Ting Tested: iPhone 13 mini review
Ting Staff • February 17, 2022
You’re already familiar with some of the other famous minis out there: Cooper, Wheats, Me and ‘Apolis. Now, there’s the iPhone 13 mini.
This is the iPhone 13 model that I was most curious about. Could all of the features and functionality of iPhone 13 fit into such a super small package? And, given the size, who would appreciate this size of iPhone the most?
This is a very small phone by today’s standards. It’s easy to forget how much phone sizes have changed in a (relatively) short period of time. A quick frame of reference: iPhone 13 mini is slightly bigger than my iPhone 5s and just a bit smaller than my iPhone 6. Importantly, though, iPhone 13 mini has an edge-to-edge display that makes the viewable area noticeably larger than both iPhone 5s and iPhone 6.
So how does that 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display look? I put it through its paces utilizing YouTube videos and Apple Arcade.
First, I streamed the “Stay” music video by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber on YouTube. It looked great (which I expected), but it also sounded fantastic through the phone’s speakers (less expected). And yes, I referenced a Billboard Hot 100 song to stay relevant — while at the same time wondering if Billboard itself is even relevant.
I also played Mini Motorways — a road-building, city-building Apple Arcade game. This one is addictive! The graphics are bright and colorful on the iPhone 13 mini display, making gameplay even more enjoyable.
I primarily take photos of scenery and my dogs, so the rear camera is most important to me. Rest assured you’ll rarely miss the shot — the camera is ready to take a photo almost instantly after launching the app.
I’m quite happy with the photos I took. Here’s a quick rundown of the features I tried out:
- Portrait: I love the detail in my pup’s face along with the artistic, blurred background. (He was handsomely rewarded with a cookie for his modeling gig.) I’ve included a shot with the Wide lens as a comparison.
- Wide: The colors and detail are sharp. Just point, tap to focus and shoot.
- Ultra Wide: This would be indispensable during trips (“Look honey, we can get even more of the Grand Canyon in the shot!”) or at large family gatherings. Comparing Wide vs. Ultra Wide, you can see just how much more of the scene I was able to capture with the latter.
iPhone 13 mini features the A15 Bionic chip — the same one that powers all iPhone 13 models. As a result, you know that you’re getting the very best in performance. It also means that Apple will support this phone with iOS updates for a long time to come.
Battery life met my expectations. Apple claims you’ll get 13 hours of streamed video playback out of a fully charged battery. My extremely unscientific test? I streamed over two hours of YouTube over Wi-Fi and the battery only dropped from 100% to 83%.
Of course, iPhone 13 mini works on Ting Mobile’s 5G network. When you’re in an area where 5G is available, you’ll be able to stream and download considerably faster than with your last LTE phone.
Apple has included 128 GB of storage in the base model. That’s a lot, especially if you’re upgrading from any older iPhone that only has 16 GB or 32 GB.
Lastly, this phone is water-resistant up to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes. Admittedly, I did not test this. But it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.
Simply put, iPhone 13 mini is a powerhouse in a small package. If you’re looking to upgrade to iPhone 13 mini, I think you’ll be impressed with the display, camera and performance.
Next, you have to decide Goldilocks style: Is it too small or just right for you? In my opinion, iPhone 13 mini would be perfect if you’re happy with the size of your older iPhone (especially iPhone 5s or older), have smaller hands or need a super pocketable phone. It’s probably a great phone for those who wear fashionably tight clothes with tiny pockets. Is it obvious I’m not up to date on the latest trends?
Before making the call, I suggest cutting out an iPhone 13 mini-sized piece of cardboard and comparing that to your current phone. That will help you decide if its size is “just right” for you. If this does sound like the phone for you, you can find iPhone 13 mini in the Ting Shop.
If you think I’ve missed any important aspects in my review, drop a comment below and I can always add more details. Also, check out my colleagues’ Ting Tested reviews of iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.