iPhone 12 mini: Everything you need to Know.

iPhone 12 mini is the most beautiful phone after the iPhone 5. You have to see this phone in-person to admire its beauty. Moreover, there are iPhone 12 mini functionalities that are far better than the Android competition. 

Here are the specs of the iPhone 12 mini: 

iPhone 12 mini featuresiPhone 12 mini Specs
Network Support5G / LTE / GSM / CDMA / EVDO / HSPA
Display size5.4 inch.
Screen ResolutionOLED 1080 x 2340 pixels (476 PPI) 
Display ProtectionCeramic Shield Corning Gorilla Glass. According to Apple, it is 4 times tougher than competitors.
Rear CameraDual camera system. One is 120-degree ultra-wide 12 MP, another one is wide-angle 12 MP.
Front CameraSingle 12 MP camera.
ProcessorApple’s proprietary A14 Bionic.
GPUIntegrated into the A14 Bionic processor.
RAMHidden.
USB technologyApple’s proprietary Lightning port.
FM Radio?No.
OTG Support?Yes.
Waterproof?Yes.
SIMDual Sim support. One Nano-SIM, one eSIM.
Internal Storage Capacity3 versions. 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
External storage slot?No.
3.5 mm headphone jack?No.
Wireless charging?Yes.
Reverse wireless charging?No.
Fingerprint Sensor?No.
OSiOS.
BatteryNon-removable Li-ion, capacity: Hidden.
Fast charging?Yes.
Hearing Aid CompatibilityM3, T4
Available ColorWhite, Black, Blue, Green, and Red.
Price64GB – $729, 128GB – $779, 256GB – $879

Should you buy this phone? Learning about the iPhone 12 mini’s pros and cons is the perfect way to make a purchase decision. This way, instead of relying on others’ reviews, you be the judge and decide on your future buying decision. 

Even if you have already decided to buy an iPhone 12 mini, we will show you some cool things in this article you can do with this iPhone.

Pros of iPhone 12 mini:

These are the pros of this phone.

OLED Display:

The iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4 inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen, and its resolution is 1080 x 2340 pixels (476 PPI density). The screen resolution is so high that you won’t be able to distinguish individual pixels. Super Retina XDR OLED infinity U screens provide vivid colors, and it is far superior to an LCD screen. Here, “U” denotes that this screen has a U-shaped cutout for the front camera and sensor suits.

6 Year iOS support:

Except for Apple, no other phone manufacturer provides a 6 Year OS update support. For example, Samsung offers 24 months of support for their phone. Only recently, they promised to support their Flagship Galaxy phones for 36 months. Other manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Oneplus, VIVO, Huawei, Motorola, Sony, LG do not even release OS updates after only 18 months for their existing phones.

Only Apple releases frequent OS updates for 6 Years. Therefore, if you buy an iPhone 12 mini, Apple will give a regular iOS update until 2026 for this phone.  

No bloatware:

Apple is the only manufacturer that does not ship its phone with bloatware. Moreover, a user can easily uninstall all the pre-installed apps. 

For example, on an Android phone, such as Samsung’s Galaxy, comes with numerous bloatware, duplicate apps, and 3rd party bloatware. Moreover, these apps are also un-installable. 

You may think it’s not a big deal for Android phones because you have plenty of remaining storage capacity left for you. But the problem with pre-installed bloatware is that those apps have some root permission to access your user data that 3rd party apps don’t have. 

Moreover, A pre-installed app can run several processes in the background, which you will never be able to detect. For example, the Facebook app runs several processes in the background that consume a lot of battery and processing power. It not only limits the battery but also prevents other apps from running smoothly, such as Maps. It is why Google maps crash if you have Facebook installed. 

But Apple never ships any unnecessary, 3rd party or carrier bloatware in their iPhone.

Waterproof and dust resistant:

iPhone 12 mini is IP68 rated; therefore, it is waterproof and dust resistant. The “6” in the IP68 denotes the 12 mini is “dust-tight,” and the “8” denotes that we can submerge this phone in the water of more than 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.

But we want to share our two experiences. 

  • One, don’t take this phone into the shower. It’s because soapy water will damage the water seal of the phone.
  • Two, don’t take this phone to the beach. Sand can get into the lighting port and cause damage. However, if you need to take your iPhone 12 mini to the beach, buy a lighting port plug to keep it sand-free. For example, like this one – https://amzn.to/3lQVrX2

No viruses or malware:

Another great benefit of the iPhone 12 mini is that it has no chance of getting malware. There are several reasons for this. 

