While many of the telephones you see on retailer cabinets are six inches and above, Apple hasn’t forgotten about individuals who like small telephones. It sells two totally different telephones with small shows: The iPhone SE, which acquired an enormous redesign in 2020, and two fashions of the iPhone mini, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 mini, which is about the identical dimension because the SE. After the iPhone 13 launched in 2021, Apple dropped the value of the iPhone 12 mini by $100, bringing it to $629 ($599 by carriers) and transferring it ever nearer to the value of the iPhone SE. But with a brand new replace to the iPhone SE, which small cellphone ought to ought to spend your cash on?
iPhone 12 mini vs SE: Features and specs
Here are the top-line variations in options and specs between the 2. There are loads of smaller variations, however these options and specs offers you an thought of how they stack up towards one another.
5G (sub-6Ghz + mmWave), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Ultra-Wideband
It’s fairly apparent which is the “better” iPhone right here. While the iPhone 12 mini has an older processor, it’s nonetheless loads quick, and the very best of the upgrades greater than make up for it: an HDR OLED edge-to-edge show, an ultra-wide rear digicam, a greater entrance digicam, 5G mmWave help, and a much bigger battery. So, in case you simply need to get the “best” small iPhone regardless of that value, you may cease studying now: the iPhone 12 mini is the place it’s at. But the iPhone SE isn’t your typical “budget” cellphone. Savvy readers will have a look at the huge distinction in value and contemplate simply what number of of those options they actually want.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: Design and show
The iPhone SE carries forth the design of the traditional iPhone 8, whereas the iPhone 12 mini options the newer “all-screen” design, with flat sides and an edge-to-edge show. It additionally is available in 5 colours—black, white, pink, inexperienced, purple, and blue—versus simply three with the SE (midnight (black), starlight (white), and pink. There’s little doubt the 12 mini is a better-looking cellphone. It’s additionally just a bit bit smaller and lighter, making it the smallest iPhone you should purchase. But it’s not just like the iPhone SE is a clunker, and you may most likely get by with out the seafoam inexperienced coloration choice.
The show is a lot higher on the iPhone 12 mini, although. The undeniable fact that it doesn’t have massive bezels above and beneath the show implies that, regardless of being a technically smaller cellphone, the iPhone 12 mini truly has extra display space than the iPhone SE (5.4 inches versus 4.7 inches). It’s not simply the scale, nevertheless. The iPhone mini additionally makes use of Apple’s greatest show tech, OLED, which brings large distinction with deep blacks and better decision (476 pixels per inch vs. 326 pixels per inch).
Our decide: When it involves the show, you actually get what you pay for. Since you’re going to be your cellphone’s display hour hours every day, the additional $200 is unquestionably price it. However, the iPhone SE nonetheless has an excellent LCD, so in case you nonetheless have a delicate spot for the house button and the traditional design, you’ll undoubtedly be proud of it.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: Performance and battery life
The iPhone 12 mini has the A14 processor, which is a bit slower than the A15 within the iPhone SE. If we’re being trustworthy, nevertheless, fashionable iPhone processors are simply so quick that you just’re not more likely to discover the distinction in day-to-day use. Unless you’re the form of one that is aware of you want absolutely the quickest factor going, the iPhone 12 goes to be loads quick sufficient to final for years.
The identical goes for battery life. While the earlier iPhone SE struggled to maintain up with the iPhone 12 mini, the extra environment friendly A15 processor and a barely larger capability means the iPhone SE will get roughly the identical battery life because the iPhone 12 mini. Neither are nice, nevertheless, and characterize the shortest battery lifetime of any iPhone mannequin.
Our decide: Power customers received’t be proud of both cellphone, however for regular use, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE will most likely make it by many of the day, however you’ll undoubtedly need to preserve a charger round.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: 5G, MagSafe, and UWB
The iPhone 12 mini already has actual main benefits with its show and design, and that edge continues while you begin wanting on the different options. Unlike the display, nevertheless, the iPhone 12 mini’s different options are extra about what you may want later. The most evident distinction is that the iPhone 12 mini helps “full” 5G (each sub-6Ghz and mmWave), whereas the iPhone SE solely helps the slower sub-6Ghz. Right now, that’s not a giant deal for most individuals. Even in case your service has upgraded the towers close to you to 5G, you most likely received’t see a game-changing pace enchancment.
MagSafe is one other “maybe one-day” function, as is Ultra-Wideband (UWB). Today, you should purchase some chargers and cases that support MagSafe, however there’s not a complete lot on the market. In the approaching years, that ecosystem will definitely develop. The identical goes for Apple’s UWB wireless chip, which permits for high-bandwidth and short-range information transmission in addition to very exact location monitoring. It’s form of like room-scale GPS. Today it may be used to seamlessly hand-off audio between your iPhone and HomePod mini in addition to discover lacking objects connected to AirTags inside a few ft of their location, but it surely’s nonetheless extra of a “nice to have” reasonably than a “have to have” function.
