iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 13 Mini Buyer Guide: A $599 Apple iPhone Comparison

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 13 Mini Buyer Guide: A $599 Apple iPhone Comparison

In 2021, Apple unveiled iPhone 13 As a successor to the audience iPhone 12With improved rear cameras, longer battery life, the A15 Bionic chip, and more. Despite being from different annual generations, the iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13 mini are still available from Apple now at $599, leading many customers to consider which device they should buy.

At $599, both devices Sitting Above $429 for the iPhone SE in Apple’s product lineup, adding features such as OLED displays and Face ID. The ‌iPhone 13‌ mini is a more modern device than the ‌iPhone 12‌, boasting similar battery life to the larger device despite having a smaller internal battery, but it comes at the expense of display space.

Since the ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini share a slew of features, should you consider buying the older model to save money? Our guide helps answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhones is best for you.

Comparison between iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Mini

The ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13‌ mini share a slew of key features, such as OLED Super Retain XDR displays, ‌Face ID‌, 5G connectivity, and MagSafeCeramic shield. Apple lists these identical features of the iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13‌ mini:


  • OLED Super Retina XDR display with HDR, True Tone, P3 wide color and tactile touch
  • Face ID
  • 5G 6GHz connection (and mmWave in the US)
  • A-Series Bionic 6-core chip
  • 4 GB of memory
  • Dual 12MP ƒ / 2.4 Ultra Wide and / 1.6 Ultra Wide Cameras with 2x optical zoom
  • Photography features including Night mode, Deep Fusion, True Tone flash with Slow Sync, Portrait mode, and more
  • Videography features including 4K video recording at up to 60fps, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision, audio zoom, slow motion video up to 240fps at 1080p, time-lapse night mode, and more
  • Front ceramic shield
  • IP68 splash, water and dust resistance
  • Aerospace grade aluminum
  • MagSafe and Qi . wireless charging
  • lightning conductor
  • Battery up to 17 hours during video playback
  • Available in 128GB and 256GB storage options
  • Available in (PRODUCT) RED

Apple’s breakdown shows that iPhones share a slew of key, notable features. However, there are some important differences between the iPhone 12‌ and the iPhone 13 mini, such as their processors and screen brightness, which will be important when evaluating the device you choose.


iPhone 12

  • 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR display
  • Max brightness 625 nits (typical)
  • A14 Bionic chip
  • Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • Smart HDR 3 for photos
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 30fps
  • Weighs 164 grams
  • Available in Violet, Blue, PRODUCT (RED), White and Black
  • Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options

iPhone 13 mini

  • 5.4 inch Super Retina XDR display
  • 800 nits max brightness (typical)
  • 20 percent smaller score
  • A15 Bionic chip
  • Supports dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM) and dual eSIM
  • Optical image stabilization to convert sensor to video
  • Smart HDR 4 for photos
  • photography styles
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps
  • Cinematic-style video recording with shallow depth of field (1080p @30fps)
  • Weighs 141 grams
  • Available in Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, Green and PRODUCT (RED) colors
  • Available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options

Read on for a closer look at each of these aspects, and see exactly what both iPhones have to offer.

Design and colors

iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini have the same industrial design with square edges and a flat aluminum strip around the sides. The hardware uses aircraft-grade aluminum on the edges and a single piece of frosted glass on the back. The dual rear cameras on the iPhone 13‌ mini are opposite each other diagonally, unlike the portrait orientation of the iPhone 12‌.

iPhone 13 format has been enlarged vs iPhone 12

‌iPhone 13‌ mini features a 20 percent smaller aperture for the TrueDepth range of cameras, freeing up more screen space and making separation less intrusive. Other than the position of the rear camera and the smaller notch, the devices look the same.

As a smaller phone, the ‌iPhone 13‌‌ mini is shorter and narrower than ‌iPhone 12‌‌. The ‌iPhone 13‌‌’s small size makes it much more pocketable than the iPhone 13‌‌.

Another factor that determines the difference between the two devices is their weight. The ‌iPhone 13‌ mini is 23 grams (0.81 ounces) lighter than its larger counterpart, with a total of 141 grams (4.97 ounces). If you want as small and light as possibleIphone‌ ‌iPhone 13‌ mini would be a better option than ‌iPhone 12‌.

‌iPhone 12‌ is available in purple, blue, green, white, and black, while ‌iPhone 13‌ mini is available in Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, and Green colours. Both are also available in PRODUCT (RED). The colors blue are similar, as are white and stars, and black and midnight. As similar looking devices, the preference for the ‌iPhone 12‌ or iPhone 13‌ mini in terms of design and colors will come down to personal taste.


‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini have an OLED Super Retina XDR display with HDR, True Tone, P3 Wide Color, and Haptic Touch‌. The only difference with the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini’s display is that it’s capable of 175 nits during normal non-HDR usage, but that’s not a major reason to get the newer model.

The most obvious difference between the iPhone 13‌‌ mini and ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ is the size of their displays. The ‌iPhone‌ 13‌‌ mini has a screen size of 5.4 inches, while the iPhone 12‌‌‌’s screen size is 6.1 inches. This means that a larger phone will be able to display more content on the screen, with app UI elements more spaced out and elements such as the keyboard larger.

