Hands-on: iPhone 12 mini versus iPhone 12 Pro Max design.

iPhone 12 mini  iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max have officially arrived, marking the largest and the smallest iPhones ever made with Apple’s edge-to-edge design language. Here’s how the two devices, which are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of both size and price, compare in the real world.

The iPhone 12 mini features a 5.4-inch display with a resolution of 2340×1080, equating to 476 pixels-per-inch. It’s an incredibly crisp and high-quality display with OELD and Apple’s Super Retina XDR technology. The iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch display with a resolution of 2778×1284, for a density of 458 pixels-per-inch.

Another major difference is the weight of the phones. The iPhone 12 mini weighs 4.76 ounces (135 grams). The iPhone 12 Pro Max weighs 8.03 ounces (228 grams).

A common theme in many of the early iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews was that iOS doesn’t feel optimized for a 6.7-inch display. I can’t help but think that there is quite a bit of wasted space on the iPhone 12 Pro Max home screen. Check out all the empty space between the last row of the icon grid and the dock:

That being said, in things like Safari, you do get quite a bit more screen real estate for things like text with the iPhone 12 Pro Max:

One of the biggest design differences between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, other than sheer size, is the finish of each device. The iPhone 12 mini features a glossy back with aluminum edges, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a matte finish on the back with glossy stainless steel edges.

The stainless steel design is one of biggest factors in why the iPhone 12 Pro Max is so heavy. It also means that the edges of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, particularly with the graphite finish, are fingerprint magnets:

The aluminum edges of the iPhone 12 mini are gorgeous:

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is so big and unwieldy that you almost have to use a case, which also helps hide the fingerprints on the side. Notably, Also has leather cases for the iPhone 12 mini this year.

The camera bump is another major difference between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 mini features a dual-camera setup with wide and ultra wide lenses, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a triple-lens design with a telephoto lens, an ultra wide lens, and a wide lens.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max also features a new sensor-shift stabilization technology, which is one of the reasons the camera bump is actually bigger this year than with the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Both the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max are also compatible with Apple’s MagSafe accessories, though the former will charge at 12W versos the latter’s 15W support.

And here’s the iPhone 12 mini using Apple’s MagSafe Wallet:

Of course, there are likely going to be very few people making a decision between the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max. They are very different phones and they target very different parts of the iPhone market. Nonetheless, I think that speaks to the versatility of the iPhone 12 lineup, and these two devices are what really stretch the lineup to the needs of every buyer.

If you’re still waiting for your order to arrive or you’re planning to buy a new iPhone for someone this holiday season, remember that citing environmental concerns, Apple is no longer including headphones or a charging brick in the iPhone 12 box this year. Here are some accessories you might consider picking up to help fill that gap.

What do you think of the iPhone 12 mini vs the iPhone 12 Pro Max? Let us know down in the comments!

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