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Apple is pushing the iPhone 12 Mini as the “smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G smartphone in the world”. It comes with a diminutive 5.4-inch screen, a beautiful new design and all of the specifications of the full-fat iPhone 12 but in a smaller frame.
The 5.4-inch screen is an edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display, with a 2340x1080-pixel resolution at 476 ppi. The iPhone 12 Mini weighs just 133g.
When it comes to the design, Apple has gone back to its past for inspiration. The new iPhone 12 Mini looks similar to the iPhone 5 with its flatter sides.
Other features include a new dual rear camera system (12MP ultrawide and wide lenses), IP68 water resistance and a new Ceramic Shield front cover, which Apple believes makes the iPhone 12 range tougher than any smartphone glass ever made.
The iPhone 12 Mini is powered by the same Bionic A14 chip that can be found in the iPhone 12 and is the smallest of the new iPhone range. In total, there are four variants: the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 Mini is a smaller screened sibling to the iPhone 12. When it comes to specs, other than screen, it packs the same key features, including 5G capabilities, redesigned chassis and improvements to camera technology.
Here are some more of those key features at a glance:
5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display
A14 Bionic processor
FaceTime HD (1080p)
MagSafe wireless charging (up to 15W)
2x 12MP camera system
HDR video recording (with Dolby Vision)
Face ID security
Due to the smaller size of the iPhone 12 Mini’s chassis, it comes with a slightly smaller battery when compared to the iPhone 12. Where the iPhone 12 has a battery of 2,815 mAh, the iPhone 12 Mini has a 2,227 mAh battery.
This type of battery should be fine for all-day use, as long as you aren’t doing anything too media rich. Apple is quoting the following for battery use: Video playback, up to 15 hours; video playback (streamed), up to 10 hours; and audio playback, up to 50 hours.
Charging wise, you can charge with the standard Apple charger or use wireless charging. Apple has added MagSafe to the iPhone 12 line-up. This is a wireless charging technology that uses magnets to stick the iPhone to the charger. You can get a quicker charge with MagSafe (up to 15W) compared to the standard QI charging devices that allow up to 7.5W.
Just like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini has four main colours and a limited edition colour. These are:
Project Red (limited edition)
The iPhone 12 Mini comes in the following storage options: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.
As you would expect, the price of the iPhone 12 Mini goes up with each storage upgrade. There is no expandable storage on board so if you are looking for a handset that you are planning to use to store lots of images, videos and other media we would recommend going for the 128GB or 256GB option.
Apple has made a big deal out of changing its camera hardware and it is certainly something that should improve image quality. The two rear cameras are both 12MP, just like the iPhone 11, but the lens on the main camera has been given a larger aperture. This allows more than 25 percent more light on to the sensor. More light equals more detail in the pictures you can take on the device. There are other interesting camera features, too, including smart HDR and Deep Fusion technology (this is Apple using AI to enhance the quality of an image). Here are some more features that make this one of Apple’s best camera systems yet.
Dual 12MP camera system
2x optical zoom
5x digital zoom
Optical image stabilisation
Advanced red‑eye correction
Auto image stabilisation
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60fps
As with previous iPhones, the iPhone 12 Mini uses Face ID as its main security feature. To make this as secure as possible, Apple uses a TrueDepth camera for facial recognition. Face ID can be used for more than unlocking your phone. It can be used to pay for goods in shops, within apps and on the web. There is also the normal pin security you would expect on board the iPhone 12 Mini.
As the iPhone 12 Mini is a premium smartphone, you may find there isn’t much wiggle room in the deals that you’re looking at. It’s worth checking that the deal offers the phone at a sensible price, as well as plenty of data so you can get the most out of the phone.
When considering a new contract, it is worth asking the following questions:
Contract length: how long is the contract? And is it better to have a longer contract that costs less monthly, or take a shorter contract and pay a little more?
The upfront cost: is it better to spend more upfront to keep the monthly costs down?
Do you get good roaming coverage for when you are traveling?
Do you get free trials to apps like Netflix and Prime Video?
Are there options for free data or deals?
Are there any customer perks?
Will prices jump up after a year for inflation?
The Apple iPhone 12 Mini’s price is all dependent on which storage option you go for. Here are the prices for the phone from Apple’s official site as of November 2020:
The good news is that every major network has the iPhone 12 Mini available. Due to Apple phones being both extremely popular and costing a premium, you will find that there isn’t a huge amount of difference in how much each network is offering it for. For example, as of November 2020 you should expect to pay around £29.50 a month with unlimited data and an upfront cost of around £29.99.
If you were to pay upfront for the iPhone 12 Mini, then you will be able to get a PAYG contract for the handset. The phone costs from £699 from Apple (the most expensive variant is £849. Apple is currently offering the ability to buy the phone in monthly instalments through its site. These instalments start at £29.12 a month (as of November 2020) for the 64GB version, £31.20 a month for the 128GB version and £35.37 for the 256GB version. These instalments last for 24 months.
The following networks offer PAYG deals:
The iPhone 12 Mini uses MagSafe, a magnetic feature that, according to Apple, allows “a new family of quick-attach accessories”. Here are a selection of accessories that use MagSafe, as well as some standard accessories which are available for the iPhone 12 Mini.
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe
Beats Flex Wireless earphone
Apple Watch Series 6
Yes it can. All iPhone 12 models are 5G compatible. Apple is using both mmWave and Sub-6GHz 5G. These are two types of 5G so having both on board should help with coverage.
Yes, if you are a fan of the iPhone and would prefer the screen to be a little smaller. While there has been an upward trend of phone screens getting bigger, it is refreshing to see Apple offer a smaller phone to its line-up that still packs the powerful specs of the original iPhone.
This is what makes the iPhone 12 Mini more desirable than, say, the iPhone SE, which is another iPhone that had a slightly smaller screen. Where the iPhone SE has cut-down specs, from a lower-quality screen to the build quality of the handset, Apple has made sure that the iPhone 12 Mini is still a premium handset, albeit one with a small screen.
The iPhone 12 Mini has nearly all of the same specifications as the iPhone 12, but with a smaller screen. The iPhone 12’s screen measures 6.1 inches, while the iPhone 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch screen. All other specifications are the same, except the battery on the Mini is a touch smaller (due to the size of its chassis).
This means that it is more about preference, rather than performance when it comes to rating the iPhone 12 Mini against the iPhone 12. If you prefer smaller-sized phones, then the iPhone 12 Mini is the one for you.
Yes, the iPhone 12 Mini has an IP68 rating which means you can dive a maximum depth of 6 metres with the device, for up to 30 minutes.