iPad mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7 review

iPad mini with Retina display

The latest and greatest iPad mini has burst onto the market with as much fanfare as a hyped keynote speech can deliver. Welcome to the world, iPad mini with Retina display, aka the iPad mini 2. Sure, the latest little tablet will look even better thanks to a long-awaited Retina display, but is it worth the punch it'll pack against your wallet, especially compared to rival Google's impressive Nexus 7 2013?

See the little guys face off in our Apple iPad mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7 comparison review.

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Price/Models

One of the biggest differences between the Nexus 7 and the iPad mini 2 is easily the price. Even the cheapest mini model, 16 GB Wi-Fi-only, will set you back £319. Compare that to the identical Nexus 7 model - also 16 GB and Wi-Fi-only - which £199 inc VAT meaning the iPad mini 2 is more than one and a half times the price.

It's hard to argue with Google's 32GB Cellular + Wi-Fi enabled Nexus, which will only set you back £299. That's quite a bit less than the comparable mini model (£419). You can also get more memory with a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for £239. All three Nexus models are only available in black. 

Of course, those looking to shell out more will get more as Apple's concerned. The Wi-Fi iPad mini 2 is also available in 32 GB at £399, 64 GB at £479, and 128 GB at £559, all including VAT. Cellular + Wi-Fi models are £100 more than their solely Wi-Fi counterparts. You can also chose between silver/white and space grey/black, colour-wise. 

It's worth noting neither company's tablets have expandable memory, though both operating systems have cloud storage functions.

The iPad mini retina display comes in both silver and space grey

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Display

The “7” in Nexus 7 refers to the tablet's screen size, which, by something less than a crazy, random happenstance - is seven inches.  The Google tablet boasts a 1920 x 1200 display screen with a pixel density of 323 ppi. It's a high-quality screen for such a small device, especially given the price.

Don't let the iPad mini's name deceive you. Though it's smaller than its full-size namesake, it's slightly larger than the Nexus 7 with a 7.9 in display. You also get a better picture if you opt for the mini's slightly larger screen thanks to 2048x1536 resolution, though the ppi difference is pretty negligible at 326ppi. 

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Size

Not only does the Nexus 7 cost less, it also weighs less. The Wi-Fi-only model weighs 290g while the 32 GB + mobile data is an additional 9g. Perhaps the mini's larger price screen lends to its weight. The Wi-Fi model comes in at 331g while the Wi-Fi + cellular model is 341g.

The Nexus 7 manages to out-mini the iPad mini with Retina display dimensionally, measuring 120 x 199 mm tall if holding the device in portrait format. Apple's pint-sized tablet, on the other hand, measures 135 x 200 mm.  However, the mini is just a bit thinner, at 7.5 mm thick compared to Nexus 7's 8.65mm.

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Cameras

Camera technology is extremely similar between these two tablets. The mini's specs haven't really changed from the previous model to the Retina model: you've still got the 5 Mp iSight camera on the back with 1080p HD video recording. Now, you've got 3x video zoom, too.

The front HD camera takes 1.2 Mp photos and records 720p HD video. Both front and back cameras also have face detection and backside illumination, too.

The Nexus 7 manages to hold its own against the mini camera-wise, though the 1.2 Mp front facing and 5 Mp rear-facing cameras lack some of the bells and whistles such a video zoom.

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: OS/Processor 

Unsurprisingly, the mini's definitely got the best processor of the two tablets. Built with the same A7 chip as the new iPad Air, the mini's got 64-bit architecture and an M7 motion co-processor.  

The Nexus 7 is nice and speedy, too, thanks to the quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM standard on all models. Plus, the high-performance rendering gives you nice and smooth 3D graphics.

Obviously the two tablets have different operating systems—being built by Google and Apple and all. This ultimately comes down to personal preference between iOS and Android.   

The Nexus 7 2

Apple iPad Mini 2 vs Google Nexus 7: Battery Life

In our battery test, the Nexus 7 lasted 8 hours, 47 minutes on a single charge while looping a locally stored, HD video. It also has the handy feature of built-in Qi wireless charging.  

We haven't had our hands-on the iPad mini 2 long enough to test battery life bu Apple predicts up to 10 hours of surfing the web, watching video or listening to music over Wi-Fi.


They're both good tablets but it depends on what you're looking for. If you want a high-quality and comparatively low-cost tablet, the 7's your best bet. But Apple doesn't disappoint with the mini and if you can pony up the cash, you do get more.