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iPhone 12 mini Diary: Overnight ICU stay shows the limitations of the smaller battery

On December 10, my world changed in a flash as I went from having a normal day at work to following an ambulance to the emergency room with my five-year-old daughter inside. Read on to see how the iPhone 12 mini performed when we were stuck in intensive care overnight.

While we now know that my daughter was suffering from a seizure, it was a terrifying few hours for the Chambers’ household. My daughter was fine one moment, and then the next, she appeared as if someone unplugged her brain. Thankfully, she is fine now and will be on anti-seizure medicine for the next two years. We hadn’t planned on spending the evening in the ICU, but it ended up being a good use case for the iPhone 12 mini.

In that situation, my iPhone became a phone first and a portable communicator second. I was spending time on the phone with family and friends about her condition. I was spending a lot less time in email and apps, though. As a “phone,” the iPhone 12 mini is the best phone Apple has ever shipped. Because I didn’t have my AirPods, I didn’t have the ability to put my phone down, so I had to hold it the entire time. It was extremely comfortable.

After she was finally settled in the ICU room and asleep, I spent the next few hours catching up on my work. Yes, I realize that work can wait in those situations, but in periods of high stress, I find working to be comforting, as it is something I can “control” and gives me something to take my mind off what is happening. By the end of the night, my phone was completely dead. Thankfully, some friends had brought us a care package that included a long lighting cable so I could charge when we went to sleep. Still, it did highlight the limitations of the battery and what my life might be like as I start traveling to conferences again in 2021.

Just as before having a “big” iPhone with a battery that lasted all day, I will burn through the battery by the end of the day. If you want a phone that will truly last all day under heavy use, the iPhone 12 mini isn’t for you. If you want a super portable phone for phone calls and are fine to need an external battery for heavy use days, then I still highly recommend the iPhone 12 mini. I really hope that Apple adds a MagSafe external battery because I will buy it sight unseen. The limitations of the built-in battery are acceptable for me personally because I value portability above everything.

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Avatar for Bradley Chambers Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN where he manages Apple devices for a private school. 

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