The iPhone 12 Mini’s big drawback: A tiny battery

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That’s not technically true — because the iPhone 12 Mini is so much smaller, it has a significantly tinier battery. Apple says the iPhone 12 Mini gets two hours less battery life than its larger sibling — 15 hours of video playback on the iPhone 12 Mini compared with 17 hours on the iPhone 12.

That’s still impressive, especially considering some of the iPhone’s larger rivals have substantially larger batteries and don’t get nearly as much life out of them. Apple has always worked some magic with battery life by making its software and chips work seamlessly together.

But lower battery life remains tradeoff of the iPhone 12 Mini. Sure, you’re getting the same screen, camera, chip, software and other features for $100 less, in a 5.4-inch package. But when your buddy with the bigger phone is at 20% and you’re at 5%, you might be rethinking whether the smaller phone was the right choice.

Apple blog 9to5Mac reports that the iPhone 12 Mini battery capacity is 21% smaller than the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 itself, which is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 11, has a 9.5% smaller battery than last year’s iPhone.

But Apple is promising the same battery life on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro as the iPhone 11. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a whopping 20 hours of battery life.

This year’s 5G-equipped iPhones include enhanced cameras, an upgraded display, a tougher glass screen and new colors, among other bells and whistles, compared with last year’s iterations.

The cheapest phone in the lineup is the iPhone 12 mini, which starts at $699. The top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099. It has Apple’s biggest ever smartphone display at 6.7 inches.

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are all offering ways to get cheaper — or even free — new iPhones.

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