Are you still using an iPhone 8? Are you maybe considering purchasing it due to its low price? Well, the iPhone 12 mini offers a world of difference in terms of design, camera, functionality, OS, and battery life. Boasting three years of design changes, hardware improvements, and software enhancements, the iPhone 12 mini is an excellent small form factor phone you can buy today. But it’s the extra price worth it for your use case? Keep reading.

Why should you upgrade to the iPhone 12 mini?

  1. 5G connectivity. The benefit of having 5G connectivity in the iPhone 12 mini is that it allows faster internet speeds, lower latency, and better power management compared to 4G. 5G also provides more reliable connectivity, with wider coverage and fewer dropouts.
  2. Dual camera. The double camera feature of the iPhone 12 mini allows for more versatility in photography and videography, and you can capture more detail and depth in your shots.
  3. A much better display. The Super Retina XDR OLED display has a larger size of 5.4 inches compared to the iPhone 8’s 4.7 inches, allowing for a bigger screen and more viewing space with higher quality.
  4. Thinner bezels. The iPhone 12 mini has a larger screen size than the iPhone 8 but also enjoys an 85.1% screen-to-body ratio, providing more screen real estate.
  5. A much better performance. The iPhone 12 mini offers a significant improvement in performance over the iPhone 8. It has a more powerful A14 Bionic chip, allowing faster processing speeds, improved graphics performance, and better battery life.
  6. Better battery life. The iPhone 12 mini has up to 17 hours of video playback compared to the 13 hours of the iPhone 8.
  7. IP68 waterproof rating. The iPhone 12 mini is dustproof and can withstand full immersion in water up to a depth of 6 meters for 30 minutes.
  8. It’s lighter. Although you may not notice, the iPhone 12 mini is lighter than the iPhone 8, so it would be more comfortable to carry around with you.
  9. It’s compatible with iOS 17. The iPhone 12 mini is compatible and upgradable to iOS 17—the same operating system the iPhone 15 uses—which offers more customization, compatibility with the newest apps, and additional features.

iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 12 mini: Specs comparison table

FeaturesiPhone 8iPhone 12 mini
Release date20172020
Dimensions5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in
138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 in
131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm
Weight5.22 oz
148 grams
4.76 oz
135 grams
DisplayRetina IPS LCDSuper Retina XDR OLED
Resolution750 x 1334 pixels at 326 PPI density (16:9 ratio)1080 x 2340 pixels at 476 PPI density (19.5:9 ratio)
Space grey
CPUApple A11 Bionic Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral)Apple A14 Bionic Hexa-core (2×3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4×1.8 GHz Icestorm)
Memory64GB with 2GB RAM
128GB with 2GB RAM
256GB with 2GB RAM
64GB with 4GB RAM
128GB with 4GB RAM
256GB with 4GB RAM
Rear cameraWide: 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm, PDAF, OISWide: 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Ultrawide: 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120º, 1/3.6″
Front camera7 MP, f/2.2Wide: 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6″
Video recording1080p at 30fps4K at 24/30/60 FPS
1080p at 30/60/120 FPS, gyro-EIS
5G connectivityNoYes
Water and dust resistanceIP67 dust and water-resistantIP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 6 meters for 30 min)
Battery capacity1821 mAh2227 mAh
Battery lifeUp to 13 hours of video playbackUp to 17 hours of video playback
Max OS compatibilityiOS 16iOS 17
Original price$699$629
Price (refurbished)Starting at /refurbished/iphone/iphone-12-mini" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">8"/>Starting at
iPhone 8 colors
iPhone 8 glass design
Image credit: Apple

iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 12 mini: What are the differences?

Let’s further compare the most important differences between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 8 to make your choice easier.


The iPhone 8 has a Retina IPS LCD, while the iPhone 12 mini features a Super Retina XDR OLED display. OLED displays are thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient than IPS LCDs, providing more vibrant colors and increased contrast. The OLED display of the iPhone 12 mini also has a higher resolution and more pixels.


The design of the iPhone 12 takes us back to the iPhone 5. This modern and elegant design is one of the most prominent since the release of the iPhone X. It has thinner bezels and an 85.1% screen-to-body ratio compared to the iPhone 8′ 65.4%, which provides much more screen space to enjoy your smartphone. At the same time, the iPhone 12 mini is smaller and lighter than the iPhone 8, so using it with one hand and carrying it around is more comfortable.


The iPhone 12 mini has a higher performance than the iPhone 8. All the iPhone 12 models have the same A14 Bionic processor, which is still a beast, while the iPhone 8 starts to lag behind with the A11 chip. However, for everyday usage, the iPhone 8 is still more than enough.


The iPhone 8 has a single rear camera setup with a 12 MP resolution and f/1.8 aperture. In terms of the front camera, the iPhone 12 mini has a 12 MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera, while the front camera of the iPhone 8 offers only 7MP with f/2.2.

The iPhone 12 mini is equipped with a dual-camera system, consisting of a 12 MP f/1.6 (up to 5x digital zoom and 2x optical zoom), wide-angle front camera, and a 12 MP f/2.4, ultrawide angle camera.

In addition, both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 12 mini are capable of recording videos in 4K at 24, 30, and 60 FPS and 1920×1080 at 30, 60, 120, and 240 FPS. However, only the 12 offers HDR.

iPhone 12 mini purple and box
iPhone 12 mini

Battery and charging

Both phones feature a non-removable Li-ion battery with a capacity of 1821 mAh for the iPhone 8 and 2227 mAh for the iPhone 12 mini. Both phones also feature fast charging and wireless charging. To illustrate their battery capacity, the iPhone 12 mini offers up to 17 hours of video playback, while the 8 only delivers up to 13 hours. Even if these calculations are always estimates, there’s a huge difference here.

Network connectivity

The iPhone 12 mini has an updated WiFi 6 version, and both phones have Bluetooth 5.0. However, the difference comes down to 5G connectivity. Only the iPhone 12 mini offers 5G, a vital difference if you want to use a high-speed network in the following years.


The iPhone 12 mini is a great choice. It offers a lot of key advantages over the iPhone 8. It has 5G connectivity, thinner bezels, more screen real estate, dual camera, and much better display and performance. Therefore, yes, it’s totally worth the upgrade and its price. However, the iPhone 8 could suffice if you are only looking for everyday smartphone functionality at the cheapest price.

👉 Learn more: iPhone 8 Plus vs. iPhone 12: How Do They Compare?

Since the iPhone 12 mini is now also officially discontinued, buying it refurbished is the best way to find it and save money in the process. On RefurbMe, we compare the best refurbished Apple devices from trusted merchants, so you can get the lowest price on your new iPhone 12 mini with a warranty, thoroughly tested, and working as a new model would. Compare all models below in real time:

👉 Learn more: iPhone 12 mini vs. iPhone 12: Which One Should You Choose?

If you have decided on the iPhone 8, you can compare all models here:

Don’t hesitate to check our list of the 10 best iPhone accessories you can get in 2023 to enhance your experience even more.

Good luck!