Two weeks in the past, we printed a double-review of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional—however these two telephones had been solely half of Apple’s new lineup. The additional-small iPhone 12 mini and extra-large iPhone 12 Professional Max are out right this moment, and we have spent a while with each of them.
We’ll go over the important thing variations between these two fashions and the telephones we already reviewed—and solely these key variations. Think about this a brief complement to the beforehand printed iPhone 12 overview; until in any other case famous right here, every little thing we wrote in regards to the 12 applies to the 12 mini, and the identical goes for the 12 Professional and 12 Professional Max.
For probably the most half, measurement is the one distinction between these telephones and the 2 6.1-inch units that shipped earlier than. However there are another variations—most notably, the iPhone 12 Professional Max has some digital camera enhancements, which we’ll discuss.
Let’s begin with a telephone I have been personally anticipating for a very long time: the iPhone 12 mini.
iPhone 12 mini: A smaller iPhone 12—no much less, no extra
If you happen to’ve learn any of my different iPhone opinions up to now few years, you recognize I have been wishing for Apple so as to add a one-handed telephone to its lineup. And whereas the 2020 iPhone SE is an excellent midrange smartphone, it wasn’t what I and so many different individuals actually wished: a flagship telephone in a one-handed type issue, just like the iPhones of yore. (Effectively, if 2013 counts as “yore,” anyway.)
That is precisely what the iPhone 12 mini is. It has the identical OLED display (just a bit bit fewer pixels near proportional to the smaller display) and digital camera system as its bigger cousin. In actual fact, all of the specs are the identical. All of the options are the identical. It is the identical telephone, however smaller.
It helps the 12 mini’s enchantment that the excellence between the 12 and the 12 Professional is so small. Yeah, should you wished to nitpick, you might complain you could’t get all the high-end options of the most costly iPhones on this smaller package deal—options just like the lidar sensor, the telephoto lens, or… effectively, that is about it, actually. However the iPhone 12 mini is all of the extra engaging as a result of the Professional telephones do not provide that a lot of an edge for many customers.
You actually are primarily getting the most effective of what the iPhone has to supply in a smaller telephone. Once I wrote about small iPhones intimately earlier than, I posited that you do not see a whole lot of tiny telephones as a result of individuals aren’t prepared to sacrifice the 2 issues they identify in surveys as a very powerful components in shopping for a telephone: battery life and digital camera high quality.
Effectively, amazingly, the 12 mini doesn’t sacrifice digital camera high quality in any respect. It does, nevertheless, sacrifice battery life. Judging from my time with the telephone, battery exams which were completed, and Apple’s personal claims, the iPhone 12 mini performs extra equally when it comes to battery life to an iPhone SE (albeit a smidge higher) than the iPhone 12. It merely has a smaller battery, in order that’s unavoidable.
And look, battery life was one thing all of us had been complaining about again when iPhones had been fairly sized, and it was one thing Apple made a precedence to handle in subsequent telephones—partly by making greater telephones (SoC effectivity was additionally a giant a part of the equation, and people advantages do present right here). Now we’re rolling again the clock, and the issue is again. However as an ideal engineer as soon as mentioned, you can not change the legal guidelines of physics, Captain. A smaller telephone should imply smaller battery life. For lots of people, it is completely going to be well worth the tradeoff.
If you happen to really feel (as many do) that Apple’s telephones peaked with the iPhone 4 or 5, the iPhone 12 mini is the telephone for you. It nearly feels prefer it’s an iPhone from an alternate universe the place the obsession with greater screens by no means even occurred—like that is simply the following iteration of an unbroken chain of misplaced hyperlinks because the iPhone 5.
For what it is value, that is the iPhone mannequin I plan to purchase once I’m subsequent available in the market. I am positive I will not be alone.
iPhone 12 Professional Max: Massive display, huge cameras
The iPhone 12 Professional Max purchaser has nearly the alternative priorities of the iPhone 12 mini purchaser. If you happen to’re available in the market for an iPhone 12 Professional Max, you are prioritizing a giant, stunning, content-consumption display and getting the most effective cameras attainable. Price and ergonomics usually are not a lot in your radar. Simply because the iPhone 12 mini serves its area of interest effectively, the iPhone 12 Professional Max serves its personal—it is simply, effectively, actually pricy.
