I traded in my iPhone 12 Pro on Saturday for the 13 Mini. When I initially purchased the 12 Pro, I was trying to future proof. I wondered-and hoped-that Lidar would become increasingly helpful for us VI/blind users, I loved the idea of the extended battery life after my iPhone 8, and 6 GB of ram was appealing as well. After a year, I found that Lidar was something I never used. The battery and extra ram were great, but I wanted something smaller and more comfortable to hold. I read many claims that the 13 Mini's battery was improved from the 12 Mini and I missed the form factor of my 5S/SE devices, so I made the decision to trade in my device, especially if the Mini line will be discontinued next year as is rumored to happen. I wanted to share my experience with it so far, especially touching upon the battery as that is what many people wonder about.
First of all, it's just a tad wider and taller than the iPhone 5S/SE series. It's so much lighter than my 12 Pro and I can actually reach my fingers around the side and touch my thumb! What a concept! It runs like a dream. Everything is smooth and responsive, and the issue that I was having with my 12 Pro where my gestures would be misinterpreted (E.G. a three finger triple tap would act as a swipe left/right with one finger...strange) was no longer a problem. I also found that I could more comfortably reach the top corners of my device without strain.
I am totally blind, so I turned brightness to 0 percent, autobrightness off and turned screen curtain on. Only a select number of apps have background app refresh enabled. Bluetooth is always on as I constantly use Airpod Pros and I keep 5G off as I don't need it. Here is what I found:
On the day of my experiment, I started my day at 100% battery at 6:28 AM. At work, I streamed Youtube Music pretty much from 9 AM until when I left for home around 4 PM. I played with some apps that require use of the camera (Seeing AI and text detection in the main camera app) for a total of about 15 minutes. There was also fair use of Dystopia (Reddit app), some use of Facebook, about 3.5 hours of Facetime Audio and a phone call or two. I also watched quite a bit of Youtube, but I lock my screen when I do this and it's just the audio playing. I also played a bit of Swordy Quest, checked email, texted and used about 2 minutes of Siri overall.
I was amazed to find that by 10:30 PM, I got the 20% battery alert. I made a point to try watching Youtube with the screen unlocked and brightness at 100% to push it a little, but it felt like it took forever to die. Overall my results were:
- Total usage: 10 hours, 13 minutes
- Screen on time: 5 hours, 58 minutes
- Screen off (when phone is in use but screen is locked): 4 hours, 5 minutes
Yesterday I had similar usage, except I didn't stream Youtube Music, play Swordy and I had an hour or so of use of the Teamspeak app with these results:
-Total time: 9 hours, 28 minutes
- Screen on time: 5 hours, 35 minutes
-Screen off: 3 hours, 53 minutes
Overall, I'm in love with this little powerhouse and I will be keeping it for as long as I can! I've been very impressed so far with what I can get out of it. I hope this helps someone somewhere; if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
Thanks for writing this piece. I am an iPhone 12 mini user, and although the battery life is less than the much larger phones, I happily charge it up during the day to make sure I can keep working until its time to sleep. I do have the Magsafe Battery Pack, which really works extremely well for me. Like you, I treasure the smaller iPhone and do hope we will see more of them as time goes on.
And, it does sound like the iPhone 13 battery is longer lasting than my own. Although I do not plan to upgrade quite yet, I would not mind that extra power you possess.
Hi Morgan! Ironically, it was your post on the 12 Mini that inspired me to share! Thanks so much for your comment! Out of curiosity, how has your battery life been over the last year? I got a chance to check out the Magsafe battery pack and I absolutely love how it feels and fits on the Mini! How many charges do you get out of it;does it support you for a full day's use?
Thanks again; I really enjoy your pieces!
Excited to go mini
Nice post! I'm upgrading from a 5-year-old first generation iPhone SE, and so far I could only get 6 hours or so of battery out of it, so looking forward to more hours on the mini. I just got a screen protector and case, and will set it up tomorrow. Can't wait!!!
Battery Life and Apple Magsafe Battery Pack
My iPhone 12 battery is relatively new as I had to use AppleCare to fix a volume button that was faulty and they replaced much of the insides, including the battery. So, I can't really speak on how a battery does after a full year of use.
The Apple Magsafe Battery Pack is enough to get me through an entire day if I am not near a Lightning cable. It is so delightfully slim that it just doesn't get in the way. When I am in my comfy chair, the Battery Pack is hooked up to a Lightning cable and I use it as my charger. It generally limits how much charge it passes along to 80% which is supposed to help your iPhone battery last longer. When I go out, I just pocket the battery. The Battery Pack holds about one full iPhone mini charge, which is more than enough electrons to make it through the day.
Thanks for writing your piece and for supplying your data. That was quite useful.