The iPhone 13 Mini in 2024 – our Simple Review

Iphone 13 mini review

If anything, my only problem with the wonderous iPhone 13 Mini is that it could be even smaller.

If you’re like me, you’re not too keen on the ‘bigger is better’ trend that most mobile phone manufacturers have taken recently.

Apple, for example, has stopped making pocket-sized phones, which is devastating news to anybody who prefers a mobile device that you can comfortably type one-handed on.

Released in 2021, the 13 Mini is Apple’s most recent ‘Mini’ phone. So if what you need is the best Apple tech in the smallest size possible, this is hands-down the iPhone for you.

Unique features

The iPhone 13 mini is the latest mini iPhone, which means you won’t find a compact Apple phone with better tech under the hood.

Iphone 13 mini

Design and Build

When I first heard that Apple were ending their ‘mini’ line-up and replacing it with a ‘plus’ model, I assumed that they’d shrink down the standard iPhone to compensate. So imagine my surprise when the iPhone 14 was released at almost exactly the same dimensions as the 13.

However, if you’re used to much older iPhones, the shrunk-down size of the Mini will feel familiar to you. As a modern iPhone (with no home key), the Mini manages to pack a larger screen onto a smaller device, letting it be physically smaller in your hand or pocket than every iPhone since the iPhone 6s.

The iPhone 13 Mini is noticeably smaller than all of the standard iPhones of today, with a height of 5.18”, width of 2.53” and only 7mm thick. It fits snugly into my hand (and pocket) in a way that no other modern phone does.

The phone is durable enough (with the same IP68 rating as every other modern iPhone), although all flagship iPhones lose some durability points thanks to their rear glass panelling.

You can buy a refurbished iPhone 13 Mini today for less than £400. If you’re okay with some scuffs and scrapes, you’ll get the iPhone 13 Mini very close to 50% off the original price tag – which is much more reasonable than anything Apple will offer you.

Apple no longer sells the iPhone 13 Mini in their main store, however it is one of the models listed in their so-called ‘Certified Refurbished’ store, but there are a couple of drawbacks. ‘Apple Certified Refurbished’ phones are all sold as-new in-box, and have a price tag to match. That said, when I looked this morning, even their refurbished store was completely sold out of iPhone 13 Mini stock. I suppose that’s just a sign of how popular this little phone really is.

As for which storage size to opt for, unless you’re able to splash the cash, the 128GB version will be more than enough for anything you need.

ModelPriceOur Price*
iPhone 13 Mini£679 (128GB)£359 (‘Good’ condition)
iPhone 13£779 (128GB)£405 (‘Good’ condition)
*prices checked Jan 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+!

Infographic showing how many files can fit into 128gb of iphone storage

3.23 GHz

(max. CPU Speed)

A15 bionic chip schematic


(aka Memory)

The iPhone 13 Mini uses the A15 Bionic chip, the same as the iPhone 13, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, and even the same as the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus! This chip features limited AI processing, and has an impressive top speed, but what does that all do for you in practice?

The biggest limiting factor for the iPhone 13 Mini’s tech is its 4GB of RAM, which is on the low side for a modern-day phone. But it’s only when you’re running processor-intensive tasks (like huge mobile games) that you’ll really start to notice any lag. And if you are a pro gamer, stop messing about over here and go look at a phone with a bigger screen!

Finally, the iPhone 13 was launched with iOS 15. Assuming 6 years of software updates (as Apple have previously stuck to), it will keep running smoothly and securely until 2027.

While the iPhone 13 Mini certainly doesn’t need much power for its miniature screen, it does suffer a little from its cut-sized battery. The phone is advertised to last up to 13 hours of streamed video when brand-new, which for sake of reference is only half what is offered by the latest iPhone (at time of writing, the 15 Pro Max).

It features 12W fast charging, Qi wireless charging, and all of Apple’s smart battery optimizations we’ve come to know and love.

Read More: A note on Battery Health

It’s a sad, sad situation, but phone batteries degrade over time. Most phones are even set up in a way where they try to stuff as much power into your poor battery as they possibly can, at a risk to your long-term battery health.

Apple is one of the better companies about this, as they offer a setting to shut down your iPhone from charging when your phone reaches 80%

When you’re buying a refurbished phone, battery health can vary depending on the grade of the phone. At The Big Phone Store, our phones 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 13 Mini only has 2 rear-facing camera lenses: one wide, and one ultrawide. It doesn’t have the telephoto lens included on all of Apple’s Pro iPhones.

The iPhone 13 Mini has the same 12-MP camera sensor found on the iPhone 14, however it lacks the Photonic Engine (AI image processing) features found on the newer models.

iPhone 13 Mini Camera Specs
Main Lens (OIS, AF): 12MP, 26mm, ƒ/1.5
Wide Lens (120° FOV): 12MP, 13mm, ƒ/2.4
Selfie (TrueDepth): 12MP, ƒ/1.9

The iPhone 13, and 13 Mini, both use the same Super Retina XDR display as every other iPhone since the 11 Pro. Like pretty much every other flagship phone, this is an OLED display.

Super Retina XDR displays have a pixel density of about 460ppi (pixels per inch) – which for a phone held at a normal distance from your face, is a higher resolution than the human eye. 

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

Zoomed-in view of the iphone battery indicator, showing individual pixels
Headshot of steven athwal, sustainability expert
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. 

As a small phone, the iPhone 13 Mini has a similarly small carbon footprint, making it a slightly better choice for the environment than some other phones.

Of course, every brand-new phone manufactured has a harmful impact on the environment. By buying refurbished, you make sure there’s demand for one fewer phone in the world, cutting your environmental impact down close to zero.

You should buy the iPhone 13 Mini if…

You should buy the iPhone 13 Mini if you love tiny smartphones that pack a lot of punch. I honestly love this little phone, and if I wasn’t so much of a devoted Android-head you can bet that the iPhone 13 Mini would be my favourite phone of them all.

You should avoid this phone if…

If you’re a mobile gamer, video enjoyer, or even a heavy user, the iPhone 13 Mini is going to leave you wanting more. More recent phones might be better at keeping up, and if you need something that’s going to last you a full day, you should look for a newer, larger phone.