Apple's most exciting iPhone 12 model isn't the one you expect

And there we have it. After months of rumours and leaks, Apple has finally pulled back the curtain on its delayed iPhone 12 lineup. The iPhone 12 itself is accompanied by the more high-end iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, as well as a smaller iPhone 12 Mini. And while the latter isn't the most powerful new device, it could actually be the most exciting iPhone 12 of them all.

The iPhone 12 features 5G capabilities, an edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display, an advanced dual-camera system and a brand new 'Ceramic Shield' front cover for increased durability. And, contrary to rumours, the iPhone 12 Mini features the exact same specs. Could both be heading for our best camera phones list?


The iPhone 12 (bottom) and iPhone 12 Mini (top)  (Image credit: Apple)

While the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini has been rumoured for a while, it was expected to come with compromises, such as a lack of 5G. Instead, it has the exact same spec sheet as its larger, 6.1-inch sibling. This means it features the A14 Bionic chip (which Apple calls the fastest chip in a smart phone), ultra-wide and night camera modes, 5G and brand new MagSafe magnet-powered charging on the back of the device. And at $699/£699, it's $100/£100 cheaper than the iPhone 12. 

The only differences, then, are the size and the price. Both the 12 and 12 Mini feature an all-new design with flat edges (borrowing the design language of the 2020 iPad Air and iPad Pro), but this, coupled with the tiny form factor, makes the iPhone 12 Mini a truly exciting device for creatives looking for a portable powerhouse. 


§The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini is much smaller than the 6.1-inch iPhone 12. (Image credit: Apple)

Indeed, the iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest iPhone since the original iPhone SE – and with those straight edges, it's pretty reminiscent of the beloved tiny device. Many users prefer to be able to use their phone comfortably one-handed, but with the advent of the iPhone X, it seemed the smaller form factor was gone forever. It seems fans of the original design are delighted with the concept of a tiny yet super-powerful device:

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Of course, the iPhone 12 Mini (like the iPhone 12) misses out on many of the iPhone 12 Pro's features – most notably the LiDAR scanner for improved AR experiences, and new ProRAW photography capabilities. Apple calls the iPhone 12 Pro "the photographer's iPhone," so if you're planning to to use the device for photos or video, you may prefer to opt for the top-end device.

For many creatives, though, the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini will be plenty powerful enough. But with its new form factor, the tiny 12 Mini could just be the most intriguing iPhone Apple has released in the last few years. We've certainly missed the portability of older devices, and were even a little disappointed with the not-that-small iPhone SE 2020.  

The iPhone 12 will be released on 23 October, with preorders starting this Friday. If, like us, you're tantalised by the 12 Mini, you'll have to wait a little longer – preorders begin on 6 November, with the device actually arriving 13 November. But you don't have to wait to get your hands on an incredible iPhone – check out the best offers available as part of Apple Prime Day deals, and take a look at today's best iPhone 11 deals below.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).