To develop an iPhone app, a developer needs an iPhone, a Mac computer, and an Apple’s developer account. All of this costs a lot of money. Moreover, after creating an app, the developer has to submit it to Apple for further verification. Apple manually tests each app before it publishes the app at the app store. Therefore, there’s almost no chance of malware to sneak into Apple’s App Store. 

AppleCare+ insurance:

Apple offers AppleCare+ insurance coverage for their phone. If you include this at the time of the iPhone 12 mini purchase, Apple will give you a new 12 mini up to two times in a 12 months period if you lose or someone steals your phone.

Excellent mobile OS:

The mobile Operating System, iOS, runs the iPhone. iOS is the most efficient mobile operating system. It is why you may see that an iPhone with decent hardware performs better than an Android flagship. Apple designs its processor, GPU, motherboard, etc. They also develop iOS. Therefore they can optimize their hardware and software efficiently.   

Everything on the iOS works coherently and smoothly. There’s no lag, no jitter. Simplicity is the key selling point of iOS. Many people criticize iOS for being too restrictive, but that criticism only comes from heavy Android users.

Customization is not everything. Windows is open, and you can install whatever you want. But the macOS is superior in every aspect of user experience. Another example is the Tesla vehicle. Tesla has a clean and simple design. We have interviewed countless Tesla owners. All of them love their Tesla and its simple design. All other cars except Tesla look too clumsy to them. 

The same experience applies to iOS. iOS is a simple, easy to use, clean, fast, modern, and powerful mobile operating system.

eSim support:

The iPhone 12 mini has eSIM support. Moreover, it also has a Nano-SIM slot. Therefore, we can use the iPhone 12 mini as a dual SIM phone. For example, one is for you and another one for your business purposes.

Generally, we register the eSIM with our primary cellular provider and keep the Nano-SIM slot empty. Whenever we visit a new country, we buy a local Nano-SIM card and insert it into the phone. It’s because many carriers around the world do not support eSIM.

Excellent battery management:

iPhone 12 mini has a superb battery management system. It does not matter how long you use your iPhone, which video games you play, whether you record 4K video or edit them, or keep GPS on all the time, your iPhone 12 mini will never get hot, hang or drain the battery.

You can do this test yourself. If you have a Samsung phone, download a game from the Google Play Store. Now play the game for 15 minutes. You will see that your Samsung phone becomes so hot that it will be unbearable for you to keep the phone in hand. 

Now, download the same game from the Apple App store on your iPhone 12 mini. Play it for 15 minutes. You will observe that your iPhone is cool as it was before you started the game. This simple test shows how excellent the iPhone’s battery management system is.

Here’s another example of the iPhone’s excellent battery management system. On an Android phone, if you keep the GPS on, your phone would lose a lot of battery energy within hours. On the other hand, on an iPhone 12 mini, you don’t need to turn off the GPS. The iOS intelligently controls the GPS, turns it on when necessary, and automatically turns it off when it’s not. 

MHL to HDMI Support:

Every iPhone, including the iPhone 12 mini, supports MHL. MHL is a fantastic piece of technology that many do not know. MHL stands for Mobile High Definition Link. Using the MHL to HDMI cable, you can mirror your phone screen to any projector or TV. This feature helps you to give a presentation from the phone or watch a movie on the projector.

On Amazon, if you search “MHL to HDMI,” you will get thousands of results. This cable will help you transfer your phone screens display signal to an HDMI port. 

Buy a Lightning MHL to HDMI cable for your iPhone 12 mini, for example, similar to this one https://amzn.to/31aAT3V. You also need an HDMI cable – https://amzn.to/379lyVk.

Connect the Lighting to HDMI adapter to your phone. Then connect one end of the HDMI cable to the adapter and another end to your TV, monitor, or projector’s HDMI input. After configuring your TV or projector to HDMI input, your phone screen will show up on your TV or projector. Now, enjoy movies, your recorded videos, gameplay on your TV or projector. Moreover, you can give a presentation on office settings with your iPhone 12 mini without laptops or computers. Isn’t it great?

iPhone upgrade program:

The iPhone has an excellent iPhone upgrade program. If you enroll in this program, Apple will give you a newly released iPhone next year in exchange for iPhone 12 mini. All you have to do is pay 12 monthly payments of $35.35 on the 64GB version, $37.41 on the 128GB version, and $41.58 on the 256GB version.

Apple Financing:

Apple offers 0% APR financing to purchase the iPhone 12 mini. Apple will not charge you any interest if you pay the full price within 24 months with equal monthly payment.

FaceID:

The iPhone 12 mini has FaceID. This face unlocking system is different and superior to a camera-based system. 

