Apple iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display vs Nexus 7 II
Due out late November. One of the biggest improvement to the iPad Mini is undoubtedly the display. The first generation iPad Mini had a measly 1024 x 768 pixels. At 7.9″ that’s only 163 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Compare this to the new iPad Mini with Retina Display which spots a 2048 x 1536 resolution, effectively double that of iPad mini 1, the screen displays a staggering 326 PPI. Welcome to the big league (screen wise) as this is now comparable to some of the Android tablets and phablets in the market. But how does it compare to the Nexus 7. If you are in the market for a small tablet, check out the spec by spec comparison between two of the most advanced mini tablets currently out there.
A very close call, while the tablets differ in display size, the sharpness and details in them are pretty much the same. The question then is of screen profile or screen ratio. Would you use you tablet mainly for browsing the web, e-reading or for watching films. Personally, I prefer the iPad’s screen ratio for web browsing but the Nexus for watching films, if I had a choice of both.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 7.02″ LED backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology 1920 x 1200 (1080p HD) with 323PPI
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 7.9″ LED backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology 2048 x 1536 with 326PPI
WINNER: An unfair comparison as the screen sizes are different, the screen ratio is also different. If you are looking for a ‘wide angle’ screen with less of a black horizontal bar when watching HD movies then the Nexus 7 is your choice. If you don’t mind those extra thick bars and could do with an extra .9″ inch of display when browsing then the iPad Mini II is your answer. Both screens are very close in terms of sharpness with Apple iPad Mini with Retina display having the upper hand at 326PPI but not much more than those on Nexus 7 II 2013 at 323 PPI. What is 3 pixels per inch? Not a lot, but numbers are numbers so Apple iPad Mini with Retina display wins this round.
While the Nexus 7 II 2013 has had its share of nip and tuck, the iPad Mini (II) actually gained a bit in thickness. The original iPad mini was thinner at 7.2mm. Other dimensions, Width and Height stayed the same. If put side by side, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the first and second generation iPad mini. But when comparing the new iPad Mini (II) to the Nexus 7 (II), it’s a whole 1.15mm thinner. For other dimensions, the iPad Mini is no match for the Nexus 7 (II) as it is simply bigger with the 7.9″ screen.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 114 (Width) x 200 (Height) x 8.65 (Depth) mm
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 134.7 (Width) x 200 (Height) x 7.5 (Depth) mm
WINNER: Google Nexus 7 II 2013 is the smaller of the two tablets but a whole 1.15 mm thicker. While both devices spots the same height, Nexus 7 II managed to shave its width and bezel compared to its predecessor and is 20.7 mm narrower. All the better for gripping it between your fingers in one hand.
While the iPad Air is indeed smaller and lighter than its previous generation the iPad 4 (iPad with Retina Display), the same cannot be said for the iPad Mini (II) with Retina Display. It is in fact heavier than the first iPad Mini by 29 grams. The first iPad Mini weights only 308 grams (WiFi only) 312 grams (WiFi and Cellular).
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 290 g (WiFi only), 299 g (WiFi and LTE)
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 331 g (WiFi only), 341 g (WiFi and Cellular)
WINNER: Google Nexus 7 II 2013 is the lighter of the two tablets from only 290 g, that’s 41 grams lighter than the iPad Mini II
4. Memory Capacity
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 2GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB storage
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 1GB RAM, 16, 32, 64, 128GB storage
WINNER: Apple iPad Mini (II) wins in this round with more storage options although there is much to be said about the premium that Apple placed on memory making their customers more. On the other hand, Nexus 7 II has double the memory at 2GB compared to iPad Mini II at 1GB.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro at 1.5GHz duad-core processor with Adreno 320 400MHz co-processor for graphics is Qualcomm’s mid-tier processor featuring performance, connectivity and battery life
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: Apple’s custom system on chip based on ARMv8 architecture, the A7 chip 64 bit chip and M7 motion co-processor powers the iPad Mini. This is the same chip found on the iPad Air and iPhone 5S while we cannot confirm the speed of the processor without testing this, review sites have said this may be clocked lower than the iPad Air.
WINNER: Apple iPad Mini (II) has the upper hand in this one with a future proofed 64 bit processor While there aren’t any apps out there running on 64 bit, heck the OS isn’t 64 bit but it is said to perform better overall. Although, the Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor is not a slow processor either, rendering smooth 3D graphics and running everything faster.
6. Wireless Networking
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual-band WiFi (2,4GHz and 5Ghz), NFC (Android Beam) and Bluetooth 4.0. For mobile network model: GSM, HSPA+ (Bands 1/2/4/5/8), LTE (Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/20)
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual-band WiFi (2,4GHz and 5Ghz) and MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0. For mobile network model: GSM/EDGE, CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B, UMTS / HSPA / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA
WINNER: Apple claims that the iPad Mini II with dual band and MIMO is twice as fast as its original dual band iPad mini. While we saw the MIMO Wi-Fi antenna configuration on the Kindle Fire HD, this is sadly missing in the Nexus 7 (II). Kudos to the iPad Mini II for this round.
