iPhone 12 mini review: this is my experience of use — 2022

If this phone had been launched three years ago, I would have no doubt that it would be mine, no matter what it cost. And no, not because I'm late but because of my precedents. In this article, I analyze my experience with the iPhone 12 mini, the smallest phone in Apple's recent history and, although it is positively surprising, it is not suitable for all audiences.

First of all, I would like to clarify that this review, like any other worth its salt, is based on a actual use experience and that here I pour my personal opinions with no other objective than to help whoever reads it to get to know this iPhone 12 mini more closely. Its behavior on a day-to-day basis and my way of using it could be useful to all those who have some interest in this product, either due to the intention of buying it or mere curiosity.

In the final part of this article you will find a table with the assessment that we make in this writing of the device, accompanying it with these specifications. However, I would like that, if you do not know anything about this phone, you would not go to the end to read it or inform yourself elsewhere. I encourage you to continue reading my experience based on use and then see if the technical data corresponds to what is expected based on it. Do you like the game?



Design and comfort of use

In the following sections, I analyze everything related to the design of this device, the size being one of the most special features of the iPhone 12 mini, in addition to talking about the extent to which its use has been comfortable for me on a day-to-day basis. These are surely two of the most outstanding points of a team that is practically unique in its kind, as the Cupertino company has wanted it, which has given all users who are lovers of small phones, the opportunity to enjoy a top-of-the-range device but in completely reduced dimensions.

Love at first sight

The fact that leaks let us know months in advance that there would be a 5.4-inch iPhone didn't dampen my expectations when Kaiann Drance, vice president of marketing, began opening smaller and smaller cases until she reached the miniscule telephone. I have to say that when I had it in hand for the first time I verified that it is smaller than one expects . This is neither a negative nor a positive, it is simply surprising given that neither the photos nor the videos do justice to its actual size. But to get an idea, just take a standard teaspoon and think that it is slightly taller than the iPhone 12 mini.

iPhone 12 mini size

I completely fell in love with the device and although the size did a lot, I have to say that the red color did its part. It is not for nothing that it is my favorite color, although it must be said that this year's Product RED is very different from what we found in the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, which had a more intense red, while the 12 mini even has orange tints depending on how the light hits it. Although I would prefer the tone of the previous ones, this has not been a negative point.

It has to be said that a new color was released in months after its release. During the Apple Event held on April 20, 2021, the Californian company announced that both this 'mini' and the iPhone 12 would have a new color to add to their catalog, adding a very spring purple color that is very reminiscent of the iPhone's predecessor. 11. However, this purple seems much stronger in its hue and gives another different touch with the frames in a similar color.

iphone 12 purple violet purple

Leaving aside the finishes of this iPhone, the reality is that it is the most comfortable device to use with one hand, which is precisely what most attracts the entire public that goes to the smartphone market in search of that device that provide the comfort you need in daily use, avoiding the marked trend of going for bigger and bigger equipment. With this iPhone 12 mini, ergonomics and comfort are completely guaranteed, with the advantage that, despite the fact that its size is smaller than the rest of its siblings, its features are not.

Is it the real iPhone SE 2?

In 2016 the original iPhone SE was launched and in later years there were many rumors about a hypothetical second version. Already in 2020 we finally saw this long-awaited sequel to the popular phone, but with a design identical to that of the iPhone 8, although with more advanced features. When precisely that second generation became official, many users were disappointed waiting for a phone with compact dimensions, but with a better used front and no Home button.

If we look at these user requests, we see that the iPhone 12 mini fully coincides with it. This phone is small, has a modern design and on top of that it has performance to spare for professional use. Therefore, the demands of these demanding users are met, but the truth is that in the end the main supporter of an iPhone SE is its price and although this 12 mini is the cheapest of the new ones, it is far from the 489 euros of which part of the real iPhone SE 2020.

Mamma mia what a screen!

iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max

The most curious point with which to start this section is that the smallest screen this year, the 5.4 inches of the 12 mini, is only 0.1 inches smaller than the size of the old 'Plus' models. It is very paradoxical, but not strange either, since in the end those phones were so big mainly because they had fairly robust edges, with a Home button included. Without a doubt, it is something that Apple users have to celebrate, since the change in design to the full screen allows, among other things, that equipment with dimensions as small as those of this iPhone 12 mini, can give users a large screen. where you can carry out your daily tasks, whether it is writing through the different messaging apps, consulting social networks or consuming content on platforms such as YouTube, Netflix or Apple TV +.