Better camera:

iPhone 12 mini has a dual 12MP back camera. However, it takes better photos and records better video than a 64MP Samsung Galaxy Camera. Even you can test this out. Furthermore, the iPhone 12 mini takes better low light pictures than any other phone camera on the market. It can also record 4K HDR video with Dolby Vision. This feature is not available on any other flagship Android phones.

Braille:

Even if someone is blind, they can use an iPhone 12 mini with accessibility features. Moreover, you don’t need a physical braille keyboard to type on the iPhone because it has a built-in braille typing feature.

Security:

The iPhone is the most secure phone in the world. It’s perfect for the “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” program.

5G support:

iPhone 12 mini is the first phone that supports 5G in the iPhone lineup.

Apple pay:

Apple pay is another excellent iPhone functionality. We can pay in shops, gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores with Apple Pay without carrying any physical debit or credit card.

Stereo speaker:

iPhone 12 mini has a built-in stereo speaker. Moreover, it also supports Dolby Atmos Spatial audio.

MagSafe wireless charging:

The iPhone 12 mini has MagSafe Qi wireless charging functionality. The MagSafe magnet helps you to guide, align, and wirelessly charge the iPhone while keeping the charging cord stuck to the iPhone’s back.

Builtin QR scanner:

iPhone 12 mini has a built-in QR scanner.

Screen recorder:

iPhone 12 mini has a built-in screen recorder. Therefore you don’t need any 3rd party apps to record your iPhone’s screen.

Excellent for gaming:

iPhone 12 mini is the perfect phone for gaming. It does not matter how long you play games, this phone will not become hot, nor it will drain the battery.

Cons of iPhone 12 mini:

We love the iPhone, but it does not mean everything Apple does is right. Here are few drawbacks of the iPhone 12 mini.

Problems with OLED Display:

At the start of this article, we said that the iPhone 12 mini has an OLED screen and praised it. However, the OLED screen has two drawbacks. 

  • One, the OLED display loses its sharpness, crispiness, and vividness after a few years. The screen would look dull compared to a newly purchased iPhone 12 mini’s screen.
  • Second, the OLED display has a screen burn issue. It arises when someone uses a single app extensively — such as Google Maps — for a long time. This extended usage would leave a ghost watermark of the used app imprinted on the screen permanently. 

No external storage:

iPhone 12 mini does not have an external SD card slot. Therefore we can’t insert an SD card to expand the internal iPhone storage. 

Expensive internal storage upgrade:

Apple offers three storage options for the iPhone 12 mini. These are

  • 64GB – $729
  • 128GB – $779
  • 256GB – $879

All these three versions are the same except for the internal storage capacity. If we calculate, the 128GB iPhone 12 mini is $50 more than the 64GB version. Therefore, Apple is charging us $50 for 64GB internal storage. Similarly, for the 256GB iPhone 12 mini, Apple charges us $100 for a 128GB internal SD card upgrade.

In short, Apple charges us $50 for 64GB and $100 for 128GB storage upgrade. Now check the price of this Samsung 128GB SD Card on Amazon. Isn’t it insane that Apple charges us up to 400% extra for a storage upgrade than the average market price?

However, there are easy and economical ways to expand the iPhone’s internal storage capacity. Here is one solution. Buy an Apple Lightning to SD Card Reader; here is an example from Amazon. https://amzn.to/34Y0JJJ. At the same time, buy an SD card. This way, you can save up to 50%.

Alternatively, download the “Google Photos” app. Google offers unlimited high-quality photo storage for free.

No headphone in the box:

There are no headphones or EarPods in the iPhone 12 mini box. In the name of the environment, Apple said they would no longer ship a headphone with the iPhone 12 mini; however, you can buy one from Apple’s website. You can buy genuine Apple EarPods at a low price from Amazon too. To check the latest cheap price, please visit https://amzn.to/350n4Gl.

We believe the environment is not why Apple decided not to ship headphones with the iPhone 12 mini. Profitability is the reason.

In 2019, Apple sold more than 195 million iPhones. We expect Apple will sell a similar quantity of iPhones in 2021 too. If a headphone costs $5 on wholesale, Apple can now save 195 million x $5 = 975 million dollars without a headphone in the box.   

Therefore, profit is the main reason Apple is not giving us a headphone with every iPhone purchase. To fend off criticism, they are merely using the environmental talk.

No charger in the box:

The iPhone 12 mini does not come with a charger. In the name of the environment, Apple said they would no longer ship a charger with the iPhone 12 mini; however, you can buy one from Apple’s website. However, sometimes you can get a better deal on Amazon on the wireless charger. For example, like this one https://amzn.to/3jbcvFL.

