mini vs Max: an iPhone 12 Battle Royale (with cheese)

Too much or not enough?

Joshua Beck


Do you remember in Casino Royale when Vesper Lynd gave James Bond a tailored suit? He exclaimed that he already had a dinner jacket, and she replied, “there are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter.”

Well, that’s kinda how I’m feeling as I hold the iPhone 12 Pro Max in my hands.

I’ve been using iPhones for quite a long time. I’ve used numbered models, S models, the original SE, and a few Pluses. But I’ve never before used an iPhone Pro.

There was a time when there weren’t “pro” iPhones. Because of that, I’m hesitant to say that I’ve never used a “premium” iPhone before, because arguably every current iPhone I’ve ever used was the “premium” model of its time (and I never owned the singular plastic iPhone). But I have to say, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most premium feeling iPhone I’ve ever used.

It isn’t, however, the first iPhone 12 I’ve used. I started my iPhone 12 journey with the iPhone 12 mini, and I fully intended to stick with that. And I would have, too, if it hadn’t been for a crippling camera issue that I experienced with that device (you can read about that here).

I’d intended to just order a replacement 12 mini, but then I got to thinking that it wasn’t too much more to get the full size 12 instead (and I considered that for one very specific reason I’ll get to later). And if I was considering the regular 12, it wasn’t too much more to get the 12 Pro with its third camera. And it wasn’t too much more than that to get the 12 Pro Max with its better camera and tablet-sized screen. And so I did. And so here we are.

Naturally, since I’ve now held two of the latest iPhones in my hands, I’m inclined to compare them. So compare them I shall.

Ready? FIGHT!!!


Ok, so the 12 mini is obviously going to be the cheaper option. I mean, it is the smallest iPhone available right now, and that size is fittingly $300 less than the iPhone 12 Pro. But that money saved may come with a…