Last year, Apple revealed more new iPhones than ever. There was the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro and then the most expensive model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, with Apple’s best camera sensor, a giant screen and an enormous battery to match.
Then there was the iPhone 12 mini, the small iPhone that some of us were clamoring for. Outside of the 5.4-inch screen, it matched the specifications of the bigger, vanilla iPhone 12. You got the same dual cameras, the same powerful A14 Bionic processor, storage and color options. It’s just, well, mini.
To me at least, the smallest phone was the most exciting device from Apple’s big event. A new (in 2020 at least) iPhone form factor for those of us that balked at the size of most phones. We’ve covered the ups and downs of tiny smartphones over the last few years, so it was a surprise — but a welcome one — when Apple decided to cater to this niche. Working in Apple’s favor, smartphone makers weren’t making small phones anymore (barring, perhaps, Sony).
So when we finally got the iPhone 12 mini in our hands, what did we think? Chris Velazco, who reviewed it, said it was, pretty much, an iPhone 12, but smaller. He added that while it was the most potent small phone he’d tested in years, it dodged the problems of typing on smaller screens, because the display stretched to the edges of the 12 mini’s body.
The iPhone SE, by comparison, had to make space for the home button at the bottom and the camera and earpiece at the top, which was a tight squeeze for thumbs on a 4.7-inch screen. (The iPhone 12 mini is physically a smaller phone than the iPhone SE.)
About half a year ago, I switched from my iPhone 12 Pro Max to the iPhone 12 mini. Despite how excited I was about the smallest new iPhone at launch, I still wanted the 12 Pro Max as my main phone. I told myself I needed the cameras.