iPhone 12 Mini review: Apple’s smallest is a one-handed phone user’s dream



The iPhone 12 Mini is the small phone from Apple that many of us have been waiting for.


Patrick Holland/CNET

In 2020, phones are big. Even the small ones are big. The iPhone 12 Mini is wonderful because it’s not big. It’s truly small. When Apple announced the Mini along with the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max it was a remarkable moment for small phone lovers like myself. For a long time, we’ve wanted Apple to make a truly small iPhone in the vein of the iPhone 5, 5S or original SE. Earlier this year, Apple got our hopes up a bit, when it released a new iPhone SE which put the brains of the iPhone 11 Pro into the smallish body of the iPhone 8. It’s a solid phone for the price, but it’s tucked inside a three-year-old design. 

Obviously when you make anything smaller, there are going to be trade-offs and I braced myself wondering which features Apple sacrificed to make a small phone in 2020. But the iPhone 12 Mini has everything the iPhone 12 has — it’s just smaller. It has the same flat-sided design, support for 5G and OLED screen with support for HDR. The screen is covered with Apple’s ceramic shield. The body has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and supports MagSafe wireless charging and accessories. It has the same A14 Bionic processor, runs the same iOS 14 software and even has the same cameras. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini are the same phone. But one is small and one isn’t.

Like

  • It’s actually small
  • 5G support
  • Easy to use one-handed
  • Fits in most pockets
  • Same cameras and everything as the iPhone 12

Don’t Like

  • Baseline iPhone 12 Mini only has 64GB of storage
  • Back glass is a fingerprint magnet
  • Battery life is good for the size, but just OK compared to the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch display and costs $729…

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