iPhone 12 Mini Charges Fast Enough, Experts Say

Calm down, it's fine

Key Takeaways

  • The iPhone 12 mini will feature a slower peak charging rate of 12W compared to the 15W of other iPhone 12 models when using MagSafe chargers.
  • The iPhone 12 mini will still charge almost as fast as the other iPhone 12 models.
  • Charging via a Lightning Cable and a 20W adapter will still produce the fastest charging speeds.
Product shot of the iPhone 12 Minis.
Apple 

According to a new Apple Support document, the iPhone 12 mini will only support up to 12W delivery, while the other iPhone 12s offer up to 15W. Experts say this 3W difference in power delivery isn’t something users will notice.

Over the years, the way phones charge has evolved to include features like wireless and fast charging. The latest iPhones to hit the market will feature Apple’s own wireless charging tech called MagSafe. These chargers output up to 15W of power to the device, though not all iPhone 12 models will take advantage of this.

The iPhone 12 mini will only support up to 12W of output, a 3W difference from the other devices. While the raw numbers look different, ultimately  the charging speed and efficiency can also be affected by other factors.

"For real world charging, there will always be variation and deviation from the maximum power delivery numbers," Weston Happ, Product Development Manager at Merchant Maverick wrote via email. 

The Cost of Being Untethered

According to Happ, the phone’s OS activity and temperature at the time of charging can greatly reduce or increase the amount of power it pulls from the charger, thereby nullifying the need to worry about the power output difference between using MagSafe with an iPhone 12 mini or one of the larger iPhone 12s.

With the possibilities of peak charging power being determined by the phone’s current condition, it’s important to keep in mind that wireless charging is something that companies are still greatly improving upon and the iPhone 12 mini hits a higher max charging rate than the most common wireless chargers available right now.

"At 12W," Happ wrote, "iPhone 12 mini plus MagSafe delivers more power and faster charging times than 7.5W and 10W Qi chargers, which are currently the most commonly found." Happ isn’t the only one who believes the difference will be minuscule, either.

"For real world charging, there will always be variation and deviation from the maximum power delivery numbers."

"While the iPhone 12 mini will have slower charging speeds than the other phones while using MagSafe, it’s ultimately not a big deal, as the difference between charging at 12W and 15W boils down to minutes, not hours," Adrian Covert, the technology editor at Spy, told Lifewire in an email. 

Both Happ and Covert believe that users looking to get the fastest charge possible will want to stick with Lightning cables instead of MagSafe or other wireless charging options. Of course, the real choice all comes down to whether someone is looking for the ease of wireless charging, or something that is going to dump a lot of power into their device at a very quick rate.

Size Matters

Another important thing to keep in mind when comparing the peak output rates of the iPhone 12 mini and other iPhone 12 devices are the size of the phone batteries. According to the Apple website, the iPhone 12 mini will support up to 15 hours of video playback on battery power, while the iPhone 12 will support up to 17 hours.

Apple has yet to release any specific size information, but the two hour difference in the company’s estimated video playback times—as well as the size of the phones themselves—shows a large enough gap for experts to believe the overall battery capacity is smaller.

An iPhone with the MagSafe charging indicated on the screen.
 Apple

"Because iPhone 12 mini’s overall battery capacity is smaller, 12W wireless charging times to full capacity may not be significantly different than charging times for its 15W larger siblings," Happ wrote. Covert agreed as well, saying that a smaller battery could mean a similar charging time.

A smaller battery means less room to hold power, which ultimately means the difference in charging times between the iPhone 12 mini and larger iPhone 12 devices will be insignificant for most daily users. Of course, those who like to stick to the numbers will probably want to go with the larger iPhone just so that they don’t have to worry about the minute difference in charging times when using MagSafe wireless charging.