For practical purposes the screen of the iPhone 12 mini looks great in any light circumstance and this is something to be thankful for. Although it does not incorporate the resolutions of the larger models for obvious reasons, it is a very good quality OLED panel and nothing negative can be blamed on it. The LCD of the iPhone 11 already looked very good, but having made the leap to more modern technologies even in this small phone is appreciated.

Leaving aside the issue of quality, putting ourselves on the more practical side, this is a screen with which you can consume very good quality videos, but another very important factor comes into play here. Is it the best size for it? From my point of view, no. Under normal circumstances, I would hardly have watched videos on an iPhone, since I always prefer to do it on my iPad, iMac, or even on television with Apple TV. However, I wanted to put this little guy to the test. It complies with the note as I said in terms of quality, it is very comfortable to have it in hand because it barely weighs and it is very easy to hold, but if you do not want strain your eyes too much You should get this function out of your head as one of the strengths of this device.

A walk? The 'mini' accompanies you

I usually go for long walks with my dog ​​and this is probably one of my favorite times of the day to clear my mind and leave my mind free of worries. For this I always take my AirPods, with which I listen to music or my favorite podcasts. The mobile is really a testimonial companion in these cases, since it barely serves me for anything other than going from one song to another or to raise and lower the volume of the headphones. But even if it's just for that, it's essential for me and this is where the iPhone 12 mini has come into play very well.

iPhone 12 mini

With the larger models I found it tedious to have to take it out of my pocket every time to perform functions as trivial as those I have described above. If my pants are also jeans, it makes it even heavier for me to have to fit my cell phone into such tight pockets. Even walking it becomes heavy to carry, since you feel an extra weight. Quite the contrary with the 'mini', which has never bothered me and I even wanted to carry it in my hand because its weight is tremendously light and it doesn't bother my fingers, and as we have been telling you all along In this analysis of the device, the word that can surely best define this equipment is comfort.

Performance Highlights

This iPhone 12 mini comes equipped with some identical components even to those of the 'Pro' models, while the rest of its features except for the battery are the same as the standard iPhone 12. How does it behave then in routine tasks? I tell you.

Exceeded in performance with the A14 Bionic

If there is something that differentiates an iPhone from its Android rivals, it is because of the optimization of resources that it achieves as Apple itself designs custom hardware and software. The A14 Bionic of the iPhone 12 mini follows the same line as in previous generations in this regard and if we compare it with the rest of the models of this generation, it goes without saying that it is the same chip and that therefore, at the level of performance, the same experience is obtained. Beyond the millions of operations per second that this chip is capable of, the question is, What influence does that have on a day-to-day basis?

CHIP A14

It influences absolutely everything, from battery management to lag that can be noticed when opening applications or carrying out processes. Precisely that slowness is conspicuous by its absence in this phone, since it looks fast and fluid in any part of the system. Even playing video games, although it is not the most comfortable on a small phone, it is noticeable that it loads quickly and the graphics do not stutter.

Another outlet that has a processor of this caliber is iOS , the operating system of the device. Although there is no expiration date marked for this phone, we could guess that it will have updates until 2024-2025 at least , this being the average time that Apple provides support for its iPhone. This is not only positive in order to obtain the latest aesthetic and functional innovations that are coming in these years, but it also produces a benefit in terms of performance and safety.

iPhone with 5G, but with controversy

This is the world's smallest phone with 5G . Or at least that's how it is at the time of writing this review and at the time Apple said this phrase when presenting the device. The connectivity of the future is already here, even if it is at the device support level, although the truth is that the infrastructure that exists worldwide and more specifically in Spain is still far from being a standard. To this must be added that only in the United States do they get mmWave connectivity and a receiving antenna for this, being a better 5G than the one we could get here in Spain. Therefore, although I am glad that it incorporates this 5G (or improved 4G) I do not think it is still something appreciable.

iPhone 12 mini with 5G

Battery, what a nice surprise

Do not trust what they tell you about the battery of this iPhone. Don't even trust what I'm telling you. Each experience is different and there will never be two people who use the iPhone in the same way. In my case the use is intensive, although not gross. I mean I use the phone all day long, but never for very heavy tasks like photo or video editing. My use in this time with the iPhone 12 mini has consisted of being attentive to my social networks, keeping in touch with co-workers via Slack, using work tools when I have not had the Mac in front of me and consuming videos from YouTube and other platforms as I have previously commented.

