iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE 2020: Which is the Best Small iPhone?

Out of the four iPhone 12 variants, iPhone 12 Mini is the most compact and affordable. But, it’s not the only iPhone that is designed to be small. There’s also the iPhone SE 2020. So, we’ve compared the major features of iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE to help you decide which phone is right for you.


iPhone 12 Mini vs iPhone SE display

One of the main differences between the iPhone 12 mini and SE 2020 lies in display. While the 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch display, the SE screen is only 4.7-inch. However, with the all-around design, the 12 mini still looks a bit smaller, despite having a larger screen.

Besides, thanks to the new Ceramic shield tech, its screen can offer 4 times better drop protection than iPhone SE’s LCD screen. And, here is our drop test results: 

The iPhone 12’s screen survived without a crack after being dropped 6 times on a sidewalk from 9 feet high. Meanwhile, the iPhone SE can not hold it together after a 5 feet drop. 

Our conclusion: The iPhone 12 Mini’s is not only smaller, but it’s also more premium and durable than the 2020 iPhone SE.

Specs and Performance

iPhone 12 mini iPhone SE 2020 
  • 5.4″ 2340 x 1080 pixels OLED
  • A14 5nm
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm
  • Face ID
  • 2227mAh battery
  • 4.7″ 1334 x 750 pixels LCD
  • A13 7nm chipset
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
  • Home Button
  • 1821mAh battery

The iPhone 12 Mini features the newest Apple processor, the A14 Bionic. It’s the first to be made using the 5nm manufacturing process, allowing Apple to cram in more circuitry than earlier chips.

On the other hand, iPhone SE has the last year’s A13 Bionic chip (the same chip in the iPhone 11 lineup). However, you probably won’t notice any difference in daily use. In reality, both devices deliver the same fluid user experience with crisp graphics.

Our conclusion: Even though the 12 Mini processor is faster, it isn’t a game-changer if you don’t need to do any intensive tasks on your iPhone.


The iPhone 12 Mini has three 12-megapixel cameras. Meanwhile, the iPhone SE 2020, only has a single 12M wide lens on the back and a 4-megapixel front-facing camera.

If you compare the wide-angle lens on both iPhones, the SE has a smaller aperture than the 12 mini (f/1.8 vs f/1.6). Therefore, it can’t produce great images in low-light conditions. However, overall, the SE photo quality is still good enough when compared to the 12 mini, despite relying on a single rear lens.

Our conclusion: While both iPhones can capture high-quality images, only the 12 mini can do this well in difficult lighting conditions.


While the SE offers up to 15 hours of video playback, the 12 Mini only lasts for 14 hours. But, keep in mind that the iPhone 12 Mini also has 5G connectivity, which can seriously impact its battery life. In addition, you can use MagSafe to charge both of these models. But, it doesn’t work that well on iPhone SE and other older models.

Our conclusion: An extra hour might not be much of a deal-breaker for somebody. But, if you prefer an iPhone with decent battery life, then the 12 mini is the winner here.

Pros & Cons

  Pros Cons
iPhone SE (2020)
  • Apple A13 chip
  • Improved Camera with  Portrait photos
  • 4k videos record
  • Supports Wireless Charging
  • Small 4.7″ IPS LCD Display
  • Similar form factor of the iPhone 8
  • Poor battery capacity
  • No Face ID
iPhone 12 mini
  • Small design makes it easy to handle
  • Excellent performance
  • Beautiful screen 
  • Lackluster battery life
  • Slower MagSafe charging 

The Verdict

Well, there is no doubt that the new iPhone 12 mini is better than the iPhone SE 2020 in every way.  However, there’s one area where the iPhone SE (2020) strikes back hard. And, it’s the price. We’re talking about a $399 iPhone SE vs a $699 iPhone 12 mini here!

At $399, the iPhone SE (2020) is your cheapest A13 Bionic option out there. But, if you like compact phones with a modern design, a bigger battery, and the fastest chipset out there, then the iPhone 12 mini is the one to get.

Which one is your best choice, the new iPhone 12 mini or the iPhone SE 2020? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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