The iPhone 12 mini could be the best small phone in years The iPhone 12 mini is looking like the most intriguing new iPhone 12 that Apple will launch this fall. For one, it should be the most compact new iPhone in years and the best small phone for all those people who prefer to use handsets with one hand. The iPhone 12 mini should also be the cheapest among the rumored four new iPhones, giving Apple a direct competitor to value-oriented flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Google Pixel 5. The iPhone 12 mini will likely debut at Apple's October 13 "Hi, Speed" event, where we expect to see several 5G iPhones. Based on that timing, the iPhone 12 mini would be available for pre-order Friday, October 16 and the actual iPhone 12 mini release date would be October 23. The iPhone 12 mini price is a bit of a moving target, but the most recent iPhone price leak from the Apple RUMORs account on Twitter says that the device will start at $649 for 64GB. The 128GB version would cost $699, and 256GB of storage would cost you $799. Earlier this year Front Page Tech\u2019s Jon Prosser leaked a similar starting price for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, with the 6.1-inch model starting at $749. There have been some rumors that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini could start at $699 due to the added cost of 5G. But we\u2019ve also heard that Apple may release a non-5G iPhone 12 for a cheaper price. size and design This is the most exciting thing about the iPhone 12 mini. The handset is said to be even smaller than the iPhone SE 2020 while sporting a larger display. The 5.4-inch OLED panel on the iPhone 12 would dwarf the 4.7-inch LCD screen on the iPhone SE in a more compact chassis. And that\u2019s because the new iPhone 12 mini wouldn\u2019t have a Touch ID button underneath the display and chunky bezels; it should be the same full-screen design as the other iPhone 12 models. In fact, the iPhone 12 mini\u2019s notch is rumored to be even smaller than the one on the other iPhone 12 handsets. The iPhone 12 mini should sport the same retro design as the rest of Apple\u2019s lineup, which means flatter edges that are reminiscent of the iPhone 4. Specifications The iPhone 12 mini should be mighty when it comes to performance. Most leaks point to Apple equipping this device with the same 5nm A14 Bionic processor that should power the other iPhone 12 models. This chip, based on leaked benchmarks for the iPad Air, should blow away all Android phones. The iPhone 12 mini is expected to start with 64GB of storage, which is a bummer when you consider that other Android phones in this price range offer double that amount. You can also expect 4GB of RAM in the iPhone 12 mini. There\u2019s been a single rumor suggesting that the iPhone 12 mini could feature a less powerful B14 chip, but we don\u2019t think that carries much weight. Cameras We wouldn\u2019t expect huge upgrades on the camera front, at least in terms of specs. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini is said to feature the same 12MP main rear camera and 12MP ultra-wide lens. However, the lenses are supposedly improved. We also anticipate Apple introducing new computational photography features and finding ways to improve Night mode. 5G Networks The iPhone 12 mini should connect to faster 5G networks, but there\u2019s some debate as to which ones. We\u2019ve seen a couple of reports saying that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will support only sub 6-GHz 5G networks, which tend to offer long range but not very fast speeds. It\u2019s possible that only the iPhone 12 Pro models will connect to faster (but shorter range) mmWave 5G networks. It\u2019s possible, though, that Verizon will launch a special Ultra Wideband version that taps into its mmWave network, just as it has done with the Galaxy S20 FE. Battery The iPhone 12 mini could have one of the smallest batteries in any flagship, but we wouldn\u2019t panic. The battery pack will reportedly have a capacity of 2,227 mAh, which will be smaller than the battery in the iPhone 11 (3,110 mAh). However, it\u2019s worth keeping in mind that the iPhone 12 has a smaller 5.4-inch display and that the A14 Bionic chip is designed to be more efficient than last year\u2019s A13 Bionic. We\u2019ll have to see how well the iPhone 12 mini holds up in our web surfing battery test. Outlook The iPhone 12 mini has the potential to be a big hit. Assuming the price is as aggressive as the rumors, shoppers could flock to this small phone. The appeal of the iPhone 12 mini is that it will reportedly cram all of the most important upgrades over the iPhone 11 \u2014 including 5G, an OLED display a faster A14 Bionic chip \u2014 in a design that can easily slip into your pocket. Those who want a bigger screen or more advanced features like a telephoto camera or LiDAR sensor will gravitate towards the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max. But the iPhone 12 mini could make small phones cool again.