Xiaomi Mi Pad vs iPad mini Retina 3 Specs Comparison

Written by B Johnson January 22, 2015
Xiaomi Mi Pad vs iPad mini Retina 3 Specs Comparison
Hi guys, welcome back!

In my previous comparison review between Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina (the second-gen model), i’ve already showed you how this Xiaomi device can be a much better offering than Apple’s mini tablet.

And that’s thanks to its monster beast Tegra K1 quad-core processor that ships with a staggering 192-core Kepler GPU, which according to benchmark tests, managed to outperform the A7 chipset inside iPad mini Retina and even could bring 3 times graphical performance than Apple’s tablet.

(Xiaomi Mi Pad vs iPad mini Retina 3 Specs Comparison)

This of course is truly amazing because Xiaomi Mi Pad is actually the first-ever-gen tablet ever released by this company.

And this shows how a new player like Xiaomi really could really nail it through its tablet even in the first attempt, which was the same thing that used to happen with the first-gen iPad.

There are many reasons why i thought Xiaomi Mi Pad could be an iPad mini Retina killer.

First of all, its Tegra K1 processor is insanely powerful and even is capable to deliver the same graphical power of today’s desktops/PCs. Its build quality is really decent, despite using plastic material.

The display of this tablet also looks really gorgeous.

It also has microSD card for up to 128GB and feature-rich MIUI. And there are many other things that make this device a true contender for Apple’s mini tablet.

That’s the reason why right now, i’m really interested to bring up again for the several times this Xiaomi tablet in my comparison review against Apple’s latest and greatest iPad mini Retina, the third-gen model, you know, the one that has Touch ID sensor on it.

I think it’s still pretty awesome to find out and explore more about what these 2 tablets have to offer to users, especially as gaming devices.

Well, if you want to get to know more about these 2 tablets and every aspect of them side-by-side, including my take on their gaming experience as a whole, then here you go, my comparison review between Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3.


Something that should be appreciated and even taken as great example from Xiaomi is definitely its brilliant strategy in selling its devices across the world.

Okay, Xiaomi Mi Pad may be an impressive tablet with great build quality, beefy specs, fast performance, cool UI and many more.

However, i believe that’s not the reason why this tablet could sell so great on the market – last i heard, Xiaomi managed to ship around 7 million units of this tablet around the globe.

The reason behind the massive global success that Xiaomi has been gaining on the market is definitely its hunger marketing strategy that sells impressive quality devices at affordable price tags through online stores.

But Xiaomi only provides some limited units of devices in short amount of time, which then garners some huge buzz across the net, especially from people who don’t get the chance to buy the device in its ‘flash sales’.

And that what exactly happens with Xiaomi Mi Pad tablet.

This tablet is of course is really impressive on paper and in fact, in terms of overall quality as well, thanks to Xiaomi’s decision to use some large respected manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Sharp, etc to supply some parts for its devices.

So as a result, this tablet is now selling like hotcakes around the market in entire world - with the exception of US and some parts of European countries where Xiaomi devices will be straightly banned for their blatant similarities with Apple iGadgets, in terms of design.

Through Xiaomi Mi Pad tablet, it’s very clear that this company is aiming its bullets directly to Apple with its iPad mini Retina.

And that’s not something that hard to guess especially because Xiaomi Mi Pad looks really identical with Apple’s mini tablet – from its entire looks, its screen specs, its aspect ratio and even its UI.

However, despite being an ‘identical twin’ of iPad mini Retina, Xiaomi Mi Pad surprisingly is an impressive quality device, even more than iPad mini, mostly thanks to its beefy specs and powerful gaming performance.

But it doesn’t straightly mean that iPad mini Retina is mediocre compared to Xiaomi’s device.

In 2014, Apple launched the refreshed model of this tablet and brought some major improvements especially on its hardware (actually software as well) – from the new iOS 8 software build, its design (which is now much thinner) and of course, the new addition of Touch ID sensor.

But the questions remain, with all of the goodness and beefy monster specs found on both devices,

which one between Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 that will come out as the best tablet in this comparison review?

Which one that has the best gaming experience and performance in this review?

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets, especially for playing heavy games?

Well, if you want to know each answer of these questions, as well as my final conclusion of this comparison review, be sure to read the rest of this post till the end.


Apple has always been really consistent when it comes to designing its own devices. And iPad mini Retina 3 is no exception.

Just like what Apple has been doing every release of new-gen iPad, this time around, Apple tries to shrink the thickness of this iPad mini down even further, which also happens on the iPad Air 2.

