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iPad Mini or Nexus 7 - that is the question!

Posted: , by Ray S.

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iPad Mini or Nexus 7 - that is the question!
2012 seems like a good year for 7-inch tablets. The affordable and well-spec'd Nexus 7 is right around the corner, Amazon is expected to launch a successor to its Kindle Fire, and the rumors of Apple introducing an iPad Mini in the Fall are getting stronger by the day. For us tablet maniacs, though, the question will mostly be if we should get an iPad Mini or a Nexus 7. It's not that we have something against reading, it's just that we don't... do it. (But we make up for it with writing, don't we?)

Anyway, we do realize that this whole article might turn out to be pointless, should those iPad Mini rumors turn out untrue, but considering that even some major publications like Bloomberg and WSJ have recently confirmed the existence of this device, we'll just go ahead with it. So, IF Apple does announce the iPad Mini this year, it's certain that it will be positioned as a direct competitor to devices like the Nexus 7. Still, that doesn't mean that a user's choice has to be difficult, the only thing one needs is to be well aware of their own needs and preferences - the rest is easy.

What makes us say that is the fact that even though we'll be looking at two similarly-sized and spec'd tablets, they'll still be very different from one another. Let's take a look at how they compare in some of the more important aspects:


If you are a person who appreciates it when a manufacturer puts immense effort into the appearance and construction of a device, then the iPad Mini will undoubtedly appeal to you. Judging by the other iPads and pretty much every other Apple product, the iPad Mini will be made heavy, high-quality materials and will look awesome. On the other hand, we can't say the Nexus 7 is bad, but one needs to have a very weird taste if they actually prefer its black plastic body.

Hardware specs

In case you are one of those guys who are more concerned with the number of CPU cores rather than the actual performance, it's highly likely that the Nexus 7 will be the device for you. Don't get us wrong, we're not saying the Nexus 7 will be underperforming. Quite the contrary, we think it will be a beast, but when it comes to a cross-platform comparison (like this one here), benchmark figures don't mean much. We already know that the Nexus 7 is a very fast tablet, and we're sure that in typical Apple fashion, the iPad Mini will also run perfectly smooth. This means that with both devices, you'll be able to execute everything smoothly and seamlessly, as well as make the most out of the respective application ecosystem.

Still there are some differences with regards to hardware that we might want to take into account when deciding if we should wait for an iPad Mini, or get a Nexus 7 right away. The first is the screen size. As you've probably heard, the iPad Mini is rumored to have a 7.85" screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The Nexus 7 will be a 7" tablet with a wide screen, which we already know is a good form-factor for holding with one hand and reading stuff. Although we know that the 9.7" 4:3 form-factor works, we guess we're yet to see how that experience will translate to a smaller, 7.85" display.

Next up is storage space. The Nexus 7 will come in 8GB and 16GB flavors, without the option for expansion with a microSD card. However, we won't be surprised if there's a 32GB or even a 64GB iPad Mini, which will probably cost significantly more than the rumored based price of $299. The other thing is that the Nexus 7 will be Wi-Fi-only, while there's a good chance the iPad Mini may also be available in Wi-Fi + 3G/4G variants, for those who don't always have a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby.


Probably the most important difference between the iPad Mini and Nexus 7 will be in the mobile OS running on them. In short, Apple's iOS is still the more polished of the two, with better-designed apps that make for an awesome user experience, while Google's Android Jelly Bean will grant you the freedom of accessing the file system and doing some things that you just can't do in iOS, because of its more closed nature. If any or all of the following are very important to you, then you'll be better off with a Nexus 7: accessing the file system, ability to customize many aspects of the OS's interface, tight integration with Google services, installation of some app types that aren't approved by Apple, like torrent clients. But if you are a user who's perfectly fine with lacking those, then you're probably a user who'd appreciate the centralized way of content and device management that Apple's iTunes provides for the iPad.


Always an important factor, it will be interesting to see what price-tag Apple's going to attach to the iPad Mini (if there's such a device at all). As we know, the Nexus 7 8GB will cost the alluring $199, while the 16GB will be $249. Right now, most rumors claim that the iPad Mini's price will start from either $249, or $299. To us, $299 sounds much more plausible, as Apple isn't really into that "affordable gadgets" thing. If the base model is equipped with 16GB, then it's safe to assume that the 32GB one will cost $399, and, if there is such, the 64GB one will cost $499.

But we guess we should stop it right here, until we actually get to see that elusive iPad Mini for ourselves. Meanwhile, why don't you tell us which mini-tablet you'd prefer? An iOS-rocking iPad Mini, or an Jelly Bean-sporting Nexus 7?

Phonearena polls
sort by
iPad Mini or Nexus 7?
I've always wanted a smaller iPad! 28.93% (263 votes) (263 votes)
The Nexus 7 is my dream tablet and no iPad can change that. 48.4% (440 votes) (440 votes)
Sorry, can't wait any longer, getting a Nexus 7 now! 22.66% (206 votes) (206 votes)

909 votes

  • Options

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 05:37 11

1. wendygarett (unregistered)

i always wanted a smaller iPad :)

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 07:53 9

13. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

Getting thumbed down for your personal choise? Seriously people, some people just like the iPad or whatever. You don't see a lot of iFans complainig because someone likes android, do you? Geez, so much fanboys here on PhoneArena!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 09:00 5

20. wendygarett (unregistered)

Maybe they thought i'm trolling... Too bad I'm not..

