iPhone 13 mini is official: the redux of the cute monster


What’s new with the iPhone 13 mini?

  • 28% brighter display for HDR content
  • Bigger camera sensor
  • New processor
  • Slightly bigger battery
  • Base model storage increase
  • Satellite connectivity for emergencies

iPhone 13 mini price and release date

Apple has decided to not increase the cost of its base iPhones, meaning the iPhone 13 mini once again starts at $729. Well, technically, it’s marketed at starting at $699 but that’s only if you buy it on a carrier contract. Also, Apple is now running a super-aggressive trade-in program, which can net you as much as $700 off if you trade-in a qualifying iPhone.

iPhone 13 mini design and display

For the most part, the iPhone 13 mini looks a lot like the iPhone 12 mini. It’s the same little, cute rectangle with flat aluminum sides sandwiched between front and back glass panels. You will notice that the camera module on the back looks a bit different, as the lenses have been moved around a little.

The iPhone 13 series have slightly bigger batteries on all models, as compared to the iPhone 12 series of last year. This is pretty important for the iPhone 13 mini, as the 12 mini definitely didn’t have the best battery life. So, the iPhone 13 mini has a slightly thicker body, but you probably won’t feel it. It will, however, likely not fit your old iPhone 12 mini cases.

Also, there’s still a Lightning connector on the bottom. No, the iPhone 13 is not portless and no, Apple does not want to put USB Type-C on it.

The front has a 1080 x 2340 pixel OLED display, yet again, with a 5.4-inch diagonal and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Note that the iPhone 13 mini does not have a 120 Hz ProMotion screen — those are reserved only for the Pro models this year. The upgrade here is a brighter screen — 28% brighter than last year’s model. The brightness makes it possible to enjoy HDR and Dolby Vision media.

As is tradition, the iPhone 13 mini comes in a variety of vibrant colors.

iPhone 13 mini color options

The iPhone 13 mini comes in Pink, Blue, Gold, Midnight Starlight (*ahem* – black), and Product Red.

iPhone 13 mini camera upgrades

OK, so the iPhone 13 mini has a larger camera sensor to work with, compared to the base iPhone 12 series. It’s still 12 MP, but has a larger area. This means the pixels on it are slightly bigger, which would allow the phone to collect more light when taking a snap — all in all, this usually results in brighter shots with less noise and less chance of shaky hands effect.

Speaking of shake, the iPhone 13 mini now gets sensor shift stabilization — the alternative to lens-based OIS that was exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year. Well, sensor shift now made it to all iPhone 13 models.

The ultra-wide camera also gets a slight upgrade — it’s still a 12 MP sensor, but the lens aperture is now wider at F1.8. This should allow the ultra-wide shots to be brighter as well as — maybe — sharper.

There’s now a new Cinematic Mode for video-recording. With Portrait Mode algorithms taken to the extreme, you can create rack-focus shots that emulate the focus-shifting of big-budget cameras. It also can work automatically — the iPhone will track subjects’ actions on screen to shift focus as if it’s a big Hollywood production. Of course, you can also choose your focus points manually. At the very least, it’ll be fun to play with — we sure can’t wait to test it.

iPhone 13 mini new processor and hardware

As with all the iPhone 13 models, the iPhone 13 mini gets the Apple A15 chip on the inside. It’s Apple’s second-generation 5 nm processor and it sounds like a powerhouse on paper. Then again, the A series usually is. Truthfully, it doesn’t sound like the Apple A15 is a huge upgrade over the A14, but that’s to be expected. Top-tier processors don’t usually make massive breakthroughs in year-over-year upgrades.

What’s big about the iPhone 13 mini is the new base storage — the cheapest iPhone 13 mini now starts at 128 GB, as opposed to 64 GB, which is pretty huge. You know, Apple likes to be a bit stingy with its base storage options, and it’s nice to see that we get the spacious 128 GB option this year around.

iPhone 13 mini new battery

As mentioned earlier, the iPhone 13 mini — along with all its iPhone 13 siblings — gets a slightly bigger battery. Now, Apple doesn’t like to reveal all those “geeky numbers” like RAM amounts and battery capacities on stage, so we will have to wait for an actual teardown to get precise numbers.

However, according to leaks, the iPhone 13 mini will have a 2,406 mAh battery — slightly larger than the iPhone 12 mini’s 2,227 mAh cell. Will this capacity give us that extra bit of battery life, or will it be gobbled up by the A15’s overkill power? We’ll have to wait to get one and see.



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