What's so unique about it, you'd ask? Well, for starters it wields that mighty S Pen, which is a joy to use on a tablet much more than on the phone-y Notes, and it is also very thin and light. We found it to be an all-around great package - fast, with good display and very handy S Pen-optimized apps, ideal to toss in a bag, or carry around all the time, and not only if you are a student.
What can the more orthodox iPad line pit against it? Well, for starters, the iPad minis are crafted out of aluminum, so there's that, and yet they are thinner and lighter than the plastic-fantastic Note 8.0, which on top of that is priced similar. The precision cut corners and the Apple logo on the back certainly exude a more premium feeling than Samsung's tablet, which strikes back with functionality thanks to its stylus silo and adjacent apps, though. When it comes to apps, Android still lags in tablet-specific ones, but on an 8-incher the regular phone ones typically scale just fine for what it's worth.
Then we arrive to the processing power, which, frankly, is more than enough on all three tablets, though the iPad mini with Retina shines with its 64-bit A7 processor, which is da bomb for marketing purposes and optimized iOS 7 stock apps, but not so much for 3rd party ones yet. It has to push that Retina panel, though, so we'll have to put it at the top of the food chain here.
Speaking of the Retina Display on the new iPad mini, we'd be remiss to miss those dense 326 pixels per inch. That's right, this is the second highest pixel density on a tablet, barring the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, and the munchkin actually has the same resolution as its larger sibling the iPad Air. 2048 x 1536 pixels on an 8-incher is a Guiness Book of Records material right there, so if you are into density bragging rights, snatch the iPad mini with Retina immediately.
The brave old iPad mini doesn't have much to show for itself now but the fact that it's the lightest of them all, still with premium design and 400 000+ optimized apps behind its back, and just got to that sweet $299 tag. Which, of course, may or may not be worth it, depending on how badly you want to watch 4K movies on your 8" slate, or do some serious graphics work on that specific canvas size. Take a peak and have your pick.
Apple iPad mini 2 vs Apple iPad mini vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
|OS||iOS (10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)||iOS (9.x, 8.x, 7.x, 6.1, 6)||Android (4.4.2, 4.2.2, 4.1.2), TouchWiz UI|
|Dimensions||7.87 x 5.30 x 0.30 inches (200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm)||7.87 x 5.30 x 0.28 inches (200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm)||8.30 x 5.35 x 0.31 inches (210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95 mm)|
|Weight||12.03 oz (341 g)|
the average is 14.5 oz (413 g)
|11.01 oz (312 g)|
the average is 14.5 oz (413 g)
| 11.92 oz (338 g)|
the average is 14.5 oz (413 g)
|Materials||Main body: Aluminum||Main body: Aluminum|
|Physical size||7.9 inches||7.9 inches||8.0 inches|
|Resolution||2048 x 1536 pixels||1024 x 768 pixels||1280 x 800 pixels|
Pixel density - The pixel density of a display represents the number of pixels over an area of one inch. It’s measured in “pixels per inch”, or ppi. The higher the number, the more detailed and good-looking the display is.
|324 ppi||162 ppi||189 ppi|
Technology - There are two main screen technologies currently used in phones and tablets: LCD and AMOLED. The former usually features a light source and liquid crystals, while the latter is based on organic light-emitting diodes. Newer LCD variations like IPS-LCD and Super-LCD allow for very accurate color reproduction and very wide viewing angles, where no significant image quality loss is observed. Current AMOLED screens differ in such a way that they can exhibit much more saturated colors (sometimes too much) and incredibly high contrast levels, which is due to black color being completely black in AMOLED displays.
|IPS LCD||IPS LCD||TFT|
|Screen-to-body ratio||71.82 %||71.82 %||64.78 %|
|Colors||16 777 216||16 777 216|
|Camera||5 megapixels||5 megapixels||5 megapixels|
Aperture size - The aperture of a camera is the opening through which light travels before it reaches the camera sensor. The smaller the number is, the bigger this opening is, allowing for more light to pass.
|Focal length (35mm equivalent)||33 mm||33 mm|
|Hardware Features||Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)||Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)||Autofocus|
|Software Features||Digital image stabilization, Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging||Face detection, Digital zoom, Digital image stabilization, Touch to focus, Geo tagging||Smile detection, Geo tagging|
|Camcorder||1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)||1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)||1280x720 (720p HD) (30 fps)|
|Recording format||H.264, MOV||H.264, MOV|
|Features||Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling||Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video calling|
|Front-facing camera||1.2 megapixels||1.2 megapixels||1.3 megapixels|
|Video capture||1280x720 (720p HD)||1280x720 (720p HD)|
System chip - Most modern handsets use an advanced chip that includes many of the device’s hardware modules like the processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sometimes even the wireless radio. This field shows what particular system chip (or System-on-a-Chip) is used in the phone.
|Apple A7||Apple A5||Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 4412|
Processor - The processor is the main computing component of a phone and is a major factor when it comes to the overall speed of the device. Some more powerful smartphones use dual-core and quad-core processors designed to deliver greater performance.
|Dual-core, 1300 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bit||Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9||Quad-core, 1600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9|
|Graphics processor||PowerVR G6430||PowerVR SGX543MP2||ARM Mali-400 MP4|
System memory - System memory, or RAM memory is the type of memory that the device uses to temporarily store data from the OS or currently-running apps. The more RAM available to the device, the better the performance will be when multiple or heavier programs are running.
|1 GB RAM / LPDDR3||0.5 GB RAM / DDR2||2 GB RAM|
|Built-in storage||128 GB||64 GB||16 GB|
|Storage expansion||microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC|
|Capacity||6471 mAh||4440 mAh||4600 mAh|
CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access. A technique of multiplexing, also called spread spectrum, in which analog signals are converted into digital form for transmission. For each communication channel, the signals are encoded in a sequence known to the transmitter and the receiver for that channel. The foremost application is digital cellular phone technology from QUALCOMM that operates in the 800MHz band and 1.9GHz PCS band. CDMA phones are noted for their excellent call quality and long battery life.
|800, 1900 MHz|
|GSM||850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz||850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz||850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz|
|UMTS||850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz||850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz||850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz|
|LTE (FDD)||Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26||Bands 17, 4|
|Data||LTE, HSPA, UMTS||LTE Cat 3 (100/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, UMTS||HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS|
|MSRP price||$ 829||$ 659|