After a year with the iPhone 12 Pro, I'm ready to try out Apple's tiny iPhone 13 mini

Iphone 13 Mini Render Camera
Iphone 13 Mini Render Camera (Image credit: Svet Apple)

I have been using the standard-sized iPhone....well, forever. I've never owned a 'Plus' or 'Max' sized iPhone. It's always been the standard size for me. For the last two years, I've opted for the 'Pro' model of the iPhone instead of the base model. But this year, I'm planning to downgrade all of the way from the iPhone 12 Pro to the iPhone 13 mini.

Earlier today, PineLeaks, a Twitter account run by Apple leaker Max Weinbach, posted that the iPhone 13 mini could increase its battery life by an entire hour.

The Pro Max variant will continue to be the true flagship smartphone from Apple, differentiating itself from the standard Pro model.We expect the iPhone mini variant to offer an additional ~1 hour of battery life.

This rumor, if true, would push me over the edge towards opting for the iPhone 13 mini over the standard iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro. Currently, the iPhone 12 mini gets between 7-8 hours of battery life when using 5G, so an additional hour would be a great help to a phone that struggled in this area due to the size of the battery. However, it's currently unclear if the increase in battery life will be due to a larger battery or better software optimization with iOS 15.

The battery increase aside, several things are driving me towards the iPhone 13 mini, not the least of which is its size. I've always stuck with the standard size of the iPhone, but once I used the iPhone 12 Pro, I realized that, even without being a Max, it is still a massive phone! It's not operatable in many ways with only one hand, it cannot be easily pocketed, and the Pro models are hefty due to the stainless steel construction.

Iphone 13 Dummy Units

Iphone 13 Dummy Units (Image credit: Sonny Dickson)

The iPhone 12 mini, in stark contrast, is easily useable in one hand, pocketable, and incredibly light when compared with its Pro model counterparts. It feels more fun, light, and enjoyable to use as someone who does not benefit from the upgrades that come with Apple's larger, more capable iPhone models. As a result, many people who have tried the iPhone 12 mini, from friends to journalists to prominent YouTube reviewers, have ended up keeping it as their new go-to iPhone.

The downgrades that I will experience when moving from the iPhone 12 Pro to the iPhone 13 mini aren't really losses that matter much to me. I don't need the more intense construction. I'm not a photographer or videographer, so the camera upgrades are really lost on me. While the screen size does shrink, iOS 15 will look the same on the iPhone 13 mini as it will on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, so you're not losing any experience there.

Iphone 13 Mini Render Hero

Iphone 13 Mini Render Hero (Image credit: Svet Apple)

I think that the Mac led me down the path to the iPhone 13 mini. When Apple announced the M1 processor, I made the jump from the MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air for the first time. I've been using the Air for almost a year now and can say that, for what I use my laptop for, I don't miss anything that the Pro models would have offered me.

This really got me thinking about my other Apple devices, and the iPhone is another obvious area where I could "downgrade" and end up with the same or even better experience. Of course, if you have a use for any of the features that the Pro models offer, you should go with them! However, more features do not always mean that it is, by default, the best iPhone you can get for your needs.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Apple will discontinue its mini iPhone with the iPhone 14 models next year due to its struggling sales. So, if you think that the iPhone 13 mini looks great for what you need, you better upgrade this year because it sounds like you won't have that option next year. Hopefully, if this is true, the iPhone SE will turn into the new iPhone mini for all of us mini fans.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

  • I might downgrade from the 12 pro to the regular 13 if the battery life is better since the 12 leaves much to be desired in that regard. The 13 pro seems to not be getting much love so not much (if any) of an upgrade (especially if the battery is worse than the 12 pro due to pro motion display).
  • I like the idea of the Mini, but it's priced too **** high. The 256GB variant shouldn't be close to $850, but it costs that much. For a couple of hundred dollars more, I could get the lower storage 12 Pro Max. Of course, that's what Apple probably wants us to do. That's why the Minis aren't selling.
  • The mini is a flagship phone, if you want a cheaper variant of it then you're basically talking about an SE.
  • To each their own. No way I’m stepping down. Here’s my prediction for 2022 article “Why I’m going back to the pro max”. Differing sizes on laptops is not the same thing as differing sizes on smartphones. To the other posters, “13 Pro not getting much love”. Since no one knows what the actual outcome for the 13 line will be and rumors for Apple are always quite a bit all over the place, I find it odd that you do not want something that isn’t known or released yet.
    To the comment on the cost of a Mini? it is an Apple. Your phone will be a quality build, quality function, and receives regular updates for likely 6 years, maybe more. As to “that’s what Apple wants us to do”? Never quite understood the attitude on cost and business regarding Apple. Best advice, There’s cost savings options out there from competitors. Why not go that route and avoid this cost and business of Apple you seem to have disdain for? Save hundreds of dollars while buying from a company that has no “that’s what they want us to do” pricing plan
  • Interestingly, nobody else has made anything close to a flagship "mini" phone in a decade. It's not like the mini is significantly cheaper to produce because it's smaller - those asking for it to be cheaper are not being realistic.
  • Lol rumors (especially ones that aren't crazy ridiculous) this close to launch are usually pretty accurate. Also, clearly it is all speculation, but once it launches (and gets neutered like the 11" ipad pro) then you will see apple is neglecting it just like their smaller ipad pro. I get battery and screen size are limitations of device size, but the rest is no excuse.
  • After 12 months of the iPhone 12 Mini I'm going to the stock standard iPhone 13 256GB. The mini has a great form factor but my hands are too big to type on it's tiny screen.