But Apple, Samsung, and most of the other big smartphone brands really want to sell you on their products in any way that works. So let’s talk about smartphone names. The upcoming iPhone 14 series is expected to drop the “mini” and introduce a “Max” model, in addition to the base iPhone 14, iPhone 14 “Pro” and “Pro Max”. Confused already? You’re not alone.
The name of a product has a significant role in how it is presented, and many companies utilise interesting titles to catch your attention. Well, some definitely don’t, maybe most notably Sony, which calls its headphones something like “WH-1000XM5” instead of giving them names that are catchy or significant. And Sony has operated in this manner with its headphones for decades; rather than informing users of their features from the name, Sony wants prospective customers to conduct their own research.
There’s not a more obvious, simple and easy-to-understand name than the “mini” – whether you’re looking at an iPhone mini, iPad mini, HomePod mini – you can immediately tell that those are supposed to be the smallest devices in their respective categories. If you want something small and portable from Apple – you get the “mini”. Makes perfect sense.
Those names do have a meaning, as you’d expect, at least when it comes to Apple products. But, the Cupertino company’s naming schemes have spawned a lot of meaningless “Pro” products from other brands. Same goes for Samsung, and its now-retired “Note” line… The “mini” name made perfect sense – clear and simple iPhone 13 mini – iPhone 14 Pro Max Plus Ultra Mega… Did Apple’s childish naming scheme set off this trend?
Yes, we can’t talk about the iPhone mini without mentioning that the upcoming iPhone 14 series won’t have such a phone. Even Apple is giving up on small flagships, as it seems. So the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 13 mini are the only two mini Apple phones to get, if you want that small form factor.
Other brands have used the “mini” name in the past too, although nowadays small phones in general have gone the way of the dodo. Samsung had a “mini” phone way before Apple – the Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 was released in early 2011, while the first iPhone to carry the “mini” name (the iPhone 12 mini) came out just two years ago. And Apple’s mini line is already retired!
And from my personal experience – here’s a tip – get the iPhone 13 mini, not the 12, as the former has better battery life. iPhone 13 Pro Max – iPhone 14 Pro Max Plus Ultra Mega… Did Apple’s childish naming scheme set off this trend? What is the upcoming iPhone 14 Max? It’s going to be Apple’s first model to carry that name, likely to be unveiled with the other iPhone 14 models about two weeks from now.
Until now, we’ve only ever had “Pro Max” iPhones, not just “Max”. And the “Pro Max” made perfect sense. Like “mini”, the “Max” name simply describes the phone’s size – in this case – it’s the biggest iPhone in its series. It’s a good name, simple. With the upcoming (speculated) new iPhone 14 Max, though, things will surely get more complicated. Because rumors say that the iPhone 14 Max will be under the “Pro” and “Pro Max” models in terms of price. So we’ll have a “Max” that’s smaller than a “Pro”? Or just a “Max” without the “Pro” features?
Many brands use the “Pro” name to signify a slightly better-specced smartphone. It definitely doesn’t mean that your new “Pro” phone is ready for professional use. It just might sport a better camera, processor, or more RAM and storage. In some cases, not even that much. In Apple’s case, however, the “Pro” actually does technically mean something worth paying attention to. For, example the iPhone 13 Pro has the following features over the base iPhone 13: A 120Hz display, a telephoto camera with 6x optical zoom (as opposed to 2x), a LiDAR scanner, which helps with taking better Night mode portraits, and supposedly delivers faster autofocus in low light, a 5-core GPU (as opposed to 4-core), slightly better battery life…