there are 2 factors you may go for the iPhone 12 Mini over the iPhone SE 2020. The much larger difference, in my viewpoint, is the display screen. Apple has actually gone for basically the same quality display screen throughout all the iPhone 12 designs this year, so theres no compromise to make if you opt for the smaller sized type aspect.
Apple states its new “ceramic guard” covering the screen makes it 4 times more drop-resistant. A great deal of tech authors and influencers have been rather sniffy about this on social networks, publishing photos of scratched display screens after simply stacking a number of iPhones on top of each other, however my evaluation system held up well and, as routine readers will understand, I deal with modern-day smart devices with only somewhat more care than I did my old Nokia 3310.

For my money, this is the finest and most pain-free variation of Apples mobile software to date. Google pinches concepts from Apple and vice versa so that both operating systems end up rapidly capturing up if one pulls ahead with a killer function.
Weve been banging on about this because 2018 and iOS 12, and Im happy to report that in 2020 the status quo stays. The advantage of this increasing homogeneity is that changing between Android and iPhone has never been easier. For the very first time ever, you can see all your apps on iOS in an App Library. It even instantly sorts apps into categories. Sounds familiar, ideal?

A14 Bionic.
processor as its larger brothers right as much as the most costly iPhone 12 Pro Max. Its Apples very first 5-nanometer chip and, in typical Cupertino design, we are spared the technical information and merely informed this brand-new SoC is “40 per cent faster than the Apple A12 Bionic”. Apple said that the A13 was 20 percent quicker than A12, so if you do the mathematics, that makes the iPhone 12s A14 about 16 per cent much faster than the A13 in last years iPhone 11.
Naturally, there is a great deal of rounding of numbers going on here and the claims are uncertain sufficient to just cross out as marketing rubbish. Efficiency on the iPhone 12 is a bit much better than on the iPhone 11, which in turn was a bit better than on the iPhone XS, you get how this works.
When my coworker Julia tested the iPhone 12 Pro last month – rather less facetiously than I am doing here – she was impressed with the performance of Apples latest chip. There is more memory in the Pro variations (6GB of LPDDR5 RAM versus 4GB) however the efficiency throughout the entire iPhone 12 range this year is extremely similar.

12-megapixel ultra.wide: ƒ/ 2.4 aperture and 120 ° field of view.
12-megapixel wide: ƒ/ 1.6 aperture.

You much better get used to plugging in your iPhone 12 Mini frequently./ © NextPit.

Shorter battery life.

Apple states it has actually made some improvements in image processing this year thanks to the brand-new A14 Bionic processor, and I was pleasantly amazed by the results I was able to capture with the iPhone 12 Mini. Theres more detail in a large range of lighting conditions this year, and Apple is continuing to build on the progress it made with its smartphone video camera system last year when we saw the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max makes big strides in capturing up to market leaders Google and Huawei.

Top: Apple iPhone 12 Mini. Bottom: Google Pixel 5./ © NextPit.

Where to buy Apple iPhone 12.

Final verdict.

Battery life.

And you really can see that processing power do its thing. I have actually generally found iPhone pictures to be a bit boring and practically too natural-looking. On the other end of the scale, the much-lauded Huawei P and Mate series phones have always produced images that have actually been hammered by AI processing to the point where they looked a little too polished for my tastes. Google, for me personally, was a happy medium between these two in terms of how aggressive its post-processing was.

The exact same electronic camera as the regular iPhone 12./ © NextPit.

I was a big fan of Googles Night Sight when it introduced and have actually constantly kept a Pixel phone on me mostly for this factor, but Apple has actually closed the gap significantly and were at the point now where both night modes are more than capable of producing truly pleasing results. The Mate 40 Pro has both Apple and Googles flagships beaten in this department, however the Huawei flagship comes with an entire host of other cautions that you can read about in our full evaluation.

The reason its so simple for me to advise this as a practical purchase for anybody even from another location jaded by the massive flagship devices on the market today is not only due to its type aspect however. Apple has actually handled to reduce not only the overall size of this phone, but also the compromises you generally have to make when you go compact.

The iPhone 12 Mini is not the best iPhone you can buy in 2020, but it may just be the most popular. Its the one I d purchase.

I generally do not have a hard time to make it through the day even with phones that have bad battery life though – I used the Google Pixel 4 for 100 days for gods sake – and I evaluated this iPhone under lockdown conditions where a lot of the mobile phone jobs I would usually carry out on the go can be done on my laptop computer. I think that for heavy users who acquire six or more hours of screen time a day, the iPhone 12 Mini would require charging twice over a 24-hour period. As I state, little phone implies worse battery life, and theres just no escaping that.
You do get a USB-C to Lightning cable though, so if you currently own a recent fast-charger from Apple, Google, or Samsung for example, you are golden. Charging speeds with the brand-new MagSafe charger are slower on the Mini than on the other iPhone 12 designs, with a full charge taking more than three hours.

Left: iPhone 12 Mini.: Google Pixel 5.

Theres no compromise on efficiency, theres no compromise on camera quality (between the non-Pro models), and theres no compromise on the display screen innovation. Battery life is the one location where do you have accept 2nd best, but I feel like its a tablet numerous will be more than happy to swallow in order to lastly have a flagship phone with flagship performance and an excellent cam that suits your pocket and feels this excellent in your hand.

is normally.
A smaller sized phone suggests a smaller battery, and a smaller battery indicates shorter battery life. This is a trade-off weve been making for years whether were purchasing iPhones or Android phones.

What happens to battery life when you make your smallest phone really small, decline to downgrade the Super Retina OLED display, pack a 5G modem in there, and equip it with the most effective processor you have? Well, essentially exactly what you would think of!
Apple still doesnt note the specific mAh of the batteries in its iPhones – instead providing pseudo-real-world criteria such as up to 15 hours of video playback, and up to 50 hours of audio playback – that makes trying to work out how great the battery life will be without utilizing one virtually impossible for customers. Throughout my time with the gadget, the iPhone 12 Mini was primarily getting me through the day on a single charge, however only simply, and not every day.

Apple iPhone 12.
To gadget database.

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini was, for me, a genuine throwback to the days of compact smartphones before we called them compact, and for many individuals in and around my generation whose first smart devices were the iPhone 3, 4, and 5, the size of the new 12 Mini will be enough of a make use of its own.

Galaxy S20 Plus.

Left: iPhone 12 Mini. Right: Google Pixel 5. / © NextPit.

When comparing the iPhone 12 Mini to my Google Pixel 5 though, I was amazed with the outcomes. In the scene captured above, its the iPhone shot on top that lets the blues of the sky shine through, and the colours of the buildings pop.

The compromise you make when you opt for a routine iPhone 12 and not a Pro model is that you lose out on the telephoto lens, the LIDAR sensor, and the primary sensor is not quite as excellent, but as this is the exact same deal for both no-Pro models, I am not chalking it down as a compromise for the Mini version.
Images are still captured in both HEIF and JPEG formats and all that video camera tech iPhone users will be utilized to is still in there such as Smart HDR 3 with Scene Detection, Deep Fusion mode, Night mode, and Portrait mode with sophisticated bokeh and Depth Control.

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, the iPhone 12 Mini is just a shrunken variation of the routine iPhone 12. The last iPhone I really utilized for any significant length of time was the iPhone XS Max, and the new iPhone 12 lineup does feel worlds away from that style language now.
Upon selecting up the iPhone 12 Mini for the very first time I was reminded of my old iPhone 5. If you are looking for a compact iPhone, there are 2 factors you may go for the iPhone 12 Mini over the iPhone SE 2020. Top: Apple iPhone 12 Mini.

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