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Google Pixel 5 vs Apple iPhone 12 Mini: Apples vs Robots

author Luis Silva (November 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

You shouldn't have to pay much more for the iPhone 12 Mini, but it's the smartphone you should pick.

It gives you better performance (+153%) and a glass back. But the Pixel 5 features better battery life and more internal storage (128GB vs. 64GB).

What else do they have to offer?

The Pixel 5 also adds a higher refresh rate, Always-On, larger (+0.6") display, reverse wireless charging, and more RAM (8GB vs. 4GB).

In the end, it's up to you as they achieved a pretty even score.

How much more will the iPhone 12 Mini cost me?

If you're considering a new and unlocked smartphone, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $57.

Is it worth buying the Pixel 5 in 2021?

The Pixel 5 isn't the perfect smartphone, but there aren't many better phones for this budget. You can go for the iPhone 12, but this one does have good cameras, good battery life, and excellent glass protection.

Is the iPhone 12 Mini still worth buying in 2021?

The iPhone 12 Mini remains a great smartphone in part thanks to its good performance, good cameras, and excellent glass protection. It holds up pretty well in 2021, but keep an eye on (again) the iPhone 12 too.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they stack up against their rivals, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Google Pixel 5, Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Photo by Nemanja .O. on Unsplash

CONTENTS

Click on one of these
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Introduction

Apple launched its iPhone 12 Mini in November 2020, while Google's Pixel 5 arrived at stores one month sooner.

Here you can look at the Pixel 5 and the iPhone 12 Mini, compare each other's features, and decide which one is best for you. Let us delve into the finer details.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Release Date 2020, October 2020, November 0y.
OS Updates 3 years 6 years 3y.
Security Updates 3 years 6 years 3y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

As for performance, Geekbench 5 (IOS)(Android) scores the iPhone 12 Mini 153% ahead of its competitor in the multi-core ranking. If you forget this number, you'll remember it every single day since day one. The iPhone is a bit more responsive to tasks like rotating the phone to landscape mode because the OS is tailored for its hardware.

Unfortunately, the Pixel 5 isn't that smooth. It actually is below the average against similarly priced phones. While the average sits at 2726, this one is 40% below them.

We can label the Pixel 5 as mid-range and the iPhone 12 Mini more like high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
SoC Snapdragon 765 Apple A14
Graphics Adreno 620 Apple GPU
Geekbench 5 Score 1647
4174
2527
OS Android 11 iOS 14.1
Tek-Score
4.7
9.0
4.2

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Google Pixel 5 front transparent png Apple iPhone 12 Mini front transparent png

The Pixel 5's display does stand out, and it should be noticeable.

If you're into small displays, don't waste your time searching for other devices, and go for the iPhone 12 Mini. At least it's short when compared to the average phone for its price range.

If you value a clean, almost notch-free screen, at least the Pixel 5 has a tinier notch.

Given the Pixel 5, 88% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 96% have an AMOLED screen.

Considering the iPhone 12 Mini, just so you know, 92% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 96% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Size 6.0
5.4
-0.6
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1080x2340
0
Refresh Rate 90hz 60hz -30
Dots per Inch 429.53
477.26
47.73
Always-On-Display Yes No
Notch Hole Wedge
Peak Brightness 699 nits
627 nits
-72
HDR HDR10+ HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
3.1
-5.7
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
7.9
7.6
-0.3

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Google Pixel 5 back transparent png Apple iPhone 12 Mini back transparent png

If you value quality photos, you should know that the Pixel 5 is about 48% above other competitors from its price range. Nevertheless, these two have similar scores, so...

About the Pixel 5: This camera came out of DXOMARK's labs with a score of 129. By including its wide-angle lens, that will go up to 138. If you click here, you can check what they think of it.

Last (but not least), keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 92% feature Optical Image Stabilization. However, only 19% of them feature a macro lens.

About the iPhone 12 Mini: DXOMARK evaluated this camera, and here's the score: 132. And by adding its wide-angle lens, we end up with a score of 139 points. If you want to know more about it, check it here.

Finally, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Additionally, only 4% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify these two as high-end.

If you take optical zoom seriously, it might be time to consider smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.7
1.6
-0.1
Lens 27mm
26mm
-1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 2 1
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 138
139
1

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini vs.
Megapixels 16
12
-4
Aperture 2.2
2.4
0.2
Lens 17mm 13mm -4
Lens Type Wide-Angle Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 9 7 -2
Selfie Camera Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini vs.
Megapixels 8
12
4
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens 24mm 23mm -1
Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini vs.
Tek-Score
8.1
8.2
0.1

Who has the best frame?

