iPad mini vs iPhone Plus

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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The mini 4 will be 3 generation behind when Apple announces the new iPhones/A11. Considering that they didn't bother refreshing the mini when they released the iPad 5, it might be safe to say that the mini is going to the ways of the iPod Touch.

Question is, as a fan of the smaller form factor, which should be my upgrade path? Currently I'm still running the mini 2, and buying a mini 4 today imo is not wise considering it will be 3 generation behind in a few months.

iPad mini 4:
+ larger screen than iPhone Plus
+ cheaper
- old hardware, will be outdated soon
- no clear future upgrade path in sight

iPhone Plus:
+ Updated hardware (SoC, camera, TouchID, etc)
+ It can function as a phone when needed
- I already have a non-plus iPhone
- More expensive
- Smaller screen than iPad mini

Any thoughts?
 

MyopicPaideia

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Mar 19, 2011
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I think you might know more by the time both of these devices categories are updated this fall.

The big upside on the mini is the iPad features of iOS, like full split screen capabilities, and iPad App UI's that the iPhone Plus can't hold a candle to.

To consider, the A8 in the mini 4 is the new A5. It's shown its ability to cope with iOS 10 flawlessly (using it now) and its longevity will continue into the next year at least.

iPad mini 4's Touch ID is on par with all the other iPad models, works excellently. Not instantaneous like the iPhone 7 line, but not at all slow?

The iPhone 7 Plus will have a far superior camera, but you already have an iPhone with a better camera I am assuming... You could also buy up to three iPad mini 4s for the price of one 7 Plus depending on your storage requirements.

Just things to think about.

I went from a mini 4 to a Pro 9.7" to a Pro 12.9" back to a mini 4 because the form factor is so much more portable and satisfying to use. Miss nothing from the larger "Pro" iPads except maybe the sound quality of the four speaker system and the screen on the 9.7" was awesome. Performance wise, I haven't missed anything, barely noticed any difference between the A8 and A9X - but then I use my iPad for productivity mostly, don't run much first person shooter or other 3D graphics intensive games, though Football Manager Touch 2016 and F1 2016 run very well indeed on it...

As far as upgrade path, we know that the iPhone 7 Plus will get a successor this Fall. Even though I think and hope we will get a new 7.9" iPad some time this year, it is definitely not a certainty!

If you are running an iPad mini 2 now, the mini 4 will be a breath of fresh air in any case. Might be worth seeing if you can get your hands on a used or refurbished model though, instead of buying brand new, to hold you over until the Fall? If you can wait, I would do that. See what Apple does. If a new 7.9" model comes out, that will be the one to get instead of the iPhone Plus, definitely.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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The mini 4 will be 3 generation behind when Apple announces the new iPhones/A11. Considering that they didn't bother refreshing the mini when they released the iPad 5, it might be safe to say that the mini is going to the ways of the iPod Touch.

Question is, as a fan of the smaller form factor, which should be my upgrade path? Currently I'm still running the mini 2, and buying a mini 4 today imo is not wise considering it will be 3 generation behind in a few months.

iPad mini 4:
+ larger screen than iPhone Plus
+ cheaper
- old hardware, will be outdated soon
- no clear future upgrade path in sight

iPhone Plus:
+ Updated hardware (SoC, camera, TouchID, etc)
+ It can function as a phone when needed
- I already have a non-plus iPhone
- More expensive
- Smaller screen than iPad mini

Any thoughts?
I also see the iPad mini being categorized as the iPod touch, where is alternately being consumed by the iPhone Plus. And the larger these iPhones are becoming, they're consuming devices like the iPad mini because they are capable of completing similar tasks.

Although, I still believe the iPad mini has its core value because of its size and Portability factor, being it's still supported. And I don't for see Apple updating iPad mini any further.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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Remember the screen on the iPad mini is more than twice the size of the screen on the iPhone plus, and the aspect ratio is better optimised if reading in portrait mode is important to you.
True. I mean it's a tablet after all. But I'm seeing the lineup being treated like a stepchild (just like the iPod Touch), and the mini 4 is only an incremental improvement over my current mini 2, which will be 3 generation behind later this year.

It would've been great is Apple updated the mini alongside the 5th gen iPad, bringing the "classic" iPad lineup on parity again. But they didn't, which put doubts to the longevity of the mini line.

So it's about getting an obsolete product, or seeking an alternative (the iPhone Plus). I guess I'll wait come iOs 11 and new iPhones later this year. If a next mini is nowhere in sight, I might just "upgrade" both my non-plus iPhone and mini 2 into a single iPhone plus...
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
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It sounds like an over simplification, but it comes down to if you want a phone or a tablet.

The Plus is a big phone, but it's still a phone. You're more likely to carry it on you at all times, whip it out as a camera, use it for calls and texts, and as a portable music player.

The Mini is small, but still a tablet. Better for web surfing, reading, editing documents and other productivity tasks, better for overall consumption of content, and supports full fledged iPad apps which an iPhone does not.

It's debatable which is better for gaming if that's something you care about. The Plus is more pocketable for gaming on the go, but the Mini has a larger display, which is useful for mobile games where the controls take up part of the screen.
[doublepost=1494589781][/doublepost]And to be fair, I would say that a Mini 4 is more than an incremental upgrade over the Mini 2. It has a laminated display which is superior to even the new 2017 iPad, and the same 2GB of RAM as the new iPad, and even the 9.7" Pro. It's also thinner, lighter, and has a better rear camera, if that matters to you. Yeah the A8 isn't new anymore (it is a slightly overclocked A8 compared to the ones in the 2014 iPhones), but it's still up to date in just about every other regard, and the viability of the A8 really depends on what you intend to use it for.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Boston
I've largely stopped using my Mini and my SE which has the smallest screen of the available iPhone models has replaced its usage. I have nothing bad to say about the Mini, but I do find my iPhone to be that much more useful, and feature rich
 

Foggydog

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Nov 8, 2014
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For me the one thing that makes a difference is my eyesight isn't what it used to be. When I'm don't use my 6 plus, I'll never get that size screen again. I'll get the smaller screen and upgrade to an iPad mini. I AM using the 12.9 which I do love, but as stated above,it isn't super portable. I got it because I'm a trucker and watch lots of videos during my downtime.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
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I tried using an iPhone Plus as an iPad for awhile but I ended up selling it and getting a mini. Besides the things already mentioned (iPad has bigger screen with bigger app UIs), other things that bothered me about the phone were:
- continuity wasn't designed for two phones. E.g. Text messages weren't being forwarded to and from both phones.
- not enough landscape support. Lock screen and many apps didn't have landscape mode, and there was no way to lock landscape orientation, which made standing or docking the device in landscape impossible.
- no iPad multitouch gestures

iPad Minis are in demand for people who have small phones (I have an SE and will always have a 4" phone). I think as long as Apple updates the SE they have good reason to update the mini. How often is another question.
 

rockyromero

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2015
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iPad Minis are in demand for people who have small phones (I have an SE and will always have a 4" phone). I think as long as Apple updates the SE they have good reason to update the mini. How often is another question.
Just ordered an iPad mini 4.

This will be my 3rd mini. I considered the larger 12.9 iPad Pro & saw no extra value worth the added price.

The iPhone 8 is still one year away for me & I don't expect radical changes that would overshadow the mini.

 
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kazmac

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Mar 24, 2010
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I do not know how useful my response will be, but I loved the iPad Mini 4 the six weeks I actively used it. I am seriously considering getting a Mini 4 (I almost exchanged the returned iPP for one a few weeks ago), but will wait until the Fall. I have an iPhone 7+ which I enjoy, but going forward I am considering an SE and Mini (if a model remains available.) Any iPad larger than a mini will not work with my commute. iPhone Plus: It's a great phone, but I do not use many of the features (never have really.) Larger screen is for my vision basically.

I suppose it comes down to what is more important to you, current tech or iPad with a larger screen.

On topic: I saw 32gb Space Gray Mini 4s on Best Buy's site for $299 the other day.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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I do not know how useful my response will be, but I loved the iPad Mini 4 the six weeks I actively used it. I am seriously considering getting a Mini 4 (I almost exchanged the returned iPP for one a few weeks ago), but will wait until the Fall. I have an iPhone 7+ which I enjoy, but going forward I am considering an SE and Mini (if a model remains available.) Any iPad larger than a mini will not work with my commute. iPhone Plus: It's a great phone, but I do not use many of the features (never have really.) Larger screen is for my vision basically.

I suppose it comes down to what is more important to you, current tech or iPad with a larger screen.

On topic: I saw 32gb Space Gray Mini 4s on Best Buy's site for $299 the other day.
Yeah, the mini form factor is great. I owned every iPad version until I got the mini 2 and never turn back. It's just that after waiting for so log, if I want to upgrade, I want something more than just a generation up (which will be 3 generation old). And yes, my dream setup was a small iPhone and a mini, perfect combo on the go. Depending on what Apple do, I might opted for a single iPhone plus instead.
 
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