iPhone 13 mini evaluation: Probably the most highly effective small smartphone available on the market

iPhone 13 mini evaluation: Probably the most highly effective small smartphone available on the market

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The iPhone 13 mini has each followers and detractors of its measurement, and has spawned debates about the place it suits in Apple’s lineup — however there is no denying that it is a flagship smartphone.

As soon as upon a time, all of us had mini iPhones. The unique iPhone was smooth steel and plastic, and was smaller than each iPhone presently delivery.

Occasions modified. The iPhone 5 obtained greater, and the iPhone 6 Plus, greater nonetheless.

In 2020, Apple determined it was time to roll again the unbelievable enlarging iPhone to enchantment to the oldsters searching for a smaller, extra pocketable mannequin. It then launched the iPhone 12 mini.

Followers of the shape issue anticipated it to blow the doorways off the place, and set new information for iPhone gross sales. It did not seem to set these information by any seen measure, with the iPhone 12 Professional taking that crown for the 12 months after the early success of the biggest cellphone.

Rumors of manufacturing stops occur yearly. They’re typically correct, however extra replicate the inventory that Apple holds, versus what it expects to want for the following six months to 12 months after preliminary cargo. These rumors occurred months earlier for the iPhone 12 mini than some other mannequin, all in a blockbuster iPhone 12 months.

Apple iPhone 13 mini in Blue

Apple iPhone 13 mini Affords

Apple’s iPhone 13 mini contains a 5.4-inch OLED show, A15 Bionic chip and twin 12MP digicam system.

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This all stated, Apple (clearly) did not cancel the scale in 2020. Simply lower than two weeks in the past, it debuted the iPhone 13 mini — which stands out as the final of its sort.

iPhone 13 mini, in individual

Arriving alongside its bigger iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Professional, and iPhone 13 Professional Max stablemates, the iPhone 13 mini gives almost the entire options as the opposite three, however in a extra pocketable package deal. It actually does lots to fulfill as much as its “mini” designation.

Holding the iPhone 13 mini
Holding the pink iPhone 13 mini

Not a lot has modified since final 12 months to the informal observer. It is nonetheless an iPhone with a 5.4-inch Tremendous Retina XDR show, and a compact one at that. All of it suits in a package deal measuring 5.18 inches tall by 2.53 inches broad, 0.3 inches thick, and weighing a lightweight 4.97 ounces.

This will appear acquainted to those that have seen the iPhone 12 mini, as the scale of its aerospace-grade aluminum and Ceramic Defend-protected glass physique are virtually an identical, save for just a little extra weight and a slightly thicker casing.

It is fairly simple to casually skim over the specs sheet and see there’s not likely that a lot change in 2021. Many parts of the iPhone 13 mini are ripped straight from the iPhone 12 mini.

iPhone 13 mini specs vs iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 miniiPhone 13 mini
Value (beginning)$599$699
Dimensions (inches)5.18 x 2.53 x 0.295.18 x 2.53 x 0.30
Weight (ounces)4.764.97
ProcessorA14 BionicA15 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Show sort5.4-inch Tremendous Retina XDR5.4-inch Tremendous Retina XDR
Decision2,340 x 1,080 at 476ppi2,340 x 1,080 at 476ppi
True ToneSureSure
BiometricsFace IDFace ID
Connectivity5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit-class LTE
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit-class LTE
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Rear Cameras12MP Extremely Huge
12MP Huge
12MP Extremely Huge
12MP Huge
Video4K 60fps,
4K 30fps HDR with Dolby Imaginative and prescient,
1080p 240fps Slo-Mo
4K 60fps,
4K 60fps HDR with Dolby Imaginative and prescient,
1080p 240fps Slo-Mo
Sensor-shift optical picture stabilization
Entrance Digital camera12MP TrueDepth12MP TrueDepth
Battery Dimension (Video playback time)As much as 15 hoursAs much as 17 hours
ColoursBlack, White, Blue, Inexperienced, Purple, (Product)PinkMidnight, Starlight, Pink, Blue, (Product)Pink

#table-0 td:nth-of-type(1):earlier than{ content material: “iPhone 12 mini ” }#table-0 td:nth-of-type(2):earlier than{ content material: “iPhone 13 mini ” }

A really acquainted package deal

Informal observers simply wanting on the entrance of the iPhone 13 mini will wrestle to see any main variations, however there are some key variations this time round. For a begin, the notch on the high is roughly 20% smaller, because of Apple’s shifting round of the elements.

