The iPad mini 3 is what you would consider a minor upgrade to the iPad mini 2. While the display and battery life remains notable, there aren't many upgrades to make the iPad mini 3 stand out. In fact, the only upgrades worth mentioning are the gold option and the inclusion of the Touch ID. If you're looking for a slightly cheaper, used tablet, you should instead consider the iPad mini 2.
Before venturing forward in this review, it is important to note the cellular version of the iPad mini 3 will likely be unlocked, meaning that you'll be able to take the tablet to any cellular provider you like, so long as the provider supports the tablet and you have the required SIM card. If you're unsure as to what data plan you should adopt for your tablet, you should refer to our tablet plan comparison tool.
Now for the review, beginning with the design. The iPad mini 3 is virtually identical to the iPad mini 2. The body is crafted with aluminum and glass, though you'll have an additional color option beyond space gray - gold. However, what makes the iPad mini 3 stand out - ever so slightly - from the iPad mini 2 is the addition of Touch ID, which allows you to unlock your iPad mini by touching the Home button.
There are also three internal storage options to consider with the purchase of the iPad mini 3 - 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
The 7.9-inch, 2,048x1,536-pixel display hasn't changed either. You'll find much contrast and vibrant colors beneath the glass screen, providing an excellent browsing and viewing experience.
The processor and RAM remain the same as well. The iPad mini 3 is equipped with the A7 processor and 1GB of RAM, so you should have no issue with running most apps, even with the iOS 11 update. However, it is important to keep mind that the iPad Air 2 released six days before the iPad mini 3, and it featured enviable upgrades such as the A8X and 2GB of RAM. Despite this, you should have a smooth experience with apps and games.
Of course, there is also the camera to consider as well. The cameras are unchanged from the iPad mini 2, featuring a 1.2-megapixel sensor in the front and a 5-megapixel sensor in the rear. Add in 1080p video recording and you have an enticing set of media tools (even though 4K resolution has been pushed as mainstream with phones).
Finally, the battery life of the iPad mini 3 is rather solid. In fact, you'll be able to use the device for up to 10 hours - with full video playback or web browsing - before the battery requires a charge.
Compare: Looking for the iPad mini instead? Check out our guide to the refurbished iPad mini!
Overall, the iPad mini 3 is a fantastic device, but at the same time, it's stuck between a rock and a hard place, with the rock being the iPad mini 2 and the hard place being the iPad Air 2. The iPad mini 3 is too identical to the iPad mini 2, despite it being a little more expensive. The iPad Air 2's used prices are also equivalent to the iPad mini 3, but it's a massive upgrade over the iPad mini 3, despite being a little larger. Overall, it's best to either select either the iPad mini 2 or the iPad Air 2.
If you're looking for the iPad mini 3's best price, then you should compare prices online. After all, you'll be able to find a better deal online than at a physical retailer. However, you should be sure to compare prices of refurbished and unlocked iPad mini 3 models from top resellers to guarantee the best price for your device.
Compare: Curious about the iPad mini 4? You can compare prices and check out the specs of the iPad mini 4 here.
However, if you're not interested in buying a used iPad mini 3 and are instead looking to sell your device, then you may want to read the article, "Where Can You Sell Your Old Phone?" There, you'll find online marketplaces to sell your iPad mini 3.