Apple has definitely come a long way since the early years of the iPhone, back when it launched at most just two models per year. This year, it went all out and launched not just three like last year but four iPhone 12 options, including what was formally named the iPhone 12 mini. It is, however, mini only in comparison to the other three but, despite the size, Apple still managed to cram almost all the basic features but not without compromising on at least one important spec.
Given the iPhone 12 mini’s size, it’s almost a miracle that Apple was able to offer almost all the same features as the standard iPhone 12 models, including the common 5G DNA they share. Of course, Apple also needed to cut corners and, as one would expect, it was the battery that took the biggest hit, reduced to an 8.57 Wh 2,227 mAh pack. In comparison, the base iPhone 12 model got a 10.78 Wh 2,815 mAh battery.
iFixit notes the other steps Apple took to give the iPhone 12 mini the same base set of features. The speaker and Taptic Engine, for example, are miniature counterparts of the standard components while the MagSafe ring’s sides were cut off to fit the narrow body. Unfortunately, the space inside is so cramped that there is pretty much no room for a headphone jack, not that Apple would revive it anyway.
The one area where Apple didn’t compromise, however, was in the cameras, giving the iPhone 12 mini the same sensors are the iPhone 12. That was pretty much the reason why the phone still has a smaller battery despite shrinking other components. On the upside, iFixit reports no issues yet when swapping out the camera modules unlike on the iPhone 12.
It’s no surprise that the iPhone 12 gets a rather mediocre 6 out of 10 on iFixit’s index, though that at least means the smaller iPhone isn’t harder to repair in comparison. It’s still repair-unfriendly, of course, and it will only be a matter of time before Apple pushes more restrictions that would completely lock out third-party repairs.