Apple hit a home run last yr with the
iPhone 12 mini. It managed to squeeze the same high-end hardware of the
into a body that fits in the palm of a hand — minus most of the usual modest telephone compromises. In our review, we found information technology shut to impossible to error it. Yet, a year subsequently, Apple has somehow crammed in a range of improvements in that same trunk for its successor: the
iPhone thirteen mini.
The new iPhone 13 mini patches the few shortcomings that prevented the 12 mini from becoming a commercial success. Most notably, the battery is 10% larger and promises to final longer on a charge. The rest of the iPhone 13 mini’s package, though, is an incremental upgrade, and with the 12 mini bachelor at its lowest price ever, the all-important question is whether the former’s minor improvements are plenty to justify paying a higher price for it today?
After pitting the iPhone 13 mini against the iPhone 12 mini for weeks, I think I have the answer. And then which pocket-sized iPhone should you lot get?
iPhone thirteen mini vs iPhone 12 mini: bombardment
Let’due south accost the elephant in the room get-go. How big of a difference does a x% bump in battery size make in real-world use? Turns out, quite a lot.
The iPhone 13 mini has a 2,438mAh battery compared to the 12 mini’s two,227mAh. In addition to that, the new A15 Bionic chip inside the 13 mini is more efficient at managing free energy and optimizing how much power apps are allowed to consume. Apple tree claims these changes offer upward to an hour and a one-half more runtime on a single charge during typical usage, or if you’re streaming videos, the 13 mini can terminal three hours longer.
In our testing, the iPhone thirteen mini lived up to Apple’due south promises. While my iPhone 12 mini’s battery icon regularly went reddish by the evening, the 13 mini ended the twenty-four hour period with 20-30% still in the tank. The 13 mini also consistently crossed over four and a one-half hours of screen on time as opposed to the 12 mini, which struggles to clock fifty-fifty 4. The difference may seem minimal on paper, but the endurance crash-land upwards is enough that I no longer had to always carry effectually a power bank for my mini iPhone.
Another leg-up the iPhone thirteen mini has over its predecessor is that it supports the maximum 15-watt MagSafe wireless charging speed, whereas the 12 mini is limited to 12-watt power delivery. Wired charging hasn’t gotten whatsoever upgrades, and since the battery size itself hasn’t grown much, both the iPhone 13 mini and 12 mini take just virtually the same 90 minutes to accuse completely with a xx-watt
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: design and build
Thankfully, a larger battery doesn’t diminish the 13 mini’s handy qualities. Although it is seven grams (0.2 ounces) heavier (and 0.i inches thicker), you can’t experience the added heft.
suggest Apple has commencement the extra weight by shrinking the vibration engine.
From the outside, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the iPhone xiii mini and iPhone 12 mini apart if it weren’t for the rearranged photographic camera lenses and the 20% narrower notch. Except for the slight increase in screen real manor on the 13 mini, none of these alterations affect the pattern in whatever meaningful style, and both the phones pretty much await identical. They have the aforementioned boxy aluminum unibody that’s IP68 water-resistant and a 5.4-inch edge-to-edge screen featuring a protective shield of ceramic.
The only quick way to distinguish them is based on the colors. Instead of the iPhone 12 mini’s six variants, the thirteen mini is bachelor in five entirely new shades. Even the blackness and white colors have been tweaked to look more navy and fair. What hasn’t changed is that the dark options still attract an awful lot of fingerprint smudges.
iPhone xiii mini vs iPhone 12 mini: display
The iPhone 13 mini inherits substantially the same 5.four-inch OLED display from the 12 mini with i significant divergence: it’southward 28% brighter. The 12 mini’s screen tin produce a acme effulgence of 625 nits, while the 13 mini’s can reach 800 nits. In mean solar day-to-twenty-four hour period apply, you’ll inappreciably notice this, but it comes in handy under direct sun. At the beach, for instance, I could comfortably read the text on the 13 mini, while it was barely visible on the 12 mini.
The rest of the brandish’s specifications are identical. It’southward 1080p, supports HDR, and Apple’due south Truthful Tone technology, which automatically tunes the screen’s colour temperature depending on the ambient lighting.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: performance
The iPhone thirteen mini and iPhone 12 mini come equipped with 4GB of memory, merely Apple has bumped up the base storage on the former. The iPhone 13 mini’s starting variant has double the infinite (128GB) of the 12 mini (64GB). It also goes up to 512GB, while the 12 mini is limited to 256GB.
