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ericg301

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
1,916
1,752
It seems like there's a lot of misconceptions and misguided takes on the new iPhone 12 Mini—here at MR, on Reddit, and on other Mac-related forums I frequent. I've had mine since release day, and spent a lot of time online defending it. It seems like this is a polarizing device—people either love or hate it. So if you want to help me defend it, I came up with these talking points.

(also I know why Apple named it the Mini but I think calling it the iPhone Air would have been better. Mini implies less, implies childlike...implies cute...and that makes some people uncomfortable.)

All comparisons taken from

SCREEN SIZE

The screen size of the Mini is 5.4" diagonal. For comparison, the regular 11, 12 and 12 Pro is 6.1". The X/XS is 5.8". The 6-7-8-SE series was 4.7" and the plus version of those phones was 5.5".

So let's put that in perspective. The screen size of the Mini is virtually the same as the 6-7-8 PLUS phones (yes I know there's a notch to consider and PPI and other technical nitpitcks--but from a practical and real-world comparison, they are virtually the same). In fact, the entire Mini fits perfectly inside the LCD SCREEN of the 6-7-8 plus phones. In other words,THE IPHONE 12 MINI HAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME SCREEN SIZE OF APPLE'S LARGEST PHONE (8 Plus) FROM JUST 3 YEARS AGO.

BATTERY


(For the sake of this discussion, I'm not counting size of actual battery in mAH because there are too many other variables....including software optimization, LCD vs OLED, etc. I'm only focusing on real-world practical usage, which Apple uses video playback as their metric.)

The Mini is rated at 15 hours video playback. The 11 and 12 are rated at 17. The iPhone X is 13 hours, XS is 14 hours, and XS Max is 15 hours. XR is 16 hours. iPhone 7 and 8 were 13 hours and the 6-7-8 plus was 14 hours.

So using this metric, the Mini is equal to the XS Max, better than the X, XS series, only one hour less than the XR series, and 1 hour BETTER than the 6-7-8 plus phones.

In perspective, that means that the battery life of the Mini is BETTER THAN EVERY OTHER IPHONE RELEASED BEFORE THE 11. We didn't see people say complain that the "Battery life on the iPhone X/XS is trash!" like I'm seeing now with the Mini. In other words, IPHONE 12 MINI HAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME BATTERY LIFE AS APPLE'S LARGEST PHONE (XS MAX) FROM JUST 2 YEARS AGO.

USAGE
If you consider your phone your primary media and gaming device, then the Mini will probably be too small for you. But I'm going to guess that most users are like me and don't use their phones for anything more than short YouTube videos and quick casual games. If I want to watch a movie or show, I'll use my iPad. If I want to play an immersive game, I'll use my iPad. And if I need to be more productive than just sending a quick email, I'll use my Mac.

The iPhone Mini is the perfect phone for users who consider their phones to be first and foremost a portable, pocketable device. A tool to quickly scan through email, calendar, social feeds, news and sports, take a pic or two, send a text and make a call. Maybe play a quick game while I'm in a waiting room or watching TV. I want a phone that fits in my gym shorts that I can take on a run without worrying about it falling out.

Remember, phones have gotten bigger but our hands have stayed the same. Originally, the iPhone 5 was the first phone with a bigger screen because it required a bigger battery to power LTE. That was the pinnacle of portability, and I'm thrilled Apple has gone back to a smaller size.

So TLDR: yes, the iPhone 12 Mini is a small phone but it's not a lesser phone. It has the same screen size of Apple's previous largest phone, and a better battery than any phone before last year's 11.

HELP ME SPREAD THE MINI MANIFESTO!
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Nehalem
Sep 21, 2012
30,704
40,911
In the middle of several books.
I think the main problem for many here is a mental one. I don’t mean that many here are mentally unstable. I am speaking of many who have come from larger phones or from the original SE type size and despite information available ahead of time, many have come to the iPhone mini with unrealistic expectations and wrongful comparisons between devices. Add to that the forum hype and peer influence and manipulation, many have decided not to get the device or have returned the device rather quickly because it didn’t meet their false expectations. I realize there are individual exceptions.

