Apple‘s iPhone 12 mini may have a smaller footprint than the company’s standard flagship phones, but it’s not the only small smartphone Apple has made. In fact, it hasn’t been that long since Apple‘s similarly-sized iPhone 7 was released. Even though there are five generations of phone evolution between the two, there’s still an interesting comparison to make between these two iPhone models.
As to be expected, a lot has changed over the years. In terms of the smartphone landscape, expectations of what devices need to be capable of have completely changed. While phones released in 2016 (when the iPhone 7 came out) were solid options at the time, it would be difficult for any device of this age to stack up against the iPhone 12 mini from 2020. However, the iPhone 7 might not be as far behind in areas that some might expect.
Related: Why Apple‘s iPhone 13 mini Is The Best Small Phone You Can Buy
It may seem like the age gap is too wide for the iPhone 7 to compete, but Apple‘s older smartphone and the iPhone 12 mini actually share some core features. The price of the iPhone 12 mini starts at just $599, and while used iPhone 7’s can be found far cheaper now, it originally retailed for $649 when it launched back in 2016. The iPhone 7 came in 32, 128, and 256GB storage capacity options, while the iPhone 12 mini comes with either 64, 128, or 256GB. Both are capable of recording 4K video, but there are some significant differences in additional camera features, as well as the display size and processing power.
The iPhone 12 mini Has Lots Of Upgrades Over The iPhone 7
The iPhone 12 mini weighs 4.76 ounces and has a 5.4-inch OLED display. While that may be smaller than the 6.1-inch display of the iPhone 12, it’s significantly larger than the more retro iPhone 7. The older iPhone has a 4.7-inch LCD display while weighing slightly more at 4.87 ounces. The internal components of these two phones vary greatly, too, with the iPhone 12 mini sporting an A14 Bionic chip and what Apple describes as a “next-generation Neural Engine.” By comparison, the iPhone 7 has an A10 Fusion chip, giving the iPhone 12 mini the upper hand in processing power.
The iPhone 7’s camera was solid for its time, featuring a 12-megapixel lens with digital zoom up to 5x and HDR for photos. It can also shoot video in 4K up to 30 fps and 1080p video at 30 fps or 60 fps. The iPhone 12 mini takes things a step further with its camera, featuring a dual 12-megapixel camera system. The mini still has digital zoom up to 5x like the iPhone 7, but the iPhone 12 mini can shoot HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps. On top of that, the iPhone 12 mini can record 4K video at up to 60 fps, with the same fps limit for 1080p video as well.
How iPhone 7 Compares To iPhone 13 mini & iPhone SE 3
When talking about small iPhones in 2022, it’s impossible not to mention the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone SE 3. The former is the direct successor to the iPhone 12 mini and is better than it in a few different ways. The iPhone 13 mini has an even faster A15 Bionic chip, longer battery life, more internal storage, improved cameras, and a smaller notch. The iPhone 12 mini is already a revolutionary upgrade over the iPhone 7 — making the iPhone 13 mini all the more impressive next to Apple’s older iPhone.
Related: The iPhone SE 3 Is Apple’s Best (And Most Disappointing) Cheap iPhone Ever
And, of course, there’s the iPhone SE 3. On the surface, the SE 3 looks almost identical to the iPhone 7. It has the same 4.7-inch LCD display, physical home button with Touch ID, and single 12MP camera with 5x digital zoom. However, instead of the old A10 chip, the iPhone SE 3 is powered by the latest A15 Bionic. That gives it substantially faster performance and better graphics, longer battery life, tons of new photo processing features, and 5G connectivity.
The iPhone 7’s Time Is Almost Over
The iPhone 7 was a solid phone for its time. And if it can be found in good condition for a reasonable price, it’s still likely to be a functional smartphone today. However, with multiple years of innovations going into the iPhone 12 mini, Apple’s newer compact phone seems like the better bet for anyone searching for the latest features available in a smartphone. Plus, with the Apple iPhone 13 mini and iPhone SE 3 also available, your options for small iPhones are better than ever.