iPhone 12 mini review: Two months later

The iPhone 12 mini, the smallest 5G handset in Apple’s lineup, is more pocketable than the iPhone SE and with fewer compromises. Yes, it has the worst battery life of all new iPhones, but that’s normal given its small size. In this hands-on video walkthrough, our videographer approaches reviewing the iPhone 12 mini two months later with a pair of fresh eyes.

The most pocketable iPhone

Harris Craycraft, who manages our video channel, has been using his iPhone 12 mini as his daily driver since mid-November of 2020. We’ve asked Harris to come up with some actionable advice for our readers. Who is this phone for? And more importantly, who it isn’t for? What follows in the video below are his impressions after two months of quality time with the mini.

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There’s no secret that the iPhone 12 mini is the only iPhone in Apple’s smartphone lineup that hasn’t been selling particularly well so far. If you ask reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that’s because the iPhone 12 mini’s 5.4-inch screen is simply too small to appeal to the mass market. He has a point, but I would also add that the mass market probably doesn’t appreciate the poor iPhone 12 mini battery life and the steep $699 asking price, especially in this economy.

The mythical budget iPhone

My friends keep saying that fewer people nowadays prefer smaller handsets, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. I would say that Apple, after experiencing tremendous success with the original iPhone SE, didn’t really know how to produce a successful successor to it.

Maybe it’s because Apple never meant for the original iPhone SE to become the mythical budget iPhone that the media has been calling for. However, that’s exactly what it is — the most affordable, the most pocketable handset in the lineup.

Did Apple make a mistake with the iPhone SE?

This is just my personal opinion so feel free to put in your two cents’ worth in the comments. I do believe that Apple in creating the second-generation iPhone SE may have made a mistake by giving it an iPhone 8-like design. Because of that, it doesn’t feel fresh. The current iPhone SE 2 feels like a premium phone (although it isn’t) rather than something you’d buy on a budget.

It would have been better had Apple created something resembling the iPhone 12 mini in terms of features and size whilst keeping the price as low as humanly possible. That would have been the worthy iPhone SE successor if you ask me.