With the aforementioned mindset, there is no real logical way to convince someone of a truth when their mind is focused on what they have grown accustomed to and have been convinced of by many in their echo chamber tech peer group. Many feel they have to get used to something that doesn’t feel normal to begin with, because after all, the big phones are the most popular.

The mini doesn’t need to be defended. Many here like arguing points about a product that had no intention of getting in the first place. If some are too lazy to think for themselves, do some objective research, and possibly try the mini in person, that is on them, not Apple.

Some here love their phablets and that is fine. I don’t care what other people do with their money. I care about what works for me. And i don’t need to justify my purchase and use actions to anyone else here.

If someone wants to engage in honest dialogue with genuine questions about hands on day to day use, I will engage in such conversation. I won’t waste my time trying to convince others about trying the mini.
 

ericg301

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
1,916
1,752
Eh, those sizes (when considering their aspect ratio) are quite a bit different in practice.

As I said above, I'm talking about real world, practical comparisons. I laid my Mini ontop of the screen on an 8+, and it fit perfectly inside (just a tad narrower).

While I realize that some people do get concerned with aspect ratios, PPI, and the like, the majority or users don't know or don't care. They're just looking at overall size and what that means for their hands and pockets.
 

ericg301

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
1,916
1,752
The mini has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and the old plus models are 16:9, totally different.

The 12 mini screen area is 71.9cm2 and the 6/7/8 plus is 83.4 cm2 - that’s quite a difference.

You're missing the point. Most people don't care or notice that stuff. As I said above, the entire Mini fits inside the LCD screen of the 8+. For most users who are comparing the physical sizes of screens, that's all they need to see.
 

MarkX

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
932
1,101
Fochabers, Scotland
You're missing the point. Most people don't care or notice that stuff. As I said above, the entire Mini fits inside the LCD screen of the 8+. For most users who are comparing the physical sizes of screens, that's all they need to see.

I’m not missing the point at all, you said the screen sizes of the mini and the old plus models are virtually the same when they’re not.

I have the mini(amongst other phones)and my wife has the 8 plus, when I look at them side by side it’s blatantly obvious the plus model has the bigger screen.

Whether the mini screen fits inside the plus model screen or not is irrelevant.
 

ericg301

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
1,916
1,752
I’m not missing the point at all, you said the screen sizes of the mini and the old plus models are virtually the same when they’re not.

I have the mini(amongst other phones)and my wife has the 8 plus, when I look at them side by side it’s blatantly obvious the plus model has the bigger screen.

Whether the mini screen fits inside the plus model screen or not is irrelevant.

actually it's quite relevant. take your mini and place it over the turned off LCD screen on the mini. not the forhead or chin. it's virtually the same size.
 
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Sensa2004

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2015
33
81
Have to agree that the battery issue is a bit of a red herring. I only really use my phone as a phone and for texts, web surfing (no videos), taking pictures and checking email. I play the very occasional game of solitaire. My original SE, with a recently replaced battery, couldn't make it through the day without needing to be recharged.

My mini, on the other hand, lasted from 8 am Thursday morning (100%) to 7:30 pm Saturday night (2%) using it as I always use it. That's an incredible 2 1/2 days.

Apple listened and gave most Mini users what they wanted...a SMALL sized quality, latest generation phone at a "reasonable" price missing only a few bells and whistles that most Mini owners didn't want or need. If you're attracted to the Mini to begin with you probably weren't spending your day streaming movies or videos on your phone and thus are probably more than happy with 50-60 hours between re-charges.
 

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,796
2,728
New Orleans
10611ADE-EF40-4AF2-B33C-C9D746FB41BF.jpeg


While I love the size of my mini, I’m not going to pretend its screen is almost as big as the Plus iPhones’ screens. The diagonal length is almost the same, but overall the Plus’ screen is much bigger.

