Compared: iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5

Posted:
in iPad edited September 16
The revised iPad mini is practically an entirely new device, but along with improvements across the board, it comes with a much higher price.

Comparing the new iPad mini 6 (left) with the iPad mini 5
Comparing the new iPad mini 6 (left) with the iPad mini 5


It used to be that you chose the iPad mini because you wanted the smaller size. And you wanted it enough that at $399, you were willing to pay around $70 more than the cost of the regular iPad.

Now following the unveiling of the iPad mini 6, size is not the only reason to buy. Instead, the little iPad mini that could, has a bigger and better screen than before, plus it boasts a faster processor than the iPad Air 4.

Add in that it has USB-C and it can have 5G, plus all of cameras are considerably improved, and the new iPad mini 6 is a powerful device. It could be the one device you need, but that power and flexibility comes with a higher price.

The new iPad mini now starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only model. If you need of all the new features, it's certainly worth the $100 increase -- but that doesn't get you everything.

To also get 5G connectivity, you have to pay from $649. That's $150 more where with the previous iPad mini 5 model, adding cellular cost a little less at $130 extra.

You can choose whether to have 5G or not, though you have to make that decision at time of purchase. Otherwise, however, you are paying for all the other extra features and improvements, whether you will use them or not.

Apple ceased selling the iPad mini 5 when the new version was announced, but there are still stocks in other resellers such as Amazon. If it's really the size of the iPad mini that attracts you, check out the exact differences between the models to see which is the better buy for your needs.

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - Specifications

iPad mini 6iPad mini 5
Price (starting)$499$399
Dimensions (inches)7.69 x 5.3 x 0.258.0 x 5.3 x 0.24
Weight (pounds) Wi-Fi only
0.650.66
ProcessorA15 BionicA12 Bionic
Storage64GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB
Display Tyoe8.3-inch Liquid Retina with True Tone, 500 nits brightness7.9-inch Retina with True Tone, 500 nits brightness
Resolution2266 x 1488 at 326ppi2048 x 1536 at 326 ppi
Connectivity5G (sub-6 GHz), Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 54G LTE, Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0
BatteryUp to 10 hours Up to 10 hours
Rear camera12MP Wide, f/1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, Smart HDR for photos, Quad-LED True Tone flash8MP Wide, f/2.4 aperture, 5x digital zoom, Auto HDR for photos
Rear camera video4K at 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, 60fps, or 1080p HD at 25fps, 30fps, 60fps; 3x zoom; Slow-Mo 1080p at 120fps or 240fps; extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps1080p HD at 30fps, 3x zoom; slow-mo 720p at 120fps
Front camera12MP Ultra Wide, f/2.4 aperture, Retina Flash, Smart HRD 3 for photosFaceTime HD, 7MP photos, f/2.2 aperture, Retina Flash, Auto HDR for photos
Front camera video1080p HD video at 25, 30, or 60 fps1080p HD video
Center StageYesNo
ConnectorUSB-CLightning
Apple Pencil supportSecond generationFirst generation
AudioTwo speaker audio landscape modeTwo speaker audio
Touch IDIn top sleep/wake buttonIn Home button
ColorsSpace Gray, Pink, Purple, StarlightSpace Gray, Silver, Gold
USB-C means iPad mini can now connect to more devices and transfer data faster
USB-C means iPad mini can now connect to more devices and transfer data faster

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - Physical Specifications

If you do want a small iPad, then the iPad mini 6 is smaller than its predecessor -- mostly. And only by a little.

The latest version is actually 0.01 inches thicker than before, but it weighs 0.01 pounds less. And while its 5.2-inch width remains the same, the height is now 7.69 inches instead of 8 inches.

Even with that height change, you'd really need to see the two versions side by side to notice. And then what you'd see first is just how different the screen is.

By removing the Home button and slimmer bezels, Apple has been able to increase the diagonal screen size from 7.9 inches to 8.3. It's not even a full half inch more, but it is noticeable, and a distinct improvement.

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - Displays

It helps that the screen is now a Liquid Retina one. While improved from the regular Retina display of the previous model, it's still using LCD instead of OLED.

But it means the iPad mini 6 is using the same technology as the iPad Arr, and the iPad Pro. And it's got a higher resolution than either of those, at 326ppi.

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - Cameras

It's still not as handy, or perhaps socially acceptable, to take photos and video on an iPad mini instead of an iPhone. However, it's a lot easier on an iPad mini 6 than a 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Which means that the camera improvements across the board with the iPad mini 6 are very welcome. That's whether you do shoot video, or take photos with it, or it's what you use for video meetings.

The main rear camera is now a 12MP Ultra Wide one, where previously it was 8MP Wide. It's now able to record video in 4K instead of 1080p HD, and do so at different frame rates.

At the same time, the front camera used to be 720p. Now it's also a 12MP Ultra Wide one, plus it's able to shoot 1080p video.

The new iPad mini 6 has a much improved rear camera
The new iPad mini 6 has a much improved rear camera

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - General connectivity

Depending on the work you do, one improvement that may be significant, is that the iPad mini 6 uses USB-C. That means it can connect directly to more devices, such as cameras.

And it also means that data can move to and from the iPad mini much faster, assuming you've got a properly provisioned network.

There are speed improvements, too, with wireless connectivity. The iPad mini 6 has Wi-Fi 6, for instance, where the previous model supports the slower Wi-Fi 802.11ac -- also called Wi-Fi 5.

iPad mini 6 versus iPad mini 5 - Should you upgrade?

