After a number of months of utilizing the iPhone 13 mini as a day by day driver, it went by quite a bit in my pocket. After snapping 668 pictures, taking pictures 366 movies, going by two flights and numerous hours of use, I’ll now summarize how this 5.4-inch cellphone performs in on a regular basis life. The compact measurement of the handset has extra constructive than damaging facets.
- Incredible measurement for on a regular basis use
- Good picture high quality
- Excellent video high quality
- Excessive-performance degree
- Battery life could possibly be higher
- Show caught at 60 Hertz
- No reminiscence enlargement choices
- Lightning connector is annoying (to me)
iPhone 13 mini in a nutshell
After years of utilizing a phablet, the compact iPhone 13 mini has me wrapped round its little finger! Due to the 5.4-inch show, this one finger can also be sufficient to function the machine with only one hand, and comfortably at that. It’s actually nice that Apple packed a lot efficiency into the small chassis. The standard of the digital camera, the stereo audio system, and likewise the inner microphones are all first-class.
Nevertheless, the compact measurement comes on the expense of battery life. Intensive use of the machine typically sees it falter earlier than the day is over. The truth that Apple nonetheless depends on the Lightning port for charging functions makes this concern much more problematic for me. Multimedia followers can even not just like the tiny 60 Hertz show regardless of having True Tone and Retina decision. The shortage of reminiscence enlargement is typical for Apple however continues to be annoying for individuals who dabble closely in each video and picture media.
Total, the iPhone 13 mini managed to attain 4.5 stars regardless of its drawbacks. If you’re in search of a compact smartphone, it’s essential to check out the iPhone 13 mini.
Design: Sensible and compact
Due to its 5.4-inch show, the iPhone 13 mini measures simply 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.65 millimeters and ideas the scales at a mere 140 grams. The smartphone can also be waterproof in keeping with its IP68 certification, that includes the everyday iPhone mute button, and comes with a glass again.
What I preferred:
- Helpful and space-saving because of the mini type issue.
- Comfy to make use of with only one hand.
- The mute change is sweet to “fidget” with.
What I did not like:
- Very slippery with no cowl.
- Microphones are simply coated throughout hands-free calls.
- Numerous unintentional screenshots as a result of buttons’ positions.
A while in the past, I already penned a quite controversial remark about small smartphones. I nonetheless suppose that small handsets are much less prevalent in on a regular basis life. The iPhone is hardly noticeable within the trouser and jacket pockets, all the time remaining firmly in my grip and might be operated comfortably with just one hand. As well as, the handset is ultra-light at 140 grams.
Apple seals its cellphone towards water and dirt in keeping with the IP68 certification. In different phrases, the smartphone can survive for as much as half-hour in water as much as 6 meters deep. This implies I can bask in my dependancy of shifting the mute button forwards and backwards in my (swimming) pants pocket once I really feel bored whereas swimming. An incredible fidget spinner substitute because of the exact vibration motor!
Nevertheless, the place of the microphones was all the time annoying throughout my long-term evaluate. That is particularly so once you use the cellphone in Apple’s silicone case, you’ll fully mute the opposite celebration once you relaxation the cellphone in your pinky finger throughout hands-free calls because it rests on the recesses within the case. I might not suggest utilizing it with no case due to the slippery again both, which leaves us in fairly a pickle, does not it?
Final however not least, Apple’s positioning of the buttons is annoying. The massive “on” button is the precise reverse of the “quantity up” button, and that’s Apple’s gesture with regards to capturing screenshots. The outcome? Nearly 50 contentless screenshots of my lock display screen, and it retains on piling up.
Show: Excessive-end with a low refresh fee
As within the primary iPhone 13, Apple put in a Tremendous Retina XDR show that measures precisely 5.4 inches as an all-screen OLED show. The 476ppi decision is larger than in all different iPhones courtesy of its 2,340 x 1,080 pixels. Nevertheless, the refresh fee is proscribed to 60 hertz.
