For the past several years, flagship iPhones have become ever so slightly larger and heavier. A few grams here, a millimeter there… It’s barely noticeable from one model to the next one, but over the years, it adds up.
As much as I love using the best iPhone money can buy, this year was an inflection point. The slightly bigger and slightly heavier iPhone 12 Pro was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. This was of course accelerated by the fact that for the first time, Apple released a mini version of a flagship device.
While I have nothing against the iPhone 12 Pro per say, the fact that I could get an almost similarly-spec’ed iPhone but one that is significantly smaller and lighter was very appealing. Hence my move to the iPhone 12 mini!
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On paper, there are a handful of differences between the 12 mini and the 12 Pro.
The main difference is probably the camera system and the lack of a telephoto lens on the smaller device. The iPhone 12 mini also lacks the new LiDAR available on the Pro version. I will miss the telephoto as I often take close up shots using the optical zoom it provides. The LiDAR system? While it does improve low light photography, its use for AR is, (how to say this kindly?), somewhat useless for 99% of people out there right now, me included.
Of course, smaller device also means smaller battery and that is probably where the iPhone 12 mini will show its true limits. I am not a heavy phone user though, so I suspect I will not be impacted much by it. Only time will tell.
Having spent just a few minutes with the iPhone 12 mini so far, it feels incredibly refreshing to hold a smaller phone again. It is noticeably lighter too. But it also feels weird. To be honest, it feels like a downgrade. But I suspect this is all illusions because again, on paper the iPhone 12 mini is as capable a device as the iPhone 12 Pro for just about anything. The smaller size and light weight make this illusion of a downgrade. It’s all in my head though and I can only imagine this feeling will be gone by the end of the day.