By now, a lot of us already have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, and others are getting an iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 12 Pro Max starting this Friday. The reviews for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max are coming in, and so far, it's looking good for both. While I am enjoying my iPhone 12 Pro right now, I wouldn't call it my "dream phone," per se. Actually, if I could have things my way, I would buy an iPhone that's the size of the iPhone 12 mini, but has the features found in the Pro devices.
I'm just tired of big phones
In recent years, there has been an uptick in the trend of big phones. Even though I got some of the Plus size phones back in the day, I always had a hard time using them with one hand since one, my hands are small, and well, two is because women's jeans suck due to small front pockets. I could never fit my Plus size device (and even the non-Plus devices) in my front pocket. I always just end up sticking it into my back pocket, even to this day. I've just gotten used to it over the years, but I certainly miss the days when I could easily cram my phone into my front left pocket whenever I didn't need it.
I am also a fan of using my device with one hand, but due to having small, petite hands, I pretty much need to use my iPhone 12 Pro (and even the XS and 11 Pro before it) with two hands almost all the time. By now I'm just used to it, but I miss the days when I could easily juggle my phone and a cup of coffee while texting my husband or best friend. I mean I could just turn on the left or right-justified keyboard on my iPhone 12 Pro, but I still have a hard time with it since my thumb still requires effort to reach the other side of the keyboard due to the overall screen size.
While I was a little bit annoyed that the iPhone 12 Pro was going to be slightly bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro (6.1-inch versus 5.8-inch), honestly I can't really tell much of a difference in actual use. The difference is barely noticeable, but it still doesn't make it any easier for me to use with one hand.
Honestly, I really love the size of the iPhone 12 mini. But there are a few reasons why I did not wait for it, or have plans to purchase it.
I want my phone to have all of the cameras
For many, the iPhone 12 mini camera (along with the regular iPhone 12) is going to be good enough. But for me, it falls short. After using a device with a telephoto lens, I don't think I can go back to not having one.
There are plenty of times where I have taken out my camera and had to zoom in on something to get a good image of it, and that's just impossible to do on the iPhone 12 and 12 mini without getting as close as you can to it. The telephoto lens has become a necessity for me and many others. For example, I believe parents would find the telephoto lens and optical zoom in especially useful for getting candid moments with their kids or pets. The telephoto lens is also useful in situations like getting a closer shot at a concert or sports game (whenever we can go to one again), and plenty of other scenarios.
I'm one of those people who only use an iPhone as their camera (though a standalone digital camera is still best, especially for night photography), so personally, I need to have the best camera options. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are going to be able to shoot in Apple ProRAW format later this year as well, while the iPhone 12 and mini won't be getting this feature. With the ability to shoot in ProRAW format, I will get better control over my photos since they will be uncompressed and high quality, without missing out on Apple's own multi-frame image processing and computational photography.
On top of all of this, having LiDAR built-in to the cameras may be less noticeable on the surface, but it's convenient to have. With LiDAR, the iPhone 12 Pro series enhances the accuracy of distance and measurement. This may not be super useful when you're just taking regular photos, but it improves augmented reality and 3D scanning with the camera, such as with the built-in Measure app. Thanks to the LiDAR scanner, the Measure app can calculate a person's height just by using the camera. Another thing the LiDAR is great for is People Detection, which is a new Accessibility feature for the visually impaired, though it can also help with maintaining social distancing.
Every little bit of extra RAM helps
For a few years now, the iPhone has been stuck on only having 4GB of RAM across the board. But for the first time ever, the iPhone 12 Pro series has been bumped up to 6GB of RAM, and when you combine that with the A14 Bionic, it's just blazing fast. The iPhone 12 and 12 mini are still stuck at 4GB, but are still pretty fast (just not as much) with the A14 Bionic.
But the bump up in RAM really makes all the difference. With my iPhone 11 Pro, I always noticed whenever an app that was "suspended" in the background would have to "refresh" when I went back to it. This happened constantly, and honestly, it was very annoying. I've been using my iPhone 12 Pro since launch day, and I have noticed apps refreshing and reloading a lot less. It still happens, but at a much lower rate of frequency than I experienced with my old iPhones.
The bump up in RAM makes the entire phone snappier and more responsive, without having to reload background apps as frequently — it would be hard to get anything less at this point.
Pacific Blue is best blue
Ok, so this last one may not technically be a feature but rather something entirely cosmetic, but while the iPhone 12 mini comes in blue, it's not Pacific Blue, which is arguably the best blue. Yes, the Pacific Blue may not look great at all angles and it really depends on the light, but when you get it just right, man, that color really shines. And even when it doesn't, the deep blue color around the cameras is beautiful, and it really pops, even if it's in a case.
There are a lot of people who like the blue on the regular iPhone 12 and 12 mini, but I'm not one of them. It makes me think of Best Buy's blue color. I guess it doesn't look that bad in the right light, but I just prefer the Pacific Blue.
I dream of a small phone with powerful, pro features
Seriously, my dream phone would be small and compact, so I can fit it into the front pocket of my jeans and use it comfortably with one hand, but still have the powerful features of a Pro iPhone. My iPhone is my main camera, so I need to have the best lenses without compromise, and that extra RAM really makes a difference. I understand that it can be difficult to get the necessary components into a smaller case body, but technology advances all the time. Who knows — maybe all of this can be possible within a few years. Here's hoping.
Is your dream phone similar to what I'm looking for? Or are you satisfied with the current iPhone 12 lineup? Let us know in the comments.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.