Apple iPhone 13 Mini Review
November 25, 2021 – by Per Christensson
I've never liked big phones. Ever since my first cell phone, the Samsung SGH-R225, I've preferred to have the smallest phone possible. If someone could make a phone the size of a credit card, that would be perfect. I could just slide it in my wallet and be on my way.
Needless to say, I'm not a fan of Apple's "bigger is better" iPhone trend. At the same time, I've been using an iPhone since the day Apple released the original model on June 29, 2007, so switching to a non-Apple model is a huge barrier. I tried both the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 Pro and returned them both because they were too clunky. To this day, I don't understand how people walk around with those electronic bricks in their pockets.
For several years, I used the iPhone 7, which IMO had the best iPhone form factor of any iPhone. Instead of replacing the aging battery a second time, I moved to the iPhone SE 2020 edition, which has roughly the same shape and size as the iPhone 7. It was OK, but it became increasingly clear the performance was not the same as the higher-end iPhone models many of my friends have. Last month, I decided to upgrade, and there was only one choice: the iPhone 13 mini.
The iPhone 13 mini has the same overall shape as its larger siblings, the iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max. But it is significantly smaller and lighter. The iPhone 13 mini's dimensions are:
5.18" long x 2.53" wide x 0.30" deep
It weighs only 4.97 ounces, compared to 6.14 ounces for the regular iPhone 13, 7.19 ounces for the iPhone 13 Pro, and a whopping 8.46 ounces (over half a pound) for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
It has two cameras (like the regular iPhone 13), a full-screen display (with a notch), and no home button. The corners are rounded, but the sides are flat, a throwback to the iPhone 4 form factor.
iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone SE
Most people considering a new iPhone 13 have already had at least one iPhone, so there is little reason to rehash all the iPhone pros and cons. Instead, I'll compare the 13 mini to the SE since those are the two models small-phone people (like me) are considering.
iPhone 13 mini Pros
iPhone 13 mini Cons
The iPhone 13 mini is not perfect, and it even has some shortcomings compared to the older and cheaper iPhone SE. But is it a better phone? Yes.
I'm still using the iPhone 13 mini a month later, which means I didn't return it. In fact, I shipped my used iPhone SE to AT&T, so there's no turning back. The missing home button and display notch still bother me, but not as much as they did at first. Who knows — maybe a year from now, these things won't annoy me at all. I just hope Apple continues to make small phones for "the rest of us" who believe bigger is not always better.
P.S. I'm publishing this review on Thursday, November 25, so Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