What's the Smallest iPhone I Can Buy?

In a world dominated by ever-growing smartphone sizes, the appeal of a compact yet powerful iPhone remains strong. In the last few years, Apple has offered several options for those who prefer a smaller form factor without compromising on features.

iPhone mini wonder feature yellow
Below, we've highlighted the smallest iPhone models still available, along with their key features and average selling price.

iPhone SE

iphone se in hand

  • Release Date: March 2022
  • Screen Size: 4.7 inches
  • Key Features: A13 Bionic chip, single 12MP Wide camera, Touch ID, 5G capable
  • Design: Resembles the iPhone 8, compact and durable
  • Price: Starts at $429
  • Availability: Widely available new from Apple and Apple Certified Resellers, with potential refurbished options from third-party merchants.

iPhone 12 mini

iphone 12 mini front

  • Release Date: September 2020
  • Screen Size: 5.4 inches
  • Key Features: A14 Bionic chip, dual-camera system (Ultra Wide and Wide), OLED display, Face ID, 5G capable
  • Design: Aluminum frame with Ceramic Shield front cover, available in various colors
  • Price: Around $599 USD for new models, lower for refurbished
  • Availability: Discontinued in 2023, but still available through Apple's Certified Refurbished store or third-party retailers.

iPhone 13 mini

iphone 13 13 mini notch camera

  • Release Date: September 2021
  • Screen Size: 5.4 inches
  • Key Features: A15 Bionic chip, improved dual-camera system, longer battery life, 5G
  • Design: Similar to the iPhone 12 Mini but with diagonal camera lenses
  • Price: Typically starts at $699 USD for new, less for refurbished
  • Availability: Discontinued in 2023, but still available through Apple's Certified Refurbished store or third-party retailers.

Future Small Form Factor iPhones

Apple discontinued the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini due to lower-than-expected sales, which indicated a smaller market demand for these compact devices. Despite their advanced features and appealing design, the devices faced challenges in a market increasingly dominated by larger smartphones, which are better suited for content consumption, and often offer longer battery life and more advanced camera systems.

iPhone SE 3 stacked
Apple has however continued to release new versions of the iPhone SE, which appeals to users who are more comfortable with a Home button yet who don't want to compromise on newer features like 5G connectivity. The current third-generation iPhone SE is eventually expected to be superseded by a newer version, but it is likely to be substantially different, with an all-display design with Face ID instead of Touch ID, a USB-C port, a single 48-megapixel rear camera, the iPhone 14 battery, and a multi-purpose Action button to replace the mute switch.

Final Thoughts

Given that both of Apple's iPhone mini models have been discontinued, the iPhone SE remains the best smallest smartphone offering currently available in terms of features and support. It also remains popular among users for its classic design and that all-important Home button.

However, boasting Face ID, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini are also worthy contenders, especially for those looking for the largest screen in the smallest possible form factor. These models are frequently available in Apple's Certified Refurbished store, and continue to be offered by many online merchants like Amazon and Best Buy.

refurb store iphones
So whether it's the classic feel of the iPhone SE, the modern touch of the iPhone 12 mini, or the newer technology in the iPhone 13 mini that you crave, you can still find a range of compact iPhones to suit your preferences and budget. These models prove that you don't have to go big to experience the best of Apple's technology.

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