Following its teardown the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, the team at iFixit decided to focus their attention on the new iPhone 12 mini. Their latest teardown shows the similarities and differences between the smallest iPhone 12 and its larger siblings.
If you are not already familiar, the iPhone 12 mini features a 5.4″ (2340 x 1080 pixels) Super Retina XDR OLED display and it comes powered by the same A14 Bionic chip that is found across the iPhone 12 series. Apart from that, it comes with a IP68 rating making it water resistant to a depth of 6m for up to 30 minutes.
One of the most striking things about the iPhone 12 mini, is just how much smaller everything is. The first thing that is evident is the battery. iFixit found an 8.57Wh (2,227mAh) battery that is actually bigger than the larger iPhone SE 2020, which has a 6.21Wh (1,624mAh) battery. It is, of course, smaller compared to the 10.78Wh (2,815mAh) battery found in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
Apart from that, iFixit found smaller versions of common iPhone components like the Taptic Engine (Apple’s haptic feedback technology), speakers and MagSafe ring. It should be noted that the iPhone 12 mini is limited to charging speeds of up to 12W when used with the new MagSafe Charger instead of up to 15W for all other iPhone 12 models.
Despite its smaller size, Apple somehow managed to fit the same dual camera system from the iPhone 12 into the iPhone 12 mini. It has the same ƒ/1.6 wide-angle (which also comes with optical image stabilisation) and ƒ/2.4 ultra wide-angle cameras found in the iPhone 12. That being said, iFixit suspects that bringing in the same camera may have come at the expense of the smaller phone’s battery life.
The Verge’s Dieter Bohn said in his review that “the battery life on the iPhone 12 mini is noticeably worse than on the iPhone 12, which itself was a step down from the battery-champ iPhone 11.” He went on to say that he was able consistently to drain the iPhone 12 mini’s battery by early evening after a full day of use.
On the whole, iFixit found the iPhone 12 mini to be very similar to the its bigger counterparts. It had this to say:
The iPhone 12 mini is a small phone with big ambitions. We’re surprised by how familiar the internals look compared to other iPhones this year, given the differences in size among them.
Similar to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, iFixit gave a repairability score of 6 out of 10 to the iPhone 12 mini. On the positive side, it said the most major components in the phone were modular enough to be accessed and replaced independently. But iFixit also noted that the glass covering the rear housing is fragile and impractical replace. In fact, a single drop may require replacing the entire body of the iPhone.
You can check out iFixit’s full iPhone 12 mini teardown here.