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Finally, a Small Phone I Can Buy

Long-time readers know I am no fan of big phones. I’ve been begging Apple to make a smaller iPhone since the iPhone 6 was released. And while the SE was a smaller option for a while, I had many good reasons not to go in that direction.

I don’t want a small phone that is also a “budget” phone, in other words. I want a top-of-the-line phone that happens to be small.

Now, I get the limitations of physics. I know a smaller phone is never going to get the same battery life as a large one. And I know it can never have as advanced a camera. I’ve always been willing to compromise on those two specific things, because I don’t believe in magic.

It’s been a long time since battery life was a major issue for me with my phone. And while I love taking pictures, the cameras on cell phones have been “good enough” for me for quite a while. Neither of these things is more important to me than reachability.

And so here we are in 2020, and Apple just announced the iPhone 12 mini. Since I avoid rumor sites, I had no idea this was coming. And I have to admit, I was completely unprepared. It’s been a long time since choosing a new iPhone was more than a matter of choosing a color for me. I fully expected to be ordering the smallest "Pro" phone they offered, even if it were a little bigger than my current 11 Pro.

For at least a few hours, I was truly torn about which phone to get.

But in the end, how could I not get the mini? There are exactly two sacrifices you make when getting this phone vs the new Pro: Battery life and camera. Everything else—from 5G, to the new Ceramic Shield glass, to the A14 Bionic, to FaceID, to OLED, to MagSafe—is pretty much the same.

The iPhone 12 Pro is basically 100% aimed at photographers and videographers at this point. While I’ve never needed to get a Pro, this year I finally don’t even want to get a Pro. It took me a few hours to realize that, but now that I have, I can’t wait to get my hands on the mini.