However, the smaller phone is easier to use with one hand. For example, the Control Center is easier to access at the top of the screen, and users may feel more comfortable scrolling around iOS on a smaller screen with a tighter grip.

The main reason I prefer ‌iPhone 13 mini is its better fit in the hand and ease of use with one hand. Similarly, for those who want a larger screen for media consumption, it is the same size asiPhone 14You’ll clearly prefer the 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 12‌.

A14 vs A15

The A15 Bionic chip from ‌iPhone 13‌ brings a modest improvement in performance compared to the A14 Bionic chip in ‌iPhone 12‌. Show standards The A15 in ‌iPhone 13‌ offers 10% better single-core performance and 18% better multi-core performance compared to the iPhone 12‌’s A14 chip. On graphics tasks, the iPhone 13‌ performs about 15% better than the A14 Bionic in the ‌iPhone 12‌.

a15 . chip

These performance improvements with the A15 are iterative and not an intrinsic reason to upgrade alone. The A14 chip is still a very capable chip, and in everyday use, the two devices are likely to perform similarly, although the A15 chip may be supported for longer and perform better over time.

With two slices

Both devices support two SIM cards, with one nano-SIM and one eSIM, but the iPhone 13‌ mini is also capable of supporting two eSIMs simultaneously. If you need to switch between two eSIMs, you’ll need to get the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini to get this functionality.


The ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13‌ mini both have 12MP rear cameras, an ƒ/2.4 wide camera, and an ƒ/1.6 wide camera. The main camera on the iPhone 13‌ mini features a sensor larger than the ‌iPhone 12‌, which is capable of capturing 47% more light for less noise and brighter photos, and the Ultra Wide features a new sensor to capture more detail. The main camera also has sensor shift optical image stabilization technology for smoother video and improved image quality.

Although the two devices can record Dolby Vision HDR video, the iPhone 13‌ is capable of recording this up to 60 fps, unlike the iPhone 12‌ 30 fps.

iphone 13 dual lens camera

‌iPhone 13‌ mini features Cinema Mode, which allows users to record video with a shallow depth of field at 1080p and 30fps. Cinematic mode can superimpose the focus to seamlessly shift focus from one subject to another when capturing video. It keeps focus on the subject while the background is blurring, and it can change focus automatically when a new subject is about to enter the scene. Blur and focus can be adjusted after video capture also by Pictures Application.

Cinema Mode for iPhone 13

‌iPhone 13‌ mini also supports Photographic Styles, which are smart, adjustable filters that can do things like enhance or mute colors without affecting skin tone. Styles are applied selectively to the image, unlike the filter applied to the entire image. Photographic modes include Vibrant (enhances colors), Rich Contrast (dark shadows and deeper colors), Warm (highlights gold tones), or Cool (highlights blue tones). The tone and warmth of each style can be customized, so you can get exactly the look you want.

While ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13‌ feature small cameras with similar specifications, ‌iPhone 13‌ mini offers Dolby Vision HDR video at a higher frame rate, cinematic mode, and photographic modes, as well as hardware improvements such as a larger sensor and stabilization sensor shift. The iPhone 12 camera is still quite capable, but with more photography and video options and improved photo quality, the iPhone 13‌ mini is a better choice.


A key area to consider when weighing the iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 13‌ mini is storage. While both devices start at $599, the iPhone 12‌ features a base 64GB storage configuration, while the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini offers 128GB storage for the same price. The ‌iPhone 12‌ with 128GB storage costs $649 and 256GB costs $749, $50 more than the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini with the same storage. If storage is a priority for you, you might be better off getting the iPhone 13‌ mini since higher amounts of storage come at a lower price across the board.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ is also not available in a 512GB configuration, unlike ‌iPhone 13‌ mini. This means that if you need more than 256GB of storage, you’ll need to get the ‌iPhone 13‌ to get the 512GB more storage option.

last thoughts

‌iPhone 13‌ mini over iPhone 12‌ upgrades are mostly iterative, offering improvements in terms of a brighter screen, smaller notch, performance improvements, and new camera software features. The most significant upgrades include camera hardware, but nominally there probably won’t be enough to justify getting the new model over the ‌iPhone 12‌ for those who primarily want a larger screen. The iPhone 12‌s A14 Bionic chip and dual-camera setup is still capable of everyday use, and the device shares the vast majority of ‌iPhone 13‌ mini‌’s most diverse features, such as 17 hours of battery life, 5G connectivity, Night Mode, MagSafe‌, and IP68 water resistance.

However, when looking at only 128GB and 256GB storage options, since these options are available with both models, the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini costs less than ‌iPhone 12‌. If you need more than 64GB of storage and don’t want a bigger screen, you should buy the iPhone 13‌ mini — especially considering it comes with extra features and is the latest year. If 64GB of storage is enough for you, it will be an issue of whether opting for the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini for improvements and additional storage is worth the sacrifice of a larger screen.

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