iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini: is it worth the upgrade?
The iPhone 12 mini was an instant classic, providing almost the same feel as the larger model in a smaller package. Given how good this phone is, it was no surprise to Apple that it unveiled a replacement at its California event, the iPhone 13 mini.
If you’re wondering if it’s time to ditch your existing mini iPhone and replace it with a new one, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know to make the right decision.
Outwardly, this decision is more difficult to make, since the new phone is very similar to the old one. It’s more like the days when Apple had “S” products a year after a larger update.
Like last year, the iPhone 13 mini is the youngest in Apple’s lineup, with prices starting at £ 679. It’s actually £ 20 cheaper than the iPhone 12 was when it launched in 2020.
Pre-orders for the new phone open on Friday, September 17, with device shipping on Friday, September 24.
Both the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini have two cameras on the back. Both cameras have 12MP resolution, one wide-angle and one ultra-wide.
While it doesn’t sound like a big change, the new 13 mini comes with a camera similar to the one used in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This means that a physically larger sensor with larger pixels for a wide-angle camera should improve low-light performance. The wide-angle camera has an f / 1.6 aperture (same as the 12 mini). Apple says the new camera is “capable of collecting 47 percent more light for less noise and brighter results.”
What’s especially interesting is the sensor shift stabilization (called Sensor-shift OIS) on the mini 13, taken from the 12 Pro Max. This allows the sensor to physically move to combat shaky hands and should be especially effective when photographing in low light.
Otherwise, the 13 mini’s ultra-wide-angle camera is very similar to the 12 mini’s.
You get several new modes on iPhone 13 mini, including Cinematic Mode. This mode automatically adjusts focus to make your video more cinematic. For professionals, they will be able to adjust focus during and after shooting to get the desired effect.
Apple often introduces new products with the same battery life as older ones, but the 13 mini will outlast the 12 mini. Apple claims that the new phone will last up to an hour and a half longer than the old one.
It may not sound like much, but it’s all about how you use your phone. So, while the iPhone 12 mini will last all day in normal use, the iPhone 13 should last all day, even if you use it more intensively.
In terms of screen size, the two phones are the same as both feature a 5.4-inch OLED display with Super Retina XDR resolution (that’s 2340 x 1080). Apple has made some changes to the new phone screen.
Contrast ratios and brightness have been improved by 28%, with the new phone reaching a maximum outdoor brightness of 800 nits and a maximum HDR brightness of 1200 nits. It is impressive that this is achieved while reducing power requirements. The brighter displays should help with both general use and film shooting.
Finally, the entry-level 64GB model is dead, replaced by the much more useful 128GB model. The iPhone 13 is also available in 256GB and 512GB models, up from the 13 which had 64GB, 128GB and 256GB configurations.
The main difference is that the entry-level iPhone 13 is more useful and easier to use, so you can save a little money without buying a phone with a higher capacity.
Inside, the new phone is powered by the Apple A15 Bionic, the A14 update to the iPhone 12 mini. According to Apple, the new A15 Bionic is “50 percent faster than the competition.” It is a six-core processor with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores.
While the iPhone 13 mini ships with iOS 15, the iPhone 12 mini will receive an upgrade to that operating system for free.
The other updates are minor: iPhone mini 13 has faster 5G, and the new phone has a smaller Face ID notch, so it takes up slightly less space at the top of the screen.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini – early verdict
This year, the iPhone 13 mini is a slight improvement over its predecessor. There are some impressive changes, including a lower price point and longer battery life, but other than that, it’s not that big of a deal. Existing iPhone 12 mini owners would be better off waiting a year and seeing what comes out next.
If you have an older phone or want something powerful but small, then the iPhone 13 looks set to be successful.