You’ll still need to wait until next month to pick up Apple’s new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, but if you’ve been itching for the new ultra-small yet powerful little iPhone you can at least now take a glance at what it will actually look like.
Apple won’t be taking pre-orders for the new iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 12 Pro Max until next Friday, but it appears that at least one YouTuber, Romanian George Buhnici, managed to get his hands on one, and recorded a 40-minute video showing off the new compact iPhone and comparing it with its big brother, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12.
While the video is in Romanian and not subtitled, you arguably don’t need to understand what Buhnici is saying here to appreciate the comparison.
After all, we already know what features to expect in the iPhone 12 mini — it’s feature-for-feature identical to the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 in every way except for its size, but in this case, it’s really the size that counts.
To be clear, Apple has not made an iPhone even nearly this small since the original first-generation iPhone SE that was released in 2016, and that was based on the then-2.5-year-old iPhone 5s technology. So in other words, for all practical intents and purposes, it’s been over seven years since Apple had a current iPhone in a size that’s this pocketable.
So it’s no wonder that many people are salivating over the iPhone 12 mini. At 5.4 inches, it doesn’t quite get down to the size of the iPhone 5s, but it’s definitely more than close enough for those users who only grudgingly bought into the era of larger iPhones that began with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in 2014.
In a somewhat ironic twist, however, the iPhone 12 mini is even more significant in another way.
The last time Apple made an iPhone this small, it had a mere four-inch screen, thanks to the need to have bezels at the top and the bottom. The iPhone 12 mini, on the other hand, boasts a gloriously expansive 5.4-inch screen.
Not only is that a full 0.7 inches larger than the “smaller” iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 models, but it falls just shy of the 5.5-inch “Plus” iPhones that dominated the iPhone landscape from 2014 to 2017.
In other words, thanks to the edge-to-edge display, the iPhone 12 mini has a larger display than any pre-X iPhone model Apple has ever made, and yet it comes in a size that’s just a smidge above the iPhone 5s, and yet packs in all of the exact same features as its 6.1-inch sibling — the same dual-camera system, the same A14 chip, the same gorgeous OLED display, and more. The only thing iPhone 12 mini users will have to sacrifice is some battery life, since a smaller iPhone means a smaller battery, and Apple can only bend the laws of physics so far.
According to Apple’s published specs, iPhone 12 mini users can expect about two hours less video playback time, or 15 hours less audio playback time, although we’ll have to wait for the first actual reviews to see how much of a difference that makes in practical everyday use.
For those who really want a pocketable iPhone, however, that tradeoff will almost certainly be worth it. The iPhone 12 mini really is the best small iPhone that Apple has ever made, and a good reason for fans of the original iPhone SE to celebrate.
The iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order next Friday, November 6th, with prices starting at $699 for a 64GB version. It’s expected to land in stores the following week on Friday, November 13th.