AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
Apple tree’due south inclusion of the iPhone 12 mini in its chief iPhone refresh for 2020 has given consumers some other pint-sized choice to purchase if they want a compact smartphone, but how does it compare to 2019’s iPhone 11 and the 2nd-generation iPhone SE? We break out the microscope.
There is a office of Apple’s customer base of operations that thrives on having the smallest iPhone model available. The compact size making the mobile device calorie-free and easy to deport effectually, while also being very easy to utilize i-handed, amongst other reasons.
With the introduction of the 2020 iPhone range, Apple tree catered to this crowd once again, with the iPhone 12 mini’s suffix highlighting how it is the smallest of the new range.
The naming of the model will immediately describe users to compare it against the iPhone SE, the extremely compact model of iPhone that offers practically all of the functionality of its total-size counterparts in a groovy little package. At that place are also direct comparisons to be made against the iPhone 11, the lowest-cost model from the 2019 collection that’s still existence sold, and one that doesn’t include a size-indicating suffix.
With a few viable options available, information technology’s worth taking a closer look at the new model, and how information technology sizes up against its stablemates.
|iPhone 12 mini||iPhone eleven||iPhone SE (Second Generation)|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.18 ten 2.53 x 0.29||5.94 x two.98 x 0.33||v.45 10 two.65 ten 0.29|
|Processor||A14 Bionic||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Display type||v.4-inch Super Retina XDR||6.1-inch Liquid Retina||4.7-inch Retina Hard disk|
|Resolution||2,340 x i,080 at 476ppi||1,792 x 828 at 326ppi||1,334 10 750 at 326ppi|
|Biometrics||Confront ID||Face ID||TouchID|
|Connectivity||5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
|Rear Cameras||12MP Ultra Wide
|12MP Ultra Wide
Bright Truthful Tone Flash
|Single-lens 12MP Broad camera|
|Video||4K 60fps, 30fps HDR with Dolby Vision,
1080p 240fps Slo-mo
|Forepart Cameras||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth Photographic camera||7MP FaceTime HD Camera|
(Video playback time)
|Up to 15 hours||Upwards to 17 hours||Up to thirteen hours|
|Colors||Blackness, White, Blue, Greenish, Purple, (Production)Scarlet||Imperial, Yellow, Dark-green, Black, White and (Production)Ruby||Black, White, (PRODUCT)RED|
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone xi vs 2020 iPhone SE – Concrete Dimensions
The elephant in the room is the obvious discussion about size, namely how big the iPhone 12 mini is compared to the rest of the group. As you can tell by the name, it’s the smallest currently sold by Apple.
The iPhone 12 mini measures 5.18 inches past ii.53 inches (131.5mm by 64.2mm) and is 0.29 inches (seven.4mm) thick, which makes it quite a compact smartphone to begin with.
Its direct 2019 counterpart, the iPhone 11, is much bigger at 5.94 inches (150.9mm) long, 2.98 inches (75.7mm) wide, and 0.33 (8.3mm) inches thick. Meanwhile the current reigning size champion that is the second-generation iPhone SE loses its crown with dimensions of 5.45 by 2.65 inches (138.4mm by 67.3mm) and 0.29 inches (0.73mm) thick, making information technology a piffling longer and wider.
The comparing goes further, equally the new model is likewise the lightest of the three. The iPhone eleven weighs 194 grams (6.84 ounces) and the iPhone SE at 148 grams (5.22 ounces). The iPhone 12 mini is 135 grams (4.76 ounces.)
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 11 vs 2020 iPhone SE – Displays
A large clue to the size disparity relates to the screen, equally all three models have differing displays.
The iPhone 12 mini has a five.iv-inch display, while the iPhone SE has a 4.seven-inch version, and the iPhone 11 has a 6.i-inch screen. On screen size alone, the iPhone SE should exist the smallest device, but both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 mini apply an edge-to-edge blueprint that eliminates dead space from the front, reducing their overall footprint.
While the iPhone 12 mini fits in the middle in terms of size, information technology does however beat the rest in a few key factors. Principal amidst them is Apple’southward change in technology from an LCD IPS display used in the SE and eleven, in favor of an OLED panel.
Using OLED will brand the screen work far improve than its LCD counterparts, including higher levels of contrast, brighter images, and greater colour representation.
For example, the iPhone 12 mini has a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:one, versus the ane,400:1 of the other 2. The iPhone 12 mini’south OLED besides offers higher brightness levels at 800 nits, boosted to i,200 nits for HDR content, while the others have 625 nits of maximum effulgence.
