iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE

Almost same in size, but both packs a different punch. Is the $200 premium worth it more than the base iPhone SE? Posted by erwinkarim on 10:42 AM, January 29, 2021 Last updated on 3:53 PM, January 29, 2021 Filed in: iphone, mini,

iPhone SE is the “budget” starter iPhone. It has been updated in early-2020 and expected to be on the market for the next 4 years. iPhone 12 Mini is the miniaturized version of the iPhone 12.

For the iPhone 12 Mini

The iPhone 12 Mini was launched because there was a perceived demand that users wanted something that is more compact in size as flagship phones grow larger and larger over the years. So Apple released the iPhone 12 Mini. Other than the smaller screen size and battery, everything that the iPhone 12 has and can do, the iPhone 12 Mini can do it also. Reviewers praised the iPhone 12 Mini for the size and usability, but common complaints that the battery life is far limited than the normal iPhone 12. This is because of the size limitation, Apple can only put a XXmAh batter instead of the YYmAh battery in the iPhone 12.

Despite social media chatter about getting a miniaturized version of the iPhone 12, sales has not been well for Apple. In fact, sales was so low that Apple decided to cut one production line of the iPhone 12 Mini and convert it to the higher demand iPhone 12 Pro. So getting the iPhone 12 Mini, you will get what people say a rare phone since it not out there in the wild.

Compared to the iPhone SE, the 12 Mini punches above its weight class. With a better camera system, better screen (the iPhone 12 is the only Apple device that can playback Dolby Vision), the amount of premium features that you get over the SE is worth the extra $200. The 12 Mini is better constructed to the point it us unbendable by hand. In many ways, the 12 Mini is like the SE sibling, but it is better at everything.

Some of the features that you gains with the 12 Mini is the ability to record videos in HDR giving it a more cinematic look. You also have a far better selfie camera in which you can record your selfies in 4K instead of Full HD in the SE. Night mode is also useful to capture low-light photography and video in ways SE simply can’t. The new MagSafe system which debut in the iPhone 12 line up will be the new charging standard for Apple iPhones of the future. Qi wireless charging is available as standard.

For the iPhone SE

iphone se 2 white
Tried, Tested and True

Like first generation iPhone SE, the SE concept is using an old chassis while updating its internals. In this case, the iPhone SE is using the iPhone 8 chassis and update the internals to the iPhone 11, Apple’s flagship phone of 2019. It gets the same chip which runs the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the screen of the iPhone 8. Which is still retina.

iphone se 2 touch id
Touch ID is a very convenient way to unlock your phone. More so in the age of masks.

It is a massive leap of performance compared to iPhone 8 since it gains better computational photography, better single thread performance. Unlike the original iPhone 8, the SE comes with Portrait mode all thanks to the A13 chip that makes this possible. All the hardware in the iPhone 8 and SE are identical and the slew of new features is attribute to the performance of the A13 chip.

Gaming is very viable on this device

Mobile gaming is another feature that the SE improves upon the iPhone 8. It is as capable for gaming as it’s iPhone 12. GPU wise, the iPhone 12 Mini is 25% faster than the SE, but it does not mean that it is a slouch. The iPhone SE is still faster than most phones on the market except for Apple’s flagship phone, which is the 11 and 12.

iPhone 12 Mini is 25% faster than the iPhone SE. However, the SE is still faster than any other phones Apple makes except for the 12 and 11. And still faster than any other android phones on the market at the same price bracket.

For $399 or $5 monthly, the iPhone SE brings the greatest value of any phone on the market. It is the benchmark of what all phones should at least have. The minimal amount of features, quality and durability a phone should have to be competitive.


The iPhone SE brings great value by being a default proposition for poeple who are looking for an iPhone that is powerful, useful and would not hurt your pocket. For the $200 premium, the iPhone 12 Mini brings more features that extends the capabilities for the iPhone SE to the next level. Despite claims of battery usage issue, the iPhone 12 Mini is more efficient than the SE.


Feature iPhone 12 Mini iPhone SE 2
CPU A14 A13
RAM (GB) 4 3
Storage (GB) 64, 128 or 256
Screen Size 5.4" OLED Super Retina XDR Display 4.7" LED Retina Display
Screen resolution (pixels) 2340 x 1080 1334 x 750
Typical max brightness (nits) 625 625
Typical HDR max brightness (nits) 1200 -
Rear Camera System
Ultra wide f/2.4 -
Wide f/1.6 f/1.8
Optical zoom range 2x -
Digital zoom range 5x 5x
HDR Video recording (fps) Upto 30 -
Video Image stablization Optical
Dimensions and Weight
Height (mm) 131.5 138.4
Width (mm) 64.2 67.3
Depth (mm) 7.4 7.3
Weight (g) 135 148
Video playback (hours) 15 13
Video playback, streamed (hours) 10 8
Audio playback (hours) 50 40


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