When it was revealed on September 9, the iPad Mini 4 didn’t get the same amount of attention from its creators, as the iPad Pro, because there wasn’t much to say about its new features. Indeed, it received a new chipset, but this is the only important improvement. Samsung made its move as well and released two variants of the Tab S2, but we’ll focus on the smaller one.
Designs and Displays
The iPad mini 4 isn’t very different from its predecessor. It has the same LED-backlit IPS LCD Retina screen sized at 7.9-inch supporting a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels and 324 ppi, but in terms of dimensions, it’s taller, wider, slimmer and lighter than its predecessor. Now, it measures 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm and its WiFi variant weights 299grams (from 331 grams), while the 3G/LTE model is 5grams heavier (the predecessor weights 341 grams). The front panel is identical, featuring the popular circular home button with the fingerprint scanner (Touch ID hidden inside).
The Tab S2 is way prettier than the first generation, having now a smooth matte black and a sleek metal frame covering the sides. Compared to the iPad Mini 4, the Samsung tablet is shorter (198.6mm), but it has a larger screen measuring 8-inch, which is a Super AMOLED supporting the same resolution, but which has a lower pixel density of 320ppi – hard to observe with the naked eye. The tablet is 5.6mm thick, the WiFi version weights 265grams, with 7grams less than the LTE version and likewise the iPad Mini 4, it has a fingerprint scanner placed below the screen.
The iPad Mini 4 is a bit faster than its predecessor thanks to the Apple A8 dual-core 1.5 GHz, but it offers the same performance as the iPhone 6, so it’s not a spectacular tablet. The Tab S2 inherited Note 4’s hardware configuration, consisting of a Exynos 5433 chipset which houses a quad-core 1.9 GHz CPU and a quad-core 1.3 GHz CPU. Basically, we have a battle between the extra large variants of the iPhone 6 and the Note 4, which support 1GB and 3GB of RAM, respectively.
In terms of memories, again, nothing has been changed, so the iPad Mini 4 features the same three variants of 16/64/128 GB, which don’t support expansion, while the Tab S2 has two variants of 32 and 64GB, with the possibility to increase them up to 128GB.
Both tablets are equipped with an 8MP rear camera which lacks LED flash, only that the iPad Mini 4 has weaker video recording capabilities, limiting the resolution to 1080p at 30fps, while the Tab S2 can record 1440p videos at 30fps. Also, the front camera is better on the Tab S2, supporting 2.1MP, while the Apple tablet added the usual 1.2MP front-facing camera with face detection, HDR and FaceTime over Wi-Fi or Cellular.