Apple has made us wait for its final two handsets in the iPhone 12 range, which were all unveiled back in October. As well as the iPhone 12 Pro Max (the biggest iPhone to date), Apple has now also made its smallest model available.
For the first time, those that want a more compact handset will no longer have to struggle with ageing technology, as the iPhone 12 Mini has all the same great features found on the iPhone 12.
Do the best things really come in small packages though? We’ve put the iPhone 12 Mini to the test to find out…
Apple iPhone 12 Mini: What’s new?
The iPhone 12 Mini has a larger screen (5.4 inches) than the iPhone SE (2020),which was previously Apple’s smallest handset, thanks to its new ‘edge-to-edge’ display design. Made from Ceramic Shield, Apple claims the screen is four times less likely to shatter if you drop your phone, while an aluminium band runs around the edge joining the front and back panels. This creates a flat rather than curved edge.
The iPhone 12 Mini has the same OLED display as on the rest of the iPhone 12 range, too. During testing, we found it offered a more vibrant experience when watching films and TV shows compared to a smartphone with an LCD screen – blacks looked darker and colours were more vivid.
Powered by the Apple A14 Bionic chipset and Neural Engine (also found in the iPad Air 2020), the iPhone 12 Mini is just as fast as its siblings when it comes to opening apps and surfing the web. In fact, the iPhone 12s are the most powerful smartphones to date.
For the first time, the iPhone 12 range supports 5G, and the waterproofing has been improved – all can survive being submerged in 6m of water for 30 minutes.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini camera: What about my photos?
The iPhone 12 Mini has the same two rear cameras found on the iPhone 12. However, it doesn’t have the third telephoto lens, higher optical zoom or LiDAR scanner (a laser that can calculate depth).
That said, on test, the photos we captured were still detailed and clear. Night Mode, which improves the sharpness of photos taken in low light, is now also available on all the Mini’s cameras.
We found selfies in dark conditions were more detailed, while video recorded in low light, including time-lapse films, was much clearer. We also love that the phone can record 4K video in Dolby Vision (a cinematic format that makes film look more true to life).
Apple iPhone 12 Mini: Battery life
Apple claims the battery on the iPhone 12 Mini can last 15 hours between charges and during our video watching tests we found this to be true. It took one hour and 40 minutes to fully recharge, although this was using the optional 20w mains charger (£19).
The iPhone 12 range is the first to support a new, faster type of wireless charging, too. MagSafe uses magnets to quickly position chargers (and other accessories like cases and wallets) correctly on the back of the handset.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini: How much is it?
Apple iPhone 12 Mini deals
Buying the iPhone 12 Mini outright is the most cost-effective way to get your hands on the new phone. However, if that’s not possible, here are some great Apple iPhone 12 Mini deals:
Apple iPhone 12 Mini specs
Display: 5.4-inch Super Retina xdr display (2340 x 1080 resolution)
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
Operating system: iOS 14
Camera: Dual rear camera: 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.4), 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6)
Battery: Up to 15 hours of video playback
Storage: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
Apple iPhone 12 Mini release date
The Apple iPhone 12 Mini went on sale on Friday 13 November, so it’s available to buy now.
Any down points?
The storage space on the phone can’t be expanded. Also, in a bid to reduce electrical waste, the iPhone 12 Mini no longer comes with a charger in the box. However, as the cable now has USB-C at the mains charger end (rather than USB-3), you may need to purchase a compatible charger if you don’t have one at home already.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini: Verdict
If you’re after a compact smartphone that doesn’t compromise on features, the iPhone 12 Mini fits the bill. Simple to use, it’s got a great camera and only differs from the iPhone 12 in size and slightly shorter battery life.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini cases
While the iPhone 12 range is one of the toughest yet, it’s still worth investing in a case to protect it. Here’s our pick of some of the best iPhone 12 Mini cases:
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