How Bad is The iPhone 13 Mini Battery Life? Let’s Find Out…

The iPhone 13 Mini is the smallest iPhone you can buy. And this means it has a smaller battery than the standard model. But just how bad is the iPhone 13 Mini’s battery life? Let’s find out…

Apple’s introduction of 5G and a smaller iPhone in its iPhone 12 series created a perfect storm of crappy battery life. The iPhone 12 mini used a smaller battery than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro and this combined with its new power-hungry 5G modem resulted in the phone seldom making it to the end of the day.

All of Apple’s iPhone 12 models suffered from battery issues; the standard iPhone 12 could not hold a candle to the outgoing iPhone 11 which lasted around four hours longer. People wanted 5G on their iPhones, but no one had any idea about just how much power the new mobile data standard would gobble.

With the iPhone 13, Apple set about remedying this. It fitted ALL of its iPhone 13 models with significantly larger batteries and it ensured that its new A15 CPU was tuned for better efficiencies. The results were positive – all of Apple’s iPhone 13 models, including the iPhone 13 Mini, posted dramatically improved battery performances.

iPhone 13 Mini Battery Life – Is It Any Good?

If you want excellent, multiple-day-lasting battery life, you’re going to want to go with either the iPhone 13 / 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max. These models have big batteries and will last a good couple of days on a single charge with moderate usage. The iPhone 13 Mini cannot do this. But it is LEAGUES better than the iPhone 12 mini.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro maxPin
iPhone 13 / 13 Mini Colors

How much better? Put it this way: when I tested the iPhone 12 mini, it wouldn’t do a full day. By 9 pm, it needed a top-up, or else it would have switched off. I haven’t used an iPhone that needed this kind of charger attention since about 2014, so this was quite a shock. By contrast, the iPhone 13 Mini will happily make it through an entire day – even with heavy usage.

This improvement in battery life was achieved by Apple using a 10% larger battery inside the iPhone 13 Mini. The iPhone 12 mini used a 2227mAh battery, while the 13 Mini uses a 2406mAh battery. And while 10% doesn’t sound like a lot, the difference is massive. But this isn’t just down to size differences in batteries, although this is a big component.

The main difference, where you’re getting the most gains from, is Apple’s redesign of its CPU. Rather than focussing on gross performance uplift, Apple has doubled down on efficiency with the A15, making it a leaner, less power-hungry CPU. And it is this, combined with the larger batteries, that improved the iPhone 13 Mini – and all of the other models in the range – battery performance.

Apple’s new A15 processor doubles its system cache to an industry-leading 32MB and drives double-digit performance gains across the CPU, GPU, and AI engine. While the CPU and GPU gains are impressive, they are smaller than last year’s, as the Cupertino giant instead focused on improving performance per watt to extend the battery life of its new iPhone 13 devices.

Tech Insights

iPhone 12 mini Battery vs iPhone 13 Mini Battery – What’s The Difference?

Apple says the iPhone 13 Mini will last 90 minutes longer on a single charge. In my above example of the iPhone 12 mini, that would mean rather than the phone dying at 9 pm, it’d make it through to 10:30 pm, a far more respectable time for a recharge. But that’s Apple’s spin on things. Oddly, I think Apple has understated the improvements this time.

When I tested the iPhone 13 mini, I didn’t experience any issues whatsoever with its battery performance. I ran it just like any other phone and it always made it through until bedtime – regardless of what time I went to bed, usually 10 PM in the week and midnight to 1 am at the weekends. Idle performance is excellent, as always, so if you’re not using the iPhone 13 Mini it simply doesn’t use power.

iPhone 13 Screen Time Battery Life

In terms of screen-time, you’re looking at around five and a bit hours before the phone is completely dead. That means, if you’re unsure about what I’m talking about, is that you’d have to have the screen on and running a video for five straight hours in order to completely drain the battery.

Five hours for a phone this size is very respectable. Apple claimed the iPhone 12 mini would do five hours also, but in my experience, it was closer to three. It is also worth noting that most people DO NOT run their screens on all the time. Your phone spends most of its time with its screen off, so five hours is more than enough for most users.

The bottom line here is this: if you’re worried about the iPhone 13 Mini’s battery life, you needn’t be – it is vastly improved over the iPhone 12 mini’s. It isn’t as good as the standard iPhone 13 or the Pro models. But for a smaller iPhone, it is significantly improved over what came before and it will last an entire day on a single charge.

For this reason, I have no problem recommending the iPhone 13 Mini to anyone, so long as you’re aware that for the best possible battery life you will be much better off with the iPhone 13 or one of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro models. If you prefer a smaller phone, the iPhone 13 Mini is well worth a look. It looks great, is a solid performer, and its battery life is now very much up to the task.

  1. Apple's iPhone 13 MiniPin

    If you miss the days of small iPhones, the iPhone 13 Mini will be right up your street. With its extremely pocketable dimensions, the iPhone 13 Mini packs in all the same specs and features as the iPhone 13, just in a much smaller chassis. 


    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  2. Apple's iPhone 13 ProPin

    If you want more performance and improved imaging, the iPhone 13 Pro is what you should be looking at. Featuring the most advanced camera system on the market, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is the perfect phone for users that demand the absolute best from their phones. 

    • Solid Build, Easy To Use
    • Great Battery Life
    • OLED Screen
    • Very Impressive Camera
    • Smaller Than Pro Max
    • Now More Affordable

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  3. Apple iPhone 13 Pro MaxPin

    It has the best camera, the best battery, one of the best screens ever put in a production phone, and it has the fastest chip on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far and away the best phone you can buy now. Yes, it is expensive. But keep in mind that you’ll be able to comfortably run this phone for at least the next six to seven years without issue. 

    • Amazing Camera
    • ProMotion 120Hz Display
    • Excellent Battery Life
    • LiDAR Sensor
    • Beautiful Design
    • Fast 5G Support

And check out 3 Ways To See Your iPhone Battery Percentage %!

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin is a leading UK technology journalist with a focus on consumer tech trends and data security. Renowned for his insightful analysis, Richard has contributed to Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, and CNBC, making complex tech issues accessible to a broad audience.

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