iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Apple’s smaller smartphone does not have me satisfied

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Mini: Apple's smaller smartphone doesn't have me convinced

Sarah Tew/CNET

After years of telephones getting bigger, Apple has as soon as once more taken the wrong way by launching one other small iPhone. The $699 iPhone 13 Mini is the most affordable gadget in Apple’s new iPhone 13 lineup, and it comes with a 5.4-inch display screen identical to final yr’s iPhone 12 Mini.

It is nonetheless greatest to consider this gadget as a shrunken-down model of Apple’s flagship iPhone. Each the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have the identical A15 Bionic processor, 5G assist, MagSafe compatibility and a dual-lens digital camera system with new options like Cinematic mode and Photographic Kinds. The main distinction between each telephones — apart from measurement — is battery life. The usual-sized iPhone 13 ought to final for an additional 2 hours in comparison with the iPhone 13 Mini when enjoying video, in keeping with Apple. 

It is nice that iPhone customers preferring smaller units will not should sacrifice processing energy or digital camera capabilities when choosing Apple’s petite iPhone. However after years of migrating to bigger screens, the iPhone 13 Mini additionally hasn’t achieved a lot to vary my thoughts concerning the relevance of a smaller cellphone in 2021.

Here is a better take a look at the place the iPhone 13 Mini succeeds over the iPhone 13 and the place it falls brief.

Learn extra: Is shopping for an iPhone 13 value it? Let’s evaluate the final 5 years of Apple’s iPhones

Cherished: The iPhone 13 Mini suits in small pockets and baggage

The iPhone 13 Mini’s shining attribute, unsurprisingly, is its pocket-friendly design. As somebody who continuously crams too many gadgets into the tiniest bag possible, I can actually admire the iPhone 13 Mini’s svelte form. 

The iPhone 13 Mini’s tiny measurement was particularly helpful when going out for a run, since I attempt to maintain my load as gentle as attainable and solely convey my keys, cellphone and AirPods case. Squeezing my 6.1-inch iPhone into the small waist pack I put on throughout my run by no means feels as simple because it ought to. 

My 6.1-inch iPhone occupies a lot of the area in my pack, making it more durable to search out my keys when my run is completed. The iPhone 13 Mini, nevertheless, leaves loads of room for different gadgets in my waist pack, and the decreased muddle makes it simple to rapidly discover different belongings after I want them.

iPhone 13 Mini

The iPhone 13 Mini is less complicated to slot in small areas, however the keyboard feels cramped when typing with two fingers.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Hated: The keyboard is much less comfy (for me, at the very least)

This iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller keyboard cuts two methods. Typing with two fingers (as I usually do) feels restrictive for the reason that keys are smaller and the cellphone itself is not as huge. 

However in case you typically sort with one hand, it’s going to be simpler to stretch your thumb throughout the show to achieve either side of the keyboard with out having to make use of a second finger.

The issue, nevertheless, is that I hardly ever textual content with one hand. Every time I choose up my cellphone to answer a textual content or a piece electronic mail, my two thumbs instinctively gravitate in the direction of the underside of the display screen. Typing on the iPhone 13 Mini is ok, but it surely’s all the time a aid to modify again to a 6.1-inch gadget just like the iPhone 13.

Learn extra: Overlook the iPhone 13 — this is why the iPhone 11 continues to be a fantastic purchase in 2021

Cherished: The iPhone 13 Mini’s measurement makes it simpler to carry and function

In case you typically use your cellphone with one hand, you then’ll be happy with the iPhone 13 Mini. Along with simpler one-handed typing, the iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller profile makes duties like scrolling by way of Instagram and swiping between app screens extra manageable with one hand.

At simply 4.97 ounces, the iPhone 13 Mini can also be noticeably lighter than the 6.14-ounce iPhone 13. That would make it simpler to carry the Mini for lengthy intervals of time in comparison with the iPhone 13, particularly in case you typically end up on lengthy cellphone calls. Though I typically desire having a bigger display screen for FaceTime chats, the iPhone 13 Mini’s lighter construct was undoubtedly much less of a burden on my hand throughout prolonged video calls.

iPhone 13 Mini

The iPhone 13 Mini is less complicated to carry, however I desire having a bigger display screen for studying and taking pictures. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Hated: A extra cramped expertise for studying, pictures and FaceTime

In case you’re upgrading from one other small iPhone (just like the iPhone 8 or earlier), the iPhone 13 Mini will not really feel tiny. In actual fact, it’s going to really really feel bigger contemplating the 5.4-inch display screen is extra spacious than the 4.7-inch show on telephones such because the iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone 7. In case you just like the iPhone 8’s compact measurement however would admire a bigger display screen, the iPhone 13 Mini might be the proper center floor.

