The iPhone mini is staying in Apple's lineup for at least another year. At its California Streaming event, the company announced its base model iPhone will once again come in two sizes. Like its bigger sibling, the iPhone 13 mini features the company's latest system-on-a-chip, the A15 Bionic. The 5nm chip includes a six-core CPU consisting of two high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. The result is a processor that is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. Translation: it's fast.
Critically, Apple claims battery life is noticeably improved on its latest iPhones. Compared to its predecessor, the company says most users should get an hour and a half of additional battery from the iPhone 13 mini. That increase in uptime comes courtesy of the phone's A15 Bionic chip, more efficient internal components and software optimizations the company has made under the hood. Given that battery life was one of the few places where the iPhone 12 mini was a disappointment, that's a major upgrade.
Unsurprisingly, iPhone 13 mini doesn’t feature the ProMotion display found on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. Instead, just like its predecessor, it features a 5.4-inch OLED display. However, Apple has redesigned the TrueDepth camera array on both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini to make it smaller and less obtrusive. According to Apple, the notch is now 20-percent smaller. Additionally, the iPhone 13 mini's OLED display is 28-percent brighter and features a peak brightness of 1,200 nits.
For photos and videos, the iPhone 13 mini features a more capable dual-camera array than its predecessor. Apple claims the phone's primary 12-megapixel sensor can capture 47 percent more light for less noisy photos. Meanwhile, the phone's ultra-wide camera borrows the sensor-shift image optical stabilization technology the company first introduced in last year's iPhone 12 Pro Max. With its A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone 13 mini comes with a feature called Cinematic Mode that allows you blur the background of a video while the subject stays in focus.
Ahead of today’s event, there were conflicting reports over whether Apple would outfit the entire iPhone 13 line with in-display fingerprint sensors. In the end, the iPhone 13 mini and its siblings don’t add any new methods of biometric authentication. As such, unless you’re wearing an Apple Watch, you’ll still need to input a passcode to unlock the iPhone 13 mini while wearing a mask.
Like the iPhone 12 mini, the 13 mini includes Apple’s Ceramic Shield technology, which the company claims helps make the phone’s screen more resistant to damage from drops. It's also IP68 certified against water and dust. On the connectivity front, Apple has expanded the iPhone's 5G support to work with more bands. By the end of the year, the company says the phone will work on the networks of 200 carriers in 60 countries.
Apple will offer the iPhone 13 mini in six colors: pink, blue, midnight (black), starlight (gold) and (Product) Red. The base model starts at $699 and comes with 128GB of internal storage. That's an upgrade from last year when it came with 64GB of space. Pre-orders for the iPhone 13 mini open on September 17th, with general availability to follow on September 24th.
Follow all of the news from Apple’s iPhone event right here.