iPad mini New Mini 4 review & help with idea of downgrade to iOS 8.4.1

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Skyhawk21, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Skyhawk21 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2015
    Got a mini 4 gold 16gb wifi. Been playing with and testing it compared to my space gray mini 2 16gb wifi model and an iPad Air 1 space gray 16gb wifi model.

    Screen = better color gamut than mini 2 and also more calibrated to a PC 22" IPS professionally calibrated monitor. This means at matching brightness levels on mini 4 and my perfect calibrated monitor, color gamut is on par or maybe a percent or two less. Unfortunately color temp of my mini 4 is still between 6800-7000k. My PC monitor is about 6500-6600k. More yellowing (warmer colors) on monitor; cooler blueish whites on mini 4.

    Using the website @ http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/ and comparing the monitor to the screen of the mini 4, it falls short in two areas of tests. This is the black level tests and white saturation tests. On a perfect IPS/MVA panel in a PC monitor such as mine, I can see all 20 boxes which are different black Levels layered on top of the backlight for the screen. Only very good or perfect calibrated screens with deep blacks and good brightness/contrast will show all 20 shades on that section of the lcd test website. On the mini 4 you can only see about 15-16 out of the 20 which is not bad but not the greatest either...

    As far as the white saturation is concerned, on my good calibrated PC monitor, you can see all 12 patterns/shades on top of the white background which once again is perfect setup of contrast/brightness and backlight. On the mini 4 you can only make out 10 clearly and the 11th one barely out of 12. Not bad once again but in graphic work or image/video editing/processing you want these perfect on a screen for details and color corrections, etc.

    The mini 4 compared to my mini 2 and Air 1 screens is the closet yet to being very good on its way to being perfect. The Air 1 on the other hand is a bit worse on the black Tests and white saturation. Not to mention that the color temp range is like 7100-7200k which is even cooler blueish whites. Also on the Air 1 the color gamut is over what the mini 4 is set at and close to the srgb value of oled screens on Samsung Galaxy phones. So my Air 1 color gamut is like between 100-107 percent so colors are a little over saturated.

    The mini 4 is in the ballpark of 95-100 percent for color gamut. Also when brightness is all the way down, the screen is pitch dark very good black levels for an IPS. There is a hint of reddish IPS glow in one corner of mine on all black screen. Nothing major though.

    Speakers = mini 2 speakers not as tinny, more bass, better seperation of lows, mids and highs with a better dynamic fuller sound experience. Maybe this is due to them being lower in volume naturally and no amplification through hardware or software.

    On mini 4 next to mini 2 audio almost seems the same except yes more tinnier, less bass, not as good seperation of lows, mids and highs and the stereo separation is less with not as dynamic or fuller sound like the mini 2. The audio quality is still good overall and there is more volume due to amplification through hardware/software at the cost of quality for any type of audio that comes out of speakers. Also no vibrations. :)

    IOS 9 = Well compared to me trying out IOS 9 GM last week on my mini 2, it's a much "better" experience on the faster A8 chip and 2gb ram in the mini 4 and I assume faster 16gb storage chip. With that said on the mini 2, all the new features were slower animated with lag, delays, hitching and some IOS 8 3rd party apps not liking IOS 9 at all on the mini 2 and taking 2-3 times longer to load after touching the app icon on screen. Also in apps and games on IOS 9 on the mini 2, there was a lot of lag off and on with hitching in a lot of games I play that were never experienced in any IOS 8 version on my mini 2 and Air 1.

    On the mini 4 with the 1.5ghz A8 and 2gb ram, rarely is there any Lag using the control center from home or lock screen, using drop down notification menu, or the spotlight search function when you quickly drag finger down on any screen or up to close it. Although IOS optimized 3rd party apps still delay when being launched or the load time is 2x3 times slower compared to other Apple devices using IOS 8 and same apps. Better experience with IOS 9 on mini 4 due to newer hardware changes.

    So with that being said and more issues/bugs in IOS 9 on the mini 2, I happily downgraded back to IOS 8.4.1 on mini 2 and all the problems, bugs, glitches experienced over couple of days using IOS 9 on mini 2 were gone. It was like night/day difference and everything on the mini 2 was back to being smooth, lag, glitch, hitch and bug free.