However, as we said earlier, Apple’s profitability, not the environment, is the main reason. If a charger costs $8 on wholesale, Apple can now save 195 million x $8 = 1,560 million dollars (1.5 billion dollars) without a charger in the box.   

If we do the math, without shipping these headphones and chargers, Apple will make 2.5 billion dollars extra profit from now on. 

Moreover, people would buy headphones and chargers from the Apple website. This way, they would make more revenue. If 10% of new buyers (20 million) purchase a MagSafe charger, which costs $39, Apple will generate 20 million x $39 = 780 million dollar extra revenue. Furthermore, you need to purchase a USB-C power adapter for the MagSafe charger because it does not come with a power adapter. This adapter costs $19. This means 20 million x $19 = $380 million dollar more revenue for Apple.

In short, it’s not the environment; it’s the money.

Only 60Hz display:

The iPhone 12 mini display refresh rate is only 60Hz. However, a 90Hz or 120Hz display refresh rate is essential for better gameplay and video consumption.

Many phone reviewers claim that a 60Hz display is more than enough; we don’t need a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate screen. However, we disagree with them.

The first iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen. Its resolution was 320 x 480 pixels, 165 pixels per inch (PPI). At the time, Steve Jobs said that no one needs a bigger display than a 3.5-inch and a 165 PPI screen is more than enough for consumers because more PPI is unnecessary. Now, even the iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch display whose PPI density is 476.

If you use a 120Hz display, you will immediately notice the smoothness of the screen. 120Hz gameplay or videos looks lifelike. If you use a phone with a 120Hz display and then switch to a 60Hz display, you will immediately notice the difference. A higher refresh rate display looks more crisp and vivid. 

Expensive:

iPhone 12 mini is costly. The 256GB version 12 mini costs $879 without taxes. Though we previously showed that you could save a lot of money by purchasing the 64GB iPhone 12 mini, many people need the convenience of integrated high storage capacity. You have to shell out a lot of money to get it.

Can’t take raw photos:

iPhone 12 mini can’t save pictures in the Apple ProRaw image format.

No FM radio:

iPhone 12 mini does not have a built-in FM radio. Nowadays, most of the flagship phones have FM radio but not this iPhone.

No reverse wireless charging:

iPhone 12 mini does not have reverse wireless charging or power share functionality. 

All the flagship Android phones that support wireless charging also have reverse wireless charging functionality. It is very beneficial to recharge another phone, earbuds, apple watch, etc. However, though the iPhone 12 mini has wireless charging functionality, it does not support wireless power share.

No fingerprint sensor and old Face ID:

iPhone 12 mini does not have any fingerprint sensor or touch ID. It only has the face ID. Moreover, this phone carries an old Face ID technology that apple released years ago. 

No LiDAR:

Though the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have LiDAR, the iPhone 12 mini does not have a LiDAR. 

No Sensor-Shift OIS:

iPhone 12 mini does not have the sensor-shift optical image stabilization.

No 3.5mm headphone jack:

iPhone 12 mini does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Either you have to use a headphone with a lightning connector or wireless headphones. As we said earlier, Apple does not ship a headphone with the iPhone 12 mini. Therefore, if you are switching from Android, your 3.5mm or USB-C headphone would not work anymore. You have to buy a lighting headphone. Alternatively, you can purchase lighting to 3.5mm headphone adapter.

Non-removable battery:

iPhone 12 mini has a non-removable Li-ion battery. It is a disadvantage because the removable battery is useful in many scenarios. An old iPhone loses its battery capacity. So, it charges slowly but discharges rapidly, making the phone unusable for a practical purpose. 

Moreover, if iOS detects the battery has become weak, it will slow down the A14 processor to protect the battery from further deterioration. The slow processor will make the iPhone 12 mini laggy. It is why an old iPhone sometimes lags. Replacing the old battery with a new one will solve all these problems. But, the iPhone 12 mini battery is non-removable. Therefore, we can’t replace the battery by ourselves at home. We have to take it to the Apple Store to replace the old battery. Apple charges $69 to replace the iPhone 12 mini battery. 

Expensive repair:

iPhone 12 mini repair is costly. Apple charges $200 to $330 to replace a damaged iPhone screen, $69 to replace the battery, and $400 to $600 to repair other damages. Other than the battery replacement, iPhone repair is not worth it.

No Always-on display:

The iPhone 12 mini does not have a handy feature – “Always On Display.” Using this feature, you can control music, watch time and date, view the calendar, view battery percentage, etc. even when the screen is turned off. 

