Camera

The iPad mini with Retina Display features the same 5MP iSight rear facing camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera as the iPad Air. Both are quite good for a tablet, aided by iOS’ excellent camera UI and the A7’s high performance ISP. The cameras also benefit from the same dual-mic setup of the iPad Air. I won’t talk too much about quality here as it’s no different than the Air, which I've already gone over in greater depth.

Rear Facing Camera Comparison
  Sensor Resolution Aperture Focal Length
Apple iPad Air 5MP 2592 x 1936 f/2.4 3.3mm
Apple iPad 4 5MP 2592 x 1936 f/2.4 4.3mm
Apple iPad 3 5MP 2592 x 1936 f/2.4 4.3mm
Apple iPad 2,4 0.7MP 960 x 720 f/2.4 2.0mm
Apple iPad mini 5MP 2592 x 1936 f/2.4 3.3mm
Apple iPad mini (Retina) 5MP 2592 x 1936 f/2.4 3.3mm

 

Front Facing Camera Comparison
  Sensor Resolution Aperture Focal Length
Apple iPad Air 1.2MP 1280 x 960 f/2.4 2.15mm
Apple iPad 4 1.2MP 1280 x 960 f/2.4 2.18mm
Apple iPad 3 0.3MP 640 x 480 f/2.4 1.8mm
Apple iPad 2,4 0.3MP 640 x 480 f/2.4 1.8mm
Apple iPad mini 1.2MP 1280 x 960 f/2.4 2.2mm
Apple iPad mini (Retina) 1.2MP 1280 x 960 f/2.4 2.15mm

WiFi & Cellular

The iPad mini with Retina Display inherits the same Qualcomm MDM9615 modem and 2-stream dual-band 802.11n from the iPad Air. The move to 2-stream 802.11n more or less doubles peak WiFi performance compared to last year’s mini. The mini's peak WiFi performance is pretty close to that of the iPad Air as well.

iPerf WiFi Performance - 5GHz 802.11n

Lately I’ve really begun to appreciate the flexibility offered by tablets equipped with cellular modems. Especially now that it’s not terribly expensive to add a tablet to a shared data plan (or even free), the $130 LTE adder for the iPads is something worth seriously considering. The convenience of being able to pull out your tablet, wake it up, and immediately hop on the web/check email/tweet/etc… is awesome. Qualcomm's MDM9615 is a well known quantity at this point. I didn't run into any issues with its performance on the iPad mini.

iPad Cellular Speeds
Property iPhone 3G/3GS/iPad 1 3G iPhone 4 / iPad 2 (GSM/UMTS) iPhone 4 / iPad 2 (CDMA) iPad 3 iPad 4/iPad Mini iPad Air/iPad Mini w/Retina
Baseband Infineon X-Gold 608 Infineon X-Gold 618 Qualcomm MDM6600 Qualcomm MDM9600 Qualcomm MDM9615 w/RTR8600 Qualcomm MDM9615
w/WTR1605L
Max 3GPP Release Feature Release 5 Release 6 Release 7 Release 9 Release 9 Release 9
HSDPA Category Cat.8 - 7.2 Mbps Cat.8 - 7.2 Mbps N/A Cat. 24 - 42 Mbps Cat. 24 - 42 Mbps Cat. 24 - 42 Mbps
HSUPA Category None - 384 Kbps WCDMA only Cat.6 - 5.76 Mbps N/A Cat.6 - 5.76 Mbps Cat.6 - 5.76 Mbps Cat.6 - 5.76 Mbps
EVDO N/A N/A 1x/EVDO Rev.A 1x/EVDO Rev.A 1x/EVDO Rev.A 1x/EVDO Rev.A
LTE N/A N/A N/A 100/50 UE Cat. 3 100/50 UE Cat. 3 100/50 UE Cat. 3

The new iPad mini, like the iPad Air, is extremely flexible from a mobile operator standpoint. Regardless of what operator you choose at the time of purchase, you can switch to others as long as you have an activated nano SIM (there’s apparently an exception for Sprint, but AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon should all be easily switchable). The unlocked nature of the device makes it ripe for global use, especially with support for a total of 14 LTE bands (1,2,3,4,5,7,8,13,17,18,19,20,25 and 26).

 

The Display Battery Life
POST A COMMENT

345 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now