iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 12 Buyer's Guide

This month, Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 as the successor to the popular iPhone 11, with a new squared-off industrial design, the A14 Bionic chip, an OLED display, and MagSafe. However, for the first time, Apple also unveiled a smaller version of the iPhone in the form of the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini.

iphone 12 mini pricing

After years in which phone sizes have grown and after the popularity of the small-form iPhone SE, Apple finally answered the pleas of small-phone fans and offered the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini. However, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini does have a few notable differences from its larger sibling. It also is $100 cheaper, starting at $699 instead of the ‌iPhone 12‌'s $799 on select carriers. Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhones is best for you and highlights what you are missing out on when you opt for the smaller model.

Comparing the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini

The ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12‌ mini share virtually all of the same key features. Both phones have the same OLED Super Retina XDR display technology, A14 Bionic processor, 5G connectivity, dual and 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras, and are available in the same colors. More interesting is where the two devices differ.

Differences


iPhone 12

  • 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi
  • Less prominent notch due to larger display size
  • Battery life with up to 17 hours of video playback
  • Weight of 164 grams


iPhone 12 mini

  • 5.4-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2340-by-1080-pixel resolution at 476 ppi
  • More prominent notch due to smaller display size
  • Battery life with up to 15 hours of video playback
  • Weight of 135 grams

Read on for a closer look at each of these aspects, and see where exactly the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini contrasts.

Display Size

The most noticeable difference between the ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is the display size. The ‌iPhone 12‌ has a size of 6.1 inches, and the 12 mini has a size of 5.4 inches. This means that the larger phone will be able to display more content, with the UI elements of apps spaced further apart, and items such as the keyboard will be much bigger. The smaller phone, however, will be much more pocketable and easy to use with one hand.

apple iphone 12 super retina xdr display 10132020

The displays themselves use the exact same technologies and have the same features, but the main reason to prefer the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini will be because of its better fit in the hand and easier one-handed use.

As the notch at the top of the screen that contains the front-facing TrueDepth camera array is the same across the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup regardless of screen size, the notch is at its most intrusive and noticeable on the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini. The notch is much closer to the sides of the device than on larger iPhones. Those who dislike the notch may therefore prefer the larger ‌iPhone 12‌ as it is slightly less prominent on a 6.1-inch screen.

Dimensions and Weight

As a smaller phone, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini obviously has a lesser height and width than the ‌iPhone 12‌. The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is 15.2mm shorter and 7.3mm narrower than the ‌iPhone 12‌. However, both phones are of the same 7.4mm thickness. The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is also 29 grams (1.02 ounces) lighter than its larger counterpart, at just 135 grams (4.76 ounces) in total.

iphone size comparisons b

Battery Life

One of the most important differences between these two iPhones is battery life. The ‌iPhone 12‌ can deliver up to 17 hours of video playback, according to Apple. However, since the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini is much smaller, it can likewise only accommodate a smaller battery. This means that the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini reportedly delivers up to 15 hours of video playback. Real-world battery life for both devices is likely to be lower than Apple's estimates, as mixed usage tends to be a bit heavier than pure video playback.

ip12vminifeature

If battery life is a priority for you, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini may not be the best choice as it is undoubtedly the weakest point of the phone. If you choose to get the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini, expect to be having to charge it far more often than on a larger device. The larger battery in the ‌iPhone 12‌ has a higher capacity and therefore can offer a longer battery life.

Final Thoughts

Screen size is ultimately a matter of personal preference, and Apple offers the ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 12 Pro lineup in three different sizes to meet all users' needs. Since the ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12‌ mini share features, and only differ when it comes to the practical side effects of having a smaller device, it comes down to individual taste.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini seems to be designed for fans of small phones, and doesn't sacrifice any features when compared to the full size ‌iPhone 12‌. For many customers, buying the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini will simply be whether form factor is more important than the slightly shorter battery life.

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

Top Stories

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Although we're still a few days away from the official launch of Black Friday, we've known for a few weeks that many retailers would be kicking off discounts ahead of November 27. Because of this trend, today we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the 10.2-inch iPad and 2020 iPad Pro. More sales are likely to appear as the week progresses, and when they do we'll update ...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...