Battery

For whatever reason, the battery life falls short of its predecessor.

Apple was able to trim the fat off the iPad Air 2 even more, thus, giving it a leaner body than ever before. The design achievement is of course commendable, but usually this process means that battery life might be affected in some manner. Nevertheless, Apple touts that its iPad Air 2 continues to produce the same battery life of its predecessor – even with its thinner construction.

We’ll certainly agree that it’s long lasting enough to get us through an 8-hour work shift with no concern, and easily through a solid one-day with normal usage, but our battery benchmark test reveals something else. In fact, the iPad Air 2’s battery life falls short of its predecessor – reaching a mark of 7 hours 27 minutes, which is more than an hour short of the original iPad Air’s tally.

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 Air 2
7h 27 min (Good)
Apple iPad Air
8h 38 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
6h 54 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
7h 2 min (Good)


Conclusion


Apple certainly hits it on the mark with the iPad Air 2, seeing that it receives all the incremental upgrades we’d commonly expect to find on any successive device. It’s thinner, lighter, and more powerful than ever before, while still being treated to an even better camera and enhanced platform experience, but we’re not inclined to say that it’s a huge leap forward. Rather, it’s more like a single step forward, which might not sound as compelling, but it’s still some of the best tablet offerings around.

With a starting price of $500 for the base 16GB model, which goes up by $100 with each additional increased storage option, the iPad Air 2 once again delivers a balanced value that makes it the perfect bridge device between our smartphones and laptops. Not only can we have some fun using it while we’re out, such as taking photos or watching a video leisurely at the beach, but it can also serve the purpose of being a light productivity tool as well – one that’s great for typing up long documents and surfing the web. For all of its worth, though, the iOS 8 experience can’t match the kind of depth and function we get from full-blown desktop platforms.

So, if you currently own the iPad Air, should you go ahead and shell out the money to pick up this new one? Well, that’s certainly a tough decision, because quite frankly, the experience doesn’t differ all that much between them – more so when they’re benefiting from all of the new features of iOS 8. What’s notable here is that you’re getting a thinner model in the iPad Air 2, a better camera, and a Touch ID finger print sensor. Needless to say, if those are features you drool over, it might be worth the investment to pick it up.

Software version of the review unit: 8.1 (12B410)


Pros

  • It boasts an even thinner design than its predecessor
  • Continues to exude a premium, solid finish
  • Triple-core processor shows it’s capable of handling any task
  • Camera produces sharp images and videos, as long as lighting is ample
  • Fantastic for multimedia consumption

Cons

  • Battery life is less than last year’s model
  • Softer quality with low lighting photo & video capture

PhoneArena Rating:

9.0

User Rating:

9.0
4 Reviews

FEATURED VIDEO

51 Comments

1. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2264; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

the bigger bendr...lol

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Na bending shouldn't be a problem with the iPads since you dont put it in your pocket

43. curtiseverett

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Can't understand these high scores for all the iProducts these days. The software on it's own is enough of a reason to make it a no go. Using their products was aesthetically brilliant but functionally tragic and limited. I felt as if they treated me like I was somehow mentally handicapped. These are great gadgets for showing off in front of your friends and getting stripped off your money thou...

45. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Other tablets still can't even touch the iPad when it comes to 3rd party applications. Which means you're just watching videos, browsing the web, or using the few apps/games you have available while iPad users are using powerful video and photo editing applications, note taking and handwriting apps, playing optimized games, using apps for sketching/drawing, cooking etc. There's just no competition.

8. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Please stop this stupid bending jokes. Real tired of it.

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

+1, especially since this a tablet

28. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It's no joke the iPad Air 2 bends very easily. Don't put it in a book-bag & bump into something, cause you WILL regret it. I like the review, it was very fair, I just don't get how the iPad Air 2 didn't get more points taken off for WORSE battery life than the iPad Air & also not having continuous auto focus while shooting 1080p HD videos. Also when will the iPad Air 2 be able to shoot 4K videos? This is no 9.0, I would put it at a 8.5 to a 8.7 range. You should never get a 9.0 if the battery is WORSE than last years model. That is a CLEAR negative, thus resulting in something less than a 9.0.

38. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Don't be jealous all Android tablets suck. Errrrr Giant Android devices I mean. Since the tablet app ecosystem is non-existent. You can thank the iPad for that too, monopolizing the tablet space since day 1, keeping developers away indefinitely. Stop fretting about review scores. Scores are relative. Compared to its competition, the iPad stands out.

