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iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Which is Better?

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Apple has been creating new models of the iPhone every year. And each year, the company never fails to improve the design, performance, and features – and the iPhone 12 mini was no exception. 

This mini smartphone boasts the high-end hardware of the regular iPhone 12 but is much easier to carry around due to its smaller form factor.

Although reports have claimed the slow sales of the iPhone 12 mini due to its size, it was still a hit with many customers, accounting for 5% of overall sales of the new phones released by the company. People loved the mini version of the iPhone 12. 

However, with the official release of the iPhone 13 mini last September 24, 2021, customers are wondering whether it will be a better option than its predecessor or if the iPhone 12 mini is the superior iPhone. This is where the conversation of the iPhone 12 mini vs. iPhone 13 mini comes into play.

Are iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini the same?

Every smartphone launched by Apple is an upgrade to the last one. So, it’s clear that the new iPhone 13 mini has some new and improved features over the 12 minis, making it a different phone altogether. According to Apple, the iPhone 13 mini features makes up for the shortcomings that kept the iPhone 12 mini from catapulting to commercial success.

However, there are also some similarities between the two models. These phones come in a nearly-identical design and still offer the same great features in a more compact package. So, if you like the iPhone 12 mini, you’ll love the iPhone 13 mini as well.

What is the main difference between iPhone 12 and 13 minis?

While some iPhone models are different from their predecessors in some way, the new iPhone 13 mini might not be a massive upgrade from the 12 mini. But there are some significant differences, most notably the battery life. The iPhone 13 mini features a 10 percent larger battery than the iPhone 12 mini, which means it will last longer on a charge. Apple says the upgrade offers up to an hour and a half more runtime.

Compared to the iPhone 12 mini’s 2,227mAh battery, the iPhone 13 mini has a 2,438mAh battery. It also uses a new A15 Bionic chip, which is more efficient at managing and optimizing app power consumption.

In addition to the better battery life, the two iPhone minis have a few other differences that might interest you. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs that might help you with your selection. 

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Size

Both phones feature a 5.4-inch edge-to-edge screen, but the iPhone 13 mini features a minimal increase in screen real estate. Nonetheless, this alteration does not affect the design in any meaningful way. It’s worth noting that both phones have a boxy aluminum unibody and are IP68 water-resistant.

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Colors

Although the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini come in various colors, the latter offers an entirely new color palette. The iPhone 12 mini is available in six colors while the iPhone 13 mini is available in five new shades. Its black and white colors have some tweaks, making them look more navy and off-white.

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Display

The iPhone 13 mini has a 28% brighter display than the iPhone 12 mini. Unlike its predecessor’s 625 nits of peak brightness, the new iPhone can reach 800 nits. It might not be too noticeable in everyday use, but the difference is more apparent under direct sunlight.

The rest of the display’s specifications are identical. Both can handle 1080p resolution and HDR content. They also feature Apple’s True Tone technology that automatically adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient lighting.

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Storage Capacity

The iPhone 12 mini and the 13 mini have 4GB of RAM. But Apple has increased the base storage on the latter. Compared to the 64GB offered on the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 13 mini starts at 128GB. You can also upgrade its storage capacity to 512GB, while the 12 minis are limited to 256GB. That means you have more room to store your apps, photos, and videos on the newer phone.

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Photos and Videos

The iPhone 13 mini’s camera is also a significant upgrade from the iPhone 12 mini. Although both have a dual-camera system, the iPhone 13 mini’s sensor is more prominent. This larger sensor enables better low-light photography and allows for more light to get captured.

The iPhone 13 mini features a sensor-shift optical stabilization module that results in a more steady video and blur-free photo. Its ultra-wide camera has been updated too and can produce detailed images, even in low light.

iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Price

The iPhone 13 mini is available in three storage types: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The pricing for these models is $699, $799, and $999, respectively. That’s a $100 increase over the iPhone 12 mini’s price tag of $599, $649, and $749. Both phones are available in several outlets and carriers, so you can compare pricing and get the best deal.

The Verdict: Should You Keep Your iPhone 12 mini?

Touching an iphone screen

The iPhone 13 mini is the better phone overall, but it’s only a minor upgrade from the iPhone 12 mini. If you’re happy with your current iPhone and don’t mind saving money, you might want to stick with what you have.

The iPhone 12 mini features list is impressive for a phone of its size, and it’s still one of the best small phones you can buy. It has a great design, excellent edge-to-edge OLED display, fantastic performance, decent battery life, and an excellent dual-camera system. You can use several iPhone 12 mini tips and hacks to get more out of your device.

The only significant downside to the iPhone 12 mini is its price. At $699, it’s one of the most expensive small phones you can buy. The iPhone SE might be a better choice if you’re looking for a more affordable option. You can also bag a Xiaomi phone for even less while still getting a great handset.

Is It Worth Upgrading to iPhone 13 mini?

If you can afford it and don’t mind spending an extra $100, the iPhone 13 mini is the better phone. From the battery life alone, it’s worth the investment. And you’re getting a much better camera system too. Plus, it has a slightly bigger display, a brighter screen, and more storage capacity.

Apart from the technical aspects of the phone, the iPhone 13 mini is also available in new colors that might be more appealing to you. All in all, the iPhone 13 mini is a well-rounded phone that’s worth your money.


The iPhone 13 mini is a slightly better phone than the iPhone 12 mini, but only in some areas. If you need a new phone, the iPhone 13 mini is worth your money.

But although the iPhone 13 mini is an excellent choice for an overall package and worth your money, its predecessor is still a great phone. So if you’re happy with your iPhone 12 mini, it might be better to stick around and wait for another iPhone upgrade.

Digital phone technology these days change significantly from one year to another, with smaller improvements often made in each new release. Therefore, waiting until the next big thing comes along might not be a bad idea for those who don’t mind holding on to their current devices a little longer.

Nonetheless, there is no right or wrong answer when deciding whether to upgrade from the iPhone 12 mini to the iPhone 13 mini. It all boils down to personal preference, budget, and needs. 

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