To start, let’s introduce the iPhone SE range. Taking up the design of old premium models, this collection is the gateway to Apple mobiles at a lower cost. The current version is the third generation and remains to this day the cheapest of all Apple smartphones still sold new.
The iPhone 12 mini, meanwhile, was released in November 2020, almost eighteen months earlier. This is the compact representative of the range top of the line from Apple at the time, which was also the most affordable. But its technical sheet has since faltered, where the iPhone SE 3 has components found in the iPhone 13.
The highlights of the iPhone SE (3rd generation)
Among them, the proprietary chip A15 Bionic and its 16-core Neural Engine. It is an improved version of the A14 Bionic processor of the iPhone 12 mini, necessarily faster whether for graphics or task management. The motherboard is coupled with 4 GB of RAM, as on iPhone 12 mini.
The third generation iPhone SE is also 5G to watch series or listen to music while travelling. A technology introduced precisely with the iPhone 12 mini, and which therefore will not really make a difference.
To compare, we can also look at benchmarks from AnTuTu: 746,738 points for the iPhone SE 2022 against 725,611 points for the iPhone 12. We can see that the gap exists, but it is not really significant, especially when we know the number one in the ranking , the iPhone 13 Pro and its more than 800,000 points.
iPhone SE 3 form factor
The iPhone SE 3 is also the biggest of our comparison despite, as we will see later, its more compact screen. Here Apple offers us the same format as the iPhone 8 is 138.4 mm x 67.3 mm x 7.3 mm for 144 g on the scale. For comparison, the iPhone 12 mini offers precise dimensions of 131.5mm x 64.2mm x 7.4mm. So it is thicker. On the other hand, it is the featherweight of the duo with only 133 g on the counter.
For purists, you should also know that the third-generation iPhone SE only offers a 65.4% screen-to-body ratio compared to 85.1% on iPhone 12 mini. But that’s the price to pay for a phone without a notch: here, no facial recognition so no need to make room for the TrueDepth sensor.
The iPhone SE 2022 is, in short, an ideal mobile for small palms, therefore potentially high school students.
Moreover, and this will also suit job seekers, you should know that the iPhone SE 3 is cheaper compared to the iPhone 12 mini. Here is the official price range, to be nuanced knowing that resellers often set up promotions:
- iPhone 12 mini – 64 GB: 689 euros
- iPhone SE 3 – 64 GB: 529 euros
- iPhone 12 mini – 128 GB: 739 euros
- iPhone SE 3 – 128 GB: 579 euros
- iPhone 12 mini – 256 GB: 859 euros
- iPhone SE 3 – 256 GB: 699 euros
For only ten euros more, the third generation iPhone SE offers you 4 times more memory than the iPhone 12 mini 64 GB!
Touch ID on iPhone SE (3rd generation)
As we said, the third generation iPhone SE does not ship no Face ID which is exclusive to the iPhone 12 mini. Instead, Apple offers the older biometric unlocking system called Touch ID. This is a fingerprint sensor installed under the home button, which has the advantage of being configurable with several different fingers. Its execution speed is comparable to Face ID, except maybe if your hands are wet…
The highlights of the iPhone 12 mini
Let’s now move on to what, for us, can be considered an advantage of the iPhone 12 mini in a comparison with the iPhone SE 2022. Starting with its colors, which are twice as many. Some are not different, such as red, or white and black respectively close to starlight and Midnight on iPhone SE 3. But if you want green, purple or blue, then only the iPhone 12 mini can offer them.
The iPhone 12 mini is also more resistant to water: up to six meters deep for a maximum of thirty minutes. For the iPhone SE 3, caution: it can only be submerged up to one meter in comparison. In addition, be aware that the third generation iPhone SE is not entitled to the Ceramic Shield which is a reinforced front face protection to fight against possible scratches.
Another bonus with the iPhone 12 mini: its compatibility with MagSafe accessories such as the approved wireless charger and the magnetic external battery. Two products unavailable with the iPhone SE 3. However, our duo is entitled to the same autonomy (at least on paper): fifteen hours in video playback. A figure which rises to fifty hours for music but which may not exceed half a day in the event that streaming uses 5G. Be careful when traveling: you may have to plug in the mobile before going to bed, as this test showed.
Screen: iPhone 12 mini vs. iPhone SE 3
As we saw above, the notch is the main difference between the screen of the iPhone SE 2022 and that of the iPhone 12 mini. But it is not the only one. Indeed, the iPhone 12 mini is lucky to be able to count on a larger panel: 5.4 inches in Super Retina XDR, i.e. a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels at 476 dpi. In comparison, the third-generation iPhone SE is content with 1,334 x 750 pixels at 326 ppi but in IPS LCD. With OLED, the iPhone 12 mini therefore consumes less energy and discharges less quickly in theory.
Note also that only the iPhone 12 mini reaches a brightness of 1,200nits in HDR. On iPhone SE (3rd generation), the contrast is less effective and the retina HD screen handles direct sunlight less well.
Better photos and videos with the iPhone 12 mini
Let’s finish with a key element that can classify the iPhone 12 mini winner of this comparator: its camera. Judge for yourself, the differences with that of the iPhone SE of 2022 are obvious:
- wide-angle of 12 MPx with ƒ/1.8 aperture for iPhone SE 3 and ƒ/1.6 for iPhone 12 mini
- ultra wide angle only on iPhone 12 mini with ƒ/12.4 aperture
- HDR video capture with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps and audio zoom only on iPhone 12 mini
- Night Mode only on iPhone 12 mini
- up to 2x optical zoom out on iPhone 12 mini and 5x digital zoom on both models
- Photography styles only on iPhone 12 mini
For selfies, here too the iPhone SE 3 does less well with 7 MPx against 12 MPx and 4K on the iPhone 12 mini.
Conclusion: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12 mini
To end this comparison, we can therefore say that the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone SE 3 each have their advantages.
The iPhone SE 3 is the cheapest and fastest, but he is not entitled to Face ID. It will however be suitable for the most restricted budgets or for those accustomed to the format without a notch. As for the iPhone 12 mini, it offers a value proposition almost similar to that of the iPhone 13 mini but for a more affordable price. It is therefore a very good choice if you are looking for a high-end Apple device but which does not risk falling out of your pocket at all times, and above all capable of taking better shots than the third generation iPhone SE.
iPhone SE 3