The opposite actual clue that it is the iPhone 13 technology are the cameras, as as an alternative of vertically aligning them, they’re now positioned in diagonally-opposite corners of the sq. digicam bump. This not solely provides every digicam meeting just a little extra room contained in the case, however it additionally makes it apparent which technology iPhone mini it’s.

Profile shot of the new iPhone 13 mini
Profile shot of the brand new iPhone 13 mini

As you’ll count on, that 5.4-inch show is not actually that completely different from the iPhone 12, with its 2,340 by 1,080 decision an identical to final time. There’s nonetheless HDR help, full with a 2 million to 1 distinction ratio, Huge coloration show (P3) help, and True Tone, once more introduced over from the earlier technology.

The distinction right here, except for a couple of extra pixels from the notch, is in its brightness. You continue to get 1,200 nits of most brightness for HDR content material, however the peak brightness for typical non-HDR content material has been pushed as much as 800 nits from 625.

This all leads to an iPhone 13 mini that’s brighter and extra able to warding off intense daylight than its predecessors. We examined this outside, side-by-side right here within the very early fall daylight, and did see the distinction, however it was very, very shut.

It was apparent on a TES 137 gentle meter, however much less so to the bare eye. We obtained a peak studying of 791 nit on the iPhone 13 with the meter, and 604 on the year-old iPhone 12 mini.

Cinematic digicam alterations

Other than the cameras on the again having a barely completely different association than final time, there’s not likely that a lot change from earlier fashions right here.

Launching the iPhone 13 mini camera app
Launching the iPhone 13 digicam app

You are getting a twin 12-megapixel digicam system, consisting of a Huge f/1.6 digicam and an Extremely Huge f/2.4 lens. You are getting 2x optical zoom out and a 5x digital zoom. You are getting True Tone flash with Sluggish Sync.

All the anticipated bells and whistles are additionally current, together with Evening Mode, Deep Fusion images, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting. However that is the place issues begin to department off.

For a begin, you’ve gotten Good HDR 4 as an alternative of Good HDR 3, which is an enchancment on the very least. Add within the new Photographic Types function, which takes benefit of computational images to offer extra management over distinction and vibrance of a shot with dwell filters, and issues grow to be far more attention-grabbing.

The optical picture stabilization has additionally been beefed up, with Apple using the iPhone 12 Professional Max’s Sensor Shift on the Huge digicam sensor for even steadier pictures. There’s additionally the elevated gentle gathering of each sensors, for clearer low-light pictures.

It turns into much more thrilling over on the video facet. Certain, you have nonetheless obtained 4K video at 60fps and 1080p 240fps Slo-Mo, however now HDR video with Dolby Imaginative and prescient helps 4K 60fps, not 30fps.

There’s nonetheless Audio Zoom, a 2x optical zoom out, and 3x digital zoom for video, that are good. The addition of Cinematic Mode would be the predominant attention-grabbing function of this technology.

The automated focus-pulling of shallow depth of discipline video between topics is the spotlight addition for 2021, and opens up the chances for newbie video makers who need the identical results with out shopping for a DSLR or costly Mirrorless digicam gear.

Launching Cinematic Mode for the first time
Launching Cinematic Mode for the primary time

It is fairly good, however not good — but. Like with early Portrait Mode pictures, when you’ve got an space fully enclosed by your topic, say a loop of hair, or arms on hips, the realm that may be seen via that hole is in focus. Distracting, however not a deal-breaker for the primary technology of the function.

No matter that, and the 1080p 30fps capturing limitation, Cinematic Mode continues to be a powerful addition. We’ll be speaking extra about this function very quickly.

Smaller notch, higher TrueDepth digicam

We have already lined the smaller notch association, which is essentially for aesthetics and to marginally improve how a lot of the display you may truly see on the iPhone. However, there are enhancements right here too.

The 12-megapixel TrueDepth digicam gives an f/2.2 aperture, Retina flash, Portrait Mode, Lighting mode, Evening Mode, Deep Fusion, QuickTake video, and Animoji and Memoji help. No actual surprises.

Nevertheless, it additionally features Good HDR 4 for pictures, just like the rear cameras, in addition to Photographic Types. You even get Cinematic Mode, with the depth mapping capabilities of TrueDepth almost certainly serving to enhance the outcomes of the function.

There’s additionally 4K 60fps video, HDR Dolby Imaginative and prescient on the similar fee and determination, and 1080p 120fps slo-mo, rounding out its capabilities.

These enhancements to the entrance digicam are good to have, however the consideration will virtually actually be across the again.

