This is the iPhone 13 Mini, Apple’s smallest phone in this year’s lineup. Now it’s small in size and in price, but not when it comes to the features it’s packing. It’s got an upgraded camera, screen and battery, and it has the new Cinematic mode and image stabilisation.
Let me tell you why I think this is the sleeper phone to buy, and is probably the best value for money in the entire lineup.
It’s got everything the iPhone 13 has and some of the features from the 13 Pro. At least the features you’d probably use. I’m so impressed by it that I’ll be using this 13 Mini to shoot all future videos alongside my 13 Pro Max for the channel (@SpawnPoiint).
This iPhone 13 Mini is tiny. I think over the last 5 or 6 years of having the Max and Plus sized iPhones, it’s made this phone look even smaller.
Design wise it comes with the same square-like design we see on the other iPhone 13 models. But just like with the non-Pro iPhone 13, it comes with a glossy glass back and a matte finish aluminum bands.
I actually really like the bands being matte, as it’s far less of a fingerprint magnet. But as it’s got a glossy back, it means it’s going to show fingerprints just as easily as the screen. I just want an all matte finish, matte rear and matte bands.
And as for the colour, this Product Red really pops. It’s not a colour I’d normally go for, as I play it safe with Graphite or Black. But this just works.
Now I thought the screen on the Mini would just feel too small and almost uncomfortable to use. But having used it for the last few days and filming with it, I’ve realised it’s absolutely fine. Plus as the screen carries most of the features we saw on last year’s 12 Pro models, it’s a decent package.
It’s got a 5.4” OLED Super Retina Display, that’s the same screen type as the iPhone 13. It supports HDR and it’s got a ppi, or pixel per inch of 476. That’s actually higher than the Pro Models.
When it comes to this smaller screen, there are only really a few differences between this and the Pro models. The first being it’s not quite as bright. So it’s max brightness is 800 nits, same as the 12 Pro, whereas the 13 Pros max out at 1,000 nits. HDR is the same on both at 1,200 nits. In day to day use, 800 nits is fine, I’ve had no issues with it.
And secondly it doesn’t support Apple’s new ProMotion or 120Hz response. This means you’re still getting last year’s 60Hz screen. There’s nothing wrong with that as such, and most people probably wouldn’t notice it for general viewing. I personally like the 120Hz screen on the Pro, it’s so much smoother. But that’s the biggest difference between the two screens.
Spec wise the 13 Mini, once again, matches and slightly improves upon last year’s 12 Pro. It’s got the new A15 chip, 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU. It’s a step up from the 12 Pro and a step down from the 13 Pro.
The fact I’m even comparing this to the 12 Pro tells you how good this little phone is. I used the 12 Pro Max to create every video on my channel since it launched. So I could technically use the iPhone 13 Mini and get the same results.
The biggest difference with the Pro and non-Pro models is the camera setup. So like with the normal iPhone 13 the Mini comes with just two lenses, which have had a new arrangement on the back. We’ve got the Wide F1.6 aperture lens and the Ultra Wide f2.4 lens. There’s no telephoto lens here.
The quality of the photos I’ve taken with these lenses have been incredible. Not only looking at them back on the screen, but viewing them on my Mac afterwards. The colours, depth of field, focus, sharpness. Everything looks great. The lenses have had an upgrade too, so they are even better at taking photos in low light with that faster shutter.
You’ve still got modes like Portrait, panoramic and it supports night mode.
On top of this, the 13 Mini comes with this year’s new Sensor Shift image stabilisation. This will make taking photos and videos even easier and smoother.
The only thing the 13 Mini doesn’t have is ProRAW support. So if you wanted to take photos and edit them in a lossless RAW format, you can’t. That really is a Pro feature.
Overall though, I’m impressed with the photos the 13 Mini have produced, and I see no reason why you’d have trouble using this phone for photographs. All of these photos on my Instagram were taken with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so similar to what you’d get from the Mini.
Right, next up, the video capabilities. Let me start by saying the 13 Mini is BETTER than the 12 Pro. Remember I used the 12 Pro Max to record all the videos on the channel, this video you’re watching right now was shot on the 12 Pro Max.
Well the Mini can do 4K 60FPS, 1080P and slow mo up to 240FPS. But the features that sets it apart from last year’s Pro? It has the new Sensor Shift stabilisation, so footage you record on it will be smooth. But it also has the new Cinematic Mode.
If you watched my iPhone 13 Pro Max video a few days ago, you’ll see some of the examples I shared, but these clips were recorded on the Mini. Cinematic mode adds this portrait style to your videos, so it’ll auto focus on people or items creating a nice bokeh. But you can also tap to manually focus and lock your focus too.
On top of that, you can retrospectively change the focus point after you’ve finished filming. Just edit the clip from the camera roll and change the person or item you’re focusing on. This is a really nice feature and great to see it on the 13 Mini.
One thing to note is the Cinematic mode only shoots in 1080p at 30FPS. This is the same for the Pro models this year, so it’s not a Mini limitation. With the Mini there’s no ProRes support, something we’ll see added to the Pro models later this year.
I forgot to mention this on my last video, but obviously there’s a front facing camera, which is a 12MP f2.2 4K lens. It supports portrait mode and even the new cinematic mode.
I think the camera on the iPhone 13 Mini is a real sleeper, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There’s nothing stopping you from using this to create some incredible content with it.
The battery on the mini has had a boost in size and efficiency. So it comes in at 17 hours roughly, that’s up by 1.5 hours on last year. It’s not as good as the iPhone 13 or Pro models, but that’s a given with the size of the phone. I’ve managed a full day out of it so far.
Storage and Price
Looking at the available storage and prices for the Mini, it comes in at 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. There’s no 1TB option like the 13 Pro models.
Prices are on screen now for the different sizes, and considering what this phone is packed with, and the small form factor, it’s not bad at all.
Versus 13 Pro
So how does the iPhone 13 Mini compare to the iPhone 13 Pro? And is it worth getting?
The main differences between the two, other than the obvious size, include the telephoto lens, 120Hz screen, the battery capacity and ProRaw and ProRes support. If those are features that you don’t need or use, the Mini is an awesome buy.
If you were wondering what we get in the box, it comes with the phone, the USB C to lightning cable, a SIM card remover and the Apple stickers. Just like with the iPhone 12s there’s no power brick or plug, so you’ll have to buy that separately if you need one.
Conclusion of iPhone 13 Mini
OK, my final verdict. The iPhone 13 Mini could be THE phone to buy if you don’t need the 13 Pro features. It’s the cheapest in the range and it’s tiny. I’d call this the iPhone 12 Pro Mini. Which size would you pick?