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iPhone 12 mini: Size, release date, price, specs and colors

iPhone 12 mini
(Image credit: Apple)
iPhone 12 mini specs

Price: $699
Display: 5.4 inches OLED (2340 x1080)
Colors: Black, White, Red, Green and Blue
CPU: A14
Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4)
Front cameras: 12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)
5G: sub-6Ghz, mmWave
Battery: Up to 10 hours video streaming
Size: 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches
Weight: 4.76 ounces

The iPhone 12 mini is arguably the most intriguing new model of the iPhone 12 lineup that Apple just launched. Not only is it the most compact iPhone in years — yes, it's even smaller than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE released earlier this year. The iPhone 12 mini also gives you all of the same features of the regular iPhone 12.

Yes, that means the iPhone 12 mini features a 5.4-inch OLED display, Apple's new A14 Bionic chipset, 5G connectivity and a dual-lens rear camera armed with Cupertino's latest computational photography knowhow. All the perks, and no sacrifices, all for $699, which is $100 less than the 6.1-inch iPhone 12.

As the cheapest among the four new iPhone 12 handsets, the iPhone 12 mini looks as if it could be a front runner among the best small phones. It will undoubtedly provide Apple with a direct competitor to value-oriented flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Google Pixel 5. Here's everything you need to know about the iPhone 12 mini.

iPhone 12 mini price and release date

The iPhone 12 mini has a release date of November 13, and starts at $699 from carriers; the unlocked model will cost $729. At this price, you're getting 64GB of storage. Pre-orders begin November 6, and as with every iPhone, the mini will be sold at all major carriers.

The 128GB version is $50 more expensive, at $749, while the top-of-the-line 256GB variant will cost $849.

iPhone 12 mini size and design

iPhone 12 mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini sports slimmer bezels and a flatter frame, like the rest of the iPhone 12 line. In some ways, it hearkens back to the iPhone 5 days. The notch unfortunately looks to be the same size as it was on previous models.

Apple calls it the smallest, thinnest and lightest 5G phone in the world.

iPhone 12 mini colors

iPhone 12 Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini comes in five colors: black, white, Product Red, green and blue. The blue and green colors look and feel fresh on this handset, while the black and white options are for those who are looking for something more conservative.

iPhone 12 mini: Display and Ceramic Shield

iPhone 12 mini resting above iPhone 12

iPhone 12 mini resting above iPhone 12 (Image credit: Apple)

Apple is incorporating a new type of cover glass for the front of the iPhone 12 mini, called Ceramic Shield. Developed in conjunction with Corning, Apple says this new technology is tougher than any smartphone glass, citing 4x better drop performance than existing glass used on iPhones, and the biggest step forward for durability yet for Apple's handsets.

iPhone 12 mini

(Image credit: Apple)

With the iPhone 12 line, Apple is moving from LCD displays in its cheaper models to Super Retina XDR-quality OLED displays across the board. In the iPhone 12 mini's case, that technology is packed into a 5.4-inch frame. That makes the iPhone 12 mini's footprint markedly smaller than even the iPhone SE's.

iPhone 12 mini specs

iPhone 12 Apple Event A14

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini should be mighty when it comes to performance. It employs the A14 Bionic — the first-ever 5-nanometer chip in the phone industry, just like the rest of the iPhone line. You'll see 50% faster graphics by Apple's estimation thanks to its new GPU design, which will make games look better than ever.

iPhone 12 mini cameras

iPhone 12

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Apple is employing its first-ever seven-element lens in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, for a major improvement in performance when shooting in dim conditions. These iPhones also benefit from an all-new f/1.6 aperture primary optic, allowing more light to reach the sensor.

For the first time, all cameras on the iPhone — from the front TrueDepth camera to every rear lens — supports Night Mode. And given that both the hardware and post-processing software underpinning everything has been improved, Apple says you can expect much more detail and clarity in medium- and low-light shooting scenarios than previously possible on iPhone 11 models.

iPhone 12 mini 5G

Apple says it's optimized iOS' entire stack to take advantage of 5G's increased speed. In fact, iOS is tuned to only employ 5G when it's absolutely necessary; when it isn't, your iPhone 12 mini will revert back to LTE, to preserve battery life.

Surprisingly, every iPhone 12 model, including the mini, supports both nationwide sub-6GHz 5G as well as millimeter-wave 5G. This means you'll get the best possible data performance in any condition, and up to 3.5Gbps downloads in urban areas outfitted with mmWave nodes.

iPhone 12 mini battery

iPhone 12 mini

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple doesn't typically reveal much information surrounding the batteries inside its iPhones, so we'll have to wait for tear downs before we have hard numbers on the iPhone 12 mini's total battery capacity.

The rated battery life for the iPhone 12 mini is 10 hours of wireless video streaming, compared to 11 hours for the larger iPhone 12.

As we've suspected, Apple is now ditching packed-in wireless headphones and charging adapters in box across all iPhone 12 handsets. Cupertino is pitching this as an initiative made out of environmental concerns, though at least it's still providing a Lightning-to-USB-C cable in box.

The iPhone 12 mini is capable of fast 20W wired charging, but you need to spring for an optional power adapter to achieve those speeds.

iPhone 12 mini MagSafe and charging speed

Behind the rear cover glass of the iPhone 12 mini is a new MagSafe magnet array that helps locate the device on a wireless charger. These magnets can also be used for new accessories, including a snap-on wallet and various case designs.

Wireless charging has improved to a peak 15-watt speed, which matches Google's Pixel handsets. We recently tested MagSafe's charging speed on the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, and it achieved 32% from empty in 30 minutes. That's down from 57% with the 20-watt USB-C adapter, though we anticipate both times to be even faster on the iPhone 12 mini, which packs a smaller battery than any other iPhone 12 variant.

iPhone 12 mini outlook

iPhone 12 mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini has the potential to be a big hit. The appeal of the iPhone 12 mini is that it will cram all of the most important upgrades over the iPhone 11 — including the fastest 5G performance, an OLED display a faster A14 Bionic chip — in a design that can easily slip into your pocket.

Those who want a bigger screen or more advanced features like a telephoto camera or LiDAR sensor will gravitate towards the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max. But the iPhone 12 mini could make small phones cool again. Watch this space as we learn more about the iPhone 12 mini.