Apple has also taken the time to give the iPhone 12 mini a corking resolution of 2,340 by 1,080, a considerable stride up from the iPhone 11’s 1,792 by 828 screen, driven past the change from LCD to OLED. This equates to a pixel density on the iPhone 12 mini of 476 pixels per inch, dwarfing the iPhone 11’s 326ppi.
The i,334-by-750 and 1,792-by-828 resolution displays of the iPhone SE equates to pixel density of 326ppi, the same as the iPhone 11.
All models too include back up for True Tone and P3 Wide Colour as usual for Apple’s mobile devices.
The display of the iPhone 12 mini besides benefits from Ceramic Shield, an improver to the drinking glass that enables it to be four-times improve at surviving drops than earlier models.
This shift to OLED is likely to be the most important modify for end users, equally information technology brings the non-Pro iPhone line upwardly to the same technology as the Pro variants. With a far college resolution and pixel density, as well as the general benefits of OLED, it’s hard not to see the iPhone 12 mini equally having the best screen of the trio.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone SE – Cameras
Users familiar with the dual-camera setup of the iPhone 11 and earlier models volition be very familiar with the cameras used in the iPhone 12 mini, every bit it is a similar dual 12-megapixel arrangement, consisting of ultra-wide and broad-bending cameras. They offer a 2x optical zoom out and a 5x digital zoom.
One slight sensor difference is in the aperture for the wide-angle lens. Though small, switching from f/ane.viii to f/1.6 will enable more light to enter the camera sensor, which tin can significantly ameliorate low-calorie-free photography.
The iPhone SE uses a single 12-megapixel wide-angle camera on the dorsum, with a 5x digital zoom.
All have the usual collection of Apple tree’south camera functions, including a Portrait style, True Tone flash, optical paradigm stabilization, Portrait Lighting, and Smart HDR, for example, though the iPhone 12 mini now has a more advanced Smart HDR 3 for photos.
On the video side, the iPhone SE and iPhone xi take the ability to capture 4K video at up to 60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps, and optical image stabilization. As part of Apple tree’due south upgrades in 2020, the iPhone 12 mini can besides record HDR video with Dolby Vision at up to 30fps at a 4K resolution.
The iPhone 12 mini’s video capabilities also include a Night way Time-lapse feature, combining the existing Time-lapse with the depression-light photography improvements.
Along with anticipated computational photography upgrades in the iPhone 12 mini, the model also gains improve optics, switching out the six-piece lens assembly with a seven-piece version for the wide camera. This volition improve the epitome quality of the basic epitome being received at the sensor itself, before the iPhone’s image processing takes over.
Effectually the front, the TrueDepth camera array of the iPhone 11 is able to capture a 12-megapixel image, also equally record 4K video at 60fpps, Slo-mo at 1080p 120fps, and can utilize Animoji and Memoji using its LiDAR capabilities. The iPhone 12 mini has the same feature set as the iPhone 11.
The iPhone SE lacks the array at the front, just can nonetheless capture a 7-megapixel photo, 1080p video at 30fps, and fifty-fifty has the Portrait fashion capabilities.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone eleven vs iPhone SE – Processing performance
The iPhone eleven and iPhone SE both use the A13 Bionic, a very capable flake that, at the fourth dimension of its launch in 2019, was the fastest A-serial processor Apple had always designed. For 2020, Apple has done it again.
The A14 Bionic SoC in the iPhone 12 mini is made using a 5-nanometer fabrication procedure, with a 6-core design and a 40% performance boost for the CPU over the A12 versus the xx% comeback the A13 had over the A12. It’south a similar story for graphics, every bit the 4-core GPU in the A14 is said to have a 30% performance improvement on the A12, versus a 20% improvement for the A13 over the A12.
In short, the A14 is more powerful than the A13. AppleInsider benchmarks of the A14 in the iPhone 12 show a 20% improvement in unmarried-cadre operation in Geekbench over the A13, and a 15% improvement on multi-core tests. The marks were 1,598 for the single-core test, and 4,180 for multi-cadre.
The official benchmark chart for the tool has the iPhone SE at one,321 and 2,740 for the respective tests, and the iPhone 11 at 1,322 and 3,013.
While these tests are but against the chip, normally it would be worth taking into account the amount of memory in use. While Apple doesn’t disembalm how much RAM is in each model usually, the iPhone SE and iPhone eleven both have been constitute to exist equipped with 4GB.