However coming from a 6.1-inch iPhone, the iPhone 13 Mini actually feels constrained. Studying is extra satisfying on the iPhone 13’s greater show since characters seem bigger, and the 6.1-inch display screen can match a couple of extra strains of textual content in comparison with the Mini’s 5.4-inch show. A much bigger display screen additionally means a bigger viewfinder within the digital camera app, which I discover simpler for organising my pictures and cropping them afterwards. 

The bigger display screen can also be extra ideally suited for FaceTime calls. In the case of video chatting, an even bigger display screen virtually actually results in a greater expertise, and that undoubtedly held true on the iPhone 13. I speak with my sister through FaceTime virtually each day, and I’ve undoubtedly seen that having the ability to see her on an even bigger display screen makes the decision really feel extra partaking. To not point out, the iPhone 13’s audio system additionally sound louder than the iPhone 13 Mini’s, which additionally turns out to be useful for video calls.

iPhone 13 Mini

The iPhone 13 Mini has all the similar digital camera options because the iPhone 13.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Learn extra: iPhone SE 3: 6 upgrades we would like in Apple’s subsequent funds smartphone

Cherished: Unlocking the iPhone 13 Mini with my passcode feels quicker

I’ve used my passcode to unlock my cellphone greater than ever over the last year-and-a-half since I normally put on a face masks when leaving the home. In case you haven’t got an Apple Watch, you have in all probability discovered your self in the identical place.

That is one space by which the iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller measurement brings a serious comfort. If there’s ever a time by which you will need to sort rapidly with one hand, that is it. The iPhone 13 Mini’s thinner profile makes this a breeze since you do not have to stretch your fingers as far throughout the display screen.

Hated: The battery life is not so long as the iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 Mini’s battery life is a giant enchancment over the iPhone 12 Mini, but it surely nonetheless does not final so long as the iPhone 13. In my expertise, the iPhone 13 had 50% of its battery left after I had used it from 8 a.m. to round 11 p.m. The iPhone 13 Mini, by comparability, had 40% of its battery left after I had used it for a similar period of time on yesterday. 

Battery life will all the time differ relying on how you employ your gadget, so your outcomes might not match mine precisely. Because of this, I attempted to make use of each telephones as equally as attainable throughout my time with them. On each units, I streamed half-hour of music through Spotify, 20 minutes of YouTube video and took part in a 10-minute FaceTime name along with my different each day actions, similar to checking notifications, sending texts and studying emails. The one main distinction was that I additionally took a cellphone name that lasted for roughly 35 to 40 minutes on the iPhone 13.

With the iPhone 13 Mini’s battery life enhancements, it now not feels such as you’re making a giant compromise by choosing Apple’s smaller cellphone. Nonetheless, if battery life is without doubt one of the most essential options you search for in a brand new cellphone, you will undoubtedly need to take into account Apple’s larger-sized choices as an alternative. 


The iPhone 13 Mini’s battery life is a giant enchancment over the iPhone 12 Mini’s, however you will nonetheless get extra mileage out of the iPhone 13.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The underside line

The iPhone 13 Mini is as soon as once more a clone of its bigger sibling — this time with improved battery life — making it an interesting selection if you’d like a cellphone that is smaller (and a little bit cheaper) than Apple’s flagship. Nonetheless, the conveniences that include a extra compact cellphone aren’t compelling sufficient for me to sacrifice a extra spacious display screen and longer battery life.

If making a cellphone that is simpler to make use of with one hand was Apple’s primary purpose with the iPhone 13 Mini, I’d have liked to see a design that is extra optimized for that have relatively than a shrunken iPhone 13. Sony’s Xperia 5 II is a good instance. 

That cellphone, whereas significantly costlier than the iPhone 13 Mini, has a 6.1-inch display screen packed into a tool with a 21:9 facet ratio that is barely longer however much less huge than most. This strategy looks like the precise compromise for the reason that Xperia 5 II’s narrower construct ought to make it simpler to make use of with one hand whereas nonetheless offering the advantages of a 6.1-inch display screen. In different phrases, I suppose what I am actually asking Apple for is an iPhone 13 Slim relatively than an iPhone 13 Mini.

To be taught extra about what’s new within the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, try our full evaluation

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Mini

iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13
Show measurement, decision, 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels
Pixel density 476 ppi 460 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.18×2.53×0.3 in 5.78×2.82×0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 132x64x7.65 mm 147x72x7.65 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 4.97 oz; 141g 6.14 oz; 174g
Cell software program iOS 15 iOS 15
Digital camera 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Entrance-facing digital camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM Undisclosed Undisclosed
Expandable storage No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No
Particular options 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Worth off-contract (USD) $699 (128GB), $799 (256GB), $999 (512GB) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)
Worth (GBP) £679 (128GB), £779 (256GB), £979 (512GB) £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB)
Worth (AUD) AU$1,199 (128GB), AU$1,369 (256GB), AU$1,719 (512GB) AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts