Seems like this topic should be retitled “A love letter to the iPhone mini”…and you can add me to the list.
I’ve never wanted a larger iPhone, I like a minimal case and the ability to slip it into my pocket. I liked the 12 mini since introduced, smaller physical size and larger screen than my iPhone 7. I spontaneously upgraded to a mini last week when I spotted a great sale.
I also never even considered battery life, but would have naturally assumed it would have less energy storage if it crossed my mind. My top priorities haven’t changed much over the years: size, price, and camera. Like many, my upgrade cycle has also slowed way down.
I have a hard time justifying a phone that cost as much as a Pro tablet or almost as much as my last MBA. My max price point for a phone is around $500 (I paid $528 for a new 128GB, with a $200 pre-paid mastercard after 2 months of service. I won’t get into the carrier to keep this on topic).
Camera is a slightly distant 2nd from size and price, as the only other feature of the iPhone I use a lot, so I would probably pay more for a better camera. A Pro mini, assuming it could fit all the features, would be tempting and worth a bit more to me.
And like Julia, 5G is great for future proofing, but not relevant in daily life for me. 90% of the time either there is Wifi available, or no cell signal at all.