But impressively, even with much thinner design, Apple still manages to keep this mini iPad powerful in terms of battery life, thanks to the tweaks on software mostly.

Xiaomi Mi Pad
Xiaomi Mi Pad
iPad Air
iPad mini Retina 3

On the other hand, Xiaomi through its Mi Pad tablet has nothing to write home about, when it comes to design. And that’s because this tablet actually looks quite similar with iPad mini Retina.

In fact, Xiaomi Mi Pad looks like an identical twin of Apple’s mini tablet.

And that can be seen quite clearly from its aspect ratio, bezel size and of course screen specs that Xiaomi decides to put on this device.

Similar just like iPad mini Retina, this Xiaomi Mi Pad also carries the same exact 7.9-inch display sporting the same 1536x2048 pixel “Retina” resolution, even with the same -324 ppi and 4:3 aspect ratio.

But that’s not it. There’s more.

The UI of this tablet – which is called MIUI - apparently is also hugely inspired by the iOS 7, especially with its icon-grid UI.

However, despite looking quite similar with iPad mini Retina 3, there’s also one thing to appreciate from the design, especially material used on Xiaomi Mi Pad.

And that is its rear-cover, which is made out of plastic polycarbonate material.

But impressively, even though its material is based mostly on plastic material, the rear-case of this tablet surprisingly feels really sturdy and comfortable in hands, also is not prone to catch finger-prints.

But even so, when it comes to design, between these 2 devices, it’s definitely iPad mini Retina 3 that becomes the clear winner here because it has the originality with its design.

And its solid and premium build quality really adds up a lot of points to this tablet, making it probably the best looking tablet on the market to date.

However, it doesn’t mean that Xiaomi Mi Pad really sucks in design because that would be wrong. This tablet is still good in terms of design and build quality, but it’s not as great as iPad mini Retina 3.

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Xiaomi Mi PadApple iPad mini Retina 3
Released June 2014,
Weight 360 g (12.70 oz)
7.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1536 x 2048 pixels, (~324 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Protection
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
ULP GeForce Kepler (192 cores) GPU
Android OS
8 MP rear-facing camera
5 MP front-facing camera
16/64 GB of Internal storage
microSD card slo for up to 128 GB
Li-Po 6700 mAh battery
Talk time (multimedia) 11 hours
Music play: for up to 86 hours
    LTE (Nano-SIM)
    Released November 2013,
    7.9 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen 16M colors
    * TouchID fingerprint scanner
    1536 x 2048 pixels (~324 ppi pixel density)
    iOS 7 (upgradable to iOS 8)
    Apple A7 Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based) Chipset
    PowerVR G6430 quad-core GPU   
    No micro card slot   
    64/128 GB Internal storage
    1 GB RAM DDR3
    5 MP rear-facing camera
    1.2 MP front-facing camera (720p@30fps video recording)
    No Radio, No Java 
    Non-removable Li-Po 6470 mAh battery
    Talk time (multimedia): for up to 10 hours

    Xiaomi Mi Pad may not win against the iPad mini Retina 3 in terms of design, however, when it comes to spec sheet, this tablet could turn out to be an iPad mini killer in the end.

    And that’s pretty obvious because this device comes with some beefy specs that are considered as high-grade quality hardware for today’s standards.

    Xiaomi Mi Pad has:
    • a quad-core Tegra K1 processor – which ensures console-quality gaming -, 
    • a 7.9-inch “retina” 1536x2048 pixel display, 
    • 2GB of RAM, 
    • 192-core Kepler GPU, 
    • 8MP rear-facing camera, 
    • 5MP front-facing camera, 
    • microSD card slot for up to 128GB, 
    • 6700mAh battery, 
    • MIUI and a bunch of other standard features.
    Meanwhile, iPad mini Retina 3 – besides having the same 7.9-inch display with “retina” 1536x2048 pixel resolution and Apple A7 chipset just like predecessor -, there are some major improvements found on this new-gen model, like:
    • 1GB of RAM, 
    • iOS 8, 
    • 5MP rear-facing camera, 
    • 1.2MP front-facing camera, 
    •  64/128GB of internal storage, 
    • Touch ID fingerprint sensor and some other standard features.

    Between these 2 tablets, i think both Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 are great equally, they have their own strengths and weaknesses.

