Small phone fans, like myself, experienced a major loss this week with the official discontinuation of the iPhone Mini. With its departure, we bid farewell to the legacy of a truly small flagship smartphone. However, amidst the sadness, there is a glimmer of hope. The 6.1-inch flagship phone seems to be here to stay, and while it may not be as compact as the Mini, it offers a middle ground between tiny and gigantic.
The farewell of the iPhone Mini was a prolonged process that began last year. Apple announced the iPhone 14 series without a successor to the 13 Mini. However, the Mini remained available alongside the rest of the 13 series and was still sold by Apple until the recent iPhone 15 announcement. Now, with the absence of a Mini in the 15 series and the discontinuation of the 13 Mini from Apple’s retail lineup, the small iPhone is truly gone.
There’s no denying that small phones have their drawbacks. Their batteries are typically smaller, which means they may not last a whole day, especially with power-intensive use. Over time, as the battery ages, it may struggle to hold a full charge. Additionally, small phones may not offer the most immersive experience for activities like watching videos or gaming. Despite these limitations, there is something incredibly satisfying about the sheer compactness of a small phone. The joy of realizing that your phone is just so small that you barely feel its weight in your pocket or bag is unmatched.
Another advantage of small phones is the ease of hitting a back button without straining to reach an icon in the upper left corner of the screen. This convenience is often overlooked but greatly appreciated by those who have experienced the frustration of oversized phones.
For those mourning the loss of the iPhone Mini, there is some solace in the fact that the next size up isn’t all that bad. The standard 6.1-inch screen, found on the regular iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S23, offers a comfortable compromise. Despite being longer and wider than the 13 Mini, the iPhone 15 Pro is actually slightly smaller than the previous year’s 14 Pro. Apple achieved this by trimming down the bezels, making the phone more compact overall. Android users also have an alternative with the slightly smaller Asus Zenfone 10, featuring a 5.9-inch display.
While the demise of the iPhone Mini may be sad for small phone enthusiasts, the reality is that the demand for small phones is relatively low. Apple struggled to sell them, and it seems that most people, especially in the United States, prefer larger phones. However, the positive news is that phone makers don’t seem to be engaged in a race to make even bigger screens, at least not for slab-style phones. The trend has stabilized, and there has even been a slight reduction in the size of the iPhone 15 Pro. This shift suggests that manufacturers have realized the value of a 6.1-inch screen as a comfortable middle ground. It’s possible that they are now focusing their efforts on developing folding screens.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that the era of really small phones has come to an end. Accepting this truth is the first step towards healing. When the time comes to replace your tiny phone, the available options won’t be as terrible as they might initially seem. However, none of them will be as wonderfully compact as an iPhone Mini. For those fortunate enough to still possess one, cherish your small phone while you can and take care of that battery.