Delays caused by Covid-19 meant that when Apple released its iPhone 12 and 12 Pro a number of weeks ago, it wasn't ready to also start selling the iPhone Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini. 

However, those delays have since been overcome and the company began shipping the biggest and smallest devices in the iPhone 12 range in mid-November. 

We previously reviewed the iPhone 12  and 12 Pro in detail and there is considerable overlap and shared features between those two devices and the 12 Pro Max and 12 mini, so we won’t be writing a full review of them as well. 

But there are also some differences between the handsets. Here are the main ones.


The 12 Pro Max and 12 mini carry the same updated look as the 12 and 12 Pro, with the stainless steel band around the outside, akin to that found on the old iPhone 5. 

But there are big differences when it comes to dimensions. 

The 12 Mini is a dinky little handset that will really appeal to anyone with small hands or just likes a compact device. 

It has the same decent Super Retina XDR display you get on the entire iPhone 12 range, including the 12 Pro Max. 

But in the case of the mini, it is just 5.4" in size, making it 20% smaller than the iPhone 12 and even smaller than the older iPhone SE. 

If you are used to using a larger phone, you will find it very small, although Apple has maximised the screen real estate by keeping the bezels to a bare minimum. 

But there is definitely a market for compact devices like this that has been under served in recent times. 

There’s a market too though for huge phones, and this is where the 12 Pro Max comes in. 

It has a 6.7" display, making it the big daddy of the range and more than a handful. 

That extra size though, if you aren’t put off by it, does enable you to do a lot more when it comes to browsing the web, editing images and video and watching video back. 

It won’t be for everyone though, particularly those who like to use their phone one handed.

A discrete pocket phone it really is not.


When it comes to the imaging setup there is also some variation on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini when compared to the 12 and 12 Pro. 

On the 12 Pro Max you get the same triple camera set up as you do on the 12 Pro, but with the slightly improved optical zoom range of 5x compared to the 12 Pro’s 4x.

It also boasts the LiDAR scanner that the 12 Pro has to help with faster autofocus, portrait snaps using Night Mode and Augmented Reality experiences. 

The wide-angle camera chip is 47% larger, providing better performance in low light, less noise and reducing the need to use Night Mode as much. 

The optical image stabilisation on the 12 Pro Max has also had a revamp, with the stabilisation moved from the lens to the sensor for the first time in a smartphone, giving impressive results. 

The 12 mini on the other hand is a more basic two camera unit. 

You get the ultra wide and wide lenses, but no telephoto.

That means when it comes to optical zooming you only get a 2x range. 

It can only record Dolby Vision HDR video at up to 30fps, rather than the 60fps on offer on its bigger brothers. 

The Apple ProRAW option, which allows raw images to be captured using unedited data, is also not available on the mini. 

There’s also no LiDAR scanner on the mini, ruling out the possibility of using the bokeh Portrait effect in Night Mode, but perhaps that’s something most users can live without for now. 

But while you aren’t getting as much in the imaging department as you get on the bigger and more expensive handsets in the range, the quality of the camera set up you are getting is still solid. 


All four devices in the iPhone 12 range are powered by the new A14 Bionic chip and next-generation Neural Engine.

So you won’t notice a massive variation in processing capacity and speed across the devices. 

But where you will notice a difference is with battery life. 

Given its huge size, the Pro Max boasts a much bigger battery, which Apple claims will give you a substantial 20 hours of video playback. 

In our everyday testing we found it typically lasted a full day of heavy use with still around a third of the battery intact.

Contrast that with the other end of the range, where on the iPhone mini, a smaller shell means a smaller battery, and as a result the equivalent benchmark is 15 hours of video playback. 

You'll still get a day's average to heavy use from it, but it won't last as long as the Pro or Pro Max.

The mini also offers less in the way of storage capacity, ranging from 64GB up to 256GB, where as the Pro Max ditches the 64GB offering but adds a 512GB choice at the top end. 


Of course the biggest difference between the iPhone 12 Pro Max, mini and the other two handsets in the middle of the range is cost. 

The smaller mini carries a commensurate lower price tag, starting at €815. 

At the other end of the scale, the Pro Max starts at €1,258, rising to an eye-watering €1,600 for the largest capacity 512GB version. 

But while the latest iPhones remain among the most expensive premium handsets available in the market, Apple cannot be accused of failing to give buyers choice. 

In fact, when you factor in that its still possible to buy an iPhone SE, 11 and XR new from Apple, there is arguably more choice than ever before across the iPhone range. 

So as always, if your heart is set on a new iPhone rather than a good alternative Android device, what it boils down to is what you need, what you want and ultimately what you are willing to pay.