Long battery life, comfortable screen and powerful camera.
This is an iPhone 13 mini.
A year ago, the iPhone 12 mini turned out to be the favorite smartphone that no one wanted to buy. Each review wrote that its compactness enchants, but for 70,000 rubles people will not want to take a device with a battery back to back and with a good, but not the best camera.
I had the same opinion, so (after much arguing with myself) nine months ago I took the iPhone 12 Pro Max. And I waited for what Apple would prepare for next year.
2. New cutout and screen
3. Is 5.4 inches enough?
5. Film effect for the pros
7. About the stuffing
8. Conclusion, prices
iPhone 13 mini has improved all the features that were previously doubtful. The battery is bigger, the notch is smaller, the cameras are better. I have been holding it in my hands for the third day and, no matter how strange it may sound, I can only say that this is a completely different smartphone.
With the help of surgically precise small changes, the iPhone 13 mini has been transformed, perfected the previously developed foundation. It was as if they looked at him and said, “Let’s stuff everything here to show what we are capable of!”.
But will this be enough to lure potential iPhone 13 buyers? Depends on how you look at the smartphone.
Looks the same, feels like new
Yes, this is the same thin bar with straight edges that fits in any palm. It is almost not felt in your pocket, unless you stick a leather wallet with MagSafe support.
It is almost lightning fast to manage icons, letters, gestures, because the area is more compact than its older brothers, and sweeping movements do not have to be done.
The thickness, which has grown by 0.25 mm, suits the smartphone very well. When I took it in my hands for the first time, there was a strange feeling of something painfully familiar, familiar, more solid. And then it hit me.
Reminds no one?
The thickness of all the new iPhone 13 is only five hundredths of a millimeter more than the most brutal – in my opinion – smartphone with a button that Apple made.
It seems to me that then the designers achieved the golden mean in thickness. At least for smartphones with straight edges.
It seems to me that this heritage is ideal for new products. iPhone 13 mini is just as light with a difference of only 7 grams with the previous model (140 grams versus 133 grams in 12 mini). But due to the greater thickness in the hand, it lies more confidently, and looks and feels more reliable right away at the subconscious level.
Left iPhone 13 mini, right 8-year-old iPhone 5S
In just two days, I got used to the size of the smartphone. The first day my big toe hurt, really. I have large hands, and getting used to the subtle manipulations in the “one hand” mode was something new. Now it’s in order.
But something strange happened yesterday. Apparently, having seen enough of the iPhone 5S, to my eyes the display size is minika started to look even bigger. I look and think, someone needs a screen and a larger body?
And only after returning to the iPhone 11, I remembered how much the screens of other models are larger. And more comfortable?
This cutout changed everything
I was surprised with how modest and accurate Apple introduced the narrowing of the Face ID cutout by 20%. We didn’t see beautiful renderings, we didn’t hear about the difficulties that prevented the company from doing this for three years. Just “now it’s smaller” and that’s it.
Probably, unnecessary praise and calculation of the new usable area could provoke ridicule from the aggressive opponents of the company.
But it was worth talking about how good the iPhone 13 mini looks now.
Previously, the notch was the same as, say, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Because of this, with a much smaller screen width minika there is almost no space left on the sides to display status icons. So much so that they were made, well, quite small, I had to squint:
iPhone 12 mini on the left, iPhone 13 mini on the right
It also made it difficult to look at the smartphone as a serious and expensive device.
The new cutout is more compact, it leaves more room on the sides and removes the “toy” feel from last year. The battery and Wi-Fi symbols are now larger and nicer to look at. True, that’s why we didn’t get the long-awaited percentage of the battery
But the content is less obstructed, this is the third time, almost at the subconscious level, it gives a feeling of novelty.
I suppose no one expected the second improvement at all. Now the standard screen brightness reaches that of the iPhone 12 Pro, that is 800 nits.
Let me remind you that this indicator is better than those 625 nits that were in the iPhone XS and any starting model after it.
I have already had the experience of moving from a screen of one brightness (iPhone XR) to a higher one (iPhone 12 Pro Max). You can see the difference best in bright sunshine, not now when the weather is overcast.
If you switch from, for example, iPhone 8 to iPhone 13 mini, the innovation will start to catch your eye in winter, when the world turns into one big white field.
Life with a “small” screen
Judging by the promotion, Apple is trying not to share new items because of the screen size. But in the case of mini, as far as I myself felt, you need to make small reservations.
Because iPhones are incredibly capable right now, we’re outsourcing a lot of work to them. Writing texts, photo editing, video editing, some even manage to work in spreadsheets and make presentations.
On the compact stretched 5.4-inch screen, I’m ready to take notes on articles, take pictures and quickly color-correct in built-in applications.
But here it is more difficult to carry out the jewelry work that is needed in the installation of Reels for Instagram, for applying masks in retouching and for creating complex Stories. You have to poke more often than usual to fit the elements under each other. This is a physical limitation that becomes difficult to deal with.