Our decide: MagSafe and mmWave 5G are good to have, however they’re not game-changing options. But in case you plan to carry onto your iPhone for just a few years, the iPhone 12 mini will future-proof your buy considerably.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: Touch ID and Face ID
The greatest distinction between the iPhone 12 and iPhone SE apart from the design and show is the strategy of unlocking and authenticating. On the iPhone SE, you’ll be utilizing the Home button, and it’s one of many final Apple units to have one, together with the ninth-generation iPad. Apple says there’s a 1 in 50,000 probability that somebody that another person’s fingerprint will have the ability to efficiently unlock your Touch ID sensor. It’s quick and handy, however clearly doesn’t work with gloves.
Face ID, however, makes use of 3D digicam expertise to create a facial scan that Apple says is much safer (1 in 1,000,000). The sensor must see your face, so that you’ll should be holding your cellphone in a exact manner after which swipe as much as get to your Home display, but it surely’s extraordinarily quick. Additionally, Apple has devised a lock-screen function that hides notifications except you authenticate utilizing Face ID so if somebody swipes your cellphone they received’t have the ability to see any delicate data. There’s additionally a brand new Face ID with Mask function in iOS 15.4 that allows you to nonetheless use Face ID whereas carrying a masks, one thing that couldn’t be accomplished beforehand with out carrying an Apple Watch.
Our decide: Face ID is much superior to Touch ID, particularly now that Face ID with Mask has arrived. In the winter, those that have Touch ID iPhones all the time complain about taking their gloves off to make use of them, and Face ID is way more safe expertise (and it allows that nice edge-to-edge show), however there’s nonetheless one thing handy about placing your thumb over the Touch ID sensor and unlocking earlier than you even pull it out of your pocket.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: Cameras
Since these are each iPhones, you realize you’re getting a fantastic digicam it doesn’t matter what you purchase. While they each have 12MP important lenses that Apple has been utilizing for the reason that iPhone 6, they’re a bit totally different in how they snap and course of pictures. The iPhone 12 mini has the identical wide-angle digicam because the bigger fashions, so that you’re getting an f/1.6 aperture for stellar low-light pictures together with night time mode, which isn’t out there on the SE with out turning to a third-party app. The SE’s digicam has an f/1.8 aperture, so pictures will probably be barely darker and noisier as nicely.
You’re additionally getting a second 12MP, f/2.4 ultra-wide digicam on the iPhone 12 mini that may seize 120-degree subject of view, which can be boosted by Night Mode. And whereas each cameras shoot in 4K at 60fps, solely the 12 mini can seize movies in Dolby Vision HDR. Even although the SE has a single digicam, it helps portrait mode and Portrait Lighting just like the 12 mini, in addition to Photographic Styles, Deep Fusion and Smart HDR expertise that compares photographs and optimizes pictures for the scene and lighting on a granular stage.
The entrance digicam is superior on the iPhone 12 mini as nicely. You get a 12MP digicam that may shoot 4K video versus a 7MP HD one on the SE. The iPhone 12 mini additionally has Night Mode on its entrance digicam, which is missing on the SE.
Our decide: The digicam on the brand new iPhone SE hasn’t modified in any respect, so photos are largely the identical as they had been. They’re wonderful, but when pictures issues greater than anything, it’s best to spend the additional cash on the 12 mini.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: iOS
The iPhone 12 and iPhone SE each help the newest model of iOS 15 (15.4) and can seemingly help updates lengthy after you’re able to improve to a brand new cellphone. The iPhone SE has a slight edge right here in that it has a more recent processor, so it might help an additional model of iOS, however that received’t come into play till iOS 20 on the very least.
Our decide: Either cellphone will help iOS and safety updates for years to come back, so it’s best to really feel snug regardless of which one you select.
iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE: Which mannequin must you purchase?
You like small telephones, and now you’re going to get a brand new iPhone. Do you purchase the iPhone SE or pay $200 extra for the iPhone 12 mini? It comes right down to how a lot worth you place in three key areas:
The high quality and design of the show.
The significance of modern tech like mmWave 5G, Ultra Wideband, and Face ID.
Low-light pictures and digicam options.
If you place any of these issues in excessive regard, you’ll need to go for the iPhone 12 mini. There’s simply no competitors with the iPhone SE in the case of the show, design, and premium options, and it’s nicely price the additional cash you’ll pay for the iPhone 12. If paying over $600 for a cellphone received’t break the financial institution for you, or in case you’re shopping for one thing you hope to maintain for 4 or 5 years, we expect you’ll be so much happier with the iPhone 12 mini.
However, in case you miss Apple’s outdated design and hate the notch, the iPhone SE continues to be a superb cellphone at $429. It’s not simply the most affordable iPhone you should purchase, it nonetheless brings some high-end options similar to wi-fi charging and portrait mode and performs almost in addition to the newest thousand-dollar iPhones. It’ll get up to date for years too—most likely longer than the iPhone 12 mini—so whether or not you’re going to switch your iPhone in only a yr or two or are notably tough in your cellphone and don’t need to spend some huge cash on one thing that’s sure to get beat up, go for the iPhone SE.