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iPad mini 6 vs 5 (2021): What’s The Difference?

Among Apple’s various iPad models, the iPad mini is arguably the most popular. It has a compact form factor that many people prefer and it is relatively affordable, at least when compared to the Air and Pro models. With the announcement of the Apple iPad mini 6 (2021), naturally, we want to compare it to the previous generation iPad mini 5 (2019), to find out what their differences are. If you are interested as well, below is our comparison of the two.

iPad mini 6 vs 5 Comparison Chart

ModeliPad mini 6 iPad mini 5
 2021 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64GB) - Purple2019 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions7.69 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches8.0 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches
Weight293 g (Wi-Fi)
297 g (Wi-Fi + Cellular) (10.34 oz)
300.5 g (Wi-Fi)
308.2 g (3G/LTE) (10.86 oz)
DisplayLiquid Retina IPS LCD
8.3 inches
1488 x 2266 pixels
3:2 ratio 327 ppi
Retina IPS LCD
7.9 inches
1536 x 2048 pixels
4:3 ratio 324 ppi
ChipsetApple A15 BionicApple A12 Bionic
OSiPadOS 15iOS 12.1.3, upgradable to iPadOS 15
Storage & RAM64GB 4GB RAM
256GB 4GB RAM
64GB 3GB RAM
256GB 3GB RAM
Connectivity5G (sub-6 GHz)
Gigabit LTE
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE
Gigabit LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
CameraMain
12 MP, f/1.8, (wide)
Selfie
12 MP, f/2.4, 122หš (ultrawide)
Main
8 MP, f/2.4, 32mm (standard)
Selfie
7 MP, f/2.2, 31mm (standard)
VideoMain
[email protected]/25/30/60fps, [email protected]/30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS
Selfie
[email protected]/30/60fps, gyro-EIS
Main
Selfie
[email protected]
PortsUSB Type-C 3.1, DisplayPortLightning, USB 2.0, 3.5mm jack
Battery10 hours10 hours
ColorsSpace Gray, Pink, Purple, StarlightSpace Gray, Silver, Gold

Design

The iPad mini 6 is smaller and lighter than the iPad mini 5 while still having a bigger screen.

ipad mini 6 vs 5 design
The iPad mini 6 (left) has four color options while the iPad mini 5 (right) only has three.

Previous generation iPad minis had uneven bezels, with the side bezels thinner than the top and bottom. Also, they have a curved edge design. This is not the case with the iPad mini 6. It now has uniform bezels and it sports a flat and angular design, similar to the iPhone 13 lineup.

Due to the reduced size of the bezels, the iPad mini 6 is able to have a bigger screen without increasing its overall size. In fact, it’s actually smaller than the previous iPad mini 5. It measures 7.69 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches and it weighs 297g (WiFi and cellular). In contrast, the iPad mini 5 has a smaller screen but an overall bigger body, measuring 8.0 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches and weighing 308.2g.

Also gone is the Home button since there’s no place to put it. The Touch ID is also transferred to the Top button. When it comes to build quality, the older iPad mini 5 and mini 6 are similar. They both have a glass front with aluminum back and frame.

As for color options, the iPad mini 6 gives you four choices—Space Gray, Pink, Purple and Starlight.

Display

The bigger screen of the iPad mini 6 is much nicer to look at than the screen of the iPad mini 5.

ipad mini 6 vs 5 display
The bezels on the iPad mini 6 (left) are now uniform in size.

As mentioned earlier, the iPad mini 6 now has a uniform bezel design. Because of this, Apple is able to fit a larger display without increasing its overall size. The iPad mini 6 screen is now a Liquid Retina one—an upgrade over the Retina screen of the iPad mini 5. It’s 8.3 inches diagonally, which is a step-up from the 7.9-inch screen of the iPad mini 5.

The iPad mini 5 has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels. Meanwhile, the newer iPad mini 6 has a 3:2 aspect ratio and its resolution is 1488 x 2266 pixels. The iPad mini 6 has a ppi of 327, while the iPad mini 5’s ppi is 324, so they are very close. Both tablets are able to display clear and crisp images, with a slight advantage to the iPad mini 6.

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Performance and Hardware

The iPad mini 6 comes with a significant speed and performance boost over the iPad mini 5 due to its newer Apple A15 Bionic chip.

ipad mini 6 vs 5 design performance and hardware
The iPad mini 6 has a slightly larger screen, comes with Apple’s A15 Bionic chip and it has a USB-C port.

In terms of performance, the new Apple A15 Bionic chip gives the iPad mini 6 a big boost when it comes to speed and responsiveness. Also, having one more GB of RAM adds to its advantages. The A12 Bionic chip of the iPad mini 5 is no slouch, but when compared to the newer A15, it’s starting to show its age. The Apple A15 Bionic chip features a hexa-core CPU and a 5-core GPU.

Apple also upgraded the rear and front-facing cameras of the iPad mini 6. On the iPad mini 5, the main camera at the back is an 8MP shooter and at the front is a 7MP camera. These cameras were decent enough for what they were. On the iPad mini 6, both the front and rear cameras are upgraded to 12 megapixels. The upgraded front camera is a nice upgrade as it is able to deliver much better quality during video calls.

As for audio, the new iPad mini 6 now has stereo speakers that will offer a much better audio experience when watching videos and movies. However, a major downgrade is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery and Connectivity

The iPad mini 6 now has a USB-C charging port.

ipad mini 6 vs 5 design battery and connectivity
The iPad mini 6 (left) now has a flat and angular design, compared to the curved edges of the iPad mini 5 (right).

When it comes to battery life, there’s not much difference. While the iPad mini 6 has a slightly higher battery capacity, the difference in real-world use is insignificant and negligible. They are both capable of lasting up to 10 hours with regular use.

While there’s no significant difference with their battery capacity, it’s not the case when it comes to their charging ports. The iPad mini 6 charging port changed from Lightning to USB-C. With this change, the iPad mini 6 can connect to more devices easily, without needing an adapter.

As for connectivity, the iPad mini 6 offers 5G and WiFi 6 support, both of which are upgrades over the iPad mini 5’s LTE and WiFi 5.

Verdict

The iPad mini 6 offers significant performance upgrades over the iPad mini 5.

To sum up, the iPad mini 6 offers a larger display in a more compact form factor, 5G and WiFi 6 support, upgraded camera modules, a faster chipset and it also has a USB-C port. If you’re buying your first iPad or if you are upgrading from an older model, it’s much better to get the iPad mini 6 over the iPad mini 5 due to the mentioned advantages above. You can get the iPad mini 6 for just a tiny bit more than what the iPad mini 5 costs.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is there a new iPad coming out in 2021?

The sixth-gen iPad mini and the ninth-gen iPad are expected to be released this 2021.

๐Ÿ“Œ When is the iPad mini 6 release date?

The iPad mini 6 was announced on September 14, 2021 and it was released September 24, 2021.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the iPad mini 2021 price?

It has a starting price of $499 for the base model.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which iPad mini is best?

As it is the newest and most powerful, the iPad mini 6 (2021) is the best iPad mini.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.