This is why there may not be a mini version of the iPhone Pro. Theoretically, this is possible with a slightly thicker thickness, but that is why there are smartphones with a large diagonal for those who use them on a par with a laptop or even more.
I met an unusual problem due to the new size and position of the status bar.
Instagram did not have time to optimize its interface, which is why a number of buttons and the application logo in the top row overlap the icons with the time, battery, and operator name.
You can click, trouble rests on the visual. We are waiting for an update with a solution.
In the built-in applications of the iPhone and other third-party applications, I did not see such a problem.
A frequency of 60 Hz suits me perfectly for two reasons.
Firstly, I had experience using a 120 Hz screen, and I didn’t feel anything impressive. Yes, it’s better to have than not to have, but it’s not scary without it.
Second, the iPhone’s touchscreen runs at 120Hz, and it helps iOS deliver responsive animations more smoothly by recognizing touches twice as fast as it’s displayed on the screen. In general, and so very smoothly.
Two new cameras please. But you need to know where to look
Last year, the iPhone 12 Pro Max was the only Apple smartphone with a giant sensor on a wide-angle camera. They made her luminosity ƒ/1.6and the pixels were scaled up to 1.7 µm versus 1.4 µm on other models.
It received 47% more light, resorted to less night mode, and produced a more detailed texture of everything that fell into the frame.
I think it’s almost a miraclewhat now the same module installed in the tiny case of the iPhone 13 mini.
True, a user who is not savvy in the field of photography many improvements will appear gradually. The phrase becomes the motto of this generation.
In order not to consider improvements in a vacuum, below I compared the photos with the iPhone 11, since new items will be updated either from that generation or from an even earlier one. More tests will be done later.
Since almost all of the improvements this time around are more technical, there are three things to look at.
First noise reduction will be noticeable.
The sensor is larger, more light comes in, which means that with the same shutter-collapsing time, you can set a lower sensitivity (ISO).
Usually, because of this high rate, we see the grain. Now it’s less.
Second turn will improve the digital zoom.
The further you zoom in, the less noticeable the difference.
Partly due to Deep Fusion, partly due to more data on the matrix, texture rendering and
3.5x digital zoom in dim light (camera hell). iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
Digital zoom 5x in cloudy weather. iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
Third the point will be the disappearance of haze in dimly lit rooms, characteristic of cameras with small sensors.
This is clearly seen in the example below. All objects in the frame seem more voluminous.
Greater detailing of the frame gives more shadows and thus works out the relief of the shots. And yes, both cameras were wiped clean, no bloopers on the glass.
Dim room, 1x. iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
There is something that is immediately noticeable.
The main flowering will appear in the night photography without Night mode. This is where the new module shows itself in all its glory.
This is an upgrade on all fronts. The sky is clearer, the asphalt almost came to life, the foliage is much more alive, the fence stands out more, the frame volume is stronger, small details are more noticeable.
Night mode only reinforced the shortcomings of the previous model.
You will find few differences in photographs in bright sunlight or close shots.
With a lot of light, making good shots is no problem for a long time. There you have to look at each pixel separately.
The same story with pictures, where the object is next to the camera. You need to zoom in on the photo to realize the advantage of a large matrix. Like in these examples:
iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
I liked the color rendition of the second photo even more. Although the first is more realistic. iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
Only after 10x magnification does it become clear that every grain of rice is rendered better on the iPhone 13 mini.
At the same time, on it, the texture of the chicken disappeared in some places due to a slight shadow, which shows how sensitively it is necessary to build an identical frame in which the difference will catch your eye.
iPhone 11 for some reason made photos more saturated warm. It did not correspond to reality, but it looks prettier.
New ultra wide camera in some places, too, will require good care. Its main difference from the past is in a clearer image. If you look at the edges, you can see it right away. In the center is not so noticeable, but also clear.
A comparison to the iPhone 12’s ultra-angle would be less obvious, because it would have been helped by a sharpening algorithm through the Deep Fusion neural network.
However, the difference across generations is significant.
Ultra wide camera in the dark. iPhone 13 mini on the left, iPhone 11 on the right
Photographic styles, perhaps, appeared precisely for such situations. They semantically adjust the tone and texture of each individual photo in their own way, but within the limits you set.
It took me three times to look through them to make one short conclusion. A great feature that will be rarely used.
The fact is that changing photos after shooting is much more comfortable than before. Styles are set before you click on Descent. After that, the settings will be baked forever, but you still need to select them first.
As you adjust the tone and texture, the frame may change: the model moves, the dog leaves, the sun sets.
Therefore, at the presentation, we heard: we set it up once, and the filter will be saved. That is, the option is most suitable for those who always prefer cold or very warm colors, bold volume or softness. I’m not one of those, I prefer variety.
“Cine Effect” as a double draft
You have probably heard many times that the portrait mode in video, which Apple called film effectdoes not work perfectly due to frequent errors and incorrect edge detection.
It is difficult for me to agree with this, because otherwise you will see one side of the coin.
