Hands-on with Apple’s tiny iPhone 12 mini and huge iPhone 12 Pro Max

CNET’s Dan Ackerman spent a little hands-on time with the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max and gives his initial impressions on the design, size, weight and feel of the newe iPhones.

5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini (left) and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max
5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini (left) and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max

Dan Ackerman for CNET:

While it’s not as flashy, there’s a real hunger out there for premium phones in smaller sizes, and I hear all the time from people how the latest super-premium smartphone is “just too big.” With a 5.4-inch screen and the same features as the regular iPhone 12, this 4.8-ounce phone could be just right for anyone with small hands or small pockets, or who just wants something less tablet-like.

In my average-size hands, it felt incredibly small, which really just shows you how much we’ve been acclimated to huge phones.

Seeing the 12 Pro Max in person for the first time, I really appreciated the small design differences between the Pro and the non-Pro models. All the new iPhones have a metal outer border, but the stainless steel version on the Pro phones looks much nicer than the aluminum band around the non-Pro phones. It’s a little more subdued in the stainless steel version, shinier in aluminum.

And yes, it’s very big, but not outlandishly so. We’ve slowly been getting used to larger and larger phone screens, and while the 6.7-inch Max is a stark contrast to the iPhone 12 Mini, when put in context with the entire product line, from Mini to iPhone 12, 12 Pro and on to the 12 Pro Max, it tells a much more linear story.

MacDailyNews Take: The design of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models is now the ultimate in iPhone design history; they just look and feel so rich and precisely made!


  1. 512GB Pacific Blue 12 Pro Max ordered at 5:07am PT this morning Nov 6, 2020 for Nov 13, 2020 delivery. Only wish it was offered in 1TB storage space. It’s only .13” taller than my XS Max. That’s virtually the same large size as before. No biggie!

    1. Hi FutureMedia

      Looking at it that way, it doesn’t seem like it is that much of a biggie, but it is still the biggest iPhone ever released, especially given the iPads don’t have a phone dialler like Samsung tablets do, but can still be used with FaceTime audio and video to call any iPhone user and stacks of choice with messenger apps to do the same, and lots of choice in phone diallers that make VOIP calls and can receive calls as well as make them to landlines and mobile phones nationally and internationally.

      So it is a biggie in one way – it’s the biggest iPhone yet, and the most advanced and the most modern. Only the iPhone 13 Pro Max in 2021 will beat it!

  2. We’re just waiting until Verizon says we’re eligible. Every other year is our normal plan, and this year is it. A few weeks more. Really looking forward to the new Max.

  3. Maxed out black mini ordered soon after 5 AM on Friday after years of bitching on various online forums about the lack of small size full featured iPhone and surviving on SEs. I will have to find something else to bitch about now…

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