iPhone 12 Mini: Still worth it! – Quick Review (2024)

Apple’s cheapest ‘Mini’ iPhone brings incredible value for money

When you’re looking for a Mini iPhone in 2024, you’re faced with only two choices. Either you go with the iPhone 13 Mini, with its upgraded chip and battery, or the iPhone 12 Mini, which is considerably cheaper.

As time goes on, the iPhone 13 Mini continues to drop slowly in price, but the iPhone 12 Mini has now plummeted in value. When taking into account how similar the specs are with these two phones, the reduced price of the iPhone 12 Mini looks very attractive indeed.

Unique Features

In most ways, the iPhone 12 Mini is just as powerful a performer as the iPhone 12 – it even packs 5G connectivity into its tiny frame. The only major downside is the battery life – which takes a noticable hit when compared to the iPhone 12.

Design and Build

The iPhone 12 Mini stands at 132mm long, and just 7mm thick, almost exactly the same dimensions as the iPhone 13 Mini, except ever-so-slightly slimmer. Its smaller camera lenses take up just a little less space on the back, but otherwise the two phones look very similar.

Another way to think about the iPhone 12 Mini’s design is that it carries over all the design choices from the iPhone 12 – from the notch display to the flat, boxy sides – except shrunk down into a very managable little package.

Along with its reduced size, the iPhone 12 Mini also comes with a reduced price-tag compared to the iPhone 12. Today, you can find a refurbished iPhone 12 Mini for a third of its original price!

If you’re looking for a mini iPhone released in recent years, you’ve really only got two options to choose from: The iPhone 12 Mini, or the iPhone 13 Mini. Choosing between them is as simple as deciding if the newer, more advanced tech found in the iPhone 13 Mini is worth spending the extra!

Storage starts at 64GB, but considering how much data we use these days, I’d reccommend that you make sure you opt for the 128GB version.

ModelPriceOur Price*
iPhone 12 Mini£699 (64GB)£229 (Very Good Condition)
iPhone 12£799 (64GB)£239 (Good Condition)
*prices checked Feb 2024, available only while refurbished stock lasts
Did you know?
Unlike many Android phones, iPhones don’t come with expandable storage – which means there is no option to add storage with a microSD card.
Read More: Is 128GB enough?

Is 128GB enough storage for you?

For most users in 2024, we think 128GB is absolutely enough.

Once you take away the storage space you need to cover the bare minimum functions, you’re left with a comfortable 100GB. That’s enough for up to 30 hours of Full HD video, up to 22,000 photos, or 5 huge mobile games (we’re looking at you, Genshin Impact).

If you have a love for taking 4K videos with your iPhone, then you’ll only squeeze a few hours of footage onto your phone before needing to delete something, but serious camera lovers should consider a higher-spec iPhone anyway. Also, Apple offers affordable cloud storage options with iCloud+!

3.0 GHz

(max. CPU Speed)


(aka Memory)

The iPhone 12 Mini uses the A14 Bionic chip, the same as even the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This chip features limited AI processing, and has an impressive top speed, but what does that all do for you in practice?

The answer is simple: the A14 chip is much more than just capable of giving you the performance you need to have a stable and reliable iPhone experience. Unless you’re a pro gamer or 3D designer, this powerful little budget model will give you every bit of power you need.

Finally, the iPhone 12 Mini was launched with iOS 14, and is upgradable to the most recent versions of iOS. Assuming 6 years of software updates (as Apple have previously stuck to), it will keep running smoothly and securely until 2026.

When the iPhone 12 Mini made its debut alongside its bigger sibling in 2020, Apple packed it with enough power to impress, boasting up to 15 hours of video playback, or up to 10 hours continuous streamed video. For a phone this small, those are some impressive numbers.

The phone supports fast charging for a quick power-up, offers the convenience of wireless charging adhering to the universal Qi standard, and benefits from Apple’s smart battery management. Apple’s unmatched battery efficiency means that despite the reduced battery size, the phone can still keep going all day long.

Read More: A note on Battery Health

Phone batteries can degrade as you use them, depending on a huge number of factors such as your charging habits and how you take care of your device. You can protect your phone battery by enabling the smart battery optimizations and optimized charging on your iPhone.

When you’re buying a refurbished phone, battery health can vary depending on the grade of the phone. At The Big Phone Store, our refurbished iPhones have a MINIMUM of 80% battery health – and if you’re not satisfied with that, we even offer battery replacements on all our refurbished iPhone models!

To read more about battery health, click here.

The iPhone 12 mini doesn’t skimp on its camera. The device comes with the same dual-lens camera sensor as the iPhone 12: Both Wide and Ultrawide.

Compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 mini offers improved low-light photography thanks to its Night mode being available on all cameras, including the ultra-wide and the front selfie camera. This means your evening shots and selfies come out clearer and brighter on the iPhone 12, making it a noticeable upgrade from the iPhone 11.

What’s also great is that when you put the iPhone 12 mini next to apple’s more recent iPhone 13 mini, the older phone still holds its own. Sure, the 13 Mini’s camera system has a few more tricks up its sleeve, such as Cinematic mode for video and Photographic Styles, but the iPhone 12 Mini’s basic photos are hard to tell apart from the 13 Mini’s.

iPhone 12 Camera Specs
Main Lens: 12MP, ƒ/1.6 (great low light performance)
Wide Lens (120° FOV): 12MP, 13mm, ƒ/2.4
Selfie (TrueDepth): 12MP, ƒ/2.2

While the smaller screen on the iPhone 12 Mini means you get fewer pixels to work with, the pixel density on its screen is the same as any other iPhone, thanks to it using Apple’s Super Retina XDR display.

Here’s how far you need to zoom in before you can see the individual pixels on the screen:

Steve's headshot
Steven Athwal
Sustainability Expert

Apple uses carbon offsetting to make their own operations 100% carbon-neutral, and have the ambitious goal of offsetting the total carbon footprint of all of their products by 2030.

The fact that you can’t buy a new iPhone direct from the manufacturer means that the iPhone 12 Mini is a no-guilt purchase in 2024. Only refurbished models remain, which means that if anything, by buying an iPhone 12 Mini and taking care of it, you’re saving a device from ending up in a landfill site.

Not only that, by buying a smaller phone you’re using fewer materials, and therefore having less overall impact on the environment.

– Steve

You should buy the iPhone 12 Mini if…

If you’re looking for the cheapest mini iPhone available, this is the iPhone for you. And you should know that you’re not sacrificing much compared to the iPhone 13 Mini.

You should avoid this phone if…

If you’re looking for the best possible Mini iPhone with the latest features and the longest expected lifetime, then the iPhone 13 Mini is a better choice than the 12 Mini.