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Apple iPad mini 3 Review

Apple iPad mini 3
Apple iPad mini 3 Review

Apple iPad mini 3 Review
Apple iPad mini 3 Review
Apple iPad mini 3 Review
Apple iPad mini 3 Review

By now, consumers should know the drill when it comes to all things Apple related. Every year, its product lineup gets refreshed – where devices generally receive upgrades to differentiate them enough over their predecessors. With the iPad mini family, the original model surely turned heads with its compact size, which was something refreshing and different from the regular iPad model, but its successor in the iPad mini 2 brought it one step further by adding a Retina Display on top of other hardware and software upgrades. Paying attention to this year’s model, however, the only thing really notable that’s added to the arsenal of the Apple iPad mini 3 is a Touch ID finger print sensor. Will that be enough to make it the dominant compact tablet for the next year?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • Lightning USB cable
  • Start guide
  • Apple decals


It exudes the exactly same premium design, with the only notable improvement being the addition of a Touch ID finger print sensor.

We can all agree that the iPad mini’s design was a hit when it first came onto the scene a couple years ago, and to the amazement of many, it’ proven to be so popular that the recent crop of iPhones have adopted its design language as well. Therefore, it’s not shocking to know that the iPad mini 3 looks very much like its predecessors – meaning, there’s no change between it, the original model, and last year’s iPad mini 2. That’s not a bad thing per se, especially when it exudes a premium finish thanks to its unibody aluminum casing, glass front surface, and rounded corners.

Looking around, it’s no surprise that everything is in place with the iPad mini 3. From its button placements, Lightning docking port, speaker grills, cameras, and home button, there’s no change whatsoever here with the iPad mini 3. Well, the home button has technically changed, seeing that it now incorporates Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor – a useful and handy tool that provides us an alternative way of unlocking the tablet.


Strangely, the brightness potency of the display has dropped, but all of its other qualities remain the same.

A sigh of relief came with last year’s iPad mini 2, mainly because it was accompanied with a Retina Display – one that surely proved to be more detailed and attractive than the original’s display. Well folks, that same display is present here in the iPad mini 3, a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. Of course, its pixel density count of 326 ppi matches its predecessor, continuing to make it extremely sharp and detailed, but for some odd reason, its brightness potency has dipped to 312 nits – down from the 450 nits produced by the iPad mini 3. It may be difficult to read it outdoors due to glare and direct sunlight.

Despite that, we’re happy to report that its color accuracy is unchanged. Although it’s not as accurate as the iPad Air 2, it still produces some punchy tones that catch our attention. Also worth mentioning is its almost perfect color temperature of 6656 K, which closely reaches that ideal reference mark of 6500 K. Overall, the Retina Display continues to be a delightful treat, but we’re just irked by its lower brightness output.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPad mini 3 312
Apple iPad mini 2 450
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 419
View all

  • Options

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 06:42 4

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2226; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

The question is...Why?

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 08:18 2

12. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

Ok this was another fair review. Again this is score seems too high, I mean this should be a 7.5 to 7.7 range. The price has to factor a bit more & to me the cardinal killer is the battery life. I am sorry but if the battery life is WORSE than last years model then it needs to REALLY come down.

It's funny, but why are all NEW Apple devices across the board getting LESS battery life? To me especially in late 2014 is completely unacceptable. I mean you are paying TOP dollar for these iDevices & ALL of them have WORSE battery life...

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 12:00

15. Airforceflyer3 (Posts: 5; Member since: 26 Jul 2014)

Shh it's not your review so but out

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 18:08 1

16. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


OK. Sure, it's not like the comments section is about our opinions or anything like that!

Man what was I thinking...

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 20:35

18. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3814; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

Yeah, wtf is wrong with you, dude?! How dare you give your opinion in a comments section?! RuDe! What's next? Using logic & facts to back up statements?! This whole world is going to hell!

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 06:47 4

2. Vinayakn73 (Posts: 197; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

Apple should learn to make use of tablet screen. So many space is wasted by using those tiny icons. iPad gives feeling of resized iPhone UI.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 06:52 1

3. shiv179 (Posts: 22; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)

This must be the lowest score for an Apple device on this site!

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 06:58 3

4. Zomer (Posts: 308; Member since: 31 May 2013)

It's also one of the rost upgrades that I have ever seen on an Apple device.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 07:05 1

5. salaal (Posts: 109; Member since: 08 Dec 2013)

This should've been priced for 329$! That would've made it worth its price.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 07:10 2

6. vuyonc (Posts: 1062; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

Truly the runt of the flagship litter.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 07:28 2

7. MrsJedi (Posts: 25; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)

Its the same as the previous model but it just has a fingerprint scanner as an extra feature.

What's the point apple?

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 07:42

8. Andrew5190 (Posts: 55; Member since: 23 Oct 2014)

As if it wasn't painfully obvious this line was an afterthought after the first mini (no retina display), this pretty much seals it. I'd buy a Mini 2 if I bought iCrap, simply because Touch ID is useless from my experiences.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 07:50

9. bucky (Posts: 3133; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

Touch ID is not useless at all actually.

Though I do agree with you when you say this was an afterthought.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 08:00

10. alexvv (Posts: 165; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)

an ipad mini 2, only 150 dollars more expensive. so why the 8 stars ? because it's apple...

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 08:08

11. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 253; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)

Well......Thats not at all the shocker I thought it would be. I figured it would have scored lower, but Im glad PA actually thought about what was added and price vs just being a Apple device.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 08:30

13. praveen1033 (Posts: 12; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

The main reason behind the reduction of battery life on this year ipads is ios 8.
My ipad air battery life has been reduced by 20% after ios 8 update.
It is not fixed completely even with 8.1

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 08:36

14. scarface21173 (Posts: 239; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)

No improvements on last years model really, I think people would rather have better battery life than a finger print scanner. Score should of been a 6, but this is a paid site by apple so its always going to score high.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 20:01

17. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)

I would have given it a 5/10. 5 for being less or equal to last years model. no apparent improvements. besides, 5 is average right. this is average.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 23:45

19. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

So the nits was lowered and it still has the faded colors of the last mini 2? How did this get even close to an 8? lol

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PhoneArena rating:
Display7.9 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels (324 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz, Cyclone processor
Size7.87 x 5.30 x 0.30 inches
(200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm)
12.03 oz  (341 g)

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