iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 15 Pro: My Upgrade Experience

I recently upgraded to iPhone 15 Pro from iPhone 12 mini. Here are my thoughts.

iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 15 Pro: My Upgrade Experience

It has been more than three years since I bought a new phone. iPhone 12 mini was the phone I have been using since December 2020, and I finally upgraded to the iPhone 15 Pro in February. 

I don’t upgrade phones every year and don’t recommend others to do so. Nowadays, smartphones have powerful chipsets that feel fast even after using the phone for a few years. My iPhone 12 mini has never shown any performance decline that forced me to upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro. 

The problem with smartphones today is that people treat them as fashion accessories or objects to flex on social media. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting the latest iPhone every year, especially if it doesn’t put you in a financial strain. 

But if you are on the yearly upgrade cycle, you should at least temper your expectations and not expect a drastic overhaul with each new model. Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, I see dozens of negative reviews complaining that the latest iPhone is not the mind-altering, life-changing, and pants-tearing experience they wanted. 

But that’s because they compare the latest iPhone to last year’s model, which is not the right thing to do. It’s when you upgrade from a three or four year old iPhone, you truly see the difference. Well, I have spent enough time to form an opinion on this upgrade, and in this video, I will walk you through the things I love and the ones I don’t. 


When I first unboxed the iPhone 15 Pro, I immediately felt it was a more premium product. Apple’s hardware engineering and design prowess shines with this one. The move to Titanium is a good thing. It feels premium, and there are minimal fingerprints on my Natural Titanium color variant. 

iPhone 15 Pro Back Design

The glass backplate is smooth and remains smudge-free, something I appreciate. The enormous camera bump was a cause of concern for me, but aesthetically, I find it pleasing, as it gives character to the device. 

iPhone 15 Pro Camera Bump

The USB-C port has been a great addition to the iPhone family. I can finally charge my MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iPhone with a single cable. But I have to carry the lightning cable to charge my AirPods Pro 2.

iPhone 15 Pro USB-C Port

Another benefit of the USB-C Port is that I can connect the iPhone 15 Pro to external SSDs to transfer data and connect my phone to an external display. I recently got into retro gaming with the Delta app, and playing those games using a controller on my external display with a single USB-C cable has been a lot of fun. 

iPhone 15 Pro Connected to External Display

Moving from the iPhone 12 mini, I noticed the weight and size difference, but after two months of using the device, I got used to it. I still wish Apple made a mini version, but the customers have spoken, and this is the smallest iPhone you can buy. 


One of the biggest upgrades I noticed instantly after switching to the iPhone 15 Pro was the display. The symmetrical ultra-narrow bezels all around the display give it a fluid infinity look that I find pleasing to the eyes. 

iPhone 12 mini Display

The 120Hz ProMotion display is also something I noticed immediately. I use my iPhone to read books and articles and appreciate the hyper-smooth scrolling experience. You will also notice smoother animation across the entire UI. The high refresh rate also enables a better gaming experience. 

iPhone 15 Pro Display

Another performance boost with the display I noticed was the peak brightness. My iPhone 12 mini struggled in direct harsh sunlight, but I experienced no such issues with the iPhone 15 Pro. No matter how harsh the sunlight is, my iPhone 15 Pro’s screen is always visible.

iPhone 15 Pro also offers an always-on display, but quite frankly, I find it distracting and turned it off immediately. I prefer the Dynamic Island over the notch on the iPhone 12 mini. In my eyes, it looks better and also has added functionality. 

iPhone 15 Pro Dynamic Island

I order food online regularly, and it’s cool that I can keep track of the delivery without opening the app. I can keep reading an article or scrolling Instagram while tracking the delivery ETA. 

Action Button

The Action Button has been a revelation and is a better alternative to the Mute switch. I have designed a shortcut that allows me to mute my iPhone, open my note-taking app, and launch the Blackmagic Camera app, depending on the device's orientation.

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button

This shortcut has significantly improved my usage of the Action Button. You can read how to make this Action Button shortcut by clicking the link. There’s not much more to say about the Action Button. I hope Apple will improve it by adding double or triple-tap functions. 


The Camera system is the most noticeable upgrade you will see with the iPhone 15 Pro. You get a 48MP primary sensor and a 3X zoom lens that makes photography fun again. The iPhone 15 Pro shoots 24MP photos by default, which means it captures way more details than the iPhone 12 mini.

24MP Photo Option in iPhone 15 Pro

I notice the difference in quality immediately. It also means I can crop into photos without losing much in the quality department. You will also see a vast improvement in low-light photoshoots. The iPhone 12 mini didn’t perform well in low lights. The images were unclear and had a lot of grain and noise. The iPhone 15 Pro performs exceptionally well in this department. 

3x Camera Zoom Option

The iPhone 15 Pro has also introduced pro video capturing features, including Log format. But I must say that I do not use this feature. For me, the biggest improvement with the iPhone 15 Pro camera system is that it has made it an almost impossible task to take a bad picture. Since I have upgraded, I am taking more pictures than before. 


What also helps with capturing photos is the battery life. Several articles complained about overheating and battery drain issues, thankfully, I have never experienced anything like that. 

Some issues reported in media were heavily overblown, while others have been fixed with the latest iOS updates. If upgrading from the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 mini, you will especially notice the increased battery life. Most days, I charge my iPhone overnight, and it lasts the entire day. 

Battery Settings on iPhone

Mind you, I do not use my phone as extensively as most other reviewers. I mostly use it for texting, calling, reading, and some retro gaming, with social media scrolling in between. With my needs, I comfortably end the day with over 30% of the battery. 

Where I do notice the benefits of a bigger battery is when I am traveling. I can shoot photos and videos, navigate using Google Maps, and still end the day without needing a charge. 

iPhone 15 Pro upgrade: final thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? Would I exchange this peace of mind for a smaller mini-size iPhone?

Yes, I would. My perfect phone will be an iPhone 15 Pro mini with a slightly thicker body to accommodate a bigger battery in the small phone size. The iPhone 12 mini for me was a utilitarian phone. With the iPhone 15 Pro, I am noticing that I am spending more time on the iPhone than I did in the past. 

The constraints set by a small iPhone was a good thing, at least for me. That said, the iPhone 15 Pro excels in all regards, and I do not regret upgrading to Apple’s latest offering. With Apple not making a new mini phone and the latest rumors suggesting a size increase for the iPhone 16 Pro, I think it’s the best time to upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro.