I’ve been an iPhone user since the first model was released ten years ago, and I’ve been around long enough to see how the iPhone has changed over time. The screen got bigger, and then smaller before Apple settled on its current screen size with the release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 lines earlier this year. Since that time, rumors have been swirling about when Apple will release a mini version of its flagship phone to allow users to get that smaller screen experience without giving up the power of the larger phone models.
A size worth considering
The iPhone 8 mini is the perfect size for a phone and my pocket. I never feel like it’s going to fall out or that I’m pressing on my leg when using the touchscreen. It is so small and light, but also easy to use thanks to the touch feature, even iPhone 8 with just one hand. However, while it’s great that there are a few issues with the size of this phone, the issues it does have may not be worth the hassle of having a phone just for smaller hands.
I had no problems with this model of iPhone until it started getting hot while playing games on Snapchat or Facebook.
When we reviewed the iPhone 8, we concluded that size didn’t matter in determining which size of iPhone you should buy. Sure, there are a few features (like the camera) that are optimized for the larger model, but it’s not like you can’t use the 8 Plus or 8 on a table.
This time around with the mini though, I’m going to have to recommend the smaller one just because of size. It doesn’t hurt that Apple has improved so many other aspects of its design and added new features (read: portrait mode).
For example, while you could take portrait mode on any model of an iPhone and it would work, it works best when used with a larger sensor. That’s because using a telephoto lens to achieve that depth-of-field effect is more difficult to do on a small sensor.
The images will always be larger and better quality if you use it on an 8 Plus or 7 Plus instead of trying to crop in closer on a picture taken by another model. Likewise, other features like Live Photos or 4K video are optimized based on screen size as well. So unless you’re planning to crop or zoom into all your pictures, get the smaller version just because of its size alone.
Battery life and charging speed
The iPhone 8 mini’s battery is 11% bigger than the iPhone SE, and it performs well. The phone lasts for about four hours of heavy use. I was able to go from 10 am to 2 pm without needing a charge by tweeting, Instagramming, browsing the internet, and checking email. It usually takes between two to three hours for the battery to fully charge and you can fast-charge the phone in thirty minutes with a USB-C charger cable that comes in the box. But what about screen size?
One major drawback of this phone is how small it looks when viewing videos or playing games. A 16:9 video is stretched iPhone 8over an 18:9 ratio, which makes the content onscreen look even more cramped than usual.
Speed of operation (including biometrics)
The iPhone 8 mini has a fantastic speed to it, although not quite as fast as the newer models, and it includes facial recognition. This phone is small enough to fit in your pocket without much hassle. If you’re looking for a smaller iPhone with some updated features and good functionality, this is perfect for you.
# 1: Speed One of the biggest reasons people want a smaller phone is the ease of use and comfortable portability – which this model does well. The smoothness is still there, but you can feel that the speed is less than what we see in new models. And while fingerprints do accumulate (especially on the display), they are far easier to clean up than on other models because they are so much more visible due to their size.
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