Apple iPad mini 3 battery life falls way short of mini 2 for some reason

Apple iPad mini 3 battery life falls way short of mini 2 for some reason
Apple didn't spend much time announcing the iPad mini 3 at its new tablet presentation recently, but instead listed briefly that it is indeed a new thing, and stressed that the munchkin slate now comes with the Touch ID finger scanner. And that's all that can be said about the mini 3, really, when you compare it to the mini 2.

The folks from Cupertino left the iPad mini 3 largely unchanged from its already svelte predecessor in terms of design, but included a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which means you can now use it with Apple Pay - the company's budding mobile payment system. There's a new golden color option, and the 32 GB model has disappeared in favor of a 64 GB one, but that's about it - other than those it sports the dimensions and silicon of its predecessor.

Imagine our surprise then, when we measured significantly shorter battery life with the new mini 3, compared to its predecessor. As usual, Apple doesn't list battery capacities, but it's not hard to assume that the juicers are the same, as is most everything else with the two tablets. Still, the iPad mini 3 did last about hour and a half less on our tasking battery benchmark, compared to the mini 2, so have this in mind when gunning for the Touch ID-laden version. This still means that the tablet would get you through the day with average use, but you can't expect much more endurance from the new mini 3.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3
6h 53 min (Average)
Apple iPad mini 2
8h 28 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
7h 4 min (Good)

Related phones

iPad mini 3
  • Display 7.9" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 6350 mAh
iPad mini 2
  • Display 7.9" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 6471 mAh

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26 Comments

1. Sakeem

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Seems like an expensive afterthought by Apple.

15. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Seems like a deliberate attempt to once again strong arm their customer base to "think different" about buying an iPad mini 3. They make much more money on the phablet and a bit more on the iPad airs. Why would anyone be stupid enough to buy the mini 3? Same question came up at the release of the iPhone 5c and that sold well enough. They realized that they really do have a mindless horde they can abuse and they have every intention of doing so. Also, the media is well in their pockets with their 4/5 or 8/10 scores for last year's device.

23. engineer-1701d unregistered

we all know the reason is the size and apple never liked big batterys they want people buying juice box and other items to lock them into the eco system

2. Symon_Fleece

Posts: 351; Member since: May 30, 2014

ipad mini 2 is better with better battery life than ipad mini 3 with touch ID, with lower battery life and more expensive

3. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Since it has the same dimensions I would assume it has the same battery capacity. Maybe iOS 8 is a power hog, because that seems to be the only variable here.

7. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Whats funny is if it's that....seems like the great battery life iPhone had years ago was due to the OS lacking features. Which many have tried to state to iPhone, Apple fanatics but it fell on deaf ears...

14. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

That was my thought too. They should do a fresh battery test of Apple's devices with iOS8 on them. I remember when iOS7 came out a few websites retested the battery on the iPhone 5 and found that iOS7 severely cut the battery life on some variants of the 5. It had something to do with which antenna band your phone was using.

24. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Most likely using an IOS version too similar to the iPad Air 2 version. Meaning the mini 3 is drinking like it has an A8x and bigger battery when it should be sipping like the iPhone 6 version.

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Phone arena, you need to realize at this point that it's software related for both the iPad Air 2 and mini. The mini retina is the exact same unit, so let it go.

5. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

How about a retest of the mini 2 on iOS 8. iOS 8 brings a lot more functionality (finally) which obviously could account for the different in battery life.

6. Iodine

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Personally I think iOS 8 has improved in terms of battery life. And even if it would be a battery hog I don't think It would have such strong impact on iPad battery life.

8. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

What else could it be? The ONLY hardware change was the addition of touchID which should have zero effect on this battery life test. Personal feelings about battery life do not equate to test results.

