Is the iPhone 12 Mini the new 5C?

I’ve been reading more and more reports of the iPhone 12 Mini not selling well compared to the other models and looking at availability this seems to be true but it doesn’t mean it’s a flop. Like one of my favourite ever iPhone models the 5c it seems that the fan base for it is there but it’s niche.

I loved my 5c, it was small and light and most importantly for me comfortable to hold. In fact if I had the 5c shell with modern internals I’d be over the moon. It’s also why I loved the jet black iPhone 7, it’s comfortable to hold. As someone that doesn’t use cases I always appreciate an iPhone that doesn’t need to be hidden away in plastic to be used.

So back to the Mini. I do think it’s about £50 more expensive than it needs to be and personally I’d have preferred Apple not to have included 5G and brought the price down by £100. You’d have seen a different story I’d imagine but I digress.

We don’t know what Apple wants from it sales wise but if production costs vs sales aren’t great then it’ll be dropped. My hunch is like the 5c the Mini is either only going to last one year or be adapted to become a new SE.

I’d like to see an iPhone Air

  • 12 Mini externals
  • TouchID in the sleep/wake switch like the iPad Air
  • £499 starting cost for 64GB
  • Same camera system as existing Mini
  • Some cool new colours

Then drop the existing SE model.

What do you think?

Should you buy the iPhone SE in 2021?

This is a question I’ve been pondering for some time now and the more I’ve thought about it the more I keep coming back to who is the SE (2020) for?

As someone who uses an 11 Pro and wants to go smaller I only have two options

  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 12 Mini

The considerations that make the decision are

  • Costs: Are you on a budget? The SE will win every time here, if you have £450 then 128GB SE is the best deal.
  • FaceID: even after all of these years past the X I’m still not sold on FaceID. I went back to a 7 a couple of years ago and loved being back on TouchID. Being able to unlock as you grab the phone is a much better flow (IMO) than picking up then swiping up. If you aren’t sold on FaceID then it’s an SE.
  • OLED and screen flicker: The OLED screens on X and later do flicker (read up on PWM) and some people are more sensitive to this than others. I’m not sure where I stand on this one but knowing my screen is flickering and potentially causing eye strain is something I’d like to look at more.
  • Camera: Without doubt the 12 Mini has the better camera system, it’s up to you whether the loss of image quality is worth the trade off in price. For me this is the main sticking point and leaves me on my 11 Pro. I think if the camera is important then spend the extra on a 12 Mini.
  • You love your iPhone 7 or 8: The SE is the only option if you love your existing 7 or 8. It’ll be a nice boost in performance, screen and camera to move to the SE.

Anyone reading this have both an SE and Mini and want to contribute to or write up a guest post?

Using the MacBook and iPad Mini as my daily drivers

Something strange has happened since I’ve been out of work and looking for a new role, I’ve almost completely switched back to using macOS. My setup that I use daily has changed and I’d like to share what I’m now using daily.

iPhone

The iPhone that I use is still the 2020 iPhone 11 Pro. I’ve been very interested in the 12 Mini if I’m being honest but I can’t justify it given the work situation and the fact that the 11 Pro, whilst not being my favourite form factor still does the job well. I find that I am on my iPhone more these days, which is strange but most of my iPad use has been replaced by my iPhone. The battery is still 100% and it lasts a couple of days now I’m not going anywhere. Form factor aside I don’t see a reason to switch iPhone at the moment at all.

iPad

I’m no longer using my 11″ iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, more on this in a bit but my iPad use has switched over to the latest generation iPad Mini. I have a smart cover and the Logitech Pencil that I use when I feel like taking some notes or need to annotate. This is a lot less now than it was when I was in full time employment when I was annotating infrastructure designs or sketching. I really love the iPad Mini form factor and actually quite like having TouchID back on a device I use daily. The screen is a nice size up from my 11 Pro and it’s large enough for both content creation and consumption It’s the perfect size to sit alongside my guitar amplifier and show me sheet music or act as a recording device via GarageBand. I think if Apple brought us a “Mini Pro” I’d actually be pretty interested in trading in this model and stick to a smaller form factor for my iPad use.

12″ MacBook

I picked up an Apple refurbished 12″ MacBook in 2017 when I started to freelance write more and needed something away from the desk iMac. I used it heavily for 6 months then it went back in a drawer when the iPad Pro became my go to device, this has changed in the last few months. The MacBook is now the machine I grab when I want to do some job hunting, CV work, emails and Zoom calls (interviews etc..). I’ve found that Big Sur has really sped this little machine up and it works reliably for me. I’ve even grown to like the flat keyboard! There are things I don’t like about it though, getting hot on my lap is one of them. I’m starting to look at investing in an M1 MacBook Air, something I didn’t think I’d be doing 6 months ago. The Mac seems to have become my go to machine now when I want to dig into a task like scouring LinkedIn for jobs, attend an interview or go through my tasks. I really could see me upgrading this to the new devices, something running really fast and cooler to the touch.

