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Is the iPhone 12 mini worth buying in 2022?

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The first ‘mini’ iteration of an iPhone, the iPhone 12 mini packs a lot of power in a pint-sized frame. You’ll get the same flagship performance with very few compromises.

Our iPhone 12 mini review in summary

Small, lightweight and high-tech, the iPhone 12 mini is a powerful pocket-sized phone that delivers a premium experience. The first ‘mini’ model of an iPhone, it packs all the features of the standard iPhone 12 in a compact frame.

iPhone 12 mini specs

  • Release date: 13 November 2020
  • Weight: 133g
  • Dimensions: 131.5mm x 64.2mm x 7.4mm
  • 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution
  • A14 Bionic chipset
  • Dual 12MP rear camera system
  • Comes with iOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 15.2
  • 64GB, 128 GB and 256GB storage
  • 5G connectivity

Camera

The iPhone 12 mini has a dual rear camera setup that’s identical to the iPhone 12, so you’ll be getting the same great image quality and capable performance.

It features two lenses: a 12MP standard wide-angle camera with an f/1.6 aperture, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.4 aperture and 120-degree field of view. Features include an improved Night Mode and 4K video recording with Dolby Vision. It also has a 12MP selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture.

For serious photographers, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max has some advanced features that you won’t get with the mini, such as an extra zoom lens and higher quality ProRAW shots.

Design

The iPhone 12 mini has essentially the same build and design as the rest of the iPhone 12 line-up – just in a smaller frame.Taking design cues from the older iPhone 5 generation, it features curved edges, a glass back and aluminium wraparound frame, as well as a new ‘ceramic shield’ screen that improves durability and drop resistance.

As per usual, the iPhone 12 mini is IP68 water and dust resistant. It also comes with MagSafe – Apple’s magnetic charging and accessory technology that supports wireless charging.

Most importantly, it’s pocketable and comfortable to hold and use in one hand. In a time where most phones measure more than 6 inches diagonally – the iPhone 12 is 6.1 – it’s seriously small, thin and lightweight.

Display

Despite its compact size, the iPhone 12 mini pushes its 5.4-inch screen to its fullest potential.

It has the same Super Retina XDR OLED technology featured in the rest of the iPhone 12 range – a step-up from the LCD display of the iPhone 11. And at 1080 x 2340 pixels, with a pixel density of 476 ppi, its sharp resolution ensures bright, clear and crisp images.

iOS and performance

The iPhone 12 mini uses the same A14 Bionic chipset shared by all the iPhone 12 models to deliver a fast and powerful performance that doesn’t hold back. Power users will find that they can multitask with speed and ease.

It has 4GB of RAM, supports 5G connectivity and comes running iOS 14.1 out of the box, although it can be upgraded to the latest iOS 15.2.

As for internal storage, the options are a little more limited when compared with the phone’s Pro models. The iPhone 12 mini comes in a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage. If you’re regularly downloading apps and media, or you enjoy taking videos and photos, you might find that the base storage option fills up rather quickly.

Battery life

As expected, a smaller sized phone means a smaller battery. So, it’s little surprise that the iPhone 12 mini makes some compromises when it comes to battery life.

It falls slightly short of the battery life of its larger counterparts. Not to mention, wireless charging is slower than the rest.

Nevertheless, it still beats the battery life of the similarly-sized iPhone SE (2020), and should be able to last a full day of normal usage.

iPhone 12 mini's deals and incentives

At the time of writing (January 2022), 24-month contracts for the iPhone 12 mini start from £24 per month.

Visit our iPhone 12 mini deals page to compare deals and see what you can get.

iPhone 12 mini pricing

Being the smallest of the iPhone 12 range, it’s also the cheapest. At the time of its release in November 2020, it was one of the most affordable options of Apple’s line-up, starting from £699 – eclipsed only by the iPhone SE (2020).

And with the unveiling of the latest iPhone 13 range in September 2021, prices will have dropped.

iPhone 12 mini review: Verdict

Apple’s flagship phones are known for being on the pricy side. While the iPhone 12 mini is still more expensive than other phones on the market, it’s absolutely the cheapest way to get your hands on a high-end Apple phone. With its impressive camera, beautiful display and high-tech specs, it delivers the same flagship experience as the iPhone 12.

The main thing to think about is whether the smaller size will work for you. If you prefer a bigger screen, you should consider the rest of the iPhone 12 line. But if you like the benefits of a small phone, the iPhone 12 mini is one of the best out there.

Pros and Cons of choosing the iPhone 12 mini in 2022

Pros

  • Small size – perfect for pockets and one-handed use
  • Brilliant and bright display
  • Great camera
  • All the flagship features of the iPhone 12 at a lower price

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t as good as the rest of the iPhone 12 line
  • Storage capacity is more limited when compared with the Pro models
  • Some might find the smaller screen harder to use

How does the iPhone 12 mini compare against other iPhones?

iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 12

Looking at specs and functionality, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are near identical to each other. The main difference is size – the iPhone 12 has more screen real estate than the mini version.

iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 12 Pro Max

On the opposite end of the scale, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest and boldest of the iPhone 12 family. You get a larger screen, bigger battery, more storage capacity options and advanced camera functions – but it comes with a much higher price tag to match.

iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 11

If you’re not looking at the most expensive option, it’s well worth considering either the iPhone 12 mini or its predecessor, the standard iPhone 11. Being the newer phone, the iPhone 12 mini’s display, performance and features are all that bit better. On the other hand, you might find the bigger size and better battery life of the iPhone 11 more enjoyable to use.

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