What I preferred:
- Good one-handed operation.
- Sharpest iPhone show.
- Nice colour constancy because of TrueTone.
What I did not like:
- Body fee at solely 60 Hertz.
- Notch design is not updated…
- …and continues to be not software-optimized.
The show of the iPhone 13 mini is an actual high-end mini TV. Due to HDR help, it achieves a most brightness of 1,200 nits, provides an virtually infinite distinction degree because of OLED, and is the sharpest iPhone show available on the market at 476 PPI. The show is what I might additionally prefer to see within the iPhone SE sooner or later, which nonetheless appeared with an historical LCD show in 2022.
For picture and video work, the TrueTone help is useful which routinely adjusts colours primarily based on the atmosphere. With my quite massive fingers, one-handed operation is flawless. On the identical time, it’s arduous to hit sure content material exactly, akin to once I’m copying textual content. In any case, you routinely cowl extra content material together with your fingers on small shows.
Technically, I’ve to criticize the refresh fee of 60 Hertz in comparison with Android options on the identical worth. After discovering the show a bit sluggish at first, I shortly bought used to it in on a regular basis use, although. On this iPhone, I favor Apple’s power-saving refresh fee. I believe 120 Hertz would have made for a fair poorer battery life right here.
Apple can also be technically behind within the placement of its front-facing digital camera, which takes up a very great amount of area due to Face ID. The enduring notch has shrunk by a couple of millimeters, however it’s nonetheless clearly seen when viewing movies.
Instantly after the discharge of the smaller notch, there was ridicule about inappropriate apps like YouTube, the place the notch protrudes a couple of millimeters into the image when movies usually are not stretched to full display screen. It’s annoying that Apple can’t resolve this downside even after a number of iOS updates.
Software program: Future-proof & well-integrated
A detailed overview of iOS 15 is out there on NextPit in case you are to dive deeper. The working system performs very effectively in on a regular basis use on the iPhone 13 mini. I didn’t discover any show or scaling errors regardless of the smaller show. The software program help will in all probability run from six to seven years, and this makes the cellphone extra sustainable with the quite costly buy worth being thought-about as a long-term funding.
Those that additionally use different Apple units will take pleasure in the perfect integration between assorted units on the expertise market. You may also seamlessly open browser tabs in Google Chrome in your MacBook when they’re open on the smartphone, conveniently scan paperwork by way of the iPhone digital camera with a easy right-click on the desktop, and may also reply calls on macOS.
An built-in ecosystem is Apple’s greatest energy
and on the identical time, a serious drawback. It’s because the so-called “walled backyard” makes it troublesome for third-party suppliers to penetrate the closed system. The chance of selecting extra Apple units for that reason is sort of excessive – and it could actually get quite costly.
Energy: A tiny powerhouse
The iPhone 13 mini makes use of the A15 Bionic SoC, which is among the strongest smartphone processors available on the market at present. Due to improved NPU efficiency, Apple processes AI capabilities like “Dwell Textual content” or Cinematic Mode immediately on the machine. Whereas the RAM all the time stays the identical at 4 GB, you possibly can select from 128 GB to 512 GB of inner storage.
What I preferred:
- Very high-performance degree.
- By no means skilled issues with overheating up or thermal throttling.
- 128 GB of storage within the base mannequin.
What I did not like:
- Reminiscence just isn’t expandable.
In our evaluations of the iPhones from 2021 and 2022, we proceed to repeat the next like a parrot: The A15 Bionic is among the strongest smartphone chips available on the market. Nevertheless, that does not solely make for completely happy emotions in benchmark assessments, but additionally for the mandatory efficiency increase required in on a regular basis life and at work.