    I mean, Xiaomi Mi Pad may not have fingerprint scanner, but its powerful processor, microSD card slot, 5MP front-facing camera, MIUI, 192-core GPU and affordable price tag could be the reasons why tablet shoppers should pick up this tablet instead of iPad mini Retina 3.

    It goes the same with Apple’s tablet, it may not have a staggering 192-core GPU, 5MP front-facing camera, microSD card slot or full-featured UI, however, it still has fingerprint scanner, sharper rear-facing camera and a more premium design and better build quality.


    Something that actually is quite interesting on Xiaomi Mi Pad is definitely its display.

    Similar exactly just like iPad mini Retina 3, this Xiaomi’s device is also sporting the same exact “Retina” 1536x2048 pixel display, even with the same -324 ppi and 4:3 aspect ratio.

    So it’s pretty obvious that Xiaomi through this tablet is aiming straightly on Apple’s mini tablet.

    And more impressively, it’s not just on paper, in the real life implementation, the display of Xiaomi Mi Pad is really good in terms of color reproduction and saturation, viewing angle and of course sharpness.

    But that’s not shocking because the display of Xiaomi devices is mostly supplied by Sharp, which is also known as one of the screen suppliers of Apple devices.

    So when it comes to quality, i think they both are great equally, although iPad mini Retina 3 is more superior given that display has been the most prominent element that Apple always wants to improve on all of its iPads.

    But even so, despite being the first-ever-gen and the only one tablet released by Xiaomi, i think it’s quite impressive to see the screen quality that this company is capable to provide on this affordable tablet.

    User Interface

    Besides screen specs, there’s also one thing that puts these 2 devices in the same league. And that is their UIs.

    Just like the iOS of iPad mini Retina 3, the UI – called MIUI – of Xiaomi Mi Pad also looks and works relatively similar with Apple’s mobile OS.

    So unlike the stock Android UI which has app drawer, the MIUI doesn’t have that. Instead, all of the installed and pre-loaded apps are shown directly in the icon-grid layout on the homescreen, just like the iOS.

    However, despite looking and working similar with iOS, there are still many things to appreciate from the MIUI of Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    One of them is the existence of widgets. So on this UI, Xiaomi still keeps the widget element and even added its own customized standard widgets like music player, photo gallery, twitter widget, weather and many more, the same that you can find on other stock Android tablets.

    The UI of this tablet also has some cool and attractive features plus visual presentations that cannot be found on iOS.

    Meanwhile, iPad mini Retina 3 still inherits the same looking icon-grid-based iOS UI on its platform.

    Even though it doesn’t come with many cool features and visual presentations on MIUI, iOS 8 of this tablet is still really decent in terms of user experience and design.

    In fact, compared to MIUI, i think iOS 8 looks more polished and elegant especially with its entirely flat looking design.

    Back to Top
    As 2 powerful tablets being powered by the latest and greatest processors, it’s no brainer that both Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 are great equally for playing games.

    Any games that you wanna play on any of these devices – yes, both of these tablets will be more than happier to execute games like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA San Andreas in buttery smooth performance and full highest graphics.

    It goes the same when faced with next-gen games that have console-quality graphics.

    Xiaomi Mi Pad with its Tegra K1 processor has the privilege to play console-ported games like Trine 2 (PS3) and Half Life 2 (PC), while iPad mini Retina 3 has the privilege also to play Bioshock ported straightly from PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

    In my opinion, i think both tablets are equally great for next-gen games and even the future games that are about to arrive in the next few months in 2015.

    They have the graphical power, they have the full support from game developers and they are on the same level when it comes to gaming experience (like touch response, display quality, battery life, performance, compatibility, comfortable design, sound quality and more).

    So yeah, i think both tablets are just great for gaming and in fact, it’s pretty hard to determine which one is better for gaming.

    However, if i had to choose, i would definitely pick Xiaomi Mi Pad instead because i love the fact that its Tegra K1 processor is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops/PCs, plus they already outperformed Apple’s A7 chipset according to benchmark tests held by some tech sites.

    Okay, Apple A7 processor found inside the iPad mini 3 may be powerful, but i think it still needs to proof its graphic quality especially compared to Tegra K1 tablets like Xiaomi Mi Pad.


    Both Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 come with the same 5MP rear-facing camera and they also are great for taking photos and recording videos.

    In fact, i’ve already seen the 720p videos taken with Xiaomi Mi Pad and they look good and sharp, and the sound quality is also decent.

    This is not surprising given that the camera module found inside this tablet is supplied by some respected manufacturers like Samsung or Sony.