The mode works on 4 out of 5 in general and by 5 in comparison with analogues.
Despite the misses, the effect works correctly 85% of the time, and the transition almost always happens neatly. The most annoying thing at this moment is the jumping windows that offer objects for focus. They probably create the feeling that something is going wrong.
The edit mode will feel much worse. Apple has made a clear interface, but bugs still prevent you from doing it right away as you want. Switching focus sometimes does not work, the timeline jumps.
I hope this will be fixed in the next OS releases. We already understood that the release version of iOS 15 was in a bad state.
So for now, the feature will be a draft for both Apple and those who will use it.
Because I am more than sure that in the field of cinematography, almost every cameraman and director will want to make drafts during the development of scenes and sketches using this mode.
Removed from charge at 9:40, and by midnight there were still 11% left with heavy use
…There is no need to even discuss it anymore.
Last year, the iPhone 12 mini held up with dignity, but did not arouse admiration. Many did not want to take it precisely because of the weakest battery among all new iPhones. Considering the price, of course.
The smartphone really keeps the day with constant use. My test included the Camera in Photo, Video and Film Effect modes, Notes, YouTube, Music, Games and Web Browsing. Five plus hours of screen time is what people do, on average, away from charging.
Working hours on the third and second day, respectively
The first screenshot above shows run time from 9:40 am to almost midnight, and by this point the charge remained at 11% despite almost constant screen time.
In the second screenshot above, you can see that the iPhone 13 mini charged to 100% at 10 pm, and reached 1% only at 8 pm the next day.
I don’t know about you, but I was impressed with the performance of this little device.
With him, now it’s not scary to go to the city without a battery, if you are not going to shoot a lot. I got rid of this habit with the iPhone 12 Pro Max and I guess I wouldn’t start thinking about it very often with the iPhone 13 mini.
Others share my impressions. A recent test showed that a normal iPhone 12 with work time 5h 53 minthan new 13 mini With 6h 25 min.
Powered by the power of iPhone 13. For its size
The first measurements show that the A15 Bionic has improved more in the CPU area than the GPU. Trite because competitors are still lagging behind in both areas.
You can drive smartphones as much as you want in editing 4K files and count seconds, collect benchmark data, measure the number of frames in 3D scenes. but in concert this device does not need it, because it will unconditionally do all this at the level of first places.
The processors in the iPhone now do a lot of things, and the main ones are working with camera functions, maximizing energy savings, smooth animations, and instantly launching applications. The chip in the iPhone 13 mini does just that.
You don’t expect anything else. Apple innovations are always powerful.
What impresses me the most is how well this distribution of resources is thought out. It is noticeable that videos are now cut and cropped faster, but at the right moments, the power of the chip hides and waits in the wings, saving precious interest.
Therefore, I am so confident and say that the battery will easily survive the day. This smartphone is needed for those who treat everything a little differently.
So who is the iPhone 13 mini for?
It will sound very sweet, but… For those who want freedom.
For a flagship price starting at Rs. From the requests of any user, he can all.
It has a luxurious, bright, high-contrast screen.
The battery, which this time is really enough for the whole day without exaggeration.
A chip more powerful than which in smartphones can only be found in the iPhone 13 Pro, but without the extra 2 GB of RAM, it is hardly needed.
A compact and therefore comfortable design that will never create problems due to its width or weight, like absolutely any other modern flagship.
In three weeks, I went from a diagonal of 6.7 to 6.1, and then from 6.1 to 5.4 inches. And it was amazingly smooth. But going back to the bigger screen, I understand why the new iPhone 13 mini may not be a hit again.
Whether prejudice, habit, compensation, or just the level of expectations, people want a larger diagonal, even if it brings inconvenience.
Only those who do not worry about the four points from the sentence above will take the iPhone 13 mini.
Apple is the only company that can successfully launch an expensive small smartphone with flagship hardware for two years in a row.
Other manufacturers have stopped entering this empty niche, because Android buyers will not want top models with not the best battery and small screen.
Of all the possible disadvantages in the iPhone 13 mini, there are no longer those that depended on the iron inside the small case.
Everything about it is wonderful, and nothing else makes you think about buying, except for one. Is this screen right for you?
If not, then the iPhone 13 will fit. We released his review yesterday.
The new one came out today current prices for iPhone 13 mini such:
▪️ iPhone 13 mini 128 GB: 69.990 rub.
▪️ iPhone 13 mini 256 GB: 79.990 rub.
▪️ iPhone 13 mini 512 GB: 99.990 rub.
For myself, I will most likely take the iPhone 13 Pro, because yes, it is important for me to have the widest possible photo opportunities. But I don’t even look at Max because of the size.
Therefore, I think that many of the two models should look at the more compact one. Still, the iPhone 13 mini really solved all the problems of its predecessor.
All photos in the article:
It could only be created by Apple.
- Before ←
Real life comparison of all new iPhone 13, 12 and SE. Who has won?
- After →
iFixit took apart the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. What is inside