Apple iPhone 12 Mini review: Big specs on a smaller screen?
A vast majority of new phone buyers today choose phones with massive screens. So, when the iPhone SE first arrived, it was a bit of a surprise. But then it went on to sell like hot cakes. It turned out there was an increasing niche that wanted a small phone that could be easily used with one hand. But even then, it wasn’t equipped with the latest hardware that Apple had to offer. Enter the current iPhone SE, and Apple tucked the brains of the iPhone 11 into the body of an iPhone 8. But still, using a three-generation old design meant that there were a few trade-offs.
Apple has now changed that with the iPhone 12 Mini. This version of Apple’s latest-gen smartphone can be used comfortably with one hand and gets almost all the latest and greatest tech that Apple has to offer. It is essentially the iPhone 12 in a smaller form factor. It has the same flat squared-off edges, support for 5G and an OLED screen (covered in Apple’s ceramic shield) with support for HDR. It comes with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and supports MagSafe wireless charging and accessories. It has an A14 Bionic processor like the iPhone 12, and even has the same camera module. The only major difference is the 5.4- inch display instead of the 6.1-inch one on the iPhone 12.
Like the rest of the lineup, the iPhone 12 Mini is well-built and feels solid in the hand. The metal sides and the glossy glass back lend it a premium feel that frankly no other phone can match. The screen does have the bathtub notch and on the Mini it feels larger than on other iPhones. It wasn’t an issue for me but could be one for you.
The small factor does not mean any compromises when it comes to performance at all. The A14 Bionic is incredibly snappy and simply put nothing catches it out of breath. Everyday tasks are polished off with ease. The phone remains snappy even while playing some resource-intensive games, or switching between streaming services while binge-watching TV shows. The smaller form factor however means that Apple could only fit in a smaller battery than the iPhone 12 and that is a compromise that you are going to have to live with. That being said, it is actually good for a phone this size. We have seen smartphones this size previously struggle with battery life. I easily got through a day of regular use without draining the battery.
The same wide, ultra-wide and selfie cameras from the iPhone 12 are present on the Mini. The Mini can even record 4K video at 60fps. The main camera (wide) is splendid and does a wonderful job of preserving detail even in challenging lighting conditions. Apple’s image processing means that the ultra-wide can produce photos without much distortion at the edges. The selfie camera works brilliantly and keeps colours true to life.
The iPhone 12 Mini is just what the doctor ordered for a growing niche of smartphone users. It is tiny but packs just as big a punch as the bigger iPhones. Only time will tell if the iPhone 12 Mini will continue what the iPhone SE did. But one thing is for sure. If you are someone who hates large-screened phones and love the ease that comes with single-handed use, the iPhone 12 Mini offers everything you need and a whole lot more.
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