iPhone 12 mini
After seeing the iPhone mini in a variety of photos and videos from reviewers, a lot times I couldn’t really tell that it was an actual mini iPhone. Even in photos with the iPhone 12 mini sitting next to an iPhone 12 ( 12 Pro), or even the Max, I still could not conceptualize how small the device actually was.
The reason for this, I think, is because hand sizes differ between one another and the feeling of a device in ones own hand feels different for everyone. I have larger hands but even watching someone like Marques Brownlee and his review of the iPhone mini, who has in many occasions said has big hands, I was unable to grasp how small the iPhone 12 mini really was.
The iPhone mini is a device that I feel does require you to hold in your hand to really understand the size of it. It is small, surprisingly smaller than the iPhone 12, yet simultaneously very comfortable which helps to understand why it is beloved by so many so early on.
If the new design of iPhones 12 didn’t convince you of Apple going back to the iPhone 5 design days, holding this iPhone 12 mini in your hand will definitely do it. My first thought was that it reminds me of the iPhone 5 or 5s but with a larger, edge to edge, screen.
Like many others, the iPhone 12 mini felt exactly what I wanted in a phone. After transferring all of my data from my 12 finished and swapped the sim card, I used the mini for about three days straight. Instead of keeping both phones on me to compare, I decided to pretend it was my primary phone and live with it alone for a while.
My first impressions after a few days of use were:
- It feels so good in the hand. Instead of the edges digging into my palm like on the iPhone 12, the iPhone mini feels like it floats in my hand. Due its size and lightness; I don’t have to grip it as tight, especially when trying to reach.
- It felt exactly like my iPhone 12 but just miniature. The camera, screen, apps, and everything else I do on an iPhone felt the same, just in a much smaller package.
- Typing with two thumbs is cramped, but I mostly use the QuickPath slide feature on the keyboard anyway. This is something I have loved on Android in the past and since it has come to the iPhone I find it the best way to type on any sized device. So the keyboard did not feel small, it was actually better since the travel of sliding was much smaller.
- Sometimes Twitter, news articles, web browsing, or other tasks that required scrolling felt small. Not only did less fit on the screen, but everything feels a bit smaller too.
Now my first impressions can be seen as negative or positive depending on your preference. For me, the positives outweighed the negatives, but in the end I don’t think the positives were enough for me to stick with the mini.
The main reason why I am longer apart of the Plus/Max club was because I now have an iPad nearby to use when I want a larger screen. I find it much more useful to have a iPhone that is a little smaller and compact but have larger screens, like an iPad or Kindle, elsewhere to provide a better experience when you want something bigger.
The iPhone 12 (and iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone 11 Pro before it) all provide a sweet spot in providing a decent sized screen without too much bulk. Since I don’t always have my iPad on me, when I am somewhere without it and want to watch YouTube, read a Kindle book, or reply to some emails, having an averaged sized screen is very beneficial.
Using the iPhone 12 mini is convenient in its size but do feel that you lose a little when it is the only device you have while out and about. Their were many times when I found myself zooming into Instagram photos more, or bringing the iPhone closer to my face while reading a long article.
This could, of course, be age and my eyes not being as good as they once were but I do feel the miniaturization of iOS 14 on the mini does truly feel tiny sometimes. Part of this miniaturization is why I, and I believe many also, find this version of the iPhone 12 so appealing. The tiny symbols in the horns of the mini, small keyboard while in messages, and closely sitting apps on the homescreen reminds me of the pre-iPhone 6 days.
Their is a lot of nostalgia that arises when using this iPhone if you are a long-time user of Apple’s smartphones. I still have an iPhone 5s, that I even used for a full day this year, and still love the design of this iPhone and find it one of my favorite smartphones ever.
But there is a reason why Apple started making larger phones, and a big reason why people keep buying them. The benefits of a few more inches, or even millimeters, of screen can provide so much when it is the main computer you have with you.
So, I am not going to stick with the iPhone 12 mini, even though I am still drawn to it so strongly. After picking back up my iPhone 12 — getting over how huge it felt after only 3 days — I was suddenly reminded on why larger iPhones can be better. The 12 provides an ideal amount of screen real estate without the phone being too large to handle.
Overall, I am thrilled that the iPhone 12 mini exists and hope Apple continues making new versions of this phone in the future. Options are always better and do feel like many people are going to love this itty bitty iPhone. For me, I will stick with the medium-sized iPhone — and I will leave the large-sized iPhone for others to try out.