A15: An Anticipated Enchancment

One factor you may’t get away from is that Apple has upgraded from the A14 to the A15 Bionic, a refinement of its six-core CPU and 4-core GPU setup. This time, Apple claims the CPU is as much as 50% sooner than its nearest rival, whereas the brand new GPU is as much as 30% sooner.

iPhone 13 mini
iPhone 13 mini

Then you definitely’ve obtained the 16-core Neural Engine, once more with enhancements that allow it to course of 15.8 trillion operations per second. There’s additionally an upgraded Picture Sign Processor, which may enhance the computational images of the iPhone.

This all means Apple’s made what it considers to be the quickest chip in a smartphone, and one that may simply present all of the processing energy that you must drive options like Cinematic Mode.

When it comes to benchmarks, we ran a couple of Geekbench trials in addition to the Antutu benchmark.

So far as benchmarks go, the iPhone 13 mini scored a 10712 compute rating in GeekBench 5.0. Single-core efficiency was 1692, and multicore got here in at 3888, with a number of runs not shifting the scores a lot.

As a tough comparability, that is as quick single-core as the brand new iPad Professional, and about the identical multicore outcomes because the iPhone 12 Professional Max which outscored the iPhone 12 mini in 2020.

Whereas it is not fairly a direct comparability, it is usually sooner single-core than the M1 Mac mini – Apple’s pace champion for single-core processing. It’s roughly the multi-core similar pace because the 13-inch i7 MacBook Professional from 2018 and 2019.

The comparatively new Geekbench ML benchmark hit 804. Antutu, the iPhone 13 mini pulled a cumulative 795,024.

5G, energy, and different parts

One factor that actually hasn’t modified is Apple’s selection of connectivity choices for the iPhone 13 mini. There’s nonetheless 5G, with the mmWave high-speed 5G within the US solely, a lot to the consternation of YourNextApp‘s worldwide staffers.

However, the real-world 5G speeds rely closely in your service and your location. The 5G panorama is barely completely different than it was right now final 12 months, however an enormous rollout of the know-how because it pertains to uncooked, deliverable pace will nonetheless take a few years to construct out.

There’s the addition of twin eSIM help this time round, so customers might dispose of bodily SIM playing cards completely, although once more, that does rely completely on the carriers.

On extra localized connectivity, you’ve gotten Bluetooth 5.0, which is a slight little bit of a letdown provided that Bluetooth 5.1 exists. There’s Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO, and the Extremely Wideband chip, which ought to get extra use by shoppers who’ve AirTags. Nonetheless no Wi-Fi 6e, although, which might have been good for future-proofing given the questionable way forward for the iPhone mini line as a unbroken product.

Up to 12W of MagSafe charging
As much as 12W of MagSafe charging

For charging, there’s nonetheless Lightning as an alternative of the often-rumored shift over to USB-C, together with the nonetheless max 12W MagSafe. Which means the iPhone 13 mini will probably be appropriate with the MagSafe equipment which have landed available on the market within the final 12 months, measurement allowing in fact.

We examined pull-strength versus the iPhone 12 mini, and so they had been about the identical. Each lateral pressure and a straight perpendicular pull had been about the identical on each fashions and not using a case, as measured by a Chatillon DFX pressure meter at about 800 gram-force.

Battery has been given a little bit of a lift, however not by that a lot. You may get a most of 17 hours of video playback, which is up from 15 hours final 12 months, whereas audio playback lasts 5 hours extra at as much as 55 hours.

Our testing was on this ballpark, however your mileage might fluctuate, relying in your workload and the computational calls for that any given consumer places on the gadget. Importantly, although, the primary few days of use are fairly tough on battery life because the iPhone indexes and performs related preliminary setup duties as it’s in a position.

Getting energy into the iPhone 13 mini continues to be fairly fast, with fast-charging of the primary 50% of battery inside half-hour. This in fact depends upon utilizing a 20W or extra highly effective adapters, which these little one-inch dice USB-A ones from Apple completely are usually not.

Extra battery life is all the time going to be helpful, and an additional two hours will probably be useful. It is not an enormous leap, however since Apple has so little house to play with, it is nonetheless spectacular.

Apple says that the iPhone 13 mini will survive a depth of six meters for as much as half-hour, which is greater than sufficient safety for many customers who dwell close to a swimming pool.

Sure, we depth-tested the iPhone 13 mini. After an incident involving a late-arriving meal, our check unit survived in slightly below eight meters of pool water handled with bromine for an hour and 10 minutes earlier than we remembered to drag it out.

As a reminder, Apple won’t restore water broken telephones beneath guarantee, even when it was solely splashed. So, do not do that at dwelling.

However, in the event you determine to anyway, MagSafe is a wonderful help level for iPhone fishermen.