While both tablets have 5MP rear facing cameras and 1.2MP front facing cameras the difference has to be the quality of the output. The front facing 1.2MP camera records 720p HD video. The rear facing cameras however tells a very different story.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 5MP Auto Focus camera has been known to take pretty decent shots in good lighting conditions.
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 5MP auto focus, face detection, backside illumination, five-element lens, hybrid IR filter, f/2.4 aperture, HDR photos
WINNER: Apple iPad Mini II packs a whole host of features onto their cameras and have proven this with the previous iPad mini in delivering superb shots.
8. Video Capture
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display has the same camera as the iPad Mini.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: 1080p HD video recording but performs poorly indoor and grainy as reported by many
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: 1080p HD video recording with Tap to focus while recording, video stabilisation, face detection, backside illumination and 3x video zoom
WINNER: Again the Apple iPad Mini II is the winner here with better video capture features and quality.
9. Battery Life
In reality, battery life is very much dependents on the type of usage and applications. However, we see the same claims by both Apple and Google for their tablets i.e. 9 or 10 hours.
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: Google claims up to 9 hours on HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading and built in wireless charging (optional accessory required), charge via USB or power adapter
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: Apple claims 10 hours ot surfing the web on WiFi, watching video or listening to music, 9 hours of surving the web using mobile data, no wireless charging, charge via power adapter or USB port
Unlike Apple, Google is not making its customers pay a premium for that extra memory.
WINNER: Google Nexus 7 II is the winner here in term of cost to buy on all devices with similar storage sizes and mobile option. While Apple’s Store and Retail prices are fixed, you might find that Google’s Nexus 7 prices are a little more flexible with online retailers offering the 16GB and 32GB.
- SlimPort™ enabled (HDMI)
- 3.5mm audio
- Power and Volume buttons
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display:
- Lightning Connector
- 3.5mm audio
- Power and Volume buttons
WINNER: Nexus 7 II has a SlimPort for HDMI video output for those needing to hook up their tablet to the big screen.
Both tablets have the same set of sensors.
- Digital compass
- Ambient Light
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display:
- Three-axis gyro
- Ambient light sensor
- Digital compass
- Assisted GPS and GLONASS (Cellular models)
Google Nexus 7 (II) 2013: Comes with Android OS 4.3 preloaded and upgradeable to Android OS 4.4 (KitKit) when available.
Apple iPad Mini (II) with Retina display: Comes with iOS 7 preloaded
We are not doing a comparison here as both have its own merits as with the App from Apple’s AppStore and Google Play.
Out of the 12 categories that we chose to compare both tablets, the iPad Mini II tops the list doing well in 6 categories, while the Nexus 7 II grabbed 4 categories. Both tablets drew in 2 categories.
So which tablet would you buy, the question then comes down to one of Price. At 16GB, the iPad Mini II is more expansive than the Nexus 7 (II). That is a huge jump from the price of the Nexus.
Next you want to ask yourself, if you are an existing Apple iOS or Android OS user, are you ready to cross over? There are many who have crossed from the iOS to Android and vice versa. Have you had enough with your current OS and wants a change?
Then there is the question of screen sizes. Would you go with a 4:3 ratio on the iPad Mini or prefers a slimline 1.6:1 ratio on the Nexus 7 (II)? Do you need that extra 0.9″ of spatial resolution?
Lastly, I know I said we were not going to compare the Apps on each platform but are you heavily invested in either Apple’s App Store or Google Play, are they apps that are easily replaceable or have an equivalent on the other platform? Can you see yourself leaving some the apps you’ve paid for? If you answer yes to both questions then it’s safe to switch.
Side by Side Comparison Table
|Display||7.9-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display (324 ppi)||7.02-inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display (323 ppi)|
|OS||iOS 7||Android 4.3 (at launch)|
|Processor||A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor||1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro|
|Rear Facing Camera||5MP iSight Camera||5MP|
|Front Facing Camera||1.2MP FaceTime HD Camera||1.2 Megapixel, HD Recording|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMO||Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||Built-in 23.8-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery||3950 mAh with wireless charging built-in (Qi compatible)|
|Height||7.87 inches (19.99 cm)||7.87 inches (19.99 cm)|
|Width||5.3 inches (13.46 cm)||4.49 inches (11.4 cm)|
|Depth||0.29 inches (7.5 mm)||0.34 inches (8.65 mm)|
|Weight||0.73 lb (331 g)||10.23 oz (290 g)|
|Colours||Space Grey, Silver||Black|