iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12 Mini: Which Tiny iPhone Ought to You Purchase?

iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12 Mini: Which Tiny iPhone Ought to You Purchase?


The iPhone 12 Mini next to the iPhone SE.
Apple

Between the $400 iPhone SE 2020 and the $700 iPhone 12 Mini, it’s secure to say that compact, reasonably priced telephones are again in model. However which tiny telephone do you have to purchase? The reply isn’t actually clear, because the cheaper iPhone SE punches far above its weight solely falls behind the iPhone 12 Mini in a number of key areas.

Let’s Discuss Measurement: How Small Is the iPhone 12 Mini?

The iPhone 12 Mini next to the iPhone SE.
Apple

Apple likes to brag that the iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest iOS machine of all time—which is true. At 5.18 inches tall, the 12 Mini is sort of half an inch shorter than the iPhone SE and considerably smaller than some other machine within the iPhone X, iPhone 11, or iPhone 12 lineup.

However don’t be fooled, the iPhone 12 Mini packs lots in its tiny body. Its 5.4-inch edge-to-edge show is akin to telephones just like the Pixel 3a, and manner greater than the iPhone SE’s 4.7-incher. The iPhone SE’s massive bezels and old school House button use plenty of house that might go towards a bigger display screen, which is a draw back for those who do plenty of media consumption or GPS navigation in your telephone. (For what it’s value, the 12 Mini’s display screen can be 4x extra drop-resistant than the SE’s display screen.)

Should you’re a fan of a bodily dwelling button or Contact ID, then hey, the SE’s “wasted” house is likely to be a plus-side. That’s proper, the iPhone SE doesn’t assist Face ID, however its fingerprint reader is dependable and mask-friendly. The iPhone 12 Mini, then again, solely helps Face ID and doesn’t have a fingerprint reader. Each telephones additionally run the most recent model of iOS 14 and have assist for Apple Pay.

For a lot of, the iPhone 12 Mini’s bigger show and Face ID assist are value its price ticket, however the iPhone SE’s use of Contact ID and a House button may enchantment to individuals who choose the “previous” iPhone design. Both manner, we have to discuss in regards to the inside variations between these telephones, because the 12 Mini’s digicam and show expertise are miles forward of the SE.

Cameras and Show Are the Massive Sticking Factors

The iPhone 12 Mini's 2-camera array.
Apple

The most important enchantment of the iPhone SE, other than its value, is its processing energy. It makes use of the identical A13 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 11, offering flagship efficiency that feels practically equivalent to the iPhone 12 sequence’ A14 Bionic. The primary distinction is GPU and AI performance, that are tremendously improved on the 12 Mini to accommodate its up to date show and cameras. The 12 Mini additionally has extra RAM than the SE, which retains the telephone feeling snappy when you’ve gotten a bunch of apps open.

In different phrases, you don’t want to fret in regards to the iPhone SE being “underpowered,” however you do want to contemplate whether or not the digicam and show enhancements provided by the iPhone 12 Mini are value an additional $300.

Let’s try the distinction:

  • iPhone SE

    • Retina HD Show: The iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch 720p (326 PPI) LCD show is akin to the iPhone 11’s show. That mentioned, it appears to be like nice, nevertheless it’s noticeably worse than the iPhone 12 Mini’s high-contrast, high-resolution show.
    • Essential Digicam: A 12-megapixel predominant digicam. Given sufficient gentle, this digicam is up there with one of the best of ’em.
    • Selfie Digicam: A modest 7-megapixel selfie digicam with out depth sensors.
    • Taking pictures Modes: Portrait mode, panoramic mode, slow-mo video, and time-lapse video.
    • Video High quality: Cinematic picture stabilization with the choice for 4K 60FPS recording. Arguably one of the best video of any digicam at this value level.
  • iPhone 12 Mini

    • Tremendous Retina XDR Show: The 12 Mini’s 5.4-inch 1080p (476 PPI) OLED show makes different iPhones look outdated. Its elevated pixel density and distinction ratio are unbelievable upgrades, and its assist for HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) supplies cinematic brightness and coloration that you simply received’t discover on different iOS units.
    • Essential Digicam: Twin 12MP digicam system for Extensive and Extremely Extensive images. These are the most recent and best iPhone cameras, rivaled solely by the iPhone 12 Professional and Professional Max.
    • Selfie Digicam: A 12MP selfie digicam with depth sensors for influencer-level pictures.
    • Taking pictures Modes: Superior portrait mode with depth management, Evening Mode, time-lapse, and panoramic mode slow-mo video.
    • Video High quality: Just like the iPhone SE, the 12 Mini helps 4K 60FPS recording. It additionally helps HDR Dolby Imaginative and prescient recording at 30FPS, which looks outstanding.

The iPhone 12 Mini has a touch higher show and digicam array than the iPhone SE. That mentioned, the SE’s show nonetheless appears to be like trendy, and its cameras are higher than what you get with many Android telephones. Even for those who’re a digicam nerd, the iPhone SE continues to be a compelling buy, particularly for the value.

Maintain on; the iPhone 12 Mini has two unique options that we haven’t talked about but! These options aren’t as vital as show or digicam high quality, however they might push you to spend the additional $300 on an iPhone 12 Mini.

Don’t Neglect 5G and MagSafe!

The iPhone 12 with its MagSafe accessories.
Apple

Apple is basically enthusiastic about two of the iPhone 12’s brand-new options—5G and MagSafe. Some folks won’t ever use these options, however they’re really very cool and will nudge you nearer to the iPhone 12 Mini.

You in all probability know all about 5G by now. It’s the brand new wi-fi customary that ought to ultimately blow 4G out of the water. The advantages of 5G are negligible right now until you occur to stay inside a block of a mmWave tower, which you nearly actually don’t. However over the following few years, 5G will discover its approach to your neighborhood and dramatically enhance the velocity and reliability of your telephone’s wi-fi connection. Should you purchase an SE right now, you’ll be caught with slower (however completely acceptable) 4G LTE speeds.

After which there’s MagSafe—the expertise is a magnet constructed into the 12 Mini’s bottom, which lets you magnetically join your telephone to wi-fi chargers, instances, wallets, studio lights, mounts, and different equipment. It’s an impressed thought, which is why corporations like Moment, Otterbox, and PopSockets are already speeding to design ingenious MagSafe equipment. Nonetheless, MagSafe might not matter a lot to you, and it’s too early to inform how helpful the expertise will probably be.

Realistically talking, 5G and MagSafe received’t matter a lot to the typical individual in 2020. And even for those who’re a giant dork like me, these two options in all probability aren’t value an additional $300. However while you take a look at the iPhone 12 Mini’s varied different perks, like its bigger HDR show, its unbelievable cameras, and its use of Face ID, the improve appears much more compelling.


The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone SE are each unbelievable telephones with nice cameras and highly effective processors. Both machine ought to suit your wants for the following few years, though it’s possible you’ll need to spend the additional $300 on the 12 Mini if you’d like best-in-class cameras and a bigger (however nonetheless small, comparatively talking), higher show. Different variations, like 5G and MagSafe, might not matter a lot to the typical individual till each applied sciences are extra common.



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