Metropcs iPhone 12 Mini: which shabby premium smartphones are worth

Cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro, and much better than the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 even has the luxury of being available in a small screen size with the iPhone 12 Mini. Here is our test of the two Apple devices.

person holding iphone showing social networks folder

At the end of 2020, Apple delivered no less than four different iPhones. We find the Pro models, including the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while the firm has also declined its iPhone 12 in two more classic models: the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini . If the first does not differ in size compared to the iPhone 12 Pro (6.1 inches), the iPhone 12 Mini provides a concrete solution for users who were looking for a compact smartphone that can be used with one hand.

But is it still a format of the future in 2021, at a time when the content consumed on our smartphones requires ever larger tiles to be viewed properly? We did a test of the iPhone 12 and the Mini version, here is our feedback.

Features of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini

Before getting to the heart of our test of the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, here are the technical characteristics of the two products. As you can see, they are faithful to the DNA of Apple: the manufacturer relies on high-end to seduce its customers.

 iPhone 12iPhone 12 Mini
Screen– Super Retina XDR
– 6.1 inches
– 1170×2532 definition
– 460ppp density
– Dolby Vision
– HDR10
– DCI-P3
– 625 nits (1200 nits for HDR)
– True Tone
– Haptic Touch
– Notch
– Ceramic Shield
– Super Retina XDR
– 5.4 inches
– Definition 1080×2340
– Density 476ppp
– Dolby Vision
– HDR10
– DCI-P3
– 625 nits (1200 nits for HDR)
– True Tone
– Haptic Touch
– Notch
– Ceramic Shield
Design– Aluminum frame
– Glossy glass back
– IP68
– Aluminum frame
– Glossy glass back
– IP68
SoC and GPU– A14 Bionic
– New generation Neural Engine
– Machine Learning
– 5nm engraving
– A14 Bionic
– New generation Neural Engine
– Machine Learning
– 5nm engraving
Memory– 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
– No memory expansion
– 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
– No memory expansion
Colors– Black
– White
– Product (RED)
– Green
– Blue
– Black
– White
– Product (RED)
– Green
– Blue
Camera– Main sensor of 12 MP
– Standard 26mm and Aperture f/1.6
– Ultra wide-angle sensor of 12 MP
– FoV 120° and Aperture F/2.4– True Tone flash
– Smart HDR
– Portrait
mode – Night
mode – Panorama mode (63 MP)
– JPEG and HEIF format
– Apple ProRAW
– UltraHD video capture up to 60fps
– 8MP photo during 4K recording
– Optical stabilization
– Slow motion up to 240fps at 1080p– 12 MP front sensor
– f/2.2 aperture
– Portrait mode
– Animoji and Memoji
– 3D face recognition
– Smart HDR
– Front video capture in UltraHD up to 60fps
– Electronic stabilization
– Slofie in 1080p at 120fps
– Retina Flash
– Main sensor of 12 MP
– Standard 26mm and Aperture f/1.6
– Ultra wide-angle sensor of 12 MP
– FoV 120° and Aperture F/2.4– True Tone flash
– Smart HDR
– Portrait
mode – Night
mode – Panorama mode (63 MP)
– JPEG and HEIF format
– Apple ProRAW
– UltraHD video capture up to 60fps
– 8MP photo during 4K recording
– Optical stabilization
– Slow motion up to 240fps at 1080p– 12 MP front sensor
– f/2.2 aperture
– Portrait mode
– Animoji and Memoji
– 3D face recognition
– Smart HDR
– Front video capture in UltraHD up to 60fps
– Electronic stabilization
– Slofie in 1080p at 120fps
– Retina Flash
Audio– Stereo speaker
– Dolby Atmos
– Dolby Digital Plus
– No 3.5mm jack
– Stereo speaker
– Dolby Atmos
– Dolby Digital Plus
– No 3.5mm jack
Battery– 2,815 mAh
– Fast charging (50% in 30 minutes on a 20W charger)
– Lightning port
– USB 2.0
– MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W
– Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
– 2,227 mAh
– Fast Charging (50% in 30 minutes on a 20W charger)
– Lightning port
– USB 2.0
– MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W
– Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Connectivity– Face ID
– Bluetooth 5.0
– WiFi 6
– 1x nano-SIM
– 1x eSIM
– 4G LTE
– 5G
– Face ID
– Bluetooth 5.0
– WiFi 6
– 1x nano-SIM
– 1x eSIM
– 4G LTE
– 5G
Software– iOS 14– iOS 14
Height and weight– 146,7 x 71,5 x 7,4 mm
– 162g
– 131,5 x 64,2 x 7,4 mm
– 133g
Prix909 € (64Go)
959 € (128Go)
1079 € (256Go)
809 € (64Go)
859 € (128Go)
979 € (256Go)
availability dateAvailableAvailable

