iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone SE: What you get for an extra $300, besides 5G

Back in October, Apple introduced an entirely new iPhone model called the iPhone 12 Mini. Out of the four iPhone 12 variants, the iPhone Mini is the most compact and most affordable, starting at $729 (£699; AU$1,199). But it’s not the only iPhone designed for value-driven shoppers who want the latest and greatest from their iPhones. There’s also the iPhone SE 2020, which launched in April. The iPhone SE’s screen is smaller than the 12 Mini (though the device itself is larger) and it’s also cheaper. Starting at $399, £419 and AU$749, the iPhone SE sits squarely in the budget category.

To see which of Apple’s most-affordable new iPhones is for you, we compared the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone SE to see what exactly that $330 (£280 / AU$450) difference gets you.

iPhone 12 Mini’s display is larger, more premium and more durable

The display is one of the major differentiators between the two iPhones. The iPhone 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch display, while the iPhone SE 2020 has a 4.7-inch screen, making it the smallest (screened) iPhone currently available.

The iPhone 12 Mini also has an all-around better display than the iPhone SE. It has an OLED panel that’s advertised to have four times better drop protection than the LCD screen seen on the iPhone SE, thanks to a new ceramic-hardened glass display.

iPhone 12 drop tests conducted by CNET Senior Editor Vanessa Hand Orellana concluded that the Ceramic Shield is “as tough as it sounds.” The iPhone 12’s screen survived without a crack after it was dropped six times on a sidewalk, including three back-to-back drops from a height of 9 feet. We haven’t yet conducted a durability test on the iPhone SE, which has Gorilla Glass on the back and the front, but it’s expected to perform similarly to the iPhone 8, given it has a similar design. In that case, the iPhone 8 suffered a cracked screen when it was dropped from 5 feet…Read more>>