Want a small iPhone but can’t decide between the iPhone Mini or the SE? This Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE comparison will help you make a decision.
While both the iPhone SE and iPhone Mini are compact smartphones, they are different smartphones meant for different people. The SE is a budget iPhone with a compact form factor, while the iPhone 13 Mini is a premium smartphone.
The iPhone 13 Mini is the better smartphone, but does it offer so much more than the iPhone SE to justify the price premium? Read on to know more in detail about how the two iPhones differ and which one will suit you better.
iPhone 13 Mini
iPhone SE (Second Generation)
128GB, 256GB, 512GB
5.4-inch Super Retina XDR (OLED)
2,340 x 1,080 pixels
4.7-inch Retina HD (LCD)
1,334 x 750 pixels
5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
12MP Ultra Wide
12MP Wide camera
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Design and Build
The iPhone SE was launched to offer people a budget and small iPhone for the masses. iPhone SE borrowed the design from iPhone 8 but it was the most compact iPhone available for sale when it launched.
A few months later, Apple launched the iPhone 12 series which included the iPhone 12 Mini which was smaller and better in almost every way except price. Similarly, the iPhone 13 Mini is smaller than the iPhone SE too when it comes to height and width, but it’s a smidgen thicker.
As I mentioned before, the iPhone SE features the same design as that of the iPhone 8, while iPhone Mini is just a smaller version of the regular iPhone models that are released every year. This means that the iPhone 13 Mini has a better design and is built better compared to the iPhone SE.
The SE features an IP67 rating while the iPhone 13 Mini has an IP68 ingress protection rating. So the iPhone Mini can survive in water for longer and deeper.
Overall, when it comes to design, while nothing is wrong with the iPhone SE, iPhone Mini just does it better, both 12 and 13. They also weigh less compared to the SE, but the difference is tiny.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Display
The display difference between the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone SE is probably the main reason why I would choose the former over the latter. When you pick up both an iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone SE, the difference in display gives away which one is the more premium of the two.
iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone SE have completely different displays, from the technology to resolution to sizes. The iPhone 13 Mini features an OLED panel while the iPhone SE features an LCD panel. This means that the iPhone 13 Mini has better contrast of 2 Million:1 compared to 1400:1 on the SE, higher brightness of 800 nits compared to 625 nits leading to better picture quality and HDR imagery.
The iPhone SE is just 4.7 inches big and features a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, while the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. This gives the iPhone 13 Mini much more screen real estate and makes it sharper too.
Given the bigger screen and smaller footprint, iPhone 13 Mini has an 85.1% screen to body ratio while the iPhone SE has a measly 65.4% screen to body ratio. Another noticeable difference is the smaller bezels and notch on the iPhone 13 Mini.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Cameras
On the rear, the iPhone 13 Mini features the same dual-camera system found on the regular iPhone 13. It houses two 12 MP sensors, a primary wide sensor and a secondary ultrawide sensor.
The primary sensor features sensor-shift OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) that allows the iPhone 13 Mini to capture images and videos that are more stable. The iPhone 13 Mini can also record videos in Dolby Vision HDR making it one of the best smartphones for video capture.
The iPhone SE on the other hand has only a single sensor on the rear, a 12 MP wide lens (the same one found on the iPhone 8). This sensor features OIS which is good, but not as good as the sensor-shift OIS found on the Mini.
When it comes to front cameras, the iPhone 13 Mini features a 12 MP wide sensor which is significantly better than the 7 MP sensor found on the iPhone SE. The iPhone 13 Mini also houses infrared sensors and dot projectors near the selfie camera for Face ID.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Performance
Comparing performance between the iPhone 13 Mini and SE is simple, the Mini is faster across the board because it is a newer device with a faster chipset. The iPhone 13 Mini is powered by the A15 Bionic (5 nm) chipset, while the iPhone SE runs on the A13 Bionic (7nm+) processor.
The A15 Bionic has better CPU cores, GPU cores and Neural cores too, making it faster in every scenario compared to the 13 Bionic. The iPhone 13 Mini also features 4 GBs of RAM while the iPhone SE has only 3 GB, making the Mini better for multitasking and resource-intensive applications.
The A15 Bionic is easily the fastest mobile processor found in any smartphone, but you should note that iPhone 13 Pro models have faster chips with more RAM, so they are the fastest performers yet. Regardless, the iPhone 13 Mini performs exceptionally well and wipes the floor with the iPhone SE.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Connectivity
When it comes to connectivity, the main difference between the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone SE is that the former features 5G with mmWave support offering the best in terms of connectivity. The iPhone SE is limited only to Gigabit-class LTE (4G).
Both smartphones feature the same Bluetooth (5.0) and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6) generations. Both iPhones also feature support for NFC allowing you to use Apple Pay for payments. Another difference between the two is that iPhone SE does not support GALILEO, BDS, and QZS when it comes to GPS while iPhone 13 Mini supports all of them.
Though the iPhone SE lags in some areas when it comes to connectivity, these are some features that you may not need. 5G is not the norm yet, it will take a few years for it to become the mainstream network technology. Similarly, GALILEO, BDS and QZS are not widely adopted so you won’t miss them on the iPhone SE.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Battery
When it comes to battery, the iPhone was considered to be underwhelming because of the measly 1821 mAh battery. Similarly, the iPhone 12 Mini had less than average battery life when it launched. But with a more efficient chip and bigger battery, the iPhone 13 Mini sorted out battery issues of the Mini lineup.
The iPhone 13 Mini can last a few hours longer than the iPhone SE making it a good performer when it comes to battery life. When it comes to other battery features, both the iPhone SE and the iPhone Mini feature wireless charging, but only the Mini has support for Apple’s MagSafe charging technology.
The iPhone 13 Mini is just better than the iPhone SE both in terms of battery life and features, making it the clear winner here.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Additional Features
Features like biometrics, speakers, dual SIM are all different on both devices. The iPhone 13 Mini uses Face ID while the iPhone SE features the much-loved Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This is an area where the SE is better than the Mini because Touch ID is more convenient, especially because of the pandemic and masks.
Both smartphones feature stereo speakers, but the iPhone 13 Mini sounds better and louder compared to the iPhone SE. You get dual SIM support on both phones too, but you will be limited to a physical SIM and an eSIM on both devices. But if you purchase an iPhone 13 Mini in certain regions like China, then you can get dual physical SIM support.
Apple iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE: Pricing and Conclusion
Pricing is where you see the most difference between the two iPhones. The iPhone SE starts at just $399 while you will need to fork out a cool $699 for the iPhone 13 Mini. For the price, the Mini does offer a lot over the SE, but it all depends on you to decide whether it makes sense.
The iPhone 13 Mini is better than the iPhone SE in every single way, but the iPhone SE is still a good everyday smartphone. Just because the Mini is better doesn’t mean that the SE is bad. The SE has excellent performance, software support, build quality, speakers and even cameras for the price.
The iPhone 13 Mini’s price is justified, but it depends on if you can take advantage of it to truly justify its purchase. Get the iPhone SE if you want a smartphone for basic daily use, but if you want a complete package with top-notch performance, cameras and design, then the iPhone 13 Mini is awesome.
You can’t fault the iPhone 13 Mini, while I can’t say the same about the iPhone SE. Yet the iPhone SE offers better value for your money.