Storage, colours, and pricing

The info-driven world is a paradox. On the similar time, we’ve higher calls for on our storage than ever, and extra cloud-based house at a click on than ever earlier than as effectively. This cloud-based storage is one issue that allowed for a (comparatively) clean transition to SSDs within the Mac from spinning arduous drives.

So far as native storage goes, Apple has reconsidered that clout to native stability, and has began the iPhone 13 mini at 128GB, versus the earlier staring level of 64GB within the iPhone 12 mini. That is much more native capability for customers, with much more respiratory room than the left-over storage that you just obtained in 64GB fashions.

Welcome to iPhone 13 mini
Welcome to iPhone 13 mini

The 128GB mannequin prices $699, although in the event you pay $100 extra, you may get 256GB, the previous-highest capability you may get for a mini mannequin.

For 2021, Apple has launched a brand new higher restrict, of a 512GB mannequin for $999. That is a really particular want for that a lot storage in that measurement iPhone. It is also a steep premium to pay, contemplating that the iPhone 13 Professional begins at that very same $999.

Extra on that mannequin within the coming days, although.

A incredible mini iPhone for a comparatively small market

The main specs of the iPhone 13 mini versus the iPhone 12 mini, apart from the anticipated A15 improve, have not actually modified that a lot in a 12 months. You are virtually the identical display, very related cameras, and virtually an identical enclosures.

Some might mockingly confer with it as an “S” gadget slightly than a full-number improve. Like “Professional,” the S by no means meant something greater than Apple wished it to. It was all the time used for advertising, and did not signify {that a} mannequin was any lesser than a full integer increment.

In any case, Contact ID arrived in a S 12 months. Video recording at 1080p did additionally, Siri arrived in a S 12 months, and so did the dearly departed 3D Contact. Name it the iPhone 12s mini if you need, we cannot be offended and neither will Apple.

In the event you like the concept of the iPhone mini, you already understand it, and do not want me to inform you that. In the event you want a bigger screen-size and the images within the iPhone 13 Professional lineup, nothing that I’ve written will persuade you in any other case. This all boils down to make use of case — the what and why you employ an iPhone for.

In the event you’re iOS-primary, you are most likely searching for that greater display, and that is clearly not discovered on the mini iPhones. Apple hasn’t made quite a lot of concessions to the scale, with it displaying the identical variety of icons on an app display on the small display of the iPhone 13 mini, because it does on the iPhone 13 Professional. As an alternative, icons are greater as you escalate in measurement, and UI parts can generally be very small on the iPhone 13 mini. That is largely an issue for third-party app, although. Whether or not this smaller measurement is a boon or a curse for on a regular basis use is an train for the reader.

So far as {hardware} goes, there is not huge progress from the iPhone 12 mini. There additionally is not an enormous leap in any one-year interval because the daybreak of the iPhone. As all the time, iPhones are finest seen with a two-year lens, however we won’t fairly try this with the iPhone 13 mini.

And we might not have the ability to in 2022. If the rumors are proper, that is the final iPhone mini 12 months. The quantity of iPhone minis that Apple sells might be greater than the amount of Macs it sells in a 12 months. Google would most likely promote souls for that form of gross sales quantity in any given Pixel line.

However proper now, it does not seem like there’s sufficient in the best way of gross sales in Cupertino’s eyes to justify a 3rd 12 months of an iPhone mini. We’ll all see with in fullness of time, in fact.

So, in the event you’re a fan of the iPhone mini measurement, to ensure that you’ve gotten one that can final you for the 5 years or extra it could take to see one other, it’s best to think about shopping for it earlier than the iPhone 14 hits the stage, or simply after, on sale. Until Apple does one thing radical with a third-generation iPhone SE, there will not be something new in the identical type issue for a while — and that may be a disgrace.

For everyone else, in the event you want as a lot processing efficiency as attainable in a very simple to hold round and single-hand maintain measurement for almost everyone, there is no level wanting wherever else.


  • Nonetheless the identical small & simple to carry design
  • Improved cameras, once more
  • Incredible efficiency from A15
  • Nonetheless that stunning OLED show


  • Display measurement could also be a difficulty for some
  • No Wi-Fi 6e
  • Doubtless the final of its sort

Ranking: 4.5 out of 5

The place to purchase

Apple’s iPhone 13 mini could be discovered at Amazon and Expercom, together with wi-fi carriers, together with AT&T and Verizon.

In the event you’re prepared to choose up an iPhone 13 mini, producer retail costs begin at $699, however the perfect iPhone offers often embody service reductions and trade-in promotions — and even free present card gives.


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