Size comparison: Apple iPhone SE (1st gen) vs. iPhone SE (2nd gen) vs. iPhone 12 mini

Many have asked for a physical size comparison Apple’s iPhone SE (1st generation) versus the iPhone SE (2nd generation) vs. the iPhone 12 mini. Here ya go!

Left to right: Apple's 4.0-inch iPhone SE (1st generation),  4.7-inch iPhone SE (2nd generation), and the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini
Apple‘s 4.0-inch iPhone SE (1st generation), 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2nd generation), and the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini

iPhone SE (1st generation):

• Height: 4.87 inches (123.8 mm)
• Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
• Depth: 0.30 inch (7.6 mm)
• Weight: 3.99 ounces (113 grams)

• Retina display
• 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD display with IPS technology
• 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
• 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
• Full sRGB standard
• 500 nits max brightness (typical)

iPhone SE (2nd generation):

• Height: 5.45 inches (138.4 mm)
• Width: 2.65 inches (67.3 mm)
• Depth: 0.29 inch (7.3 mm)
• Weight: 5.22 ounces (148 grams)

• Retina HD display
• 4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD display with IPS technology
• 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
• 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)
• True Tone display
• Wide color display (P3)
• Haptic Touch
• 625 nits max brightness (typical)

iPhone 12 mini:

• Height: 5.18 inches (131.5 mm)
• Width: 2.53 inches (64.2 mm)
• Depth: 0.29 inch (7.4 mm)
• Weight: 4.76 ounces (135 grams)

• Super Retina XDR display
• 5.4-inch (diagonal) OLED display
• HDR display
• 2340-by-1080-pixel resolution at 476 ppi
• 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio (typical)
• True Tone display
• Wide color display (P3)
• Haptic Touch
• 625 nits max brightness (typical)
• 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)

So, as you can see from the size comparison image and specs above, Apple’s all-new iPhone 12 mini is physically smaller than the iPhone SE (2nd generation), but a tad larger than the iPhone SE (first generation). The display sizes obviously range greatly, from the SE 1’s 4.0-inch display to the SE 2’s 4.7-inch to the iPhone 12 mini’s 5.4-inch, while all retaining a relatively small physical enclosure (thanks to the jettisoning of the antiquated Home button in the iPhone 12 mini).


      1. I have never been a SE guy but I have always believed there was a HUGE iPhone demographic that wanted a “mini” loaded with allllll the bells and whistles….

        Notice the 12 proMax and the 12mini are coming out later. This gives Apple the time to ramp up inventory for the total demand tsunami that is coming…

  1. 12 Mini looks good but regret it does not have touch ID. For this reason, my last iPhone is SE2020, as long as it lasts…. And…I rather prefer the original SE size and weight. I have all other Apple gadgets and don’t need large phone anyway. The moment Apple implement some type of touch ID, either in-screen or traditional, my buying cycle restarts.

    1. I rather like the FaceID because it doesn’t interrupt my work flow to authenticate me. Here’s an example, from my real life: I wanted to log into my back account online. So I TouchID (1st one of this example) to open phone, then launch safari and go to the site. The site wants to use my stored information and prompts to use TouchID (2nd). Turns out the bank wants me to change my password, so I open 1Password with TouchID (3rd) and then generate a new one, then paste into Safari. While going through changing my password, it also wants security questions, so I go back to 1Password (TouchID 4) and look them up. I then finish up my password change and save. But being worried that somehow the password I just paste doesn’t match up to 1Password, I go back to 1Password (TouchID 5) and open the website there. It works. I’m happy.

      With Face ID, I swipe up on the phone and go to Safari and 1Password as much as I want without interruption.

      I realize that I could relax the security on 1Password to stay unlocked for “10 min,” but with FaceID I don’t have to… it just works seamlessly.

      I also realize that there are situations (like wearing a mask) where FaceId Is more cumbersome. But then that is true of TouchID when I am wearing gloves, or have crazy glued my finger tips for the 50th time.

      Ultimately, upgrading to the iPhone 11 solved most of my FaceID gripes. It got way faster, and opens at weirder angles. I can see if you are on an iPhone X or XR, how it’s not that good. It used to lag for me, and I had to have my face in a “sweet spot” for it to trigger properly.

      All in all, FaceID on the new phones is really great and I wouldn’t go back to TouchID, despite the occasional situations where TouchID would shine (covid mask usage).

  2. I think iPhone mini’s size (smallness) is limited by the display notch, since it (the Face ID system) can’t get proportionally smaller because display is smaller. Any smaller, notch is relatively too big.

    When it’s time for next lowest cost iPhone (to replace iPhone SE), Apple should make it even more mini and use power button Touch ID from new iPad Air. That would lower cost and remove need for ugly notch.

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