Design, Screen and Ergonomics

Apple gave in to the sirens of nostalgia to shape the design of its iPhone 12. Like the iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, 5S, SE (1st generation) and finally the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air (2020 ), the firm is abandoning rounded edges and returning to a more angular shape. From the side, the iPhone 12 therefore looks a lot like the iPhone 5 and 5S. The back of the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, on the other hand, looks like two drops of water to that of the iPhone 11, as does the front.

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On the front, Apple has made a drastic change since it goes from LCD on the iPhone 11 to OLED on the iPhone 12 (6.1 inches, 2,532 x 1,170 pixels at 460 dpi) and the iPhone 12 Mini (5.4 inches, 2340 x 1080 pixels at 476 ppi). As a result, the borders are thinned very clearly, while the display quality takes a huge leap forward.

In fact, those who previously turned to the Pro models because of the quality of their display will be perfectly satisfied with that of the iPhone 12 which turns out to be practically identical. There is a small difference in brightness between the screen of the iPhone 12 (625 cd/m²) and that of the iPhone 12 Pro   (800 cd/m²) but it is so subtle that you will not notice it or not. very little.

With the iPhone 12, Apple therefore erases the major defect of the iPhone 11 by offering OLED, so that by doing this, the firm suddenly makes the iPhone 12 Pro much less desirable… that it is sold much more expensive.

Ergonomics turns out to be the only differentiating point between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini. The angular edges, shared between the two models, offer an excellent grip which seems to us much more reassuring than that offered by the iPhone 11 and their rounded edges. We manage to grip our smartphone more firmly, even if the grip is a bit less comfortable than before.

apple iphone12mini 15 live e1656424149111
Metropcs iPhone 12 Mini: which shabby premium smartphones are worth 1

As for the iPhone 12, it has a 6.1-inch panel and offers dimensions of 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm, exactly like the iPhone 12 Pro. The switch to OLED and therefore to thinner borders but also straight edges allows Apple to trim the sides and offer an iPhone 12 that is more compact than the iPhone 11, even if the size of the panel remains similar . It is, in our opinion, an ideal format that should suit everyone: neither too big nor too small, and usable with one hand provided you comply with some gymnastics depending on the situation.

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Metropcs iPhone 12 Mini: which shabby premium smartphones are worth 2

Finally, to come to the iPhone 12 Mini, it offers an unprecedented format at Apple of only 5.4 inches for dimensions of 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm. This smartphone is completely usable with one hand. Its small size and flat edges remind us of the iPhone 5/5S when it comes to handling: a lightweight, ultra-handy smartphone that’s perfectly suited to those who often use their smartphone in the street or on transport and who don’t have not necessarily with both hands to handle it..

apple iphone12mini 14 live e1656424255178
Metropcs iPhone 12 Mini: which shabby premium smartphones are worth 3

Performance, battery life and iOS 14

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are both equipped with the A14 chip, an Apple SoC also contained in the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPad Air (2020). In our test of the iPhone 12, we appreciate that Apple does not skimp on the performance of its less premium models. As we suspected, the A14 chip offers stunning performance on a daily basis. With its 6 cores on the processor side, 4 cores on the graphics side and its 5 nm engraving, this processor is ready to withstand all current uses without flinching.