The iPhone 12 Mini does have an advantage here, thanks to its weight and the number of color options. But that doesn't mean the Pixel 5 is that bad.

Be aware that the iPhone 12 Mini is approximately 28% smaller than the average phone for its price segment.

The Pixel 5 is 16 g. (0.56 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 135 g. (4.76 oz). But because this is a bit relative, the "weight to display size" score of the Pixel 5 is 8.4, meaning it's one of the lightest phones for its display size. The iPhone 12 Mini, in its turn, has 8.6, which suggests exceptional work from Apple.

The Pixel 5 is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, identical to the iPhone 12 Mini. It should be for less than 30 minutes, on standby, and freshwater only.

Looks*
vs.
Body Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Size 144 x 70 x 8 mm
(5.08 x 2.47 x 0.28 in)
131 x 64 x 7 mm
(4.62 x 2.26 x 0.25 in)
-21952
Weight 151 g. (5.33 oz)
135 g. (4.76 oz)
-16
Build Front glass and aluminum back Front and back glass
Colors Just Black and Sorta Sage Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 87.67%
85.38%
-2.29
Disp.Size To Weight Score 8.4 8.6 0.2
Looks 9.1/10
9.6/10
0.5
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Fingerprint Face ID
Tek-Score
9.1
9.9
0.9

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The Pixel 5 has a 4080 mAh battery, and the iPhone 12 Mini has a 2227 mAh. And according to GSMArena's tests, the former is the winner here.

OK, the iPhone 12 Mini isn't winning any battery contest, but Apple did a great job here if you ask me. That's what a "battery to smartphone size" rate of 9.9 shows. But for the Pixel 5, it only got a score of 7.9.

Clearly, the iPhone 12 Mini's battery capacity is well below other price-liked phones. It lasts 10% less than the average on these tasks.

The new iPhones also feature magnetic wireless charging. It's nice but not as good as USB-C charging.

Battery*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Capacity (mAh) 4080 2227 -1853
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 82% left
75% left
-7
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 66% left
59% left
-7
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 69% left
59% left
-10
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.9 9.9 2.0
Sub Tek-Score
7.2
6.4
-0.8
Fast Charging 18w
20w
2
Wireless Charging 12w
12w
0
Reverse Charging 5w
No -5
Tek-Score
6.9
6.3
-0.6

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Pixel 5, for sure.

The iPhone 12 Mini, in its turn, has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. If you're wondering, you can effortlessly get more RAM and more storage by picking any rival at that price range. 8Gb for RAM and 139Gb for storage, on average.

Storage shouldn't be an issue on any of these phones. However, if you can't get enough of the record button, 64 GB may be too short for you.

Storage*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
RAM (GB) 8GB
4GB
-4
Internal (GB) 128GB
64GB
-64
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
6.0
2.8
-3.3

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

There isn't much to see here.

If you got used to counting on the good-old 3.5mm headphone jack, forget about it. Want a piece of advice? Forget about adapters and go for the wireless buds. You can also check other devices if you don't mind searching for them. You can get that with the Samsung Galaxy S10.

These two are (LTE and) 5G compatible.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Network 5G 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
4.6
4.6
0.0

Which is more affordable?

Here are their recently updated prices:

Google Pixel 5

Reference: $682

Google Pixel 5

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Reference: $739

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini VS
Amazon - - ! -
eBay 1.17 0.57 -0.60
Best Buy - - ! -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

So, what about that global score? We'll get there. Let me point out the average of its competitors. They're in the ballpark of 6.9 for the Pixel 5 and 7.0 for the iPhone 12 Mini.

Verdict: Does any of them really stand out?

Performance-wise, the iPhone 12 Mini does stand out. In fact, one could argue that they're worlds apart.

Even if the Pixel 5 isn't winning any race, it still has some unique features, like a 90hz refresh rate in an Always-on display, considerably better battery life, plus the ability to reverse charge other Qi-enabled devices. Not only that, but it also has double the internal storage, plus double the RAM.

You should probably also include size, OS, and lifetime support in the mix, but that depends on your preferences alone.

Pros Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Cameras
#4 Fast Charging Fast Charging
#5 Wireless Charging Wireless Charging
#6 Glass Protection Glass Protection
Cons Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
#1 MicroSD Slot Always-On-Display
#2 3.5mm Jack MicroSD Slot
#3 Price 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Pixel 5 iPhone 12 Mini
Gaming Score
6.6
6.3
-0.3
Tek-Score
6.78
6.84
0.06
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Google Pixel 5 Related Comparisons


Apple iPhone 12 Mini Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Google Pixel 5 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554

 Apple iPhone 12 Mini 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $729
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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