    So in terms of quality, its quality is not that far behind the 5MP iSight camera on iPad mini Retina 3.

    However, when pitted side-by-side with Apple’s mini tablet, of course, Xiaomi Mi Pad’s camera is not on the same level especially because Apple has years of experience on camera department of its devices.

    Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi Pad is the first-gen and the only one tablet ever released by Xiaomi, so it still needs some improvements and tweaks especially on software.

    But even so, what Xiaomi could come out through this tablet should still be appreciated especially because Xiaomi never released any tablet before.

    And the fact that its camera is capable to take decent quality shots is just impressive especially seeing how affordable this tablet really is.

    Battery Life

    Apple has always been really good at in making its iPad long lasting in terms of battery life. And iPad mini Retina 3 is no exception.

    More impressively, even with a much thinner design, Apple could still maintain its battery life as great as the predecessor, which is around 10 hours for talk time (multimedia).

    So if you’re looking for a tablet that could last all day even more than 1 day, iPad mini Retina 3 is definitely your best shot here.

    However, Xiaomi Mi Pad is actually not too shabby at all. Thanks to the 6700mAh power battery found inside this device, Xiaomi Mi Pad is capable to deliver around 11 hours for talk time (multimedia) and 86 hours for music play.

    However, in the real implementation, i kind of doubt that this device indeed could last that long, especially in heavy use. And that’s because it MIUI is a really heavy-weight UI and could drain a lot power when all of its pre-loaded apps are activated on this tablet.

    Not to mention, its Tegra K1 processor and its high-resolution display are already power hungry for this tablet.

    That’s why, i predict this tablet could only last all day in moderate use, but its battery life would drain drastically to just 3 to 5 hours when used to do some heavy stuff intensively, like watching HD movies or playing games in the row.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in conclusion, i think in terms of overall quality, i’ve gotta say that it’s pretty hard to determine which one of these Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 that deserves to be a great tablet in the whole aspect.

    I know, Xiaomi tablet has a powerful Tegra K1 quad-core processor and a staggering 192-core GPU that are capable to bring the same graphical performance of today’s desktops/PCs.

    However, Apple A7 processor found inside iPad mini Retina 3 is also really powerful in terms of graphical power.

    And these 2 tablets are both able to run console-quality graphics or games in smooth performance, especially when game developers of each platform well-optimize their next-gen titles specifically for Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 in the future.

    And then, iPad mini Retina 3 may have Metal API on its iOS 8 platform, which allows iOS game developers to well-optimized their games and improve much further with more detailed graphics and advanced visual effects.

    But Tegra K1 tablets like Xiaomi Mi Pad also has the back of many game developers even console/PC game makers that will launch console-quality games specifically for this tablet in the near future.

    In fact, some of them already release Trine 2 (PS3) and Half Life 2 (PC) which both use the same exact graphic resources and visual effects from the console/PC versions.

    Besides, Tegra K1 is made by NVIDIA and NVIDIA has been known for its long partnership with many console/PC game developers like Activision, EA or Ubisoft.

    So it’s just a matter of time before we finally see their popular titles get ported to Tegra K1 hardware like Xiaomi Mi Pad in the future.

    Besides great gaming performance, both Xiaomi Mi Pad and iPad mini Retina 3 are also lookin' good in terms of cameras, UI, display, gaming experience, performance and battery life, although Apple’s tablet is slightly more superior than Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    However, there’s one thing that makes iPad mini Retina 3 a much better offering than Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    And that is its Touch ID finger print sensor, which will be handy for mobile payment in the near future (and it’s already happening!).

    But then again, Xiaomi Mi Pad has microSD card slot for up to 128GB, while iPad mini Retina 3 doesn’t have it.

    Okay, iPad mini may also is available in 3 storage options, including the one with 128GB internal storage.

    However, the price of this model is insanely high than the rest of smaller models. So it makes Xiaomi Mi Pad a much better offering than iPad mini Retina 3, especially in terms of price tags.

    So at the end of the day, i think the final decision to buy any of these tablets will come down to user preference, especially on their choice of platform – iOS 8 or MIUI.

    If they love simple straight-forward UI, plus they are already heavily invested to iOS ecosystem, then go ahead, iPad mini Retina 3 is a decent quality tablet.

    It goes the same with Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    If you love widgets and attractive UI, plus you’re tight on budget but wanting to get a powerful monster gaming tablet, then go with Xiaomi Mi Pad. It’s also as great as iPad mini Retina – but no so much on build quality and battery life.

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