The 13 mini also benefits from Apple’southward annual silicon updates and is powered by the latest A15 Bionic. Apple says the new 6-cadre CPU is “up to l% faster than the competition,” and the 4-core GPU is “30% quicker at treatment visuals and lighting effects in graphic-intensive games.” Compared to the 12 mini’s A14 Bionic, the A15 processor is
about 10% more powerful, and it does all that while consuming less free energy. On benchmarks like Antutu, nosotros found that the A15 scored over 20% more points than the A14.
In real-life use, though, I have all the same to encounter any practical differences betwixt the performances of the 13 mini and 12 mini. Even when I multitask across resource-heavy apps, such every bit games and 4K video editing, both the 13 mini and 12 mini sailed through without skipping a beat. The only place where I noticed the 13 mini’s nether-the-hood upgrades was while exporting an edited 2-minute 4K clip on iMovie, which took the 12 mini 15 seconds longer.
Other than that, I suspect the 13 mini’s advancements will be useful a couple of years downwardly the road since it will receive more updates than the 12 mini. That’southward especially crucial if yous plan to own a mini iPhone for a while because rumors suggest this will be the final Apple ever releases.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: connectivity
The iPhone thirteen mini and the iPhone 12 mini accept the aforementioned connectivity features, including 5G (sub-vi GHz), Bluetooth 5, and Wi-Fi half-dozen, except for one: the one-time can run two e-sim cards at once. The iPhone 12 mini can only manage ane regular nano sim card and an e-sim.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: cameras
Other than the battery, the iPhone 13 mini’s biggest gains are housed under that protruding foursquare camera crash-land on its back.
Although both share the same dual-camera system — a 12-megapixel wide lens and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide — the thirteen mini has a larger main sensor allowing it to capture nearly 47 percent more light. It besides gets the sensor-shift optical stabilization module found on the iPhone xiii Pro models, which results in remarkably more steady and blur-free shots and videos. That’southward not all. The ultra-wide camera has been updated too and produces more detailed results at night without adding extra noise.
In daytime scenarios, the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 12 mini’s cameras capture shut to identical photos. They’re well lit, detailed, have rich, accurate colors, and maintain a good for you residual between the highlights and shadows.
I assumed the xiii mini’s improvements would make a difference under low-lite conditions, but to be honest, the jump in quality is fairly minor. It’southward hard to notice unless you put shots from both phones side by side on a big screen or if you’re shooting in challenging conditions.
Since the 13 mini has more light to work with, information technology comes out on top in night areas with little to no illumination or if your field of study is moving. The xiii mini’south better stabilization and larger sensor assist the night mode to produce less blurry and more detailed pictures and videos. This additional hardware support also allows the 13 mini more room to accurately etch the white balance of your scenes. But again, these differences are non visible in regular nighttime scenarios like when y’all’re in a decently-lit restaurant. In such cases, both the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini are exceptional and take vibrant and vivid shots.
Plus, the iPhone 13 mini has a agglomeration of new software tricks up its sleeve. Information technology tin record videos in the
“Cinematic” mode. Y’all can call up of information technology every bit Portrait fashion for videos where you lot can switch the focus on the various subjects while you’re shooting or fifty-fifty after. Information technology also has “Photographic Styles,” a new tool that lets you conform how the default photographic camera app handles colors and exposure. So, for example, if you prefer the oversaturated wait of photos from Samsung’s phones, yous can opt for the vibrant photographic mode, and your iPhone will always pump up the colors in the viewfinder. What’south more, the iPhone 13 mini tin can record videos in 4K at 60fps, while the 12 mini is restricted to 4K@30fps.
The 12-megapixel selfie camera, unfortunately, has remained unchanged. Although Apple claims the HDR technology has been updated, I couldn’t spot the progress.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: conclusion
The iPhone 13 mini ultimately is considerately a better phone than the iPhone 12 mini. Even though information technology’s overall an iterative successor, information technology features updates across the board, including a longer-lasting battery, actress storage, faster processor, brighter screen, ameliorate cameras, and more. But I should too say that in my time with both these phones, I could barely tell them apart both in terms of await and function.
However, at the end of the 24-hour interval, I observe the iPhone xiii mini a better investment since it volition run smoothly longer and receive more software updates. The iPhone 12 mini is no slouch, of grade, simply from a pure value standpoint, it loses out unless you lot’re getting it for less than $500. In a year or two, equally its battery degrades and you install more advanced updates, the 12 mini’s more than limited endurance will continue to dip, and at some point, it will be much harder to live with than today.