The Apple iPhone 12 mini lands the smallest price, 5G, and a late release date

Video Thumbnail

Apple's most anticipated phone in years - the 5.4" iPhone 12 mini - is finally here, and all the rumors that had compact phone lovers brimming with excitement actually materialized. Yes, it's even smaller than the iPhone SE, and, yes, it is as powerful as the iPhone 12.

With the iPhone 12 mini, Apple fills the last screen size target that it didn't have a presence in just yet, and now covers the range from 4.7-6.7 inches, an iPhone for every hand and pocket indeed. That's not all there is to the new compact king, though.

Let's recap all the iPhone 12 mini specs, colors, features, and version price tags that Apple unveiled:

  • iPhone 12 mini release date: November 13, preorders start November 6
  • Storage versions: 64G/128G/256G
  • Prices: $699/$749/$849 on Verizon and AT&T, or $729/$779/$879 on T-Mobile and unlocked
  • Colors: blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.
  • Display size and resolution: 5.4" 960 x 2079 pixels 60Hz Super Retina XDR Display with Ceramic Shield Front Cover
  • Processor and RAM: Apple A14/4GB RAM
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultrawide cameras, f/1.6 aperture, 7P lens
  • New iPhone 12 camera features: Deep Fusion 2, Smart HDR 3, Night Mode Timelapse
  • 5G connectivity with Smart Data Mode
  • 15W wireless charging
  • No charger or headphones in the iPhone 12 mini box

Apple iPhone 12 mini display size and colors

First things first, though, here's am iPhone 12 mini size comparison with the rest of the iPhone gang, and some of the Android competition. Just as expected, its dimensions make it the most pocketable powerful munchkin Apple has ever created.

As you can see, the iPhone 12 mini is much smaller than the iPhone 12, and even than the spring chicken iPhone SE. This leaves it a special place in the heart of all those Apple fans who had been clamoring for a compact powerhouse with Face ID ever since Apple introduced the notch intrusion with the iPhone X.

The sides are made of flat steel, reminiscing the iPhones of yesteryear, but the Gorilla Glass body is painted in several funny hues. Looking at the official iPhone 12 mini colors - blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED - we can't help but notice the similarity with what Apple painted the new iPad.

The best thing about the new 5.4" 960 x 2079 pixels screen of the iPhone 12 mini, though, is its just-long-enough diagonal. You get way more real estate to work on than on the iPhone SE (well, save for the pesky notch, of course) but the phone is just as compact and joy to use with one hand. 

The 60Hz refresh panel is actually called Super Retina XDR Display and sports a ceramic shield cover glass which is just a fancy naming for a substrate that is more resistant to drops and scratches than what we have on, say, the iPhone 11. As for the XDR part, not only is the iPhone 12 mini able to record video in Dolby Vision quality, but also to display it.

Recommended Stories
The newest iOS 14 brings Apple's Display Zoom scaling for screens and resolutions smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro's 5.8" panel. Needless to say, only one notch-y phone fits that pattern is the iPhone 12 mini, as Apple aims to scale iOS 14 for the new 960 x 2079 resolution on the 5.4" handset. 

Apple iPhone 12 mini specs and battery life

  • 5nm Apple A14 5nm
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5G modem
  • 2227mAh battery
  • 15W wireless charging

The iPhone 12 and 12 mini may still be rocking the same 4GB RAM amount as the iPhone 11, the processor inside is thoroughly upgraded. Apple announced the 5nm A14 together with the iPad Air 4 on September 15, and tipped that it is more power-sipping and better performing than its already insane 7nm A13 Bionic that's in the iPhone 11.

According to the fabrication plans, TSMC's 5nm technology is about 15% faster but uses a full 30% lower power than the current 7nm node that is in the Snapdragon 865+ or Apple A13, the previous mobile champs.

Why would the iPhone 12 mini need that much more power, given that the A13 was already the fastest mobile chipset out there? Well, it may allow Apple to finally start fulfilling its AR/VR and other imaging dreams, like said Dolby Vision video recording.

Unfortunately, all that power and display technology are backed up by a smallish battery that even Apple cites unimpressive iPhone 12 mini battery life hours for. Hopefully, the small screen and 5nm chipset consumption will be enough to save the day with moderate usage.

Does the iPhone 12 mini have 5G?

Needless to say, the 5.4" iPhone 12 mini pumpkin is the most powerful small iPhone that Apple has ever created, taking that crown from the iPhone SE but with 5G as the cherry on the cake. To top it all off, the chipset comes with an added 5G modem tacked on that support both Verizon's mmWave network, and the low- to mid-bands of the likes that T-Mobile now has after the merger with Sprint. 

With the iPhone 12 series, Apple's 5G saga is finally coming to an end, after it looked around, didn't see any better 5G modem provider than Qualcomm, and settled its patent litigation with it for a huge amount. 

The Apple 5G touch, however, is dubbed Smart Data Mode. The feature switches between 4G and 5G data depending on the bandwidth requirements of the application that you are running. Since 5G connectivity is automatically switched off when huge chunks of data at once aren't needed, the modem is gentler on the battery which is not very large to begin with.

Apple iPhone 12 mini camera samples

  • 12MP main/ultrawide cameras
  • New 7P lenses
  • Larger F/1.6 lens aperture
  • Dolby Vision video recording
  • New iPhone 12 camera features: Deep Fusion 2, Smart HDR 3, Night Mode Timelapse

The 5.4" and 6.1" iPhone 12 mini/iPhone 12 models have two cameras, as Apple does what it did with the iPhone 11 series - spares the telephoto camera for the Pro models, and now adds a LiDAR to the more expensive versions. Still, we now have lenses with seven instead of five layers, and wider apertures for the ultrawide camera on the iPhone 12 mini. 

The 7P lenses are long overdue given where Android phone cameras are now at, yet the more important part is that Apple has also upgraded its staple camera quality features. The iPhone 12 mini ships with the next versions - Deep Fusion 2 and Smart HDR 3 - of its powerful camera software algorithms, and adds on a greatly enhanced night mode as well. 

We are adding the iPhone 12 mini camera samples as Apple provides them straight from its camera, to gauge its new photographic prowess.

Apple iPhone 12 mini storage prices, preorder start and release date

Unfortunately, the rumors were true - Apple's two most interesting handsets in the 2020 iPhone 12 series - the iPhone 12 mini and the 12 Pro Max - will be shipping later than the 6.1-inchers. Here are the iPhone 12 mini preorder prices and release date:

  • Preorder start: November 6
  • iPhone 12 mini release date: November 13
  • Storage versions: 64G/128G/256G
  • iPhone 12 mini prices: $699/$749/$849 on Verizon and AT&T, or $729/$779/$879 on T-Mobile and unlocked

Call it coronavirus-induced supply chain delays, or clever marketing ploy to satisfy the buying intent of early adopters with the more run-of-the-mill models, but Apple is certainly going to stretch its iPhone 12 series revenue well into 2021, given that the iPhone 12 Pro Max release date is November 20, even later than the iPhone 12 mini's November 13 launch. 

Any patient takers that will pass on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro to buy the iPhone 12 mini in November?

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless