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iPhone 12 mini release date, price, 5G, news and what you need to know

iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini seems designed for people who want the newest iPhone, top processing speeds and photography power, and 5G connectivity, but don't want the huge build of most 5G phones.

Launched alongside the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 mini is the smallest, thinnest and lightest 5G phone, but doesn't miss a trick from its larger iPhone 12 sibling - it has mostly the same specs.

This new iPhone is without precedent in Apple's smartphone range – the company has never before made a smaller version of its flagship device, and it's clearly recognizing the fact that there are many iPhone fans out there who don't want huge handsets.

If you're interested in buying the new iPhone 12 mini, we've got all the information you'll want to know below.

Cut to the chase

What is it? A smaller version of the iPhone 12
When is it out? November 13, pre-order November 6
How much will it cost? From $699 / £699 / AU$1,199

iPhone 12 mini price and release date

The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699 / £699 / AU$1,199. That's for 64GB of storage, and the price goes up for more storage – check out the chart below for full pricing.

For context, the new iPhone 12 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,349, the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,699, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$1,849.

The iPhone 12 mini comes without earbuds in the box, with Apple looking to cut down on e-waste – if you want some new Apple headphones you might want to check out the AirPods.

iPhone 12 mini preorders open on November 6, and you'll be able to buy the phone from November 13. The time to be online on November 6 is 5am PT / 8am ET / 1pm GMT (that's 12am November 7 AEDT).

You probably want to get your orders in early as well – Apple has gone on the record as saying supplies are going to be "constrained" for the foreseeable future.

iPhone 12 mini prices
Region64GB128GB256GB
US$699$749$849
UK£699£749£849
AU$1,199$1,279$1,449

iPhone 12 mini design and display

The iPhone 12 mini looks a lot like the standard iPhone 12, other than being smaller. Both phones share a lot of DNA with the iPhone 11, but there's also a bit of an iPhone 5S look to both handsets – they have flat edges like an older iPhone, but the aluminum build, square rear camera block, and screen with a big notch in the middle are taken from the iPhone 11.

The phone has IP68 protection, so it's dust-proof, and can withstand dunks in water to a depth of six meters for up to half an hour. 

Apple calls the iPhone 12 mini "the smallest, thinnest, lightest 5G phone in the world", and given how big most 5G phones are, that sounds pretty plausible. The dimensions are 64.2 x 131.5 x 7.4mm, and it weighs 133g.

iPhone 12 mini

The new iPhone 12 mini, left, and the larger iPhone 12 (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini comes in the same colors as the iPhone 12: black, white, red, navy and pale green. It's also got the same MagSafe magnetic ring at the back, enabling you to clip on cases, wallets, and wireless charging pads.

The iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display (that's OLED to you and me), a 2340 x 1080 resolution and high 1200 nits max brightness.

Apple has introduced Ceramic Shield with its iPhone 12 range, which is basically a super-strong type of glass which Apple says offers 4x better drop resistance than the displays on the iPhone 11 range. Presumably, this means you can drop it from 4x higher, although Apple didn't go into detail about this.

iPhone 12 mini camera and battery life

iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 mini (Image credit: Apple)

The cameras here are a 12MP f/1.6 main and 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide snapper, and that's exactly the same as the iPhone 12. There's video recording at 4K 60fps, which is pretty good, although it's certainly not as high quality as the options offered by some Android phones.

On the front there's a 12MP f/2.2 snapper, and it's housed in the front notch alongside the Face ID sensors.

Apple made a point of highlighting the improved Night Mode, which is available for both the rear and front cameras, and which apparently picks up 27% more light than the Night Mode on the iPhone 11 range – and those phones offered impressive low-light performance, so we're excited to see what the iPhone 12 mini and other new iPhones are capable of.

There's also Deep Fusion camera tech, which Apple debuted on the iPhone 11. This is a super-smart algorithm that analyzes a photo pixel-by-pixel to optimize the whole image.

Apple says the iPhone 12 mini has "great battery life." More specifically, the company claims that it will last for up to 15 hours of video playback, which sounds reasonable but is worse than its siblings.

Apple has improved battery performance on recent handsets, and with the iPhone 12 mini having a smaller screen to power we'd expect to get all-day battery life from the phone.

You can charge the iPhone via its Lighting port, and Apple says this will get you from empty to 50% in half an hour; the charging tech here is 20W, so not particularly fast, but that's Lighting for you. There's also wireless charging, which is 15W if you use the MagSafe charger, or 7.5W if you're using a regular Qi charger.

iPhone 12 mini specs and features

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

The new iPhone 12, left, and the iPhone 12 mini (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 mini uses the A14 Bionic chipset, like the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4, which should ensure super-fast processing speeds, though we'll be sure to put the device through benchmarking tests when we get our hands on it to see.

Like all the iPhone 12 devices, the iPhone 12 mini supports 5G connectivity, although of course you'll be able to use it on 4G networks too.

The iPhone 12 mini runs iOS 14, Apple's newest software, which brings new features to Apple phones including on-screen widgets, an app library, and improved Siri.

We'll be sure to test out all the new iPhone 12 mini features when we get our hands on the device, so stay tuned for our full review soon.