iPhone 12 Mini Review | A Little Problem Solved

The iPhone 12 Mini is my second iPhone purchase within six months.

I’m not addicted to Apple products, though it looks like I am.

The reason is simple.

I had a little problem to fix.


I was very excited to purchase the iPhone X when Apple released it in November 2017.

The phone felt and looked like the future of smartphones, with an edge to edge display and overall aesthetics.

I will never forget Jony Ive saying how the iPhone X will continue to develop through software updates.

HAHA- it was discontinued a year later.

But I was equally excited to get my hands on the iPhone XS. Similar in most ways, the newer model worked better, was faster and smoother. Face ID worked without any glitches. The camera was improved. Honestly, why would anyone want to change a year later?

To this day, I wish I had held onto the iPhone XS. But the ever-gullible me fell for the hype once more. I even remember saying to myself, no matter how many lenses Apple put on the new phone, I’m keeping the XS.

Changing my position cost me a lot of money.

I fell for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, mainly for the camera enhancements, including the larger sensor. For a short time, we had a positive relationship. Video quality looked great on the super-large screen, and the sound had bass. The large sensor and telephoto lens helped me capture some nice shots.

However, I developed a little problem. Had I kept using the giant phone, my left hand would have become obsolete. The iPhone 12 Pro Max was highly uncomfortable to hold, awkward to handle daily, and was a nuisance every time I had to leave the house.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Replacement Options

Desperate to be rid of the Max, I considered switching to the standard iPhone 12 or Pro version, last year’s iPhone 11 Pro, or a premium Android phone (yes, I was that desperate).

All of the options cost a considerable sum of money, and worse; I was still paying off the Pro Max.

Then there was the iPhone 12 Mini. It was the cheapest option, and with £100 off on Amazon.co.uk, I switched to the Mini for the princely sum of £649.

I was about to switch from one extreme to the other.

iPhone 12 Mini – First Impressions

You may have heard some people say size matters.

But I’m not so sure.

The iPhone 12 Mini’s build quality, speed and task handling are the same to my untrained eye as the Max’s. Indeed, the oddest observation I can make is the zero difference I have experienced reading, texting and photo editing.

Reading my microblog feed is no different at all. Text on the iPhone 12 Mini doesn’t seem smaller in day to day use. Perhaps it might do in a side-by-side comparison.

Using the iPhone 12 Mini is a joy. It is bliss when leaving home with a phone that slips into a pocket and stays unnoticed.

The Mini is light even when compared to my wife’s iPhone 11 Pro. I can’t believe how much heavier my wife’s Pro phone feels.

So far, so good.

The iPhone 12 Mini works with MagSafe accessories and is capable of fast charging, so at least I haven’t wasted the expense of those items (Apple MagSafe Wallet and Charger).

Unlike the Max, the Mini is comfortable to hold, easier to type on and just works.

But, there’s always a but.

What the iPhone 12 Mini Misses

Or, to be more accurate, what do I miss using the Mini?

There are only two issues that weaken my long-term commitment to the concept of an iPhone Mini-sized phone:

  • No telephoto lens.
  • A weak battery.

I have captured a local buzzard and other scenes with the telephoto lens that I wouldn’t attempt with the standard wide lens on the Mini (or the standard iPhone 12). But despite the absence of a telephoto lens, I’ve been happy with the overall camera quality of the Mini.

Overall, the camera is equally as good as the iPhone 12 Pro Max to the naked eye. The iPhone camera will be less important to me as I’ve begun to step away from computational photography by switching to the Ricoh GR3 for my everyday shooter. The Ricoh GR3 doesn’t have a telephoto lens either, but it does have 24 megapixels and an APC-S sensor to give superior images compared to a smartphone. No matter how good a phone’s software is, pictures tend to disappoint me when viewed on a larger screen.

The most significant weakness of the iPhone 12 Mini is the battery.

With the Pro Max, I could go two days without charging. If the Max battery was, say, at 35%, I still wouldn’t worry about leaving the house and taking it with me. If the Mini’s battery percentage read 35%, I would be concerned. I have no confidence going out low on power. And it gets low comparatively quickly.

To avoid getting caught out, I always charge the Mini to the maximum every morning. Since the ceramic shield on the Max scratched easily, I have also applied a screen protector for added protection.

Sum Up

The Phone 12 Mini is an excellent smartphone capable of everything you can throw at it for most of the day, but not all of the day.

One-handed use is back, and going small doesn’t mean missing out on too much.

Will I change again?

Well, I’ve broken many promises to myself, but I’m happy to keep the smartphone and have it play a lesser role in my day to day life, especially while I pay off my debts to Mr Credit Card.

I’m also enjoying the experience of having a real camera in my pocket in the form of the GR3. And with the iPhone 12 Mini, I can have both in my pocket and walk down the street without embarrassment.