Does Always-On Display drain the battery? The answer is no. The Always-On Display does not drain the battery because, in an LED, OLED, or Super AMOLED display, the display driver only turns on those pixels (LED) required to show text, image, or graphics related to AOD, while all other pixels (LED) turned off. Hence, It uses very little energy, and in our experiment on our Android phones, we found that it only uses 1% battery energy per hour.

No IR blaster:

iPhone 12 mini does not have an IR blaster.

No split-screen:

For many years, the Android phone has split-screen or multi-tasking functionality, where you can run two apps side by side. However, Apple still has not given this feature on the iPhone.

Phones 4K video is awful:

We want to be honest with you. If you’re going to purchase iPhone 12 mini only to record 4k video, please don’t. The 12 mini has a good camera and can record 4k video. However, a 4k video recorded on phones is inferior in quality than 4k videos recorded in a DSLR camera. Moreover, 12 mini cameras are not gyro-stabilized. Therefore while you walk and record a video, the camera will shake a lot on every footstep, and the video will be terrible. 

However, on various occasions, we recorded a significantly stabilized professional-grade video with the iPhone with the help of this Gyroscope. We use this Gyroscope to record videos on our backcountry hiking too.

Problems with Apple Maps:

iPhone comes with Apple’s proprietary “Apple Maps.” However, Google Maps is far better than Apple Maps. For example, we can download Google Maps data for offline use; on Apple Maps; we can’t. Therefore for backcountry hiking, visiting national parks, Apple Maps is not useful.

In short, the iPhone 12 mini’s pros and cons:

Pros Cons
476 PPI Full HD+ OLED Display Expensive internal storage Upgrade
6 Year of iOS SupportNo headphone
No App BloatwareNo charger
IP68 Waterproof and dust resistantNo Fingerprint Sensor
No threat of malware of virusesOnly 60Hz display
AppleCare+ insurance to replace lost iPhoneNo LiDAR
Dual SIMNon-removable Battery
0% APR Financing from AppleExpensive Repair
Yearly iPhone Upgrade ProgramNo Always-On Display
Face IDNo Multitasking
5G
MagSafe Wireless charger

iPhone 12 mini Tips and Tricks:

Take a screenshot on iPhone 12 mini:

To take a screenshot on the iPhone 12 mini, simultaneously press the “Side Key” and “Volume UP” button.

Screenshot a full webpage:

To screenshot a full webpage on the iPhone, 

  • Open the webpage in the Safari Browser. 
  • Press the “Side Key” and “Volume UP” button. 
  • After taking the screenshot, click on the thumbnail preview.
  • Now click on “Full Page.”
  • Click on “Done”
  • Click on “Save PDF to Files”

No need to close apps:

On an android phone, we sometimes need to close recent apps to save battery. It’s because there are Android apps that are poorly optimized and drain the battery even if it is not in the foreground. The Android OS does not have any preventive system to stop this.

On the contrary, iOS is an efficient OS. According to the iOS 14 user manual, you don’t need to close apps that are in the background. They don’t drain the battery because iOS manages everything efficiently.

Cursor control:

While typing, you can control and place the cursor anywhere you like. All you have to do is press and hold the “Space Bar” on the keyboard. Here is a video of the feature:

Quick Launch Camera:

On the Lock Screen, “Swipe Left” to quickly launch the camera. 

Video Recording:

While the camera is on and the mode is set to “VIDEO,” press either “Volume UP” or “Volume Down” to start recording a video. Now press the “Volume UP” or “Volume Down” button again to stop recording.

Photo capture:

While the camera is on and the mode is set to “PHOTO,” press either “Volume UP” or “Volume Down” to capture a photo. Moreover, press and hold to take a burst photo (numerous images on a single click to find the best picture later).

Useful apps from Apple:

  • Compass: See your GPS location with a digital compass.
  • Health.
  • Voice Memo: Audio recorder.
  • Measure: Measure the length of objects with the iPhone.
  • iMovie: Edit 4k video.
  • Cycle Tracker: Keep track of the menstrual cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can iPhone airdrop to Android?

No, an iPhone can only airdrop to another iPhone. It can’t airdrop to an Android phone.

Can the iPhone write NFC?

Yes, the iPhone can read and write NFC tags.

Conclusion:

The iPhone 12 mini has some drawbacks. However, the benefit of the iPhone 12 mini is way more than its cons. Therefore, we believe, even though it’s expensive, it’s worth every penny of your hard-earned money.

Sources:

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
Hardware
Display
Functionality
Performance
Camera
Long Term Support
Value For Money
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