iPhone 12 mini vs Pixel 5: Which $699 smartphone should you buy?

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Now that all the buzz about the new iPhone 12 launch event has settled down we can finally talk about the market standing of these phones. This time around Apple has managed to set into new territory. Their newest iPhone lineup includes a model aimed at the mid-range consumers as well. The new iPhone 12 mini starts at about 699$ which makes it a perfect competitor for mobile phones like Pixel 5 and the new Galaxy S20 FE.

While Apple is giving users a scaled-down version of their flagship 5G devices, google on the other hand is offering their best of the year phone at this price. Although you cant remove differences in the lineup from various companies it is crucial that we evaluate these differences and determine which suits us the best. While a lot of major reviewers are still waiting for the hands-on experience of these devices we can still evaluate some of the specifications.

The Pricing:

We have already discussed the pricing of the two devices earlier. The iPhone 12 mini starts at 699$. While that is considerably pricier than budget phones it is a price point for a good balance of price to performance in smartphones. This is one of the main things we wish to evaluate in this comparison.

One important thing for pricing here is that the Pixel only has only one variant with 128 GB of built-in storage. The iPhone on the other hand has only half of that amount of storage in its base model. For 128GB or 256GB of storage, you need to pay $749 or $849, respectively. In addition, the 64 GB in the base model is pretty low considering a 4k capable camera and modern application size. Therefore most of the users will have to pay the extra 50$ to get the 128 GB model. However, the iPhone does have better internals compared to other phones which we’ll discuss later.


Starting with the iPhone 12 mini users will get

  • Display (refresh rate): 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED at 60 Hz
  • CPU: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: TBA
  • Storage: 64GB,128GB, 256GB (not expandable)
  • Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.6 (Wide-angle), 12MP f/2.4 (Ultra-wide)
  • Front camera: 12MP f/2.2 (Wide-angle)
  • Battery size: TBA
  • Water resistance: IP68
  • Colors: Black, White, (PRODUCT) Red, Green, Blue
  • Dimensions: 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches
  • Weight: 135g

Now coming to Pixel 5 on the other hand you get

  • Display (refresh rate): 6-inch OLED FHD+ 90Hz
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 12.2MP f/1.7 (Wide-angle), 16MP f/2.2 (Ultra-wide)
  • Front camera: 8MP f/2.0 (Wide-angle)
  • Battery size: 4,080 mAh
  • Water resistance: IP68
  • Colors: Just Black, Sorta Sage
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 2.8 x .31 inches
  • Weight: 151g

Design Elements:

The iPhone builds on the design that Apple has perfected over the years. It a design most visually pleasing and perfect among the two phones. This year apple debuts the square design once again but they’ve made the phone lighter and thinner than previous generations. However, it does have the same notch just like the previous two generations. not only does the notch go opposite to present design choices it can also change your decision if you’re looking for something immersive. The Pixel on the other hand has a more rounded design and a hole punch solution for their front camera.

Both of the phones have flat display designs and do not feature any curved screens. The pixel appears to have a slightly better screen to body ratio which means smaller bezels and more screen. The iPhone has approximately 85% screen to body ratio while the Pixel has about 86 %.

Build material-wise both of the phones are built with flagship-level quality. The Pixel 5 uses an interesting new approach with an all-aluminum build that has a resin coating over the back. Apple on the other hand goes with a more traditional material choice of a glass back on an aluminum frame. Since the tree phones have glass backs they all support wireless charging.

For biometrics and security, Apple uses its FaceID in the mini with no Touch ID support. The Pixel on the other hand uses a fingerprint sensor mounted at the back of the phone. The actual size of the two phones is another important factor to discuss. The Pixel 5 (145 x 70.4 x 8mm) is a little bit bigger than the iPhone 12 mini (131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm).

Lastly talking about colors iPhone takes the lead with plenty of color options like black, white, green, blue, and PRODUCT(RED) meanwhile the Pixel lags behind with only two options Just Black and Sorta Sage.

Source: Apple

The Display:

Just like the different design choices the two phones also differ in display types and size.

The iPhone 12 mini is the smallest at 5.4 inches, which is quite a small size compared to present standards.  In addition to a smaller size, it also lacks one important factor common in flagships right now, High Refresh Rate. However, it tries to make up for it in other small improvements and features. Apple fits FHD+ resolution into that smaller display. The iPhone, therefore, delivers the best pixels per inch (PPI), at 476. The Super Retina XDR OLED also offers support for HDR 10.

The Pixel on the other hand has a slightly bigger  6-inch OLED panel that delivers a 90Hz refresh rate with HDR 10+ support. With an identical resolution to the iPhone 12 mini, it has a slightly worse 432 PPI because of the bigger size. Consequently besides the refresh rate both of the devices have similar displays. we recommend going for the pixel if you need a high refresh rate phone as the 90 Hz display does look more fluid responsive.


Another main comparison between the devices lies in their cameras. Apple and Google have been one of the closest competitors in the past when it comes to smartphone photography.

Starting with the iPhone 12 mini it has a 12MP wide-angle primary lens with an extremely big f/1.6 aperture which should improve the low light performance of the phone. In the launch event, Apple claimed a dramatic improvement in its computational photography to further improve its Night Mode. with improved hardware and processing we can expect Apple’s night mode to finally come closer to Google. There is another ultra-wide lens at f/2.4 which is less impressive but still present on the phone.

Coming to the Pixel now, it comes from a lineup of phones known for their exceptional photography performance and Google does not let down this time. The primary shooter on this phone is a 12 MP camera at f1.7. In addition, Google offers the best ultra-wide lens (on paper) with a 16MP lens at f/2.2.

Source: androidauthority.net

Moving on to the front cameras the iPhone 12 mini offers 12MP and the Pixel 5 has an 8MP. However, the hardware isn’t the real story here, we’ll have to wait to see which actually manages the best captures.

Talking about video performance the iPhone has been the champion when it comes to video over the last few years and it seems likely that it is going to repeat this year. The iPhone 12 mini has HDR video capability with Dolby Vision at up to 30fps that should deliver some amazing-looking video in addition 4K video capture is available at 24, 30, or 60fps.

The pixel has support for 4K capture up to 60fps and 1080p with up to 240fps. Google has also made claims to software improvements that will deliver superior video results this year.


Now for the final answer which phone should you get. The answer is not as simple as you may think. After analyzing all of the above features we can see that both of the phones deliver exceptional quality at the price. However, at 699$, Pixel 5 looks like a better option just because of its higher storage capacity, if you can pay the extra 50 to get a 128 GB iPhone we definitely recommend it.

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