iPhone 12 Mini review: My fun shooter of the summer
I'VE always loved bigger phones.
They offer more screen real estate, generally have better cameras, feature more processing power, and much better battery life.
But after using the iPhone 12 Mini for the past month, I could easily be converted, even with my large hands.
Apple's smallest, lightest 5G phone has been my fun phone of the summer holidays.
When I switched over, I left my work emails off it. That helped a lot.
As a phone on the go, whether taking the dog for a walk on the beach or hiking through rainforest to waterfalls, it was superb.
It fits so easily in every pocket and using it with one hand is a breeze.
Compared to the much bigger iPhone 12 Pro Max, it is so light to carry around. It weighs just 135 grams compared to 228 for the bigger phone.
And when it comes to features it's not missing much that its bigger brother has.
The wide-angle camera is exceptional. And when you start playing around with long exposures, the results are just brilliant.
So good, I was showing a guy using very expensive DLSR camera equipment on a tripod the results I was getting while we were taking sunrise scenes.
A photographer with years of experience, and the knowledge to apply that to every situation, he achieved some superb photos.
The iPhone 12 Mini, through computational photography, was pretty close, with a lot less effort on my part.
Over the summer, people have commented quite a bit on my photos.
There are a few keys - using the right equipment, taking the photos at the right time of the day (early morning or late afternoon), and looking for something a little different, often shot at an unusual angle.
Taking the photos on the iPhone 12 Mini, you see that magic unfolding in front of you.
While a bad camera can see your skies completely blown out, especially in harsh sunlight, a good camera will pick up all the detail.
To do that in the old days would require lots of post editing. Adjusting exposures at different part of the photo to get the full dynamic range. The latest phone cameras, and particularly Apple's newest, do it all for you using very clever Smart HDR technology.
The wide and ultra wide cameras provide really different perspectives.
I've particularly loved shooting with the ultra wide.
Night mode and deep fusion are now on all cameras, including the selfie camera.
The big difference between the iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max is in the zoom department.
The bigger iphone offers a 2.5 optical zoom.
In the video department, you still get 4K which gives you plenty of capacity to crop in on videos for more impact.
The 5.4 inch phone has a beautiful Super Retina XDR, custom designed OLED display which takes up almost all of the phone.
The A14 Bionic chip is super fast, meaning that even editing 4K video is remarkably easy.
Probably the biggest gripe with the phone is battery life.
There were days where I was getting down to 20 per cent or less towards the end of the day.
But it charges up very quickly, especially with the new MagSafe charger, so it wasn't a huge drama.
I really like the design of the phone with the flat edges and ceramic shield which promises four times the normal drop protection.
I used the phone for four weeks without a cover, dropped it a couple of times, and ended up with only just a small scratch.
While it is far more expensive than than the SE, it also offers a lot more. If you want all the latest features in a small package, it's definitely the small phone for choice at the moment.