Apple’s recently redesigned iPad Mini was one of the most exciting announcements at its iPhone 13 event on Tuesday, but in the process, a limitation was identified: as spotted by Jason Snell of Six colors, the new iPad Mini does not support mmWave 5G. There is also a hint that its new A15 Bionic processor could be downclocked from the version that appears in the iPhone 13 lineup (via MacRumors).
Support for 5G on the cellular version of the iPad Mini was one of Apple’s main strengths, but looking at Apple’s tech specs, although it does support low-band 5G and mean, it doesn’t offer mmWave. Apple started playing in the 5G hype machine with the launch of the iPhone 12, and continues to tout the faster download and upload speeds that the technology can offer in 2021. You can see the cellular and wireless features. that Apple highlights for the iPad Mini below:
Achieving fast 5G speeds depends on coverage, which has improved in the United States, but is not always faster than LTE. Operators like Verizon and T-Mobile have big plans to improve 5G performance in 2021, including increasing the availability of fast mmWave, but where coverage is limited it may not yet be worth it. From our experience reviewing the iPhone 12 Pro, mmWave was finnicky. here is The edgeNilay Patel editor-in-chief:
In a glorious 20 square foot plot, I shot over 2 gigabits per second. (And 40 megabits per second, which was normal 5G.) If I walked 100 feet, the signal would drop, and that was it. Hope you don’t expect to be very mobile with your 5G mobile phone if you have giant files to download.
Perhaps not yet a huge loss for the Mini.
The same could be said for the iPad Mini’s processor. GeekBench benchmarks MacRumors cites points about the performance of the Mini at 2.9 GHz, a little slower than the 3.2 GHz of the publication for the iPhone 13. However, GeekBench is not the ultimate solution to understand the performance of a device. Without an iPad Mini to test in hand, there’s no way to be absolutely certain these numbers are correct. It is also not too difficult to fake a GeekBench score, because XDA Developers has proved.
If you’re looking for a real verifiable difference between the new Mini and iPhones, look for graphics performance. The iPad Mini offers five graphics cores, one more than the 4-core GPU of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. There’s no way to tell what this looks like until we take a look at it, but the iPad Mini without mmWave might still be quite capable.