This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
This year's flagship iPhone 12 series is rumored to consist of four models. The iPhone 12 mini, which will be the smallest and cheapest of these models, is expected to have a screen size of 5.4 inches, which has drawn the attention of users who favor smaller devices.
There has also been a leak of a dummy model, which is believed to be from the device, indicating that it could be as compact and easy to hold as the original iPhone.
The iPhone 12 mini is likely to be popular in Japan due to its small size and price, but some expect it to be limited in its specifications compared to the higher-end model. MacRumors, a well-established Apple-related website, has compiled a list of five new features rumored to be included in the iPhone 12 that "look unlikely" to be available on the mini.
XDR and 120Hz display
The iPhone 12 mini is expected to replace the LCD screen of the iPhone 11 with an OLED display and will also feature Y-OCTA technology. Y-OCTA is Samsung's technology that integrates touch functionality into the OLED panel and eliminates the need for a layer of film for the touch sensor. This allows for thinner displays and cost-savings.
While the iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) and Pro Max (6.7-inch) may further implement XDR, which is capable of delivering more vibrant, true blacks and 10-bit color, but the mini will not have it.
In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro series has been split on whether or not it will have a 120Hz display, but the prediction for the iPhone 12 mini has been consistent that it will not be included.
The iPhone 12 Pro series is widely expected to feature a LiDAR scanner (3D sensor), a system that projects light onto an object and measures the distance from the time it takes for the reflected light to reach the sensor. The iPad Pro (2020), the first Apple product to include it, quickly recognizes the depth and shape of its surroundings, making the AR app launch fast, seamless, and accurate.
Some speculate that this will be used to further enhance the autofocus on the iPhone 12 Pro, which will also improve the accuracy of portrait mode shooting. So the iPhone 12 mini will not have this premium feature either.
The telephoto lens and sensor-shift image stabilization
Like the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 mini is expected to have two cameras on the back; a wide-angle lens and an ultrawide-angle lens. And like the 11, the telephoto lens on the Pro model is widely expected to be absent here as well.
Furthermore, the largest iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to have sensor-shift image stabilization technology, according to a famous analyst prediction.
At the time of writing, the mainstream optical image stabilization technology can be divided into two main types: lens-shift and sensor-shift. In short, the former approach involves physically moving a portion of the lens, while the latter involves moving the image sensor itself by the amount of displacement.
And while the current iPhone 11 Pro series uses optical image stabilization, "the mechanism is built into the lens itself," so it only works when using a wide-angle or telephoto lens. But the sensor-shift mechanism is independent of any particular lens and can be applied in all modes, so even an ultrawide-angle lens can be expected to benefit.
The iPhone 12 mini won't have this feature either. On the contrary, the iPhone 12 Pro is not believed to have this feature either, and it's likely to be a premium feature only on the most expensive Pro Max.
High battery capacity
The mini is the smallest size in the iPhone 12 series and hence is expected to have the smallest battery capacity in the series.
According to capacity estimates from public certification agency databases, the iPhone 12 mini's battery is estimated to be 2227mAh. This figure is 819mAh smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro's 3046mAh. The power efficiency improvements of the latest A14 Bionic processor may work in favor of battery life, but again, the small capacity itself makes it difficult to avoid a decrease in run time.
5G mmWave support
While all models in the iPhone 12 series are expected to have 5G support, there are rumors that only the Pro Max will have support for high-speed mmWave communications.
There are two broad types of 5G transmissions: one is mmWave, which is faster but has a narrower signal range, and the other is Sub-6GHz, which is slower but has greater coverage instead. And the rationale behind this rumor, claimed by the tech media Fast Company, is that only the largest iPhone 12 Pro has the internal space to accommodate the antenna design needed to implement mmWave support, as well as a large battery capacity to match the amount of power consumption.
In short, the new features we've been expecting for the past year or so are almost impossible to hope for in the iPhone 12 mini, with the exception of the OLED display and 5G (Sub-6GHz only).
Nevertheless, if it's available at a price starting at about $649, which is low for the latest flagship iPhone, as rumored, and if it's as easy to hold as the original iPhone SE, it's going to be a hot seller like the iPhone SE (2020), which has a good balance of performance and price.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.