Interface and Functionality


Much like the rest of the company in Apple’s lineup, the iPad mini with Retina Display, along with other recent offerings like the Phone 5s and iPad Air, is running the updated iOS 7 experience. On one side, it’s a refreshing change of scenery for the platform, which brings forth revamped visual enhancements to the presentation, but there’s nothing really unique with it here. If you want to know the ins and outs of what’s new with iOS 7, you can read about it in our review.

One of the features specifically tied here is the various gestures in play with the experience. To be exact, they include the 5-finger pinch gesture to “close” or “minimize” apps, 5-finger swipe gesture for quick and easy switching between apps, and the 5-finger swipe gesture to go into the platform’s multi-tasking view. Naturally, they’re all great and prove quite useful to the overall experience, but it would’ve been beneficial to see some new ones to accompany the updated iOS 7 experience.

Now if you’ve been using iOS 7 on other iPads, even last year’s own original iPad mini or the just recently outed iPad Air, you’ll be quite at home here. At the end of the day, beyond the visual enhancements and new features, it’s just nice that the platform still lays claim to one of iOS’s foundational principles – having an easy, intuitive, and simplified experience. Best of all, the platform is rich with many tablet optimized apps.

Messaging


Between the portrait and landscape on-screen keyboards that are available with the iPad mini with Retina Display, we gravitate to using the portrait one more – mainly because our fingers easily encompass the layout. And it helps when the keyboard features a speedy response and killer auto-correct. With the landscape one, it’s just too cramped to use naturally like a regular keyboard.

Using the default email app, it’s yet again a familiar one that only sees a subtle change with its visual presentation. Indeed, it’s more than equipped to help us organize our various accounts, but it still doesn’t have the depth of functionality we see with the Gmail experience over on Android – albeit, the official Gmail app for the iPad is pretty darn good on its own.

Organizer


Checking out the usual array of core organizer apps, it’s again the visuals that are new here with the experience. Beyond that, though, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with any of them, since they pack along the usual features and functions we’ve come to expect to find. Still, it’s nice that they’re all optimized to make great use of the extra real estate with the tablet’s display. Interestingly enough, iOS 7 does adds this new feature called iCloud Keychain, which allows us to share various passwords and credit card information between approved iOS 7 devices.

Additionally, Siri is on board with the experience, and it just goes to show how Apple keeps on making it smarter and wiser. For all of its worth, though, it still doesn’t pack the same punch and all-encompassing experience we get out of Android’s Google Now experience.

Internet and Connectivity


No longer must we squint in trying to decipher miniscule text, thanks to the higher resolution Retina Display it’s now sporting. With that in tow, it really livens up the web browsing experience – even more when it continues to deliver an outstanding performance. From its speedy page loads, to its buttery smooth navigational controls, there’s nothing we don’t like about the experience, so it’s just dreamy.

Do you always want to be connected? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the iPad mini with Retina Display is available with 4G LTE connectivity, in addition to only Wi-Fi models – the unseen benefit for being such a popular tablet. Beyond that, it’s outfitted with all the comforts of today’s modern connectivity features – like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.

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33 Comments

3. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Did it got an 8.5 just because of the price?

4. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

If only it was $100 cheaper. The Nexus 7013 would still be a nice alternative, but I'd consider the Mini due to that fast chip and tablet apps.

22. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Price and the fact that the 9.7 inch ipad is no longer an HTC or Nokia 920 level of a brick compared to its competitors.

29. rf40928

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Yeah that's pretty retarded. NO PRODUCT should be down rated on price. BMW's and Mercedes don't get down rated.. and BMW's and Mercedes "don't even have as good of a warranty" as half the cheap Asian cars out there and yet where are all those low BMW ratings? Of course BMW only has around 2% of the market and you don't see them worrying what anyone says. I have 1 iPad and two Galaxy tabs for the kids. I can honestly say the selection for the iPad is much greater then what Android offers for tablet exclusive content in Play versus Apple App Store. (They offer much less then Android phones as most Android apps AREN'T tablet optimized and this get stretched out and look horrible - sometimes they crash often )

5. criticism

Posts: 46; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Not a perfect screen, too pricey, not extraordinary battery! You may choose it if you really believe that android apps are not as satisfying as that of iOS!

19. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

The best build quality on the market, better tablet apps, better battery life on playing games and watching movie but worse battery life on web browsing than nexus 7, much better graphics performance, newer architecture, the best SoC on the market right now, oh and one more ppi than nexus 7 :). You have to pay for quality. That is the way it has always been. If you compare nexus 7 vs ipad mini 2 you will get a much premium feeling out of ipad mini and isn´t that what matters to a customer, I was only comparing the hardware of these two machines, if you compare the software, that is where Android taked lead in features meanwhile IOS takes the lead in the apps department.

23. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Except the lowly Nexus 7 wins in the important areas in this category. Portability and screen. That is just not excusable for a high end tablet to have a worse screen than a low end one.

30. rf40928

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

The biggest REAL issue isn't hardware. Google Play seriously lacks compared to Apple when it comes to tablet optimized programs. Android is close to Apple in the smartphone apps offerings, but no where close in tablets. You can compare hardware all day long, but a tablet is only useful if it has great software that runs bug free. Some of the android stuff runs great ( or not so great ) depending on your device and which version of android you run.

24. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Forget about "build quality" , if you drop is cracks. Did you think that Nexus 7 doesn't have advantagees or something ?

6. LiyanaBG

Posts: 381; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

8.5 score is too much this ipad doesn't deserve more than 7.5 for a score.

26. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I think it deserves a 9 , and im an android fan It has a very good processor, a pretty good software (although it has its bugs and instabilities), a good screen with high pixel density (for a tablet at least),and a solid build quality.... I dont see why its a bad tablet

31. rf40928

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Considering the ipad mini 2 ( retina ) has a more powerful processor then any Android tablet out there overall and much much more Tablet optimized software then what Android has for Android tablets I'd say you have no clue. I own 2 Galaxy Tab 3's and 1 iPad. If you want a real unbiased review go to anandtech.com and read the iPad Air review and IPad mini Retina. Both have the same 64bit SOC and kill the Nexus in performance. The fact they also have better apps is what matters as much.

7. chaosnightmare

Posts: 182; Member since: May 20, 2010

A 4:3 display is awkward for 2013

20. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

Much better suited for internet browsing and reading.

21. JulianGT

Posts: 89; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

but not for movies

32. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

That's just your opinion , it isn't fact.

10. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

This time it's harder to choose between the Air or the mini. BEST TAB EVER

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Agreed.

11. YuLeven

Posts: 50; Member since: May 14, 2013

Great tablet for media consumption, mostly browsing, as the 4:3 turns to be a bit awkward in videos. I'd rather stick with something more productivity oriented. This tablet does has thousands of apps, bust in most cases you can just replace than with the site version. Sometimes it does actually better using the site. And well, real, split screen multitasking is absurdly more useful than tens of thousands of apps of which I would actually end using just 10.

12. jibraihimi

Posts: 801; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Am I dreaming, or did I just saw 8.5 on phonearena, for apple product in reality......?????

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Enjoying the heck outta mine.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple shoulda left the price point the same though.

16. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

IPADS FOR CHRISTMAS

17. Smokin

Posts: 120; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

Oh geez i'm still picking between this, note14, 2520, Air or the nexus 7 13. Looks like i'm getting this mini and Note 2014. My bonus is very very enough to buy these LOL

18. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Why would you buy both a mini 2 and note 10.1 2014 at the same time. Both size are quite close. May i suggest you wait for the Samsung Note 12.2 and a iPad mimi2? 12.2 should be first quarter next year. Personally i would be getting the Note 10.1 2014 LTE edition this Dec. One tablet to replace my Samsung Galaxy 7.7 pass to mom for her Bible study.

25. Smokin

Posts: 120; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

i want to buy two because i want to have the best of both. since my sister also live with me i can lend her the note for her school art. but yea note 12.2 will be fine.

27. zhangyamysaga

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Tell you a good news. In order to celebrate new B2C site.You only register an account on Funbookes can get a free gift that price is $10 .

33. juliaann

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

jelly

34. Abhisek

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 18, 2014

It's best size of a tablet, nice design to hold in one hand and good to play games. Also reading books and surfing web is best in iPad mini size tablet, specially in retina display. Now they are affordable, so I bought one mainly for reading purpose. Best thing is that AppStore have so many iPad optimized apps for everyone and for every field (like so many iPad optimized medical apps), so this makes different. I using 4-5 hours daily and charges once in 3 day, battery life 11-12 hours.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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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