The width in portrait orientation is the thing people who want bigger screens are looking for because it causes everything to scale up to be easier to see. The taller aspect ratio of the mini means everything is going to be smaller, but you’ll be able to see more at a time.
 

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,845
2,917
Victoria, British Columbia
In terms of screen size, diagonal measurement is not at all the same as area in square inches/centimeters. This is the reason why a 4:3 screen at the same diagonal measurement as a 16:9 screen can be 5-10% larger in area. It will be very noticeable on the phone when actually consuming content, if you are switching back and forth anyway. The 5.5" size feels much less narrow/cramped in, although it does come at the cost of a larger chassis.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 7.26.50 PM.png
Here's a diagram and some numbers if you don't believe me.
 

ericg301

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
1,916
1,752
View attachment 1677243

While I love the size of my mini, I’m not going to pretend its screen is almost as big as the Plus iPhones’ screens. The diagonal length is almost the same, but overall the Plus’ screen is much bigger.

The width in portrait orientation is the thing people who want bigger screens are looking for because it causes everything to scale up to be easier to see. The taller aspect ratio of the mini means everything is going to be smaller, but you’ll be able to see more at a time.

Lol this makes no sense because it’s comparing the entire 8+ front face with the screen of the mini. Take away the forehead and chin.
 

TPadden

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2010
707
360
The iPhone 12 mini is a great phone and I am happy I bought one replacing an iPhone XS.

However I do not feel that I need to "defend it" [sic].
... But ...but ... I bought it because it is a smaller phone not because it's a mini!!! ? ? ?

Tom
 
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russell_314

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2019
3,644
4,932
USA
The mini is smaller hence the name. If you want a larger screen buy one of the bigger models. A lot of people want and like a smaller phone. I would never buy the mini since I'm used to a "Max" phone but to each their own.
 

MartyvH

Contributor
Sep 16, 2017
487
338
Aspect ratio matters a lot. But I had a XS for two years and I had a persistent sense that it was more screen than I need.

I adore the compactness and lightness of the 12 mini and it is far preferable to the XS. In daily use the screen size heads towards the XS's, as you would expect for 5.4" versus 5.8". This still has some awkwardness like the XS, though not as much. Big screens, hey? But the mini's screen quality is at least as beautiful as the XS, which was what I loved about the XS.

The mini's screen size is great for web browsing, Instagram and other social media, most apps you care to name other than advanced photo/video editing, some YouTube (not extended sessions because that suits my 9.7" (slow, not a good buy for US$438) Samsung Tab S2 and Sony smart TV - why not use them when at home) and most uses that you would get from the big phones. I don't do phone gaming, I have a desktop PC and Xbox One X.

I used the keyboard just before. To me it has the feel of a 6/6S/7/8 4.7" keyboard size, which is no problem whatsoever.
 
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Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,796
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New Orleans
Lol this makes no sense because it’s comparing the entire 8+ front face with the screen of the mini. Take away the forehead and chin.
That is very clearly the entire device of both phones, not just the screen of the 12 mini on top of the entire 8 Plus.

The website I used doesn’t allow you to place the phones anywhere you want on top of each other, but someone with even a hint of imagination could move the 12 mini up in their head and see that its screen is still significantly smaller than the 8 Plus. Take away the forehead and chin and you’re left with two screens that are almost the same height but with very different widths.

You can’t use a single measurement to compare sizes, otherwise you’d think a circle and a sphere with the same radius are the same size.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
1,931
1,649
The screen width of the mini is even tad narrower than the 6/8, let alone the plus models.

And the diagonal Apple gives is to the extension of the rounded corners which makes the visual area difficult to compare to a true 16:9.

What @retta283 posted gives already 15% smaller area. if you take out the notch and corner area (~0.3 square inch) we are speaking of about 19% smaller than the plus models.

so if you argue you have the area of the 6/8 with additional vertical space you are on the save side.
which is also why people decide for the mini.
i think not many people suppose getting as much out of a small ergonomic mini as from a “two handed phone”. That’s totally fine. Just don’t exaggerate
 
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