iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: A Complete Review

Apple launched its iPhone 13 mini on September 14, 2021, while its predecessor iPhone 12 mini, was launched on October 13, 2020. Besides, both phones look relatively similar and share many of the same features, but iPhone 13 mini still has numerous changes that we will discuss below in detail.

The minor upgrades come at a bit of a hike in the price point, but a used iPhone 12 mini or a used iPhone 13 mini can be a wise choice. With Apple’s yearly innovations this year, Apple manages to produce a beast of a chipset in this small of a device.


The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini both have 5.4 inches, 71.9 cm2, and ~85.1% screen-to-body ratio display with a beautiful, lightweight aluminum frame structure. The iPhone 12 mini features a wide color gamut, Super Retina XDR, OLED, HDR10, and Dolby Vision display. The 625 nits (HBM) and 1200 nits peak brightness levels make this phone visible in all types of lighting.

The iPhone 13 mini also has a Super Retina XDR, OLED, wide color gamut, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and 1200 nits (peak) brightness display, but the 800 nits (HBM) gives a slight edge in harsh lighting conditions. Both of the iPhones also have true-tone features. Moreover, both iPhones still have a notch-type display, but the iPhone 13 mini has a smaller notch than iPhone 12 mini.

Besides iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini, both phones include an oleophobic coating, scratch-resistant ceramic glass, and Gorilla Glass on their front and back sides, which gives them protection from accidental drops.


●    Ultra-Wide

The iPhone 13 mini has Apple’s most advanced dual-camera system ever. The new ultra-wide camera in the iPhone 13 mini reveals more detail in the dark areas of your photos. The iPhone 13 mini also manages to make room for sensor-shift optical image stabilization, and the ultra-wide camera is equipped with a faster sensor as well.

iPhone camera

Similar to its predecessor, the iPhone 13 mini also has 12MP with an aperture of f/2.4, 13mm focal length, and a 120˚ Ultra-wide camera, while iPhone 12 mini does not have a fast sensor like iPhone 13 mini. Both mini models also feature Phase-Detection Autofocus (PDAF).

●    Wide

The iPhone 13 mini’s new wide camera captures 47% more light for better videos and photos. Moreover, the new sensor-shift optical image stabilization in iPhone 13 mini gives you an extreme level of stability and keeps shots steady even when you’re not. The iPhone 12 mini lacks the feature of sensor-shift optical stabilization but still has the standard Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).


iPhone 13 mini has the A15 Bionic, which is the latest and the world’s fastest smartphone chipset from Apple, while the iPhone 12 mini has the Apple A14 Bionic chipset. These motherboards are somewhat similar in size, and both are based on 5nm technology, while iPhone 13 mini has a massive leap in performance compared to iPhone 12 mini.

With the Apple A15 Bionic, this chip enables Smart HDR4 and Cinematic mode in iPhone 13 mini. On the other hand, iPhone 12 mini only has Smart HDR3 and does not have Cinematic mode due to its small processing power compared to iPhone 13 mini.

The iPhone 13 mini has a Hexa-core processor with two 3.23GHz Avalanche, and the other four are 1.82 GHz Blizzard. Besides, iPhone 13 mini has a superfast neural engine performing up to 15.8 trillion operations per second and 4-core graphics Apple GPU. On the other hand iPhone 12 mini has a Hexa-core processor as well but with two 3.1GHz Firestorm, and the other 4 are 1.8GHz Icestorm processors with 4-core graphics Apple GPU.


The iPhone 13 mini has a Li-ion 2438mAh non-removable 9.34Wh cell and has a decent battery life on a smartphone. Although, the battery timing for a smartphone device depends not only on battery capacity but also on some other aspects like the phone’s software and hardware.

At the same time, the Apple iPhone 13 mini offers only 40 hours 51 minutes of autonomy with moderate use according to the DXOMARK battery autonomy test score. Yet a bigger battery than the iPhone 12 mini, which is just a 2227mAh Li-ion non-removable 8.57Wh cell that provides 10 hours of video streaming autonomy on one charge.

The unofficial Fast charging rating of the iPhone 13 mini is 18W, which charges 50% battery in 30 minutes as advertised, while the iPhone 12 mini has Fast charging of 20W, which also charges its battery in 30 minutes as advertised. Both iPhones use USB 2.0 power delivery, 15W MagSafe wireless charging, and 7.5W Qi magnetic fast wireless charging.


Price can be a defining factor for people already on a budget. If you have a specific range and can trade off some of the latest and bleeding-edge technology of the iPhone 13 mini, you can go for iPhone 12 Mini. The iPhone 12 mini has a lot of similar specs to the iPhone 13 Mini. And if you are satisfied with most of the iPhone 13 mini features, which are also provided in the iPhone 12 mini, you can buy iPhone 12 mini.

You can also buy a used iPhone 12 mini unlocked at Phone Daddy for just 439$ and an iPhone 13 mini for 580$. The Apple iPhone 13 mini can also be purchased through the Apple store at 699$ upfront. The iPhone 13 mini comes in a product red finish, beautiful starlight finish, Blue finish, beautiful midnight finish, pink finish, and new green finish.

The Bottom Line

Apple’s iPhones are known for their reliability in terms of display, cameras, processors, and overall usage qualities. If you are a tech geek and want to enjoy the ultimate iPhone experience and use bleeding-edge technology, you should go for the iPhone 13 mini – the latest yet affordable smartphone from Apple.

However, you should think about buying the iPhone 12 mini if you want to save some money and get most of the iPhone 13 mini’s features.

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