iPhone 12 Mini long-term test: not for everyone

So I have that iPhone 12 Mini in and out as my daily driver since its inception. While this is the iPhone I have fantasized about for many years, now using it has certainly changed my mind. Let’s find out.

iPhone 12 Mini test: design

When Apple switched from the mean, flat design of the iPhone 5 to the rounded design of the iPhone 6, many fans, including myself, found this to be a downgrade. Since then, we’ve been waiting patiently for a phone as well-designed as the iPhone 5, but with modern features like one Edge-to-Edge-Display. That finally came true with the iPhone 12 Mini, which is why it was the first phone I bought on launch day. I’ve been using it since then and have a lot of realizations to share with you.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone 11

iPhone 12 Mini test: display

Although the size of the display is really mini compared to virtually any phone today, the quality is way above the average panel. We have a beautiful OLED panel with an excellent pixel density that ensures sharp details through and through. The color rendering and display coordination is also on the next level, with practically no color tones or streaks, even in the lowest brightness levels. The only thing that could have made it even better was the inclusion of a higher refresh rate for even smoother animations. iOS makes up for that with great software smoothness, but a ProMotion display would have been great.

This brings me to a major minus point … the display size.

I know there is no point in complaining about a phone that is literally called a mini that the display is too small. It’s just that I’m not complaining, I’m basically trying to help out potential buyers. The display is a fundamental part of the overall smartphone experience. With the iPhone 12 Mini, the display is very, very small. This is great if you don’t mind if everything looks smaller, or if you’re a minimalist or just someone who wants to minimize their screen usage. But here’s the thing, most of the smartphone users don’t want to buy a phone in order to minimize their phone usage. They buy it up to watch content all day Instagram, Tick Tock, YouTube and whatever, and all of that multimedia just looks a lot better on a bigger screen. There’s a reason watching movies on the giant screen of a cinema is a better experience than watching them on a laptop.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE

I have also observed with the 12 Mini that although everything looks good in quality, the pure viewing experience is better on larger displays. And this experience alone makes me realize why smaller phones have become obsolete and why the 12 Mini doesn’t work very well. All of those Snapchats and TikToks and social media feeds just look better on a bigger display. The camera experience is better with a larger viewfinder. Typing is better with a larger keyboard. The list just goes on and on and on.

Now that we have dealt with the negative aspect of the display size, let’s move on to the positive aspect of the same size. This phone will pamper you like nothing else. No seriously. We’re so used to these giant phablets in our lives that we don’t realize how uncomfortable they are to hold and use. With the iPhone 12 Mini you can see what real, comfortable one-handed operation is. Even when you’re not using it, this lightweight phone is easy to put in your pocket. Something heavy like the 12 Pro Max in your pockets literally feels like it’s pulling your shorts down.

Best accessories for iPhone 12 Mini

Let me share one case in my life where the 12 Mini made a huge difference. When I work out or run I can put this phone in my pocket and forget about it. I’m not kidding, I haven’t done that with a phone in years. Even if you’re the one who grabs your phone while you run, the small form factor makes it easier to grasp than any other phone you can buy. As a lifestyle product, the iPhone 12 Mini definitely wins.

iPhone 12 Mini in the test: performance

Review of the iPhone 12 mini camera

Before I go any further, I’d also like to take a moment to appreciate the technological marvel of this little thing. Integrating powerful components into a modern smartphone is already a challenge, but integrating the same state-of-the-art hardware into a phone at less than half the volume of the average smartphone is a very mean feat that Apple has accomplished. It just surprises me that this has the same internals as the big 12 Pro Max in such a compact form factor.

Best MagSafe accessories for iPhone 12 Mini

iPhone 12 Mini in the test: battery life & call quality

Checking the battery life of the iPhone 12 Mini

Other than that, the iPhone 12 Mini was great to use. The battery life is solid and lasts a full day, which is very good for a phone of this size. The calling experience is amazing mainly because it is very comfortable to hold next to your ear during long calls. The cameras are industry leading and take impeccable photos and videos for all kinds of uses.

Best Fast Chargers for iPhone 12 Mini

One problem I face at times is overheating. If you squeeze this phone a little during heavy use, it gets so hot that you feel like you have to put it down for several minutes to let it cool down. This is not surprising as a smaller size means worse thermals. If the small display and battery weren’t enough, that’s another factor that should scare smartphone gamers away.

iPhone 12 Mini test: conclusion

Let’s discuss why the 12 Mini works for me. With the type of user I am, I always have 2 phones with me, with the mini serving as my primary phone and a larger phone as my secondary work phone. The 12 Mini fits the role perfectly for me and I can’t think of a phone that is better suited for this use case. However, if I only stayed with a single phone, I would probably choose something with a larger display. So, I’d like to urge all potential iPhone 12 Mini buyers and lovers that yes it is a great device and yes the size feels great but please go to a store and use it for a solid 30 minutes beforehand make your decision. Try out all the apps you use every day, tap, watch videos, and only then make your purchase decision. There’s a reason bigger phones have become the norm and I don’t want you to spend your money and regret it later.

Check the iPhone 12 Mini Price:

Amazon (USA): https://amzn.to/375K8o8

Amazon (India): https://amzn.to/3nVBWhj

Amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2J1BLSg

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