In addition, it is the first iPhone – with its “Pro” colleagues – to be compatible with 5G. Admittedly, the new generation of mobile networks will take time to become widespread in France and the packages are still very expensive. 5G won’t be needed in 2021, 2022, and maybe not in 2023 either, but what about after that? If you want to keep a smartphone for more than two years (and this is generally the case when choosing an iPhone), this is something to take into account.

apple iphone12mini 11 live

Regarding autonomy, in our test of the iPhone 12, we did not notice a drastic increase compared to its predecessor. However, the newcomer adopts OLED and the A14 chip which promise lower energy consumption. If it doesn’t move, it’s actually a simple reason: the battery is smaller on the iPhone 12 (2,815 mAh) than on the iPhone 11 (3,110 mAh).

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Furthermore, we were unable to measure the impact of the new generation of mobile network on the autonomy of the smartphone. Otherwise, we end up with a smartphone that clearly lasts the day, but no more. The end-of-day charging box will always be mandatory with the iPhone 12.

On the other hand, with the iPhone 12 Mini, things get a bit trickier. With its starving 2,227 mAh battery, the small model suffers from poor battery life. By using your smartphone little, you will be able to last the day, but as soon as you start running a few mobile games and consuming videos, the percentage of remaining autonomy melts like snow in the sun.

But after all, on an iPhone 12 Mini that we will choose more for its compact format than for heavy use, the autonomy should prove sufficient in practice.

iOS 14 is not a breakthrough update like iPadOS 13 was for the iPad last year. Rather than drastically changing its OS, Apple has instead chosen to catch up with the competition over the years. The arrival of widgets, or the Library of Apps, in particular, are part of these additions clearly drawn from the Android world and that we will not let go of once we have tasted it.

As for the calls that are no longer displayed in full screen or the arrival of the picture-in-picture mode already crossed on the iPad, here too we wonder how we were able to get stuck during all these years with certain interface vestiges of the first versions of iOS, corrected for a long time on the Google OS.

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As usual, if Apple does not arrive first, the fact remains that Apple offers an original way of doing things, with extremely well thought out functions. iOS 14 dusts off the iPhone, which may have taken a few wrinkles in places, and it continues to refine the user experience.

Photo and Video

On the photo side, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini share the same equipment so we will not differentiate them in this part. They have a photo unit with two sensors: a main 12 MP wide-angle with an ƒ / 1.6 aperture and an ultra wide-angle with an ƒ / 2.4 aperture. If we can regret the presence of a telephoto lens – reserved for Pro models – the iPhone 12 turns out to be an excellent photophone. It is not only ultra-reliable in this area, but it also offers excellent image quality with good sharpness and colorimetry faithful to the reality of the scene.

Like last year, Apple renews its automatic night mode as soon as the light runs out, and it has managed to refine it since it now works on the 2 sensors and not just on the wide-angle! The opportunity to take a few night shots with the monumental view effect offered by the ultra wide-angle and its 120° field of vision.

Smart HDR is still just as effective, if not more, and on video: the iPhone is still and always so powerful. The stabilization is excellent, and the quality of the videos is simply stunning, so much so that we could now integrate videos from an iPhone 12 into rushes from a mirrorless camera without it making a stain.

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In our opinion and following our test, the iPhone is still and always one of the best smartphones on video, and that does not change with this number 12. Also, since the Mini is so practical to take out of your pocket and to hold, we are surprised to capture many more photos and videos than with a phablet.

If we had to note a major defect in our test of the iPhone 12, it will be this green flare which spoils certain shots when a light source is facing you, especially with the wide-angle: a defect caused by the quality glass used to cover the lenses, and which has already been present on iPhones for several years. It is time for Apple to react to this subject.

But since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are some shots captured with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini:

Where to buy iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Mini?

At the time of its release in 2020, the 64 GB version of the iPhone 12 was sold for 909 euros. Since then, with the release of the iPhone 13s at the end of 2021, they have seen a price drop. They are now found for 759 euros for the 64 GB version. If this storage format seems quite limited today, the value for money is excellent. With the few developments on the new iPhone 13, the iPhone 12 remains an excellent solution, more than ever. The same for the iPhone 12 mini.

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