The iPad mini 3 takes some very good looking photos and videos with its camera, but the iPad Air 2 produces slightly better ones.

Knowing that they’re running exactly the same experience, iOS 8.1, it shouldn’t shock anyone to know that their camera apps are also identical. Flaunting the same clean interface, with minimal shooting modes and manual controls, they adhere to that principle of simplicity in being able to quickly snap photos – without hesitance or complication. What’s different, though, are the cameras adorning their backs. Specifically, the iPad Air 2 sees an 8-megapixel iSight camera, while the iPad mini 3 is greeted to a 5-megapixel one.

Well, there’s no questioning the iPad Air 2’s slight superiority in the category, seeing that it delivers just a smidgen more detail with its shots. Under low lighting conditions, it also produces shots that are less noisy. Regardless of its victories, we still can’t count out the iPad mini 3’s camera as well – it’s pretty good too. In fact, the two cameras tend to be identical in the way they deal with exposure and color reproduction.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPad Air 2 2.5
No data
No data
Apple iPad mini 3 3.1
No data
No data

The difference in quality with their still image capture is miniscule, but iPad Air 2 shows to us that it’s considerably better at shooting 1080p videos. Basically, the iPad mini 3 has a tougher time properly focusing – plus, it doesn’t do as nice of a job as the iPad Air 2 when it comes to adjusting its exposure on the fly.


The larger display of the iPad Air 2 again proves that it’s the ideal choice for video watching.

You guessed it folks, we have the same music players with these tablets – so again, not one can outduel the other. Moving over to the audio quality produced by their respective speakers, the iPad Air 2’s set are marginally stronger at 77.9 dB. Nevertheless, the iPad mini 3’s mark of 76.6 dB isn’t bad either, but it’s a bit light on the bass.

With its larger screen size, the iPad Air 2 presents itself as the more ideal choice when it comes to watching videos. It’s still a pretty good experience over on the iPad mini 3, but it doesn’t have the size and iridescence that’s present with the iPad Air 2.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPad Air 2 0.97
Apple iPad mini 3 0.87
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPad Air 2 77.9
Apple iPad mini 3 76.6



1. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Where's the late crowd at! 3am and no one to "discuss" these articles with!

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5691; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Not really much to discuss with theses two IMO If you want more portability get the Mini, if you want more power get the Air

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Not sure why Apple scrimped on the SoC for the mini. Regardless, the mini trails the 6+. The mini is now Apples red-haired step child. Don't be surprised if 2014 edition mini sales are off from mini sales in 2013.

3. leenwen

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

I really want a Apple product, but I don't have the money to afford it. I just can afford a chinese phone. And Chinese phone is not bad, but very cheap.

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 31030; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What about Craigslist, other 3rd party sites? Are they more expensive in China?

6. lithium451

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

"The set of connectivity features in tow with the tablets here are identical. Therefore, they offer aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi." According to Apple website and Phonearena device page the Mini 3 does NOT have 802.11ac wi-fi.

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