iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020

The iPhone 12 Mini is Apple’s latest compact phone with a small price-tag. And for nearly £200 more than the iPhone SE 2020, it even boasts some flagship features, too. But are they enough to warrant the extra outlay?

Nowadays, big smartphones with colossal prices have become the norm. So it’s understandable if you’ve found yourself opting for smaller iPhones in recent years to avoid over-stretching your pockets, as well as your bank account.

With that in mind, let’s look at two of the Californian tech giant’s most popular mini smartphones – the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone SE 2020 edition – to determine which is worthy of your money.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 what’s the difference?

iPhone 12 Mini front top and back

Image credit: Apple

Well, one costs £200 than the other. For that extra cash, the iPhone 12 Mini comes with the new Apple A14 processor, 5G connectivity and, combined with that new chipset, considerably longer battery life. In short, it manages to pack significant power into its petite, 4.76-ounce chassis.

Conversely, the iPhone SE features a physical home button and substantial bezel around its screen. Measuring 5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 inches, and weighing 5.22 ounces, it’s a fair bit taller and heavier than the iPhone 12 Mini too.

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iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 design

iPhone 12 Mini

Image credit: Apple

As part of Apple’s newest iPhone line-up, the 12 Mini looks just as stylish as its flagship counterparts.

There’s a thin bezel at the top of an all-screen design, a smooth glass back and a contemporary OLED display. And for all that allure, it’s durable, too, thanks to Apple’s new ‘ceramic shield’ screen coating – stated to be four times more drop-proof than previous iPhones.

With the iPhone SE, you’ll notice a strong resemblance to the iPhone 8; most notably in the shape of a 4.7-inch screen with large bezels and a physical home button. Fans of the original SE will be over the moon with this retro aesthetic. But if you were hoping for something a little more modern, you’ll likely be disappointed.

In terms of colour options, the iPhone 12 Mini comes in white, black, blue, green and (Product) Red. And should you opt for the SE, there’s black, white and (Product) Red to choose from.

Winner: iPhone 12 Mini.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 camera

iPhone SE camera in white

Image credit: Apple

The iPhone 12 Mini has a standard 12-megapixel and wide-angle cameras at the back, with a 12-megapixel snapper on the front. The SE, on the other hand, sports a single 12-megapixel on its back and a seven-megapixel selfie camera.

To be honest, there’s no competition here. Although images will come out looking good enough on the SE, it can’t compete with the 12 Mini’s extra sensor, and premium features like the outstanding Night Mode, which performs exceptionally well in low-lighting. Plus, the 12 Mini features HDR video capture with Dolby Vision at 4K up to 30 fps.

Winner: iPhone 12 Mini.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 screen

iPhone SE 2020 in black

Image credit: Apple

The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with 3226ppi pixel density which, unfortunately, is slightly restricted by its thick bezels. To be honest, by 2020 standards, the screen leaves a lot to be desired.

The iPhone 12 Mini, on the other hand, offers up a gorgeous 5.4-inch OLED screen with 477ppi density. It’s head and shoulders above the SE, and isn’t restricted by overhanging bezels, either.

Winner: iPhone 12 Mini.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 battery life and performance

iPhone Mini charging

Image credit: Apple

The iPhone 12 Mini’s battery clocks in at 2227mAh in contrast to the SE’s 1821mAh. It’s significantly bigger, and teamed with Apple’s latest processor, offers much longer battery life.

Indeed, Apple says the 12 Mini can provide up to 15 hours of video playback, up to 10 hours streamed, and up to 50 hours audio playback. So if longevity is particularly important to you, this one is a no-brainer.

The iPhone 12 Mini shipped with Apple’s newest and most powerful processor, the 14 Bionic. While the SE contains 2019’s A13.

How does this impact on the phone itself?

Well, it means that the 12 Mini – despite being the cheapest of the iPhone 12 range – still retains certain flagship features, like 5G connectivity, first-rate photography features like Night Mode and Deep Fusion on all its cameras, and operates a lot quicker than the SE to boot.

Winner: iPhone 12 Mini.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 software

Apple iOS 14

Image credit: Apple

The iPhone 12 Mini comes with Apple's latest operating system, iOS 14, as standard. New features include being able to discover and use apps with App Clips, enhanced privacy features and a simple, easy-to-use app navigation view. 

iOS 14 can also be used on the iPhone SE too. To install it, simply go to Settings, General and Software Update.

Winner: It's a tie.

iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 verdict

iPhone 12 Mini in hand

Image credit: Apple

Let’s be honest, the only reason we can think of to go for the iPhone SE 202 over the 12 Mini is the price difference – which isn’t insignificant.

To that end, if you’d rather save the 200 the iPhone SE is still a good smartphone. And if you can do without the extra features like Night Mode and 5G, its definitely worth a look.

But if you’re someone who simply must have the latest upgrades, but favours a smaller phone over a plus-sized flagship handset, there really is only one winner here…

Overall winner: iPhone 12 Mini.

Compare iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020 deals

Think you'd like the iPhone 12 Mini? Head to our deals page to see our pick of the best iPhone 12 Mini contracts

Prefer the iPhone SE 2020? Take a look at the standout iPhone SE 2020 deals.

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