Final 12 months, the distinction between the iPhone 11 Professional and iPhone 11 Professional Max was just about simply display measurement, however there is a bit extra to it this time: as was the case with the Plus-branded iPhones a number of years in the past, the Max provides a notably improved digital camera system.
It nonetheless has a lidar sensor alongside three lenses: a wide-angle, a telephoto, and an ultra-wide angle. However the sensor on the wide-angle lens (doubtless probably the most generally used) has 47% bigger sensor, which Apple claims nearly doubles low-light efficiency. The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional ought to take very related pictures with the wide-angle lens—there is not any distinction between the 2—however the Max ups the ante a bit.
Moreover, Apple has modified its strategy to optical picture stabilization (OIS) by adopting sensor-shift optical picture stabilization. Apple says that is going to imply higher stabilization general.
Lastly, the 12 Professional Max ups the optical zoom degree from 2x on the iPhone 12 Professional’s telephoto lens to 2.5x. It is not an enormous change, nevertheless it’s good to see. On the similar time, the aperture for the telephoto lens within the bigger telephone is now f/2.2 versus f/2.0 within the 12 Professional.
Other than zoom, I did not discover any distinction in high quality with the telephoto lens. However the wide-angle lens ought to present higher low-light photos in idea, whereas providing near the identical efficiency because the 12 and 12 Professional in well-lit environments. Listed here are some comparability pictures between the iPhone 12 mini’s wide-angle lens (bear in mind: the identical because the 12 Professional and 12) and the iPhone 12 Professional Max’s wide-angle lens with the bigger sensor.
If you happen to can see a giant distinction, good on you. I can not, actually. As soon as your smartphone cameras are this degree, we’re sort of going into micro optimizations, however some individuals need the most effective. The opposite excellent news, although, is that I discovered that the iPhone 12 Professional Max has to spend much less time capturing to ship nice Night time Mode pictures. To me, that is the actual enchantment right here. Night time Mode makes an enormous distinction in low-light conditions, however that multiple-second publicity time throughout which it’s a must to maintain the telephone regular is an actual inconvenience. I used to be capable of get related high quality pictures whereas spending much less time holding the 12 Professional Max regular in some instances.
As I’ve famous earlier than in my opinions, pictures will not be very excessive up in my private precedence listing once I purchase a smartphone, however I do know it is enormously essential to lots of people. The iPhone 12 Professional Max has probably the most strong digital camera system Apple has ever made, although its benefit over the smaller iPhone 12 or 12 Professional is slight. To me, it isn’t well worth the bulkiness, however I do know lots of people will disagree—and that is nice. I am glad Apple is making a telephone for them. I simply want it was rather less costly.
And I could also be alone, however this telephone is too huge for me, irrespective of the options. I do not even really feel I can at all times maintain it securely with one hand—by no means thoughts typing one-handed. I’ve a sense even those that like huge telephones to start with will really feel this one is, effectively, pushing it. I might advocate making an attempt it out in an Apple Retailer if that is attainable and secure for you given pandemic situations in your space, however on the intense facet, Apple’s return insurance policies are fairly beneficiant should you order one on-line however resolve it is an excessive amount of telephone for you.
The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Professional Max have completely totally different priorities and are for very totally different customers. The previous is all about ergonomics. The latter doubles down on digital camera high quality and display measurement for media consumption—and it does not damage that the big physique means a bigger battery, so it provides higher battery life.
Generally, although, your complete iPhone 12 lineup is fairly related when it comes to specs and options. If you happen to’re available in the market for an iPhone (clearly, there are many good Android telephones on the market), you are not going to be tripped up by any of those selections. Decide the dimensions that works for you. The Professional additions are simply gravy.
Past what we have mentioned right here, every little thing we wrote beforehand in regards to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional applies to those telephones. So if you wish to dig deeper, learn our preliminary overview.
Another factor: Efficiency
The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Professional Max have precisely the identical silicon inside because the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional, so there’s not a lot to speak about so far as efficiency goes. However listed below are a number of fast benchmark outcomes anyway.
Itemizing picture by Samuel Axon