Apple iPad mini 3 full review

Apple's third-generation iPad mini is here, but how does it compare with its predecessor? Here, we put the two 7.9in Apple tablets head-to-head in our iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison, so you can find out how the iPad mini 3's specs, price and features compare with the iPad mini 2.

You'll see from our iPad mini 3 review that we wouldn't recommend buying the iPad mini 3, and I think this comparison will give you an even better understanding of why the new iPad mini is not a good deal.

Read next: iPad buying guide 2014

iPad mini 2 vs iPad mini 3: Design

The iPad mini 3's design is almost identical to the iPad mini 2's design. The only difference you'll find is the presence of a metal ring around the home button, which is part of the new Touch ID feature, and the option to buy a gold model of the iPad mini 3 that wasn't available for the iPad mini 2.

That means that the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 are both 7.5mm thick, they weigh 331g, and sport a 7.9in Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536.

iPad mini 2 vs iPad mini 3: Hardware & Performance

The inside of the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 is also the same, both boasting an A7 processor and M7 co-processor, dual-band WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0 and the same 10 hour battery life.

The camera on the rear of both iPad minis is a 5Mp iSight camera, and the front is a FaceTime HD camera.

All of the benchmark tests we've carried out on both tablets were very similar, as can be expected from tablets with the same technology inside.

The iPad mini 2 came with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB internal storage, but the iPad mini 3 doesn't come in the 32GB configuration.

As mentioned above, the biggest difference between the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 is the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the newest iPad mini's Home button.

Touch ID allows you to unlock the iPad mini 3 with just the touch of a finger, rather than having to type in your passcode every time. It can also be used to unlock some third party apps, as well as pay for items in the iOS App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore without needing to type in your password.

It's a brilliant feature, but as we'll discuss in the pricing section below we're not sure it's worth the extra cash.

iPad mini 2 vs iPad mini 3: Price

So far, you've probably noticed that there's not much difference between the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, which is unusual for Apple (we had expected to see a new processor and a better camera like the iPad Air 2 got), but wouldn't necessarily be a problem as Apple has kept the price of the iPad mini 3 the same as the iPad mini 2 was.

However, Apple has kept on the iPad mini 2 at a lower price point, which makes it a much more appealing option and makes the iPad mini 3 stand out as a bit of a rubbish deal.

The original iPad mini is also still available at an even lower price, but the older tablet doesn't offer a Retina display and still has the comparatively ancient A5 chip.

Here's a breakdown of all of the iPad minis available and their prices.


iPad mini 3

iPad mini 2

iPad mini

















16GB (4G)




32GB (4G)




64GB (4G)




128GB (4G)




You're looking at a saving of £80 if you choose the iPad mini 2, so we'd recommend that option unless you're set on a gold iPad mini or the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

If you want a 64GB or 128GB model, you might have to buy the iPad mini 3, but before you do you should check the Apple Refurbished store. Find out more in our Should I buy a refurbished iPad article.

See: Best place to buy a new iPad

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