The improvements from the original iPad mini to the second generation model were minute compared to the differences between the iPad mini 5 and iPad mini 6. That said, the new features would make the iPad mini 6 worth upgrading to from the previous model -- assuming you'll use those features.

You will unquestionably benefit from the better and bigger display, for instance, no matter what you use the iPad mini for. But you may not care about faster USB-C data transfers.

The increased price is also presently exacerbated if you're a new user considering whether to get the older iPad mini 5. For now, that will remain available via third-party resellers who will typically price lower than Apple.

If you are an existing iPad mini 5 user who chiefly likes this model for the convenience of its smaller size, stick with your old device.

But if you do upgrade to the iPad mini 6, you are going to have an incredibly capable device -- in a tiny package.

Read on AppleInsider
Graeme000

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    iPad Arr!! 
    stuartfwilliamlondonMisterKitFileMakerFellerradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    I bought one right away. I’m already happy. Have to wait for the 24th. Long wait it’s gonna be.
    williamlondonhippowatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    One reason I’ll stay with Mini 5 is the 3.5mm line output. It’s an old beaten down argument but bluetooth audio has latency which does not work for precise monitoring. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 
    hipposcstrrfwilliamlondondrdavidHobeSoundDarryl
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I loved the iPad mini 2 and more recently, mini 5. I use it primarily for reading news and some apps in the morning as well as travel, but never forget taking photos. I was going to jump to the new 6, but just decided now, no need to since the price jumped to $500 with the improved camera, which I wouldn’t use.  
    I’ll wait for the next Gen mini in a couple years. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Ordered a mini 5 this morning.  $379 for the 64GB was a deal!

    One thing I did find odd is the mini 6 display has a lower resolution in one dimension when compared to the mini 5 (1488 vs 1536 respectively).  I would have expected the mini 6 to either meet or exceed the mini 5 display in all ways.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,883member
    Ordered a mini 5 this morning.  $379 for the 64GB was a deal!

    One thing I did find odd is the mini 6 display has a lower resolution in one dimension when compared to the mini 5 (1488 vs 1536 respectively).  I would have expected the mini 6 to either meet or exceed the mini 5 display in all ways.

    I think they slimmed down the width to make it a bit more comfortable to use in one-handed scenarios. I think more people will prefer the 1/3rd of an inch narrower width over the loss of 48 pixels when using the mini in portrait orientation. It's only a single data point, but the only complaint I ever received from a colleague who owned a 7" screen Android tablet when he tried my original iPad mini was that the iPad mini was uncomfortable to hold one-handed compared to the Android tablet.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with the new iPad mini, but Apple does seem to follow intentional design practices and settled on the final design for very specific and logical reasons. I guess I'll find out whether Apple's choices were in my best interests next week.  
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    dewme said:
    Ordered a mini 5 this morning.  $379 for the 64GB was a deal!

    One thing I did find odd is the mini 6 display has a lower resolution in one dimension when compared to the mini 5 (1488 vs 1536 respectively).  I would have expected the mini 6 to either meet or exceed the mini 5 display in all ways.

    I think they slimmed down the width to make it a bit more comfortable to use in one-handed scenarios. I think more people will prefer the 1/3rd of an inch narrower width over the loss of 48 pixels when using the mini in portrait orientation. It's only a single data point, but the only complaint I ever received from a colleague who owned a 7" screen Android tablet when he tried my original iPad mini was that the iPad mini was uncomfortable to hold one-handed compared to the Android tablet.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with the new iPad mini, but Apple does seem to follow intentional design practices and settled on the final design for very specific and logical reasons. I guess I'll find out whether Apple's choices were in my best interests next week.  
    If looking at the device in portrait mode (as you indicated) the height is reduced by .31 inches, the width remains the same at 5.3 inches.  However, the vertical resolution is increased while the horizontal resolution is decreased.  So in the physical dimension the iPad got smaller, the pixel count increased and where the iPad stayed the same the pixel count decreased.  Very odd in my book.  It only amounts to a 3-1/8% decrease in width...  oddly it also changes from an (old) standard of 4:3 aspect ratio to something...  else.

    As an aside, the biggest complaint I have heard regarding the iPads is they are too thin resulting in hand cramping.
    edited September 15 williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 11
    The new mini should do very well but I was hoping for Face ID. Otherwise it s pretty amazing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    bbhbbh Posts: 122member
    I find my Mini5 freezing up a lot. I only have to move in and out of the app that is "frozen", but it happens a lot. I'm hoping the better processor in the M6 solves that problem. Plus, the $225 trade in ( Mini 5/256/Cellular ) isn't bad either. And.... they make it soooo easy with 12 months interest free Apple Card (3% cash back) financing that instantly credits your trade in versus charging the entire amount and waiting for the refund from the trade in. Hooray for Apple. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,747member
    MisterKit said:
    One reason I’ll stay with Mini 5 is the 3.5mm line output. It’s an old beaten down argument but bluetooth audio has latency which does not work for precise monitoring. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 
    Hmm... hadn't thought of that. Are there USB-C to 3.5mm adapters for audio? Yeah, as much as I like my AirPods Pro, it SHOULD NOT be assumed most people will want to use them, let alone needing to. There are many things for which wireless audio isn't a good fit (like GarageBand).
    williamlondonMisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    With a 3.5mm line output you can monitor and charge at the same time without needing any adapters or hubs. That's the hook.
    cgWerks
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