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iPhone 13 mini vs 12 mini (2021): Should You Upgrade?

If you’re an Apple fan that also prefers a small form factor phone, there’s good news for you. The iPhone 13 mini was just recently announced, and similar to the iPhone 12 mini, it will deliver an almost similar experience as with the larger iPhones, but in a smaller form factor. Here is our comparison of last gen’s iPhone 12 mini and the recently announced iPhone 13 mini.

iPhone 13 mini vs 12 mini Comparison Chart

ModeliPhone 13 mini iPhone 12 mini
 Apple iPhone 13 Mini (128GB, Starlight) [Locked] + Carrier SubscriptionApple iPhone 12 Mini (64GB, Black) Unlocked
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions5.18 x 2.53 x 0.30 inches5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches
Weight4.97 oz4.76 oz
ProcessorA15 BionicA14 Bionic
DisplaySuper Retina XDR OLED
1080 x 2340 pixels (476 ppi)
HDR10
Dolby Vision
800 nits
Super Retina XDR OLED
1080 x 2340 pixels (476 ppi)
HDR10
Dolby Vision
625 nits
Storage & RAM128GB 4GB RAM
256GB 4GB RAM
512GB 4GB RAM
64GB 4GB RAM
128GB 4GB RAM
256GB 4GB RAM
ConnectivityGigabit-class LTE
5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Gigabit-class LTE
5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
CameraRear:
12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide)
12 MP, f/2.4, 120หš, 13mm (ultrawide)
Selfie:
12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide)
Rear:
12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide)
12 MP, f/2.4, 120หš, 13mm (ultrawide)
Selfie:
12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide)
Video4K 60fps,
4K 60fps HDR with Dolby Vision,
1080p 240fps Slo-Mo
Sensor-shift optical image stabilization
4K 60fps,
4K 30fps HDR with Dolby Vision,
1080p 240fps Slo-Mo
BatteryLi-Ion 2438 mAh
Up to 17 hours (video)
Up to 55 hours (music)
Li-Ion 2227 mAh
Up to 15 hours (video)
Up to 50 hours (music)
ColorsStarlight, Midnight, Pink, Blue, RedWhite, Black, Green, Purple, Blue, Red

Design

The iPhone 13 mini is about the same size as the 12 mini.

iphone 13 mini vs 12 mini design
The Apple iPhone 13 mini (left) has five color options, down from the six color options with the iPhone 12 mini (right).

In terms of overall design, there’s no significant difference between the two. They have almost the same physical dimensions, with the iPhone 13 mini just a hair thicker. The iPhone 13 mini measures 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.30 inches while the 12 mini is measured at 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches.

As it is slightly thicker, the iPhone 13 mini weighs more, but the difference is negligible. The iPhone 13 mini weighs 4.97 ounces while the iPhone 12 mini weighs 4.76 ounces.

Both phones have a glass front and back with an aluminum frame. They also have an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. When it comes to build quality, these two are what you’d expect from Apple devices.

As for color options, the iPhone 13 mini has five options to choose from: starlight, midnight, pink, blue and red. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 mini has six color options—black, white, green, purple, blue and red.

Display

The iPhone 13 mini’s screen is slightly brighter than the 12 mini.

iphone 13 mini vs 12 mini display
The notch is reduced in size on the iPhone 13 mini (left).

Both the iPhone 13 mini and 12 mini come with a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. These screens have a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels and they support HDR10 and Dolby Vision. As far as specs go, they are virtually the same. The only difference between them is that the screen of the iPhone 13 mini has a typical brightness of 800 nits, up from the 625 nits of the iPhone 12 mini’s. The two screens also have a refresh rate of 60Hz.

Camera and Hardware

The iPhone 13 mini cameras perform better than the 12 mini in low-light environment.

iphone 13 mini vs 12 mini camera
At the back, the camera arrangement is different, but the hardware is mostly the same.

When it comes to camera configuration, the difference between the iPhone 13 mini and 12 mini is very minor. They both have a dual 12MP camera setup at the back, with a wide and ultrawide lens. There are no difference at all with the hardware, but they did change the arrangement of the cameras. The iPhone 13 mini has a diagonal camera arrangement.

While there are no significant changes in their camera hardware, Apple says that the camera on the iPhone 13 mini is able to capture 47% more light, which makes it better in low-light situations. Also, the iPhone 13 mini has a new sensor-shift OIS for better stability.

As for their internals, the iPhone 13 mini sports Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which is built on the same 5nm technology as the A14 Bionic chip. This processor has an increased clock speed and cache, so there are noticeable improvements in speed.

However, when it comes to RAM, the iPhone 13 mini will still ship with 4GB—same as the iPhone 12 mini. The baseline model, though, now has 128GB of storage, instead of 64GB as we saw with the iPhone 12 mini.

Battery and Other Features

The iPhone 13 mini has an improved battery life over the 12 mini.

iphone 13 mini vs 12 mini battery and other features
Equipped with Apple’s new A15 Bionic, the iPhone 13 mini sees a slight upgrade in processing speed and power over the iPhone 12 mini.

The iPhone 13 mini, along with other iPhone 13 models, will get a battery boost over their iPhone 12 counterparts. While Apple does not specify the exact battery capacity of their phones, official battery registrars state that the iPhone 13 mini has a 2438 mAh Li-Ion battery, up from the 2227 mAh battery of the iPhone 12 mini.

With a 10% increase in battery capacity, the iPhone 13 mini can last two more hours than the iPhone 12 mini when playing videos, and five more hours when listening to music. As for the charger, well, you’ll have to buy a new fast charger since they don’t ship with one. The iPhone 13 mini will keep the MagSafe wireless charging capability of the previous models.

When it comes to connectivity, the iPhone 13 mini and 12 mini have the same cellular feature set—5G connection using low-band and high-speed mmWave. The iPhone 13 mini also has support for WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.

Verdict

The iPhone 13 mini offers small performance upgrades over the iPhone 12 mini.

If you have an older phone and are looking to upgrade, the iPhone 13 mini is definitely a good choice. However, if you already have an iPhone 12 mini, you should probably wait it out for another year and see what Apple has to offer then. The iPhone 12 mini is still a good phone for this year and the next.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the iPhone 12 mini too small?

It will depend on your preferences. It has a 5.4-inch screen that may be too small if you are used to phones with 6+ inches and above.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini the same size?

They are nearly identical, with the iPhone 13 mini just a hair thicker.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the iPhone 12 mini have 5G?

Yes, it already has 5G support.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the iPhone 13 mini come with iOS 15?

Yes, all iPhone 13 models will ship with iOS 15 pre-installed.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.