Many iPhone users wished that Apple would launch a new compact iPhone with powerful internals and a competent camera setup. While the iPhone SE did get a refresh in 2020, it is at best a rebadged iPhone 8 with some improvements rather than a flagship mini iPhone. Then, Apple finally launched the iPhone 12 mini last year — the most compact flagship 5G smartphone in the market. Seven months later, is the iPhone 12 mini worth a buy in 2021? Or the idea of a mini iPhone sounds only good on paper?
On paper, the iPhone 12 mini sounds like a dream phone for anyone who hates the massive flagship phones of today. It has a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display, stereo speakers, IP68 dust and water resistance, an excellent dual-camera system, and a speedy A14 Bionic chip. On top of that, Apple also managed to include 5G on the iPhone 12 mini, so you will get blazing fast mobile data speeds on it as well.
However, when you start using the iPhone 12 mini in real life, you realize its shortcomings. A small phone comes with its own set of issues. Here’s why you should reconsider buying the iPhone 12 mini in 2021.
Should You Buy the iPhone 12 mini in 2021?
Poor Battery Life
Despite Apple’s engineering prowess, it cannot beat the laws of physics. A small phone means a small battery which means average to sub-par battery life. Battery life is the Achilles’ Heel of the iPhone 12 mini. Even with moderate use, existing iPhone 12 mini owners have struggled to make it through a day. The phone almost always requires a quick top-up in the evening to make it through a few additional hours. Use the phone heavily on 5G, and you’ll run down its battery in no time.
Even if you love compact phones, you should reconsider buying the iPhone 12 mini due to this. Despite all the hype surrounding a compact iPhone, the iPhone 12 mini has failed to click with customers, with demand being “far lower” than expected. In fact, reports indicate that Apple has already stopped the production of the iPhone 12 mini due to poor demand.
If you already own an iPhone 12 mini, check out some tips on how to improve its battery life.
The entire selling point of the iPhone 12 mini is its small and compact size. While that sounds good on paper, once you actually start using the iPhone 12 mini, you’ll realize that its display is too small for daily use. There’s a reason why smartphones with small displays are no longer in demand.
I’d argue the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 is a better compact flagship than the iPhone 12 mini. It offers notably better battery life and a bigger display that makes reading content easier while still being easy to use with one hand.
Will the iPhone 13 mini Offer Better Battery Life?
If you hope that Apple will fix the battery life issues with the iPhone 13 mini later this year, think again. Apple is rumored to use bigger batteries and a faster and efficient 5G modem on the iPhone 13 series. Throw in the efficiency improvements of the A15 Bionic chip, and the iPhone 13 mini should offer better battery life than the iPhone 12 mini.
However, these improvements could only add an hour or two of battery life to the mini iPhone. That might be enough for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, but the iPhone 13 mini needs a bigger jump in battery life than that to make it through the day.
The iPhone 12 mini is ideally suited for someone who barely uses their phone throughout the day. Anything else, and the mini iPhone’s small display and poor battery life, will be a deal-breaker.
As I have argued above, the iPhone 12 is a better compact flagship than the iPhone 12 mini. It offers better battery life and a decently sized display that does not make one-hand use too difficult. The iPhone 12 mini is the perfect example of why certain ideas are only good on paper and do not translate well in real-life use.
If you are considering buying a new iPhone, you should check our guide on whether you should buy the iPhone 12 now or wait for iPhone 13.
Will you buy the iPhone 12 mini in 2021? Or are you already using one? If so, does the poor battery life affect your daily use? Drop a comment and let us know!