Apple IPad Mini 3 Review: A Touch Of Gold: Display, Battery Life, Connectivity

By 10:39 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments

7.9" Retina display

The Apple iPad mini 3 display is identical to the one on the iPad mini 2 - a 7.9" IPS Retina display of 2048 x 1536px that break down to around 324ppi, a nice pixel density for a slate. In fact, it's the same resolution as the one on the iPad Air 2, so the pixel density is higher than the one on the bigger iPad.

Apple iPad mini 3 display • the iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2 displays

Here's what the iPad mini 3 display looks like under our digital microscope.

The Apple iPad mini 3 showed solid numbers in our dedicated display test and pretty much the same as its predecessor. Compared to the iPad mini 2 it offers a slightly higher brightness at both 50% and 100% but a slightly lower contrast ratio.

Display test

50% brightness

100% brightness

Black, cd/m2

White, cd/m2

Contrast ratio

Black, cd/m2

White, cd/m2

Contrast ratio

Apple iPad mini 0.25 208 838 0.51 458 812

Apple iPad mini 2 0.2 167 835 0.56 450 804

Apple iPad mini 3 0.23 184 808 0.65 515 799

Apple iPad Air 0.19 181 968 0.53 508 964

Apple iPad Air 2 0.16 171 1045 0.44 458 1048

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact - - - 0.45 631 1416

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 0 221 ∞ 0 398 ∞

Battery life

Apple iPad mini 3 is identical to its predecessor and has a 6470mAh capacity. The video playback test turned out surprisingly better than the iPad mini 2, while the web browsing performance took a small hit. This might as well be iOS 8's fault, as our iPad mini 2 results were measured on iOS 7 last year.

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Video playback

  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact


  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4


  • Apple iPad mini


  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9


  • Apple iPad mini 2


  • Apple iPad mini 3


Web browsing

  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact


  • Apple iPad mini 3


  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9


  • Apple iPad mini 2


  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4


  • Apple iPad mini


If you are interested how these results compare to other tested devices, check out our battery

life test result table.

Our battery

testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn

more about it.


The Apple iPad mini 3 offers a plethora of connectivity options. Unfortunately, there are hardly any updates in this department. The recent iPad mini 3 retains the same Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) 802.11 a/b/g/n support with MIMO technology (dual antennas for better signal). Unlike the Air 2, there is no Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) 802.11ac support.

The Wi-Fi+Cellular iPad mini 3 supports LTE Cat.3 with 100 Mbps downlink and support for a total of 17 LTE bands in all model variations.

Apple has designed its own SIM solution as well, dubbed Apple SIM. It allows a single carrier-agnostic SIM to connect to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US and Everything Everywhere (EE) in the UK depending on your initial setup (and contract, of course). The solution has seen resistance from some of the carriers though so don't expect it to work as advertised just yet.

Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR is here and, complete with Wi-Fi, facilitating Apple's AirDrop, which can share docs and files across iOS devices and the latest MacBooks with Operating System (OS) X Yosemite. Using AirDrop for transfers to non-Apple certified devices is a no-go.

AirDrop is available in every share menu throughout the iOS 8.1. You can sdiscontinue pictures, videos, App Store and iTunes links, Notes, Maps links, all kind of files from file managing apps (i.e. Filer, Flash Drive, Air Disk, etc.), Office docs, and more. If there are people with an active AirDrop service around you, they will automatically appear in the dedicated AirDrop field. You just imprint your files, select the recipient and hit the sdiscontinue key.

AirPlay can wirelessly stream your iPad mini 3 classy screen to an Apple TV, HDTV or compatible audio systems.

Regular Universal Serial Bus (USB) mass storage isn't available but there's a workaround using the iTunes computer software. You can store whatever files you want on the iPad, but those are only made available to the app that you've dropped them onto. Good thing is you are not restricted to files compatible with the assumed app and you can simply drag & drop files that you would download on another computer later on.

The iPad mini 3 Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) + Cellular has a built-in A-GPS receiver with GLONASS support, but the Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) only tablet does not have it (this is standard for iPads).

Apple is continually improving its Find My iPad service. The iOS 7 update brought the so-called Activation Lock. This will not only protect your personal data but will also create your iDevice inoperable once wiped, unless you enter your Apple ID. This means the stolen or lost iGadgets will be of no utilize to thieves or finders. Of course, this protection is not bulletproof and experienced hackers will have a ball with your iPad, but this might as well create your Average Joe think twice about keeping your iPad to themselves.

Finally, the hot handoff feature is available as well and works remarkable between the iPad mini 3 and any other iOS 8 or Mac Operating System (OS) X Yosemite device. We'll acquire into details in a bit.



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