iPhone 12 mini Reviews | Does Apple’s Tiniest Phone Live up to the Hype?
Here’s what the reviewers have to say (both good and bad) about the iPhone 12 mini.
Small without Compromise
Typically manufacturers strip away features when they make a device smaller, but that is not the case with the iPhone 12 mini. The iPhone 12 mini takes all the specs of the iPhone 12 and packages it into a smaller form factor. “Obviously, when you make anything smaller, there are going to be trade-offs and I braced myself wondering which features Apple sacrificed to make a small phone in 2020, write Patric Holland of CNET. “But the iPhone 12 Mini has everything the iPhone 12 has -– it’s just smaller.”
The iPhone mini 12 is a vast improvement over the iPhone SE 2020, which is the same size but has an older look and feel.
Perfect for Single-Hand Swiping, Not Typing
Because it is so small, the iPhone 12 mini is nearly perfect for one-hand use. “With a smaller screen, you can use one hand to swipe up for multitasking, reach to the top corners and easily swipe down to adjust brightness, writes Jacob Krol for CNN. “It almost feels like you have some more control with just one hand.”
The keyboard may feel a bit cramped on the small screen, especially if you are coming from a larger phone. “There will be many people who find the keys on the onscreen keyboard too tiny, writes Patrick Holland for CNET. “And that’s why there’s the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max.”
Adequate, Not Outstanding Battery Life
The one area in the iPhone 12 mini that takes a hit is battery life. Pretty much all reviewers had to charge at the end of the day. CNET said the battery is “good for the size,” but only “OK” compared to the iPhone 12.
TechRadar also confirmed that the iPhone 12 mini “will offer a solid day of battery life for a middling amount of usage,” but warns power users that battery life may fall short. “If you’re using your phone consistently throughout the day on mobile networks,” writes James Peckham for TechRadar, “you’ll find this phone will need a recharge mid-way through the day.”
64GB Is Not Enough Storage
The base iPhone 12 ships with 64GB of storage, which won’t be enough for some users. “The iPhone 12 mini isn’t without its frustrations, as the battery life isn’t as powerful as some may hope for, and 64GB of storage doesn’t feel like enough for a phone in 2020,” says TechRadar.
As The Verge points out, you may want to upgrade its storage. “The iPhone 12 mini starts at $729 for a 64GB model in the US,” writes Dieter Bohn, “but $50 more gets the 128GB model and that’s a much better option.”
The iPhone 12 mini is equipped with Apple’s A14 bionic processor, one of the fastest mobile processors on the market. The processor lives up to its hype, delivering fast, reliable performance even in the small iPhone 12 mini. The iPhone 12 mini “is fast, multitasks well, and doesn’t feel like a compromise when you use it,” writes The Verge. “It really is an amazing feat of technology.” This sentiment is echoed by TechCrunch. “And don’t think you miss out on anything performance related when you go to the mini,” writes Matthew Panzarino for TechCrunch. “There is zero chance you ever see any real-world difference between the iPhone 12 mini and any other iPhone 12.”
The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 when it comes to the camera. Both phones lack the 12-megapixel telephoto lens and the LiDAR sensor found on the Pro models. Despite this omission, the iPhone 12 mini is a no slouch when it comes to photography.
“For many, though, you’re still getting a dependable shooter that will let you capture memories,” writes Jacob Krol for CNN. TechRadar also praised the camera, noting that the iPhone 12 mini “performed very well in our testing … The camera performed very well in dark settings,” and its video recording “is impressive.”
The Verge didn’t like the camera bump on the back, and the Face ID notch, but it isn’t a dealbreaker. “The camera bump on the back and the Face ID notch on the front are proportionally big compared to the smaller size of the phone, but not annoyingly so,” writes Dieter Bohn.
Solid Build Quality and Design
Like other iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 12 mini is a rock-solid phone when it comes to build quality. “The Mini’s build belies its price tag — the aluminum and glass all around does not feel cheap,” writes CNN’s Jacob Krol, “unlike the Galaxy S20 FE that trades glass for plastic.”
Most reviewers loved the design, noting that the phone feels good in the hand and is “easy to hold.” Though widely praised for its aluminum casing and new ceramic glass front, many complained about the glass back on the phone describing it as a fingerprint magnet.
Is the iPhone 12 mini Worth It?
The iPhone 12 mini is a solid choice for those who want a small phone and don’t mind paying a premium price. It keeps the same size as the iPhone SE 2020, but expands the usable display, bumps up the performance, and adds a slew of camera features. Not everyone will like the small keyboard and middle-of-the-road battery life, but for those folks, there is the iPhone 12.