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 10:55 3

22. appleDOESNT.com (banned) (Posts: 456; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

neither.. I want a 12-14" tablet

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 05:40 14

2. script_writer (banned) (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)

i have never owned a product made by apple (not even an ipod) and i aint gonna break the habit of a life time. The only people who would acturlly want a smaller ipad are really stupid!!! Why would you want something smaller than the original for double the price?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 05:43 8

3. script_writer (banned) (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)

...... that no doubt will break in the first month.....or the screen will stop working or the wifi will stop working or something else will go wrong it!!!

FOR THE RECORD: jelly bean is gonna stomp on everything and thats the end of it!! GO ANDROID!!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:54 4

19. darkkjedii (Posts: 24331; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Lmao u guys sound sooooo freaking stupid with ur anti apple remarks. No doubt it'll break in a month or the wifi will go out.
Prove it. Apples os boring at times, but build and overall quality r top notch. The proof is n the pudding on that pal. Hate apple all u want, but stupid statements r jus that.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 06:15 7

4. scnix (Posts: 41; Member since: 01 Jul 2010)

IMO, comparing an actual product to some random speculation is usually a bad idea. Something that shouldn't be done.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 06:20 4

5. rf1975 (Posts: 259; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

I will wait for the official specification and price to make a decision.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 06:20 3

6. MalakiMills (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)

The only two things keeping me away from a smaller iPad are the screen aspect ration (4:3 is a little to boxy on a smaller screen), and that jelly bean really emphasized smoothness throughout the OS. Which of course is the iPad's specialty. Lastly apps aren't a huge deal either. As long as I have the basics and a few games it's good enough for me. Not to mention the scaling of apps is really good in android, at least for me.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:03 3

14. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

Same here! The iPad might be a nice product, but now that Google has added some new features (not too much) they made the OS a bit better and really customizable. Too bad the Nexus 7 doesn't have a microSD card :/

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 16:03 1

28. eli6093 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Sure, the Nexus doesn't have a microSD slot...then again, neither does the iPad.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 06:33

33. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

But the Nexus only has a 8 and 16GB version, while the iPad will have 16, 32 and maybe a 64GB version.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 06:30 10

7. amiaq (Posts: 509; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

My 7 year old daughter have an iPod, my wife have an iPhone 4, daddy will have his own Nexus 7 to play with.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 06:55 6

8. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

I'm sorry but for a 7 inch tablet the premium material type argument is no longer valid.

Why? Let's use logic: which is the main purpose of a 7 inch tablet?


The real "change" is as simple as this, that you will hold the tablet with one hand instead two. For reading ebooks sites etc will be a deal.

Now I really don't think aluminium will be lighter than plastic tbh :)

Nexus 7 has a nice grip on its back and is very light. Almost impossible to reduce such weigth unless you go for carbon fiber

Nexus 7 - one hand tablet
Ipad 2 mini - two hand tablet, pointless

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 07:01 5

9. mercorp (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)

As always,Pro-droid answers win again.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 07:02 1

10. e.wvu (unregistered)

Well since the smaller iPad doesn't exist, nor do I ever think it will, I'll go w/ the Nexus 7.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 07:26 2

11. aayupanday (Posts: 580; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)

I'd better get the 7" Tegra 3 ZTE T98 having a HD screen, 5MP primary and 2MP secondary camera and also with mircoSD slot and 3G,


posted on 05 Jul 2012, 07:44 5

12. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Now why would i want a large ipod touch

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:05 1

15. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

So you would rather get a large Galaxy Player? It's the same thing! But no, you're just a hater:)

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:17 2

16. Aaron_R96 (unregistered)

Not really, the Galaxy Player's are awful. Android tablets are different to the few barely-existent Android music players out there, more so than the iPod and iPad differ anyway - they even look the bloody same.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 20:26 1

30. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

That's like saying that you don't want a 60 inch TV because you already have a 30 inch TV.

Bigger screens are more useful, especially when we're talking about touch screen computing.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:23 1

17. fraydoe (Posts: 57; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

ha this whole article is a joke, trying to compare a device to your imagination? and also as far as the software part (and also having owned both htc and apple devices), u can pretty much do anything you want on any device, jailbroken, or rooted.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 21:34

31. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

+1...not so much b/c of what you said but b/c your avi. one of the greatest albums of all time.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:30 1

18. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

Smaller ipad is the new ipod touch to be unveiled with the iphone 5 sporting a 4 inch screen

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 09:09 1

21. reccatyo (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)

I have an iPad 2 aaand its boring because its not very customizable, also from iOS 4 to iOS 5 to iOS 6 it doesn't change that much and i'm more interested in Jelly Bean. I'm lining up for the nexus 7.

Maybe it won't be named iPad mini but iPod 7,8. LOL.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 11:36

23. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)

Hold on. The ipad mini has NOT come out yet.
So, we don't know how "awesome" or bothersome it will be.

Why not have this comparison after both the devices are out?

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:15

24. Klamba92 (Posts: 210; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)

I want a Nexus 10!

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:34

25. Jay2ice (Posts: 13; Member since: 15 Jun 2012)

Waiting to see if the mini ipad comes with a rear camera. If it does, I'm for it.

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 13:40

26. sonofzeus (Posts: 95; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

nexus 7 has 12 core graphics processor,which even the 10 inch ipad does not have.so
nexus 7 is the one for the gamers than the ipad mini

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