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Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s no secret that our telephones have gotten bigger through the years. But Apple has as soon as once more taken the wrong way by launching one other small iPhone. The $699 (£679, AU$1,199) iPhone 13 Mini is the most cost effective system in Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup, and it comes with a 5.4-inch display identical to final 12 months’s iPhone 12 Mini. Here’s CNET’s evaluate of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, and our evaluate of the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

It’s nonetheless greatest to think about this system as a shrunken-down model of Apple’s flagship iPhone. Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have the identical A15 Bionic processor, 5G help, MagSafe compatibility and a dual-lens digicam system with new options like Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles. The main distinction between each telephones — other than dimension — is battery life. The standard-sized iPhone 13 ought to final for an additional 2 hours in comparison with the iPhone 13 Mini when taking part in video, in keeping with Apple.

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

Here’s a more in-depth take a look at the place the iPhone 13 Mini succeeds over the iPhone 13 and the place it falls brief.

Read extra: Apple Watch Series 7 evaluate: A barely higher smartwatch than final 12 months’s

Loved: The iPhone 13 Mini matches in small pockets and luggage

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 definitely recognize the iPhone 13 Mini’s svelte form.

The iPhone 13 Mini’s tiny dimension was particularly helpful when going out for a run, since I attempt to preserve my load as gentle as potential and solely carry 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 straightforward because it ought to.

My 6.1-inch iPhone occupies a lot of the house 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 straightforward to shortly discover different belongings once I want them.

iPhone 13 Mini

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


Sarah Tew/CNET

Hated: The keyboard is much less snug (for me, a minimum of)

This iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller keyboard cuts two methods. Typing with two palms (as I usually do) feels restrictive because the keys are smaller and the cellphone itself is not as vast.

But if you happen to typically sort with one hand, it will be simpler to stretch your thumb throughout the show to achieve each side of the keyboard with out having to make use of a second finger.

The drawback, nevertheless, is that I hardly ever textual content with one hand. Whenever I decide up my cellphone to reply to a textual content or a piece electronic mail, my two thumbs instinctively gravitate in the direction of the underside of the display. Typing on the iPhone 13 Mini is ok, however it’s all the time a aid to change again to a 6.1-inch system just like the iPhone 13.

Read extra: Forget the iPhone 13 — this is why the iPhone 11 remains to be a terrific purchase in 2021

Loved: The iPhone 13 Mini’s dimension makes it simpler to carry and function

If you typically use your cellphone with one hand, then you definately’ll be happy with the iPhone 13 Mini. In addition to 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 may make it simpler to carry the Mini for lengthy intervals of time in comparison with the iPhone 13, particularly if you happen to typically end up on lengthy cellphone calls. Although I usually desire having a bigger display 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 simpler to carry, however I desire having a bigger display for studying and taking photographs.


Sarah Tew/CNET

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

If you are upgrading from one other small iPhone (just like the iPhone 8 or earlier), the iPhone 13 Mini will not really feel tiny. In reality, it will truly really feel bigger contemplating the 5.4-inch display is extra spacious than the 4.7-inch show on telephones such because the iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone 7. If you just like the iPhone 8’s compact dimension however would recognize a bigger display, the iPhone 13 Mini might be the right center floor.

But coming from a 6.1-inch iPhone, the iPhone 13 Mini definitely feels constrained. Reading is extra satisfying on the iPhone 13’s larger show since characters seem bigger, and the 6.1-inch display can match a number of extra strains of textual content in comparison with the Mini’s 5.4-inch show. A much bigger display additionally means a bigger viewfinder within the digicam app, which I discover simpler for organising my photographs and cropping them afterwards.

The bigger display can also be extra superb for FaceTime calls. When it involves video chatting, a much bigger display virtually definitely results in a greater expertise, and that undoubtedly held true on the iPhone 13. I speak with my sister by way of FaceTime virtually each day, and I’ve undoubtedly seen that having the ability to see her on a much bigger display makes the decision really feel extra partaking. Not to say, 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 identical digicam options because the iPhone 13.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Read extra: iPhone SE 3: 6 upgrades we wish in Apple’s subsequent price range smartphone

Loved: Unlocking the iPhone 13 Mini with my passcode feels sooner

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

This is one space through which the iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller dimension brings a significant comfort. If there’s ever a time through which you will need to sort shortly 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.

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, however it nonetheless would 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 once I had used it for a similar period of time on the day prior to this.

Battery life will all the time fluctuate relying on how you utilize your system, so your outcomes might not match mine precisely. For this motive, I attempted to make use of each telephones as equally as potential throughout my time with them. On each units, I streamed half-hour of music by way of Spotify, 20 minutes of YouTube video and took part in a 10-minute FaceTime name along with my different each day actions, akin to checking notifications, sending texts and studying emails. The solely 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 not feels such as you’re making a giant compromise by choosing Apple’s smaller cellphone. However, if battery life is among 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 a substitute.

iphone-13-mini-cnet-2021-review-28

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 backside 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 alternative if you need a cellphone that is smaller (and somewhat cheaper) than Apple’s flagship. However, the conveniences that include a extra compact cellphone aren’t compelling sufficient for me to sacrifice a extra spacious display and longer battery life.

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

That cellphone, whereas significantly costlier than the iPhone 13 Mini, has a 6.1-inch display packed into a tool with a 21:9 side ratio that is barely longer however much less vast than most. This method looks like the appropriate compromise because the 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. In different phrases, I assume what I’m actually asking Apple for is an iPhone 13 Slim slightly than an iPhone 13 Mini.

To study extra about what’s new within the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, try our full evaluate.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Mini

iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13
Display dimension, 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
Mobile software program iOS 15 iOS 15
Camera 12-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Front-facing digicam 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize HDR video recording with Dolby Vision as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Vision 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
Special options 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $699 (128GB), $799 (256GB), $999 (512GB) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)
Price (GBP) £679 (128GB), £779 (256GB), £979 (512GB) £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB)
Price (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)


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