Rumors pointed to Apple using 4GB of retentivity in the iPhone 12 mini, which benchmarks have confirmed. There is no retention-based advantage here, leaving the more than powerful processor the only performance-related benefit of the iPhone 12 mini over the other 2 models.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone xi vs iPhone SE – Connectivity and 5G
Both the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 take similar cellular and wireless capabilities, with both offering gigabit-class LTE connectivity with 2×2 MIMO and LAA, Wi-Fi 6 support with 2×2 MIMO, and Bluetooth 5.0.
On top of that, the iPhone xi has Ultra Wideband, which is used for “spatial awareness,” namely determining the location of other Ultra Wideband-supporting devices.
The iPhone 12 mini builds on top of the foundation laid by the iPhone eleven, by adding 5G connectivity.
The 2020 iPhones all support cellular connections over 5G, but in different means. Technically speaking 5G itself is ii dissever connectivity technologies that work in concert with each other.
The depression-band chemical element of 5G works similarly to current LTE and earlier versions, namely coating coverage of broad areas with a long range and comparable connection speeds to existing LTE networks. The second component, mmWave, boasts considerably faster connection speeds at potentially gigabit levels, simply every bit the signals are so weak, the rollout of mmWave will largely be limited to congenital-upwards areas of major cities.
For the iPhone 12 mini, Apple tree went confronting rumors of express 5G support, by making all of the new models work beyond all elements of 5G, including mmWave. This means all of the benefits of 5G volition be available for iPhone 12 mini users, where available to use.
On acme of that, Apple is likewise preserving the battery of the iPhone 12 mini by automatically switching betwixt LTE and 5G. Rather than use 5G all the fourth dimension, it will downgrade to LTE for normal use, just switch over to 5G when the speed is needed.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone SE – Ability, EarPods, and other bits
The size of the device seems to make an impact on battery life when you look at the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE, which Apple claims offers upward to 17 hours and 13 hours of video playback respectively, or 65 hours and 40 hours of audio playback.
The iPhone 12 mini is in the middle again, with claimed 15 hours of video playback and up to l hours of audio playback.
Both the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE offer fast-charge capabilities, with the ability to acquire fifty% of their charge in just 30 minutes when used with an 20W adapter or college. This is the same for the iPhone 12 mini, which also adds back up for MagSafe wireless chargers on acme.
Apple tree previously included a pair of EarPods in the box for the iPhone xi and iPhone SE 2, which connected using the Lightning connector on the base of the iPhone. Now, Apple has decided against including headphones and the charger in the box for all currently-sold models, with customers expected to provide their own Bluetooth headphones or buy some, such as AirPods.
The iPhone SE is the odd-device-out when it comes to biometric security, as it uses the traditional Touch ID whereas the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone xi both use Confront ID.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone xi vs iPhone SE – Capacity and pricing
Apple sells the iPhone SE in a choice of iii capacities: 64GB for $399, 128GB for $449, and 256GB for $549.
The iPhone eleven is sold in the same capacities, with the full-sale prices of $599 for 64GB, $649 for 128GB, and $749 for 256GB.
The iPhone 12 mini is only offered in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB variants, like the other two. Apple is charging $699 (assuming you’re an AT&T or Verizon customer) for the 64GB chapters, $749 for 128GB, and $849 for the 256GB, making information technology overall $100 more expensive than the iPhone eleven for comparable capacities.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone SE – Which should you get?
Anybody buys smartphones for dissimilar reasons, just with the iPhone SE, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 mini, we’re looking at the value finish of the spectrum, also every bit devices with a generally smaller grade cistron.
Before the launch of the iPhone 12 mini, customers would get for the iPhone SE if they wanted the absolutely cheapest iPhone available, and the iPhone 11 if they needed a bigger screen, a option of cameras, and higher-tier features like Face ID.
With the advent of the iPhone 12 mini, in that location’s a change this end of the calibration, as the iPhone 12 mini is now the smallest and lightest model. The only things going for the iPhone SE at present are toll, the use of Bear on ID over Face up ID, and a user’south nostalgia.
And then, what does the iPhone 12 mini requite yous over the others? The main things are the higher-resolution OLED screen that is a massive leap forward from LCD, the far higher performance of the A14 chip, and a pathway to enjoying 5G.
Certain, you save $300 if yous get for the cheapest iPhone SE instead of the iPhone 12 mini, but you miss out on quite a lot of improvements.
It’south ever going to be hard to justify a $300 price divergence between models when toll is so much of a factor, in ownership devices. In the iPhone 12 mini, Apple tree probably has done enough to coax potential iPhone SE buyers to the better mobile device.
As for the battle between the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 11, there’s no existent fight at all. Yous become so much for that extra $100, that it stops being a hard choice for all only the most frugal.