The iPhone 12 mini Stands Tall
The 12 mini changes course and fits easily in my front pants pocket and is friendly for one handed use. I also find myself taking fewer accidental screenshots -- something I did regularly with the larger iPhone X.
It wasn't just the size of the X that was a drawback for me. The camera also had a hardware flaw that sometimes caused a green reflection in my photos. And while the X boasted a zoom lens, I found that the single lens camera on the much older iPhone 4s took better photos.
With the benefit of time and technological advances, the 12 mini is both a better phone and camera than the X, and in a smaller package to boot. Face ID is also faster and more responsive because the front facing camera has has a wider viewing angle. Battery life is fine; as someone who spreads his attention across an iMac, an iPad, and the 12 mini, I typically end my day with 60% power remaining on the phone. My one concern was navigation; I grew comfortable viewing maps on the X's larger screen and wondered if it would be difficult to read maps on the smaller 12 mini. I am pleased to report this wasn't a problem.
A trade-in from a X to a smaller iPhone isn't for everyone. The X still looks beautiful and works fine, and my wife is happy to keep hers. For me, while I liked my X, I am discovering that I love my 12 mini.
For a deeper review of the the entire iPhone 12 family, see Ars Technica: iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max hands-on: How they compare with the 12 and 12 Pro.