Apple’s iPhone 12 mini has us questioning our larger phones

We’ve been testing our new iPhone 12 mini the past few days, and its combination of size and power definitely has us questioning our iPhone 12 Pro Max.

A new compact size

The first thing we noticed when we picked up the iPhone 12 mini is how small it is — in a good way. We come from the max-sized iPhones, so carrying around the iPhone 12 mini was something else entirely. We know several people who made the jump (or drop?) down to the mini size this year after Apple failed to release a more compact option generation after generation.

We can’t quite kick the iPhone 12 Pro Max to the curb due to our preference for the better camera system, but it is ever so tempting.

iPhone 12 lineup sizes

iPhone 12 lineup sizes

Using this device feels entirely new to us, and mixed with iOS 14, Apple has a phenomenal phone very reminiscent of the iPhone SE — just with more power.


Introduction of 5G is the headline-grabbing feature of the new iPhone 12 line, but we still have to mention it specifically when it comes to the iPhone 12 mini. Apple loudly touts that this is the smallest and lightest 5G capable phone in the world. Not only that, but it supports the more impressive mmWave 5G. Rumors were pegging mmWave to be a “pro” exclusive feature, but Apple managed to include it in all the devices, including the iPhone 12 mini.

Smallest and lightest phone to support 5G

Smallest and lightest phone to support 5G

This all said, 5G is not a “today” feature. Very few customers will get to see what 5G can deliver in total in 2020, and likely not even in 2021. Uses of 5G will be more evident as time moves on and networks expand, making the technology more of a future-proof now, than an immediate need.

Short, but not short on power

Even if this is Apple’s cheapest flagship phone and smallest in size, Apple doesn’t skimp on its performance. It includes the same A14 Bionic processor as the other phones, up to and including the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It still has 6GB of RAM and the same performance across the board.

Apps are incredibly fast on iPhone 12 mini

Despite its small size, we didn’t feel like we were giving up much. It feels as fast and powerful as the larger, more expensive options. It’s compact yet mighty. We love how Apple isn’t making tradeoffs in performance to fit the small size. We do get less battery life here, but we can live with that.

Apple’s accessories

While the phone itself is great, the slate of available accessories is phenomenal as well. We are in love with Apple’s leather wallet, which perfectly fits the back of the iPhone 12 mini. Thus far, Apple has released silicone cases, clear cases, and leather cases for the iPhone 12 mini, all supporting MagSafe. Soon, it will be releasing its unique leather sleeve for the iPhone 12 mini, as well.

iPhone 12 mini sleeve

Apple’s leather sleeve takes the iPhone 12 mini and turns it into an always-nearby wristlet. The sleeve itself covers the whole phone, protecting all sides, including the camera. The front has a cutout hole that allows you to see the time while your phone is protected inside. Using NFC and MagSafe, your phone knows when it is in the case and matches the background color of the time to the case— a very cool effect.

The case comes with card slots on the inside to carry a couple of cards with you simultaneously. It includes an optional leather strap to keep your phone right on your wrist. It also supports MagSafe so that it can be charged while in the sleeve.

Third-parties are all jumping on board with MagSafe, and it is only a matter of time before we see even more MagSafe accessories for this tiny iPhone.

Together, these features make the iPhone 12 mini a compelling, powerful, and capable device that is sure to satisfy those longing for a revitalized smaller form factor device.

Where to grab deals on the iPhone 12 mini

Wireless carriers are offering shoppers cash rebates and trade-in promotions on the new iPhone 12 mini, delivering some of the best iPhone deals on the popular handset.

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