I have reached 6 and a half hours of screen time with a percentage around 15-30% battery. It is not the mobile with the greatest autonomy that I have had and it does not even come close, but taking into account the size of the phone and that the demand has not been low either, it seems to me a more than optimal result. You should be the one who, depending on your type of use, analyzes whether this would be good or not, but I think I'm not wrong when I say that an average user could reach the end of the day without having to go through the plug first.

Of course, something related to the battery indirectly is the charger and, as you probably already knew, This iPhone does not include a power adapter. It also does not include headphones and this is something that can be negative for many and indifferent for others. In my particular case, I have to admit that having charging bases at home and Bluetooth headphones, I did not miss anything. Of course, I understand perfectly that for those who buy an iPhone for the first time it can be something negative because, beyond the fact that there are very cheap chargers, in the end the price of the device is not low enough to have to buy accessories separately.

Same cameras as in the iPhone 12

The particularities of this phone means that there are other points to analyze that are more interesting to know. However, the camera is an always relevant point in any phone today. We might think that being such a compact team, the cameras are inferior to their brothers, but this thought could not be more wrong. Both technically and in terms of results, exactly the same is obtained as in the iPhone 12, which in turn is very similar to the 'Pro' model, except for the absence of a telephoto lens.

iPhone 12 mini cameras

iPhone 12 mini
Front camera specifications12 Mpx and opening f / 2.2
photos front camera-Retina Flash
-HD3 smart 3
-Portrait mode with Depth Control and Portrait Lighting
Videos front camera-Recording in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second
-HDR recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 frames per second
Cinema-quality video stabilization at 4K, 1080p or 720p
-Video recording in 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second
-Slow motion in 1080p at 120 frames per second
-Extended dynamic range for video at 30 frames per second
-Night mode
-Deep Fusion
-QuickTake Video
Rear camera specifications-Wide angle: 12 Mpx and f/1.6 aperture
-Ultra wide angle: 12 Mpx and aperture f / 2.4
Photos rear cameras-Flash TrueTone
-Optical image stabilization
-Optical zoom out x2
-Digital zoom up to x5
-Portrait Mode with Depth Control and Portrait Lighting
-HDR inteligen 3
-Night mode
-Deep Fusion
Videos rear cameras-Recording in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second
-Recording in 1080` at 30 or 60 frames per second
-HDR recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 frames per second
-Slow motion in 1080p at 120 or 240 frames per second
-Time-Lapse with Night Mode and stabilization
-Optical Image Stabilization
-Optical zoom out x2
-Digital zoom up to x3
-Audio zoom
-QuickTake
-Stereo recording

The characteristics seen in that table translate into professional results in many photographic fields. Whether it's portrait mode, panoramic photos, ultra wide angle photos or night mode, this phone more than delivers. It is true that we do not have the possibility of taking portrait modes in night mode with great quality as it happens in the 'Pro' models that incorporate a LiDAR sensor, but honestly it is not the night photos of this type that attract my attention the most. .

It is worth highlighting the improvement obtained thanks to the Photography computational which Apple calls Deep Fusion. This improvement at the software level allows that even with less technical capacity than other competing phones, the iPhone 12 is capable of offering better results. However, all this ultimately depends on the perception of each one, although to be honest it is quite balanced in color, sharpness and other important factors in this area.

In video If we find a greater difference with the 'Pro Max' model, this one has an improved stabilizer that helps considerably to make better quality videos. However, this little guy is also capable of doing amazing things and being more than enough for the vast majority of the public. The quality obtained is even optimal if you are a content creator and have a YouTube channel, since for many of your recordings it could even be your main camera. In addition, compared to its brothers it has an advantage, and that is that being a device with such small dimensions, it also makes it easier to handle when moving around with it to record certain somewhat more complicated shots in other situations and with other devices.