31. jeff327

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Sorry you a really tired of it. So, I apologize on behalf of anyone telling bend jokes. Come one people Dog Shibe is tired of these jokes so you have to stop.

32. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Muppet you done?

35. jeff327

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Sorry Doge Once again do not want to make you angry. You have already had enough anger of the bendgate jokes. With that being said I so bad want to say you came up with a very clever response but I do not get the muppet reference. Come on Doge even Papa John comes up with better comebacks.

26. Vinayakn73

Posts: 207; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

looks like the lady in first picture wants to address us that, one can hide his/her face behind iPad in unwanted conditions.

46. Pongchat.M

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 02, 2014

Don't see much improvement on former models..

2. abhi12345

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

Surprised to see android tablets blown away by ipad air 2 in benchmarks. Even latest and greatest android tablet nexus 9 is slower than this tablet. nexus 9 http :// browser. primatelabs. com/geekbench3/1071403 ipad air 2 http :// browser. primatelabs. com/geekbench3/1061742

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Not really that surprising since last year's A7 had far better than single core performance than every Android Also this is a tricore vs a dual core, so the A8X should win the multicore But those are actually different benchmarks "Geekbench 3.2.2 for iOS AArch64" "Geekbench 3.2.2 for Android AArch32" We need to wait for the Android AArch64 results first before a proper comparison. Geekbench will probably update to AArch64 once Lollipop is properly released

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Examples of the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit geekbench results iPhone 5S 64-bit: single = ~1400 multi = ~2500 iPhone 5S 32-bit: single = ~1000 multi = ~1800 iPad Air 32-bit: single = ~1050 multi = ~1900 http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1083090http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1105985http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1078698http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1078734 I haven't been able to find and iPad Air 2 32-bit results or iPhone 6/6+ 32-bit results

30. peanut

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

If the device can do 64-bit, then why shouldn't it be tested with a 64-bit software? Ok well here's new rules: Android-devices aren't allowed to use no more then 50 % of their prosessor capability in this test, for no reason...

37. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Android Lollipop isn't officially released yet ART hasn't been finalized yet, there were already many changes from Dev Preview 1 to Dev Preview 2 Devs are waiting for the final version of ART before updating their apps Otherwise they'll update their app for Dev Preview 2, then the final version of Lollipop will be released and they will have to redo that work to update it again The Dev Previews will give devs a good head start though, so I think 64-bit geekbench on Android will be release a week or so after Lollipop is officially released

39. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I've been saying 64bit is a big deal since last year. Of course I was s**t on by idiots worshipping Qualcomm's 3 year old Krait re-hash of the day: but facts are facts. ARMv8 registers increase performance by 20-30%. Faster performance = more battery life as well. Race to sleep. There are no Air 2 or iPhone 6/6+ 32bit results because the 32bit version was only available while iOS 7 was in beta. Watching the benchmark scores jump on the Note 4 (Exynos) will be the ultimate vindication of what I've been saying for the last year.

42. Furbal unregistered

64bit and armv8 performance increases are not the same.

15. naganannan

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 27, 2014

The less you have in the box the easier it is to carry...

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Not surprising as it does not have to do as much as an Android device. Custom processor specifically designed for Apple products.

4. twens

Posts: 1177; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The best combination for me is iPad Air 2 and note 4. My oh mine. Wish I had the money to buy both. IOS is more fun on iPad than on iPhone. I have never been attracted to android tablets. I feel android is supreme when it's on a phone such as the note 4. Nothing beats that phone hands down.

17. Charly.S unregistered

welcome to my world! that is the combination i just got 2 days ago :))) and it is a killer one! i feel exactly the same as you.

25. DBounce

Posts: 171; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

Yes, Android wins for phones and phablets, iOS wins for tablets... So far. Lolipop just might change that. We will know soon enough.

51. navysandsquid

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 04, 2014

when did android win phones?? im confused.

6. shiv179

Posts: 169; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

What was the need for a tri-core CPU and 2 GB of RAM? I would have expected some sort of split screen multitasking.

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Still great since more apps and webpages can be stored in memory and wont need to reload when you switch back Though still disappointed there's no split screen multitasking (also needs to be properly added to Lollipop as well)

29. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

For when devs start to produce quality gaming experiences using Metal and the like...

40. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Future proofing. Continuity and Handoff is the defining feature of iOS 8. Split screen will likely come in iOS 9 when larger devices on iOS are the norm.
iPad Air 2
  • Display 9.7" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8X, Triple-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 7340 mAh

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