    One other thing to mention was that battery life on the mini 2 using IOS 9 suffered and I lost like an hour or two in usage time doing the same things I do daily on all my devices.

    Battery life projected on my new mini 4 after its first full charge from 1 percent on IOS 9 GM not the newer build that's out, appears it's going to be between 9-11 hours doing the same activities I do on my mini 2 and Air 1. That's mixture of games, web browsing, YouTube and some Netflix.

    So to conclude:
    New Mini 4 battery life 9-11 hours using a 3.82V 5124mah battery (A8 cpu and motion chip better panel)
    This year 6 month old Mini 2 battery life 11-13 hours using a 3.75V 6471mah battery (A7 cpu weaker panel)
    This year 5 month old Air 1 battery life 13-15 hours using a 3.73V 8827mah battery (A7 faster better/big panel)

    Now from my honest and realistic factual information I shared, I preclude that IOS 9 GM is hurting the battery life of the mini 4 compared to what it could be if it was running IOS 8.4.1 like my mini 2.

    So my final question or thought or idea which I need ideas on how, is could we get IOS 8.4.1 on the mini 4 somehow after forcing it into Dfu mode, getting it seen in iTunes, and restoring to to either A. It downloads IOS 8.4.1 in iTunes and resets it using that version, or if it wants to use IOS 9, then B. can we force it to upgrade using the IOS 8.4.1 Ipsw file??!?! If we can where do we find a compatible version for iPad 5,1 model that will verify with Apple and work?

    Trust me if this can be accomplished, yes we will lose the New IOS 9 features the mini 4 was kind of built around hardware wise, but we will gain in better performance, battery life and overall smoother experience on the new Mini 4.

    Anyhow that's my food for thought. Let me know what you users think, suggest or if you got any ideas. Also hope you enjoyed the info about the important new hardware features.

    P.S. Cameras = mini 4 is 8mp but the sensor size is either the same or a hair smaller than the 5mp sensor on the mini 2/ Air 1. Do not know why they used same size/smaller sensor that has higher mp unless they are just blowing up the images taken like scaling up instead of actually using a "true" 8mp sensor. Anyhow pictures in low to medium light are more color accurate yet because of more sharper pixels, images and 1920x1080 30fps video have double the noise or grain compared to the older 5mp sensor in the mini 2 and Air 1. The noise from older 5mp sensor is less because there is a blur effect added to it to lessen the grain. On the 8mp sensor more noise because it's not being blurred.

    Front facing camera sensor is a tad better than older one on mini 2 and Air 1. Less noise and a tad sharper and color accurate using 1.2mp

    Also when recording audio with video, the mini 4 has more static/background noise which is louder using the new smaller microphones by the back camera. On the mini 2 and Air 1 the static/ background blank noise recorded in video is lower and lesser in volume or less noticeable. Have not tested headphone output or mic input yet..

    Since the mini 4 uses a new wifi chipset like the Air 2 for AC wifi compatibility, latency is much lower with low local ping times to wireless router compared to older wifi chipset found in mini 2 and Air 1 with higher local
    Latency due to power saving techniques in older wifi module.

    Last but not least, touch screen is more sensitive and easier to use due to no air gap like on the Air 2. Although in games this can cause issue because it takes getting use to how the lower latency quicker touch input works.

    Safari is instant smooth on mini 4 within IOS 9 to include multiple tabs, heavy websites, and scrolling seems to go faster than 60fps with no Lag, hitching or glitching.

    Yes you can use native IOS video player in PiP mode while playing a game. I was watching YouTube embedded video from web page and playing beach buggy blitz full screen. Of course game fps dropped by 10 percent but still was able to play game and watch video and get both audio feeds simultaneously. Of course battery drained crazily...

    There you have it for now all typed out on mini 4 but new keyboard in IOS 9 kept doing weird stuff here and there so I needed to keep going back and fixing words and sentences...
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    This is impossible. There is no ipsw for the Mini 4, and you can't just install some random one intended for another device.
  3. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Lots of interesting things I could comment on, but I'll keep it short...

    You might try the iOS 9.1 public beta. It gave me much better battery life on my Air 2 than 9.0.

    Second point - here's hoping 9.1 or perhaps even 9.0.1 will help on your battery life issues because as chrfr says, going back to 8.4.1 on the Mini 4 is flat-out impossible.

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