Apple iPhone 13 mini efficiency benchmarks
|Benchmark||Apple iPhone 13 mini||Apple iPhone SE 2022||Samsung Galaxy S22||Oppo Discover X5||Oppo Discover X5 Professional||Asus Zenfone 8||OnePlus 9||Xiaomi Mi 11|
|3D Mark Wildlife||9292 at 55,6 fps||9214 at 55,2 fps||735 at 42,10 fps||5830 at 34,9 fps||9300 at 55,7 fps||5753||5683||5702|
|3D Mark Wildlife stress check (finest / worst)||8968 / 7168||8173 / 6762||5581 / 3537||4723 / 3217||9192 / 6069||5825||5716||5697|
|Geekbench 5 (single / multi)||1742 / 4792||1737 / 4690||1158 / 3414||1097 / 3155||846 / 3324||1124 / 3738||1119 / 3657||1085 / 3490|
You possibly can edit 4K movies at 60 frames per second in a buttery easy method on the tiny machine, edit captured RAW photos, and luxuriate in all present cell video games in most high quality everytime you let your hair down. Apple has not established itself as a home model for a lot of creatives for nothing, for the reason that producer doesn’t reduce corners both. For instance, the iPhone 13 mini proved to be a usable voice-over microphone at MWC 2022.
Nevertheless, it’s the firm’s ideas (or satisfaction?) which might be annoying with regards to on a regular basis use. For instance, if I wish to edit recorded movies, I can’t merely take away a microSD card like in Sony’s Xperia Professional-I, however have to attach the cellphone by way of cable, import the movies by way of Photographs, after which export them as video information as soon as once more by the Photographs app. There are simply so many hoops to leap by!
Regardless that the lacking storage enlargement choice just isn’t as related by way of storage expertise as it’s within the iPhone SE 2022, the entire thing continues to be inconvenient. On the identical time, I reward Apple for the choice to let the storage variants begin at 128 GB within the iPhone 13 collection. This will increase the price-to-performance ratio in comparison with the earlier yr.
Photographs & Movies: A dream for video followers
Apple makes use of its strongest twin digital camera setup within the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13. It consists of a 12MP fundamental digital camera that features sensor-shift picture stabilization and a quick lens, and a 12MP extremely wide-angle digital camera. You possibly can document movies utilizing each (!) cameras in 4K and 60 FPS, and selfies are additionally recorded at 12 MP decision.
What I preferred:
Strong picture high quality with all three cameras
(selfie cam included).
- Excellent video high quality.
- Smart software program options (photographic types, portrait modes and Cinematic Mode).
What I did not like:
- Fingers seem incessantly in extremely wide-angle photos as a result of small measurement.
- Cinematic Mode information in Full HD at most solely.
- Digital zoom just isn’t notably convincing.
Regardless that Apple’s digital camera setup just isn’t spectacular when one takes a take a look at the specs, you do discover some quite fascinating particulars. The principle digital camera not solely provides a very quick lens at f/1.6, it additionally boasts picture stabilization by way of sensor shift expertise. This was a characteristic that was reserved for the iPhone 12 Professional Max within the earlier era. The iPhone 13 mini additionally carried out as a camcorder that provides superb high quality.
Each cameras on the again can document 4K photos with 60 frames per second. Even the Pixel 6 Professional, which I in contrast with the iPhone 13 Professional on the time and was thought-about probably the greatest digital camera telephones, switches to Full HD with regards to the extremely wid-angle lens. So, those that prefer to shoot movies don’t have to cope with high quality variations or upscaling.
Supplied you are ready to make do with out the Cinematic Mode, which sadly solely works in Full HD throughout all fashions. Apple churns out a deceptively actual bokeh impact in movies. The spotlight: You possibly can regulate each the main target and the diploma of blur within the Photographs app afterwards. This may nonetheless be an excessive amount of for the A15 Bionic in 4K. Nevertheless, the standard loss is particularly annoying when mixing regular recordings and Cinematic Mode movies.
