This article will be a love letter to the iPhone 13 mini, so just get ready for it.
When Apple came out with the iPhone 12 series, it revealed the world’s smallest 5G phone: the iPhone 12 mini. As someone who never liked the size iPhone Pro Max and, honestly, the size of any iPhone since the iPhone 8, I was ecstatic. However, people trashed the battery life, so I decided to hold out for a year to see if Apple could fix it.
The era of the mini
Enter the glorious iPhone 13 mini. I immediately picked that phone up on launch day, trading in my iPhone 12 Pro. It took me about one day to get over the shock of having such a tiny phone again, and once I did, I fell in love with the mini. It was the perfect phone. It could do almost everything I cared for a smartphone to do, and I could actually reach the top of the screen holding the phone with one hand again. What a concept!
Apple had fixed the battery life issue, and I spent a year with the best iPhone I have owned in years. I personally have had every iPhone since the iPhone 3GS and can say that, with the iPhone 4 in a close second, the iPhone 13 mini was my favorite.
So, when Apple announced that they wouldn’t be abandoning the mini in favor of the Plus with the iPhone 14, I was heartbroken. While I could have hung on to the past, I decided to accept my fate and went back to the Pro model with the iPhone 14 Pro. It’s been a great phone and, as someone who regularly hikes and camps, I appreciate the new Emergency SOS via satellite feature.
However, I keep thinking about the iPhone 13 mini and how much more — FUN — honestly, just fun it was to use than the iPhone 14 Pro is. Enter the Zenfone 10.
Would I actually switch to Android?
Today, Asus officially launched the Zenfone 10, the next generation of its tiny but mighty Android phone. I remember when reviews of the Zenfone 9 came out, and people basically made it out to be the iPhone mini of the Android world. I saw why then, but at the time, I was happy with my iPhone 13 mini and wasn’t traumatized by it being killed off just yet.
With the Zenfone 10, and being stuck with my iPhone 14 Pro, I can’t help but feel the pull to head back into the land of the tiny phone. Forget the specs — I mean, I know that the phone packs a lot of great features like the latest Qualcomm processor, some nice camera features, and a great screen — but it’s the size and the size alone that makes the phone so magical.
I would love to get my hands on one, but as someone who is so deep in the Apple ecosystem at this point, dropping an Android phone in the middle of it would disrupt everything else. While the Zenfone 10 looks great, If anything, I could see it being another indicator that could get me to switch back from the Pro models to the iPhone 13 mini again.
I’ve been with the iPhone Upgrade Program since it launched years ago. This could honestly be the first time I think of abandoning the yearly upgrade and clinging to the past. The Zenfone 10 is just another reminder to me that we fans of small phones never had it better than we did for the last couple of years when the iPhone mini existed.
Maybe Apple will bring it back as the new iPhone SE. That’s about the best hope we have right now. Until then, I’ll stare at the Zenfone 10 and wish it was an iPhone.