Battery Life

Thanks to the mini’s integrated 23.8Wh battery (and the low idle power of the 28nm A7), the Retina Display’s power consumption is more than offset. Battery life in all of our tests is at worst unchanged from the mini, but at best we’re talking about a 21% increase.

Our web browsing test shows a 10% improvement compared to the original iPad mini. The new mini with Retina Display can even last longer than a 4th generation iPad, and it’s hot on the heels of the iPad Air (I'll be updating this section with LTE and LTE hotspot results).

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

Video playback is where we see the biggest improvement compared to the original mini. Here the new iPad mini lasts 21% longer on a single charge, once again outlasting even the iPad 4. The iPad Air doesn’t offer any appreciable gain in battery life over the Retina mini.

Video Playback Battery Life (720p, 4Mbps HP H.264)

Our 3D battery life test is the only one where the old mini manages to beat the new Retina model. With a 1.31% margin of victory though, it’s pretty safe to say that for current 3D gaming workloads you’ll see similar battery life out of the Retina mini as the old model. This is also the only test where the iPad Air delivers better battery life on a single charge (~11%).

3D Battery Life - GLBenchmark 2.5.1

Apple ships the Retina mini with a 10W USB charger and lightning cable. This appears to be the same charger as what shipped with the 3rd generation iPad (but obviously with a different cable). Using the newer 12W charger from the iPad 4/Air has no impact on charge time as the mini still only draws a maximum of 11.7W at the wall (compared to 13.8W for the iPad Air).

The iPad mini with Retina Display completes a charge from 0 to 100% in a sliver under 4 hours. That’s a little quicker than the iPad Air, and similar to the original mini with its 5W charger.

Charge Time in Hours

Camera, WiFi & Cellular Final Words
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  • BPB - Saturday, November 16, 2013 - link

    Came here just to see if the Apple love would be 10 out of 10, or 11 out of 10. Not surprised it's an 11. Reply
  • Jaaap - Saturday, November 16, 2013 - link

    There are also al lot of verifiable facts in the article. Reply
  • BearT - Saturday, November 16, 2013 - link

    Liked the article: 1. The display of iPad mini w/ Retina is superb, and its size dwarfs that of others in this category (e.g. Nexus 7). This matters to me as I read magazines in portrait mode. 2. I tried the browsers from a number of devices. The "Reader" feature of Safari is a must, if you loathe online ads as much as I do. 3. The high fidelity of the FaceTime "audio" is uncanny; one has to try it to appreciate the "pin-drop" sound across the globe, okay, just the long-distance. The normal phone audio doesn't come close in clarity! Reply
  • eggcustard - Sunday, November 17, 2013 - link

    I use Readability on my N7. Reply
  • RannXeroxx - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    Looks like an interesting app, going to try it out. Thanks. Reply
  • julandorid - Sunday, November 17, 2013 - link

    Actually, the final rating is pretty accurate! The review mention all of the important flaws as the quality of the display which is still decent but not quite as good as it is on the Nexus 7. Also a very important thing is the price. The author of this review is not convinced that (double) price is justified anyhow. Actually the contrary. He practically encourage the buyers to take the Nexus 7 in serious consideration.

    My personal opinion is the display is not that bad as it is described, but it is entirely a conscious decision made by Apple to calibrate the display with much lower brightens in order to achieve a good battery and correct gamma. If they decided to put an extra power to the led backlight and does a different calibration then I guess we would have a better screen but in the expense of pretty bad battery life. Apple did a smart move by offering great performance and good battery life. Probably no body will notice the display since it is already better (I mean sharper) that it was previously. That gives Apple another chance, next year to advertize an even better iPad mini.

    The only serious concern that I have is the price! It is a known fact for years that Apple never rise the price (because it is already too high anyway) and always keep it the same while refreshing the product's internal and external components with better ones. However this year they decided to do the opposite - to increase the price even further.

    So, for me was no-brainer to go with the new Nexus 7. Great device, great display. I always smile when I look at it.
    Reply
  • Mahadragon - Sunday, November 17, 2013 - link

    True, Apple generally keeps the price of devices like the iPhone and iPad the same. The iPhone 5S is the same price as the iPhone 5, however, you fail to take into consideration that the iPhone 5S has the same screen as the iPhone 5. The 5S has a finger print sensor and uses the A7 processor, those were the upgrades.

    The iPad Mini (original) made 2 steps up in processing power going from the A5 to the A7 processor and made a massive leap in resolution going to the retina screen. The Mini Retina also requires a much larger battery than the previous Mini to power all that nice hi-resolution screen which actually forced Apple to make an iPad Mini that is thicker and slightly heavier than the previous generation.

    In short, the upgrade path from the original Mini to the Mini Retina was not a standard upgrade. It was a massive upgrade which prompted a much larger price increase.
    Reply
  • winkgood - Monday, November 18, 2013 - link

    Sounds like you are just making excuses for Apple. When they went from the ipad 2 (non-retina) to ipad 3 (retina), they kept the same price even though the new device has a better soc and higher resolution. (2 steps up)

    I believe they kept the same price point when they went from the iphone 3gs to 4 and from the 4s to 5, both of which involved improved screens and better guts. (2 steps up)

    They got greedy and wanted to keep their insanely high margins.
    Reply
  • ws3 - Monday, November 18, 2013 - link

    Apple's margins are not insanely high, as proven by the fact that for most of their products, they sell everything they make. How long has the iPhone 5s been out now and most Apple stores still can't keep them in stock. Reply
  • ELPCU - Monday, November 18, 2013 - link

    There is no doubt that Apple's margin are insanely high. Especially in phone area, they are making a tons of margin per phone. I do not know how can u say this stupid argument. Don't you see how expensive every fucking Apple accessory is? Don't you see how much apple makes u pay for increase tiny bit of storage? Go check isuppli, and look up their bill of material.

    I need to admit iPad, especially iPad mini series with 16GB wifi's margin is not too high, but margin from iphone per every fucking phone is just ridiculus. Why? because your phone cost is very deceptive, since 2/3~ish price is hidden under contract. You feels you are just paying 200 bucks per phone(for lowest storage), but apple takes bunch of money from AT&T or T-mobile, etc. You are actually paying 650 bucks(unlocked phone price). Most of iphone series have approximately SAMEish bill of material. around 200 bucks including manufactuing cost, and margin rates of higher storage one gets increased even more.

    Bill of material is not exact number used for calculating margin, because of warranty cost, marketing cost, licensing cost, etc, but if you uses 150% of BOM, which will give very close number of real unit price.

    Which means apple is making more than 100% margin rate in phone market.
    You think more than 100% of margin rate is not insanely high? you must be kidding me.
    Reply

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