Regardless that the iPhone 13 mini doesn’t have the finest cellphone digital camera of the yr, the standard could be very passable in all conditions. The cellphone’s compact measurement makes it good for snapshots, which makes it an excellent always-on digital camera. Nevertheless, it’s annoying that your finger shortly slips into the picture when you’re not cautious when taking pictures utilizing the extremely wide-angle lens. This can be a drawback of the small chassis, as a result of you must contact the cellphone someplace to seize a photograph.
Battery & Fast-Charging: The one actual downside of the iPhone 13 mini
Even when Apple doesn’t formally affirm it: the iPhone 13 mini has a very low capability battery at 2,406 mAh. Regardless that Apple ekes many hours of battery life out of the machine with the energy-efficient A15 Bionic chipset, the battery life continues to stay at an obstacle in a small cellphone. Nevertheless, quick charging works quite effectively regardless of a most charging pace of 25 watts.
What I preferred:
- Quick charging instances because of the small battery.
- MagSafe help (a bonus over the iPhone SE 2022).
- Wi-fi charging can also be potential with out utilizing a proprietary Apple charger.
What I did not like:
- Battery life is lower than a full day underneath heavy utilization.
- Lightning connector is changing into more and more uncommon.
After a number of months of use, I’ve to declare that the battery lifetime of the iPhone 13 mini is its fundamental weak point. Nevertheless, that was to be anticipated, as this was already famous within the iPhone 12 mini’s evaluate. Personally, I exploit smartphones for music streaming, surf often, attend to on the spot messaging packages, take a look at Instagram, snap pictures and make calls, together with video telephony, through the day. Battery-guzzling duties like cell gaming or Netflix streaming rarely occur for me.
Thus, the battery runtime was enough for me usually. Having some reserve left on the finish of the day would nonetheless be good as a result of I had a queasy feeling about leaving Berlin for Freiburg by automotive with the iPhone 13 mini on the finish of January. A route that takes just below 8.5 hours and through which I couldn’t repeatedly use the smartphone as a navigation machine with out the assistance of a automotive charging cable.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t use my charging cable solely given that Apple nonetheless sticks to its Lightning port in 2022. Whereas the charging port has a barely tighter match, it’s already fairly uncommon in my family and even within the Apple ecosystem. Most iPads and MacBook fashions, virtually all Android smartphones, and even most headphones might be charged by way of USB-C. For Apple, making the change is troublesome. In any case, all AirPods headphones use the Lightning port, and all the time fascinated with two cable sorts has to cease sooner or later, although.
If I proceed to make use of the iPhone 13 mini, I’ll subsequently purchase a MagSafe-compatible energy financial institution. That is required since Apple additionally helps the Qi wi-fi charging commonplace regardless of its personal MagSafe commonplace, and I can, fortuitously, fall again to a third-party mannequin.
As an Android person proper from the start, the iPhone 13 mini has managed to persuade me of the iOS ecosystem, no less than in components. As a result of such a strong, high-quality, and versatile cellphone that communicates so cleverly with my MacBook is simply accessible from Apple. For my part, the tiny display screen measurement is a plus, particularly for individuals who use their smartphone sparingly, for the reason that cellphone is hardly disturbing in on a regular basis life and can be utilized comfortably with only one hand.
Nevertheless, this is not going to be potential in 2022 with none compromises. Battery life is beneath common in comparison with bigger telephones as a result of mini-sized battery. I’m additionally anxious concerning the battery’s longevity in the long term. As a result of what now lasts a day at most may grow to be an issue after a couple of hundred charging cycles. Films and particularly cell video games are extra enjoyable to take pleasure in on smartphones with a bigger show space.
These will be the the reason why Apple’s iPhone 13 mini is promoting quite poorly. The smartphone continues to be a shaky candidate in 2022. And like my lecturers again then, I am undecided if this little brat will make it into subsequent yr’s refreshed lineup. So the iPhone 13 mini, together with the SE, could possibly be the final likelihood to purchase a small iPhone. So go for it if you happen to see nice potential within the small type issue!