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Apple iPhone 13 mini review: Compact power

Apple iPhone 13 mini review: Compact power

Apple iPhone 13 mini

It used to be 5-inch phones would be considered big for their size. These days, the Apple iPhone 13 mini seems small compared to the other iPhone 13s. Having used a 6-inch phone the last two years, it took awhile to reset my brain, but I've come to appreciate the smaller size and how everything is within reach with just one hand. It's also easier to grip tightly, and fits in your pocket better.

Quick specs

  • 5.4-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB storage
  • IP68 water, dust, splash resistance
  • Dual 12MP rear camera, 12MP front

The mini has everything the larger iPhone 13 has. This includes two really great rear cameras, a brilliant 5.4-inch OLED display, wireless charging, and Apple's A15 Bionic chip. It also has Face ID, Apple's biometric security system that lets you log into the phone or make payments. What it doesn't have is the triple rear camera system of the Pro series, but it doesn't matter as much. The phone also comes with double the base storage of last year's model. That's 128GB versus the 64GB of the iPhone 12 mini.

Apple iPhone 13 mini
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Battery life as rated by Apple is better than the previous iPhone 12 mini by two hours at 17 hours of video playback. Our battery tests, which has the phone at 100% brightness and volume with just Wi-Fi on, showed the phone lasted about 5 hours. The difference between the rated result and our tests is probably down to how bright the screen is. If your screen is at normal brightness, you'll get much better battery life. In fact, the iPhone 13 mini easily lasted a full day with more than 20% in the tank. That's with medium to heavy usage throughout the day before I went to bed.

Apple iPhone 13 mini
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Another thing great about the iPhone 13 mini is that it gets the camera performance from the iPhone 12 Pro. The phone features a wide and ultra-wide setup, with up to 2x optical and 5x digital zoom. Photos are great with full of detail and bright vibrant colors. You can also choose the color tone the camera shoots with. Low light performance is also great. One cool feature I really liked is Cinematic mode, which lets you select the focus area of a video even after you shoot it. I do note that it has limitations depending on the distance between your subjects.

Starting at S$1,149 for the base 128GB model, the Apple iPhone 13 mini is the best small flagship phone available. In fact, I couldn't quite find another equivalent flagship that could match this. It will take some getting used to the smaller screen if you're a fan of bigger phones though. Get it from Lazada, Shopee, or the Apple online store.

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Note: Review unit provided by Apple.

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The only compact phone with flagship performance.

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