9. Iodine

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Or messed up battery life test. For running down an iPad mini battery in under 7 hours at around HALF brightness PA earns a LoL LoL from me at best.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Every time something bad is said about Apple products, you're ready to blame anyone but Apple. How about the phone bending in peoples pockets? I guess its their fault for carrying a phone in their pocket? What about the phone braking so easily racking up over $6Billion in repair costs? I guess that's someone else fault too...right? The iPhone 4 antenna issue, I guess that wasn't Apple's fault either? How about the fact every model of the iPhone has had wifi and cellular connection issues? I guess that's not Apple fault either? Even with videos that show these problems, they are so easily ignored when its Apple. But if it was Microsoft or Samsung, then where their stuff has some problems; then oh boy you guys come running blaming them. Amazing how you guys are such hypocrites. Actually I take that back, its not amazing. You guys are just idiots and you can't prove otherwise.

17. Iodine

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

And you do a complete opposite, every time something bad is said about Apple products, even if it's a total banality like it bends, or it can break when it falls on the ground or that a phone loses signal under certain circumstances it has to be a fail or even an intention of Apple. And yes just as you guessed even with videos where people are trying to bend their new iPad's I completely ignore "bendgate". Why ? I know and feel how incredibly well built Apple devices are and bunch of people with destructive intentions will not change that fact. With problems of other companies you are wrong as well, it's a complete opposite. I completely don't care about problems of other companies just as you do. They don't have a image of the best company on the planet they don't have an enormous hating comunity like Apple and so no other company will receive a massive worldwide mocking contest, no other company is mocked for their phones being able to bend, no other company is mocked for screwed up software updates, no other company is mocked for having a gap between a display and the bezel (they will tell you it's a feature, such irony). And so tell me who's a bigger hypocrite, I because I know that iPad's have absolutelly insane battery endurance and for wondering how could a "real life" battery test give you two very different numbers on the same hardware or you accusing me of ignoring the "huge problem " that a phone could break or lose reception.

19. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Gap between display and bezel??? Lol...looks like you just heard someone saying that....and came here to troll.... It's gap between BEZEL and FRAME... and what is wrong about that GAP..does it create any negative impact on durability???NO...does it makes phone bend???NO...then what is the problem??? See it is different when someone has added why gap is there in manual....and some company just ignores the problem....be it antennagate or bendgate....

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

There is another article that says that the battery life on e Air 2 is shorter as well. So both are equally less long lasting. You still think its a coincidence? You really think the tests were done wrong? And you winder why people call you all names. It's because you deserve it.

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

But these tests are not about showing the battery life the end user will see. They are a test to mimic real life use, but to do so as if the person never stopped using their device. I don't get why that's an alien concept to people. It's saying if you kept the device awake and kept hammering on it, this is the battery life you'd get. Since most people don't do that it will last longer under human use. The reason they do these kinds of tests is to give people a metric by which to compare these devices. A reviewer using the device for a week or so may give you an idea of the battery life you should see, but they may use their device different than their readers. With a test like this, if you have one of the devices already tested and know the battery life you saw with it, it should tell you if the other device being compared will give you better, the same, or worse battery life than that device. It was never meant to show the battery life the end user will see, only a replicable test to fairly judge battery life between different devices.

12. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Weeeeeeeaaaaaaak

13. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

The gift that keeps on not giving!! Maybe the bling of the gold color draws more power.

16. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

Really? Man.... I just sold my iPad Mini 1 and just waiting for the iPad Mini 3 to be available here in the Philippines. If this is the problem, I'm gonna buy the iPad Mini 2.

21. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

The Mini 2 is honestly just as good. For $100 less. Touch ID doesn't make sense with an iPad. I share it with people. Tablets are begging to be shared because they are so easy to use.

20. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

It's a early release software issue obviously. All the internals are the same. Expect this to be fixed by software update.

22. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Can't imagine an iPad with a sub-7 hours of battery life.

25. iushnt

Posts: 3148; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

So the tab s is only 11 mins superior and its excellent?? Mini 3 is bad??

26. graig

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

I bought the iPad mini3 and I am not having battery life that low. Not even close. After 4 or 5 hours it was only 65% battery life left. I think there was something flawed with the testing here. Either the iPad was restoring software. Or something. Some reviews are showing 14 hours on just video.

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