In 2021, unveiled the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 as the successors to the popular iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12, featuring a 20 percent smaller notch, the A15 Bionic chip, improved cameras, longer battery life, and more. As Apple’s entry-level iPhone 13 offerings, the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 offer a host of versatile features intended for the mainstream consumer.
The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 and the iPhone 13 starts at $799. Although the two phones share the vast majority of features, there are a small number of differences between the devices besides just screen size. Our guide highlights the differences between the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, and helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhone models is best for you.
The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 share virtually all of the same key features. Both phones have the same OLED Super Retina XDR display, the A15 Bionic chip, 5G connectivity, dual cameras with 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide lenses, and are available in the same colors. More interesting is where the two devices differ:
It is worth noting that the iPhone 13 mini does not miss out on any specific features or camera improvements due to its smaller size, with the two devices sharing almost all of their features. Read on for a closer look at each of the different aspects, and see where exactly the iPhone 13 contrasts with its smaller sibling.
The most noticeable difference between the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 is the size of their displays. The iPhone 13 mini has a display size of 5.4 inches and the iPhone 13 has a display size of 6.1 inches. This means that the larger phone will be able to show more content on the screen, with the UI elements of apps spaced further apart and items such as the keyboard being bigger.
The smaller phone, however, is easier to use with one hand. For example, the Control Center is easier to reach at the top of the screen, and users may feel more comfortable swiping around iOS on a smaller display with a firmer grip.
The displays themselves use the exact same technologies and feature brighter panels than last year’s iPhone 12, but the main reason to prefer the iPhone 13 mini will be because of its better fit in the hand and easier one-handed use. Likewise, those that want a larger display for media consumption, being the same size as the iPhone 13 Pro, will clearly prefer the 6.1-inch iPhone 13.
As a smaller phone, the iPhone 13 mini obviously has a lesser height and width than the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 mini is 15.2mm shorter and 7.3mm narrower than the iPhone 13. Both phones have the same thickness of 7.65mm. The size of the iPhone 13 mini makes it much more pocketable than the iPhone 13.
Another factor that demarcates the difference between the two devices is their weight. The iPhone 13 mini is 33 grams (1.16 ounces) lighter than its larger counterpart, at just 141 grams (4.97 ounces) in total. If you want the smallest and lightest possible iPhone, the iPhone 13 mini will be a better choice than the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 also differ when it comes to battery life. The iPhone 13 mini can deliver up to 17 hours of video playback, according to Apple. Since the iPhone 13 is larger, it can accommodate a larger battery and therefore offer a longer battery life. This means that the iPhone 13 can reportedly deliver up to 19 hours of video playback.
When streaming video, the iPhone 13 mini can deliver 13 hours of battery life and the iPhone 13 can deliver 15 hours. When streaming music, the iPhone 13 mini offers 55 hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 13’s 75 hours. Real-world battery life for both devices is likely to be lower than Apple’s estimates, as mixed usage tends to be a bit heavier than video playback alone.
If battery life is a priority for you, the iPhone 13 clearly offers better battery life over the iPhone 13 mini, but it is not a major difference. If you choose to get the iPhone 13 mini, it will still have a fair, all-day battery life, but it simply does not match the capability of the iPhone 13.
If you want a larger, 6.1-inch iPhone, but the iPhone 13 is out of your price range at $799, you may wish to consider the iPhone 12, which offers a larger display and many of the iPhone 13’s key features, but for $599.
Alternatively, if you want a 6.1-inch device but with even more battery life and added camera capabilities, you may wish to consider the iPhone 13 Pro, which starts at $999. For the biggest iPhone with maximum battery life, there is the 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max for $1,099.
We have a host of Buyer’s Guides that take deep-dive into all of the differences between various iPhone models, so if you are now considering either the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini, take a look at our comparisons with the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max to be sure you are making the right decision:
The most important decision point between the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 comes down to screen size, but comfort, pocketability, weight, and battery life are also important considerations. The added $100 for the iPhone 13 seems fair for the added display area and battery life, but it is important to weigh up these additional factors in your personal use case.
The iPhone 13 represents the baseline for what you can get out of an iPhone, and most users will be happy with this size. A smaller, 5.4-inch iPhone is not for everyone. Some may find the iPhone 13 mini’s size far too small, while others will love the design for being ultra-portable and easy to use with one hand. These users will be willing to trade off a couple of hours of battery life for the more compact and lightweight design.
Screen size is ultimately a matter of personal preference, and Apple offers the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro lineup in three different sizes to meet all users’ needs. Since the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 share almost all features except for battery capacity, it comes down to individual taste.
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