The no telephoto camera yes, it can perhaps be decisive for many. In my particular use, we must admit that it has not been an impediment to taking good photographs, but it is true that the digital zoom leaves something to be desired depending on the conditions and type of photo that you want to take. Whoever wants to have this telephoto lens with an optical zoom will have to go for an iPhone 'Pro', but this would lose the essence of this 'mini' phone designed for lovers of small mobiles. All this without forgetting the considerable increase in price that it would entail.

Price and conclusions I draw from the iPhone 12 mini

At this point and having analyzed both the aesthetic and the hardware aspects, I have to tell you how much this iPhone costs, to what extent its price is justified and if it is really worth it or not, although I already anticipate that it will depend a lot on the type of user you are.

It is not a price problem, although it is not cheap

iPhone 12 mini price

I do not want to say that the iPhone 12 mini is not worth what it costs, because I consider that it has a fair price that is consistent with everything it offers, despite the fact that the size is small. However, it must be borne in mind that this fact is not contrary to a high price. It is worth the same as the iPhone 11 when it went on sale, this being a misleading precedent. That was a bigger phone and also with very good specifications, but we must also take into account improvements to this phone in terms of screen quality, performance, camera or the inclusion of 5G technology.

Evaluating in the end whether or not it is worth spending for this device should correspond to each person, analyzing the needs and economic possibilities available. In any case, you should know that there are other stores where it is cheaper. Without going further, on amazon We can find this device usually lowered in different storage and color versions, being a more than interesting option.

Why won't it be my primary phone?

I commented at the beginning that this would have been my ideal phone two years ago and the origin of this comes from my latest iPhone. The first big Apple device I owned was the iPhone 7 Plus, a phone call in all respects, but one that was tremendously uncomfortable and unwieldy for me. A few months later I was able to trade it in for the standard iPhone 7, the 4.7-inch one. My problem was not so much the dimensions of the screen as the size of the entire device. The jump to the iPhone X cost me less, since in the end the device did not grow so much in size. Later I had the iPhone 11 Pro and finally the 11 Pro Max.

iPhone mini and Max

It is precisely the 'Pro Max' model of the last generation that is to blame for the fact that I have not fully adapted to this device, since in the end I ended up getting used to losing comfort of use and gaining in visual amplitude. Therefore, going from one extreme to the other is complicated and unnecessary for me considering my needs at a time when I barely leave the house and therefore it is not so essential for me to have a comfortable phone to carry in my pocket.

As an extra point I must say that at the time of take photos and videos it is also made very comfortable. On more than one occasion I have come across a sunset, landscape or posture of my dog ​​that I wanted to immortalize. Taking out the large iPhone in these cases was also tedious for me and well, you may think that it is me and my laziness that is the problem, but the truth is that with the iPhone 12 mini it has not happened to me. What's more, they have made me want to take photos carrying it with me, since I have been able to take them even with one hand and without difficulty.

Apple stopped making them, or is it a rumour?

Based on different sources close to the Apple supply chain, at the beginning of 2021 we could see numerous news that placed this phone in the eye of criticism by stating that the company would stop manufacturing it. However, multiple device sales studies show that this phone is even outselling the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. This is not a device designed to be the leader in sales and not even within Apple itself, although it cannot be said that it is having poor sales figures.

The problem comes from an overconfidence of Apple having erred in its sales forecasts, which caused it to order a greater number of components for this phone from its suppliers. Therefore, at least at the time of updating this note, Apple continues to trust the stock that the phone has and in no case will it be withdrawn from sale until, at least, the new 2021 iPhones arrive.

And yes, it is ideal, but maybe not for everyone

This is a piece of equipment that is not going to let you down and with which you can spend many years without any problem appearing, even when it is outdated by software. All this depending on whether you take good care of it or not. In any case, not only for that reason it will be recommended for you. Many people have asked me in recent weeks if I recommend it, and my answer is always the same: It depends .

iPhone 12 mini

You must assess your needs and do a special self-analysis in aspects such as the comfort of carrying a small phone assuming that you will lose visual experience, that the battery is somewhat less than in older versions and also that it costs 809 euros in its most basic version. 64 GB of storage. If you are clear that you want a compact phone, you may not find anything better on the market. As far as Apple is concerned, surely not.