- Little difference from iPad Mini 2
- No NFC
With the Apple iPad Mini 3, Apple once again splits the specs between the larger iPad and its smaller sibling. How does the Mini 3 compare to the rest of the small tablet offerings on the market? Let’s see how the reviews look!
The Mini 3 includes the same display as the original iPad Mini with Retina--now called the iPad Mini 2. The 2048-by-1536 7.9-inch IPS display offers bright colors, plenty of sharpness and viewing angles that only IPS can offer. While it might be the display from a previous model, TechCrunch says that it is still “one of the best tablet displays in the business.”
In fact, this trend continues to most everything about the Mini 3. Essentially it is the iPad Mini 2 with TouchID support, Apple SIM support and new gold color option. CNet reiterated this stating, “take one look at the specs and you'll see it's déjà vu all over again for Apple's little guy.”
With a 1.27GHz 64-bit A7 processor and 1GB of RAM, the tablet is capable of most anything you want it to do. Reviews note that it multitasks with ease and plays even the latest games with no problems. A variety of storage options, from 16GB to 128GB offer plenty room for your movies, music, apps and more.
Apple’s Touch ID offers easy unlocking of the device, while support for Apple Pay will make online purchases quick and secure as well. Unfortunately, lack of NFC support means you won’t be able to use it at retail locations.
The other addition, Apple SIM, allows you to swap between various data providers without needing to change SIM cards. Currently there are a number of providers in the US and UK working with Apple. If you prefer a different carrier, there is no physical difference in SIM cards, so swap in your preferred card and you’ll be on your way.
The Mini 3 includes an estimated 10-hour mixed use battery time which was confirmed by many reviewers. Streaming HD video, Engadget achieved 14-hours of playback on a single charge.
With a 5MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera, the tablet won’t be replacing your point-and-shoot camera anytime soon. However, reviews find that the cameras offer respectable quality for video chat and social media.
Despite positive reviews, many reviewers struggled to endorse the Mini 3 in comparison to the previous model. The Verge stated that it “feels competitive with the other small tablets on the market” but also posed the question, “How much is Touch ID worth?” PC Magazine declared “existing mini 2 owners have very little reason to upgrade.” In the end, Engadget summed up thoughts best, stating “The mini 3 got so little love this time around that the best news about it is the fact that last year's version is now $100 cheaper.”