So my pretty stripped back setup is

  • iPhone
  • iPad Mini
  • MacBook

I’m also planning on writing up something on stripped back apps that I’m now using to manage my day etc…

Save £20 on the iPhone 12 Mini

I’ve been looking at going more minimal with my iPhone and have been tempted by both the SE 2020 and 12 Mini. On checking my wish list I noticed that Amazon has £20 off the Mini at the moment across all of the size tiers.

Here’s my affiliate account link (this helps the site if you happen to be purchasing one).

Let me know if you pick one up and how you are finding it.

Don’t pay the 5G tax if you don’t get 5G

I know this kind of seems obvious but it’s the main reason I’ve stopped even looking at the iPhone 12. I’ve been so interested in the form factor of the Mini that I lost my way a little. I don’t live in a 5G area so I’m paying for something I’ll never use. It’s the main reason I skipped the first iPhone and waited for the 3G. Why pay for something you won’t get the performance you want?

I live in a rural town and looking at my carrier info I won’t be getting 5G for a while yet and being on WiFi almost all of the time it makes no sense for me to upgrade.

Are you seeing 5G where you live?

The iPhone 11 Pro battery life

I’ve been using the iPhone 11 Pro for 15 months and whilst I don’t love the size I have to appreciate the battery life. It’s been over 24 hours and I still have 40% left. Yes, I’m not out and about so much but I still forget to charge it and it’s not a problem.

It’s turned into my main computing device too, which I wasn’t expecting.

It’s the main thing keeping me on the model. I’m still on the fence about losing a telephoto but giving up that battery is going to a major element stopping me looking at the 12 series. Cash flow problems aside I’ve stopped looking at an upgrade now and I think I’ll be skipping this generation.

Pitaka Air case for iPhone durability

I’ve had the Pitaka Air for my iPhone 11 Pro for over a year now and I’d estimate it’s been on my iPhone around 60% of that time. It’s by far the best thin case I’ve found but it’s started to show it’s age and I thought I’d show you how it’s held up, it also doesn’t hold up on drops.

This dot (white one) came from a drop. Dropped on the corner of something and it went right through the case. Shattered the screen on the iPhone, one drop failed.

This is the drop from the other side. Note that hand sanitiser has made the finish go weird, I don’t like using it anymore.

So in a nutshell

  • Best thin case I’ve tested
  • Hand sanitiser messed with the fibre finish
  • Not great for drops

Time to retire this one I think.

A good review of the iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max

Source: Six Colors

I’ve been looking forward to Jason Snells view on the iPhone 12 Mini and I enjoyed reading his write up. It highlights why I really want to get one, I’m done with large phones. Even the 11 Pro is giving me hand pain between the stretch and weight. I have zero interest in the Pro Max but still an interesting read.

iPhone 11 Pro battery life

I’m 15 months in with an iPhone 11 Pro and whilst I don’t love the ergonomics of using it I can’t argue about the long battery life. I still only charge it about once every 28 hours and it’s still the only iPhone I’ve had that I just don’t even think about when it comes to charging.

From what I can tell it’s better than all of the iPhone 12 models, thanks in main to their 5G implementation.

I’d imagine an 11 Pro Max is even better so if you’re after the best battery life it may be worth saving some cash and looking at an older model rather than go with the 12 series.

iPhone SE 2020 or iPhone 12 Mini?

I think I’m at a point where ergonomics rule over having the latest and greatest technology. My daily iPhone 11 Pro has a great camera but I really dislike using it. It causes me some RSI issues and I still find it hard to use, it’s not a one handed device for me. I also feel like I’m going to drop it whenever I’m out using the camera or just messaging.

That’s got me looking at a change to a smaller device even if I’m sacrificing the camera.

I was all in with the 12 Mini but then I looked over at the SE and I’m seriously tempted.

I’ve always disliked FaceID and having used my iPad Mini a lot I’m missing being able to use TouchID on my phone.

I can’t make the switch financially right now but whilst I ponder it I’m thinking that I need to stop pretending my iPhone is a camera and get a phone that’s comfy along with a good point and shoot.

I’m not taking many pictures at the moment (2020!) so not having the best camera on my iPhone isn’t really an issue. From what I’ve seen the SE camera outdoors seems great and if I pair it with something like a Sony RX100 then I might have a great combination.

Or, I live with FaceID and get the Mini. It’ll cost £300 more so I won’t be able to get a camera.

It’s a first world problem I know but a good distraction for me to think about until I sort out my job situation.