Hot on the heels of the new iPhone 12, 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini have hit Australian stores.
Much of the spotlight has been stolen by the 12 Pro Max’s biggest screen ever, the best cameras, and the tear-jerking $ 1849 price tag.
But bigger is not always better.
Apple has something to prove with the iPhone 12 Mini, yes, it is smaller, but the Mini is by no means weaker than the standard iPhone 12.
That 0.7-inch difference doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a big difference in the palm of your hand and in your pocket when you consider that it’s also thinner and lighter.
It may look comical on a table alongside its older brothers, but 12 Mini is infinitely more practical for everyday use and exercise in my tests.
People with bigger hands may find it more difficult to text on a smaller screen, but I had no problem. In fact, I found it easier to text with one hand than in years.
The iPhone 12 Mini’s smaller form factor comes with another inherent advantage: its size was clearly the standard for Apple’s MagSafe.
Apple’s best MagSafe accessory yet, the Wallet, fits perfectly on the back of the iPhone 12 Mini. The wallet sits flush with the sides and bottom of the phone with the smallest space between it and the camera module.
As a result, it feels more cohesive and solid in the hand than it does on the larger iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Max, the latter of which dwarfs the wallet.
Apple doesn’t advertise the battery size, but teardowns show there is a 2227 mAh battery in the 12 Mini compared to the 2815 mAh unit in the iPhone 12.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the phone is physically smaller and since it has a smaller screen, I didn’t notice any dramatic difference in battery life between the two.
Long work days still had me reaching for the charger at 4pm after a 6am start, which is fine, but far from the best battery life on offer in 2020.
Finally, the Mini wins in price.
Saving $ 150 on the iPhone 12 for a starting price of $ 1,199 is easier to digest, albeit with 64GB of non-expandable storage.
It’s by far the cheapest way to get 5G on an Apple phone right now, especially compared to the $ 1,849 iPhone 12 Pro Max.
That extra money gets you Apple’s largest screen at 6.7 inches, which certainly appeals to those who watch a lot of videos or are heavy users at work.
That extra space also means you’ll need a second hand for the iPhone 12 Pro Max to function properly.
Unless you have hands the size of Shaq, you will have a hard time reaching each corner with one hand.
However, the biggest selling point of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is its cameras.
Sensor shift stabilization offers the smoothest video in the iPhone 12 lineup, which I already considered the best in class for recording HDR video in 4K.
The lenses themselves are larger than the 12 and 12 Pro, so by virtue of their size, more light reaches the sensors of the iPhone 12 Pro Max; a feature that, in theory, should help take clearer photos and videos in low light.
You also get 2.5x optical zoom (up to 2x on the 12 Pro and 1x on the Mini), night mode portraits, and faster autofocus thanks to the LiDAR sensor.
13 years of the iPhone: how Apple has changed
Fans with cash to spend won’t need convincing to buy the “bigger and better,” but for those in the market for a 5G smartphone, Apple’s smallest and cheapest option may be the most attractive.