iPhone 12 Mini: Five Rumored Features You Might Be Giving Up

The iPhone 12 mini is set to be the smallest iPhone in many years, with a screen size of just 5.4 inches and a body size smaller than anything we've seen since the original iPhone SE. While fans of smaller form-factor devices have craved a modern small ‌iPhone‌ for years, there are five notable features that you'll be giving up if you get the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini, if you believe the current rumors about the upcoming lineup.

Display Technology

The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is expected to have a flexible OLED display with Y-OCTA integrated touch, for richer colors and truer blacks than an LCD.

However, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini's display is expected to have some slight drawbacks. The iPhone 12 Pro and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ Max will reportedly have 10-bit color for more vibrant, true-to-life colors, and a richer variety of color gradations, as well as XDR classification.

In addition, although rumors have been highly mixed on some ‌iPhone 12‌ models having a 120Hz ProMotion display, rumors about the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini not having a 120Hz display have been consistent. If the feature does appear for the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup, it is likely to be reserved for the Pro models or even the Pro Max model only.

LiDAR Scanner

The ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ models are rumored to have a LiDAR Scanner, the likes of which premiered on the iPad Pro earlier this year.

The LiDAR Scanner in the iPad Pro uses reflected light to measure the distance from the sensor to surrounding objects that are up to five meters away. It is essentially able to map the environment around you at the photon level in nanosecond speeds. The rumored LiDAR Scanner for the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ is likely to work similarly, if not identically. As a smaller and lower-cost non-Pro model, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is not expected to have the LiDAR scanner.

Relative Size of ‌iPhone 12‌ mini

Telephoto Lens

Much like the iPhone 11, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is expected to have two camera lenses on its rear; a wide-angle lens and an ultrawide-angle lens. However, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini misses out on the telephoto lens, which makes up the third lens on the higher-end Pro models.

The high-end 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ Max is rumored to be getting sensor-shift image stabilization technology, which could potentially bring image stabilization to the ultra wide-angle lens on those devices. Sensor-shift technology allows the optical image stabilization to be applied to the camera sensor, rather than the individual lenses. This feature is not expected to trickle down to the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini may still benefit from Apple's new "high-end" lens arrays and improved Smart HDR for better low-light performance.

Battery Capacity

As the smallest device in the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is also expected to have the smallest battery. Certifications have suggested that the battery capacity of the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is 2,227mAh. Apple's current smallest flagship ‌iPhone‌, the 5.8-inch ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro, has a battery capacity of 3,046mAh battery, making the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini's capacity 819mAh smaller.

Although the A14 Bionic processor and OLED display are likely to improve energy efficiency, the fundamental limits of battery size in the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini are likely to result in an overall smaller battery life.

The 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ Max is expected to have a much larger capacity of 3,687mAh, so users concerned about battery life would certainly benefit from getting a larger model.

Faster 5G

Rumors suggest that the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ Pro Max will also be the only model to have faster mmWave 5G. Sub-6GHz 5G, which is the slower but more widespread form of 5G, is expected to be present on the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini. Only the largest ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ in the lineup supposedly has the internal space to accommodate the antenna design needed to implement mmWave at this time, along with the larger battery needed for its higher power usage.

In spite of these missing features, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is still expected to get the latest A14 Bionic processor, an OLED display, and a brand new squared-off design. For many fans of small phones, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini will be the device that they have long been waiting for.

For more on what to expect from the 2020 ‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌ models, be sure to see our dedicated roundup or read our quick summary of Ten Things to Know About the iPhone 12.

Update: Apple's production lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory in China are said to be running "24 hours a day" in preparation for the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ mini's launch.

Reports from mobile operators now seem to be pointing toward Tuesday, October 13 for the official unveiling of the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ lineup. The rumor implies that pre-orders could begin on October 16, with the launch logically following on October 23.

If there is an October 13 event followed by an October 23 launch, we may not see all of the new ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ models at the same time. Rumors have suggested that we should expect a staggered launch with some ‌‌iPhone‌‌ models coming out in October and others coming out at a later date, perhaps in November.

It is likely that the 5.4 and 6.1-inch non-Pro iPhones will be available first in October, followed by the Pro models at a later date due to supply and production constraints. There is some confusion over this point, however, as DigiTimes has suggested Apple could release the two 6.1-inch ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models ahead of the 5.4-inch ‌‌‌iPhone 12‌‌‌ mini and the 6.7-inch ‌‌‌iPhone 12‌‌‌ Pro Max. In the latter instance, there may be a slightly longer wait for the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini.

Update: Apple has announced their October 2020 ‌iPhone‌ event. The ‌iPhone 12‌ will be announced on October 13, 2020 at 10:0am Pacific time on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. We are relatively confident about the rumors above, so we do expect Apple to launch the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini at that time.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
5G is overrated.

LiDAR is probably not a major selling point for most consumers.

Most consumers can’t even differentiate between OLED and LCD.

What will sell this phone will be the size and price point. Consumers aren’t interested in paying for $1000 smart phones, not when generally all these phones perform the same functionality.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
The iPhone 5 is the ideal size. :p
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
I don't like the idea of "making the smaller one dumber feature-wise". I'd pay the price tag to have a full feature smallest model. Why would I need to choose between "better colors" and "convenient in pocket and can be used with one hand"?
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
The price itself is worth giving up the exclusive features.

Apple: Just release the new iPhones already. People are tired of waiting and tired of the rumors in 2020.

Waiting for Apple to release this...



Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
"Apple's current smallest ‌iPhone‌, the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro"

What? Apple's current smallest iPhone is the 2020 iPhone SE.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


Coming from an iPhone 7, this will probably be my choice.

Same here.

The display, LIDAR, and slower 5G couldn't possibly matter less to me. I'd definitely trade the ultra wide camera for the telephoto, but I've been prepared for that since the 11 came out. The battery size is the big disappointment here (I was hoping for the same as the 11), but I imagine the overall battery life will still be a lot better than my 7, so I'm ok with it. (The 2020 SE has a 1,821 mAh battery, A13, and LCD, so I'm guessing the 12 mini with a 22% bigger battery, A14, and OLED will be decent.)
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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