Whilst writing up my review for the MacBook Air I hid another product I was testing in plain sight, I’m surprised no one called it out actually. Within my review you can see the product I was also testing out, a white iPhone 12 mini. I had setup a trade on my iPhone 11 to move to the smaller form factor and wanted to give it a go.
Initial Impressions and in hand use
The first thing I noticed on unboxing the 128GB iPhone 12 mini was wow, it’s light and comfortable. I’d gotten used to the iPhone 11 and was enjoying the size of the screen and ease to type on but can’t shake how large it is to carry around sometimes. The form factor of smartphones has gotten bigger and bigger since for a portion of users it is their main computing device but I’d always loved the iPhone 5c size (I’d love a reimagined plastic iPhone…).
On picking it up it felt like a call back to using my iPhone 5, light and comfortable to carry around. Having used larger phones since the iPhone 6 I forgot how nice it was.
When taking images I actually had to really think about holding it without dropping it and keeping my fingers out of the way, that’s one area I think a larger phone is better.
Performance vs the iPhone 11
In day to day use I noticed no difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 for what I do. I think you’ll be pushed to noticed any difference unless you’re doing something like creating video and exporting. Don’t upgrade just for the performance.
From what I’ve read I’ve seen that battery is lower than what I get on my iPhone 11. I couldn’t really stress test the battery given the climate and the newness of the phone.
It’s smaller than any of the other FaceID enabled phones and for me, with the text bumped up it was fine. Not great compared to my iPhone 11 but then you wouldn’t expect it to be, perfectly fine for a phone in day to day use. If you live on your iPhone I’d say that you go with the standard 12 or 11 to get a bit of a bigger screen and potentially less eye strain.
The new squared off sides
I’d always felt the design move with the rounded sides that we have seen on all iPhones from there 6 until the 12 was a little slippery. Using the iPhone 12 mini confirmed this, much better to hang onto and more comfortable.
The camera on the 12 Mini isn’t a huge step up technically from the iPhone 11 series. In my testing I feel that in low light it fares better but in normal conditions you won’t see much of a difference between the iPhone 11 and 12. The iPhone 11 felt like a huge step up from the XS and for me is the benchmark for smartphone cameras.
Overall impressions and did I keep it?
I enjoyed the form factor of the iPhone 12 mini, it was a call back to the iPhone 5 days and something that I liked to use. I didn’t keep it though, I found that when I tried to replace my iPhone 11 usage with it the screen tech (OLED) and size was a bit of a hinderance for me. I’m not sure if it was the size or the PWM inherent in OLED but I experienced eye strain and decided to return it and keep my trusty iPhone 11.