Until now, I’ve had mixed opinions regarding the iPhone SE 2. Technically it offers great value for money with a solid camera and chipset, but its dated design made it feel like something was missing. That something was the iPhone 12 Mini.
As the name implies, the newly announced iPhone 12 Mini seeks to offer an almost identical experience to the iPhone 12, but in a smaller form factor. This slightly more affordable point of entry follows in the recent trend of smaller mid-tier/flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10e and the recent Pixel 4a.
Related: iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2
The recent uptick in smaller phones makes a lot of sense, particularly as flagship devices are now as big as they’ve ever been. I’ve ruined many a pair of skinny jeans with the outline of a flagship phone in the pocket causing permanent damage to the fabric, and I say no more. Not only does the iPhone 12 Mini’s more palatable size appeal directly to my changing tastes, but it also serves as a far better gateway into the modern Apple ecosystem than the iPhone SE 2 could ever hope to achieve.
If there’s one thing that recent affordable smartphones from big name brands have absolutely nailed, it’s in giving us a slice of the premium experience, just enough to appease daily use but with a hint of aspiration for what it might be like to finally make the jump to full flagship.
At just £245, the Galaxy M31 boasts a gorgeous AMOLED display, but not quite the same processing power that you’d expect from the Galaxy flagships. Similarly, the Pixel 4a offers unbelievable camera fidelity for only £349, but it doesn’t boast the higher refresh rates of more expensive Google phones. The iPhone SE 2 on the other hands feel less like a glimpse into Apple’s best tech, but rather a device that’s clinging on to phones that have long since been surpassed.
Related: all you need to know about the iPhone 12 Mini
The most obvious disconnect is in the new iPhone SE’s design. With a 4.7-inch screen and top and bottom heavy bezels, the iPhone SE is about as far away from the modern Apple notch design as you can possibly get. By comparison, the iPhone 12 Mini is actually smaller and lighter than the SE, but it feels like a 2020 phone, having utilised the space as much as it can to deliver a larger 5.4-inch screen.
I recognize that when it comes to Apple products, ‘affordable’ isn’t the first term that comes to mind, but if Apple is serious about offering a lower-priced iPhone to reel consumers in, then it should ditch the iPhone SE and see the iPhone 12 Mini as the concept it needs to invest in.