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Don’t sleep on the iPhone mini

I had a few reasons for “downgrading” to the iPhone 12 mini. The hulking iPhone 12 Pro Max was not made for running shorts, and I couldn’t use my Apple Watch as it didn’t offer the narrative features of the Couch24K app. The pandemic had tricked me into beginning a jogging habit. So there was the iPhone mini, provided by Apple when the four phones were first introduced. It was small and powerful enough that I didn’t need high-res pics because I wasn’t going anywhere during London’s lockdown. Also, the iPhone mini’s cameras are fine — good even.

Don’t sleep on the iPhone mini

One issue with the iPhone mini is that its most minor (cheapest) configuration comes with only 64GB of storage. But, honestly, I don’t use much on-device storage, so it wasn’t hard to migrate everything. It’s a nice feeling to fit more than just your phone into your pocket, not to awkwardly stretch your thumb to reach the top of the screen. The iPhone mini is terrific to use one-handed most of the time. The iPhone mini was my perfect petite device for roughly six months. My Apple Arcade favorites, including relatively processor-intensive games like Fantasian, ran without issue, and my other daily apps never suffered a hiccup. I could use Fitness+, and while you might think video streaming would be less compelling on a smaller screen, I was mostly in my home. I have a TV!

It wasn’t all perfect, though, and the central issue was precisely what our review pointed to meager battery life. Perhaps because the iPhone 12 mini matched the bigger iPhone 12 in all specifications, barring screen size, there is a physical limit to how big the battery can be. I didn’t notice that during the first half-year, but that’s probably because I was mostly trapped indoors. Whenever the battery dipped below 50 percent, I was near a power output and could easily top the iPhone mini back up to full power.

When the country started opening up again, I went out more. And I wasn’t taking battery packs or charging cables with me. I cut it close, getting back home (or to a power outlet) a few times before the battery reached single-digit percentages. After too many close calls, the pin went in, the SIM came out, and I left the iPhone 12 mini for the bigger model. When stories of slashed iPhone mini 12 productions started appearing, I feared that this was a short-lived Apple experiment that had run its course. However, the latest rumors suggest otherwise. Last week, a listing at the FCC indicated that Apple was testing four new devices with its latest MagSafe technology. That should be the Pro Max, the Pro, the base model, and the Mini.

Other reports suggest that the next series of iPhones, iPhone 13 or something else, will offer subtle improvements to last year’s models. One word from March indicates that batteries across the iPhone series will be bigger, while more energy-efficient components, from chipsets to screens, should also improve battery longevity. Many phone buyers might have been skeptical that a smaller iPhone — even if new — would be as capable as bigger models. In the evolution story of smartphones, more giant screens always game with better specifications. The iPhone 12 mini was an anomaly; maybe we weren’t ready for it. September 14th is pretty soon. If Apple can make the iPhone mini go the distance, battery-wise, but keep the specifications on par with the bigger model, there wouldn’t be much left for me (or phone reviewers) to complain about. Bring it on, Apple.


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.

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