iPhone 6 Plus vs. iPad mini 3
As phablets grow in popularity, they also creep into tablets' turf. Perhaps you're wondering how Apple's biggest iPhone compares to its smallest iPad? Let's compare the features and specs of the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad mini 3.
The iPhone 6 Plus feels as much like an iPad mini-mini as it does an oversized iPhone, but as you can see, it still has a ways to go before it's even close to the iPad's size. The iPad mini 3 is 27 percent taller and 73 percent wider.
Both devices are svelte, with the iPhone 6 Plus measuring 5 percent thinner (though neither comes close to matching the razor-thin iPad Air 2).
Another indication that the iPhone 6 Plus is far from being an iPad: it's 48 percent lighter.
Like just about every modern Apple product, both have aluminum unibody builds.
Apple offers the same color options for its giant phone and mini-tablet.
Here's another illustration of just how much bigger the iPad mini is. If you could somehow merge two iPhone 6 Pluses together, that device would still have a smaller screen than the iPad mini.
The iPhone has a 23 percent higher pixel density, but remember that you're going to hold a tablet farther away from your eyes – meaning it will look just as sharp with a lower PPI. Both devices will look plenty crisp to most eyes.
Both mobile devices use IPS display panels.
The iPhone 6 Plus and iPad mini 3 both include Apple's excellent Touch ID fingerprint sensor. In fact, apart from a gold color option, this is the only difference between the US$400 iPad mini 3 and the $300 iPad mini 2. Unless you really want Touch ID, the 2013 mini-tablet is going to be the better buy.
Both devices use those sensors for Apple Pay, but only the iPhone lets you pay in-store.
We're looking at the same storage options for both devices.
This is an advantage for the iPhone, as it uses a newer generation of chip. The A7 found in the iPad mini is probably fast enough for most people, but the iPhone's A8 will be more future-proofed and more optimized for the latest (most taxing) apps and games.
The iPad Air 2 got an upgrade to 2 GB of RAM, but both of these devices are stuck in 1 GB. If you switch between apps and browser tabs a lot, this could show its face, when you see them refreshing more often than on other manufacturers' devices.
Both devices have very good battery life. In our video streaming test (over Wi-Fi with brightness set at 75 percent), the iPhone's battery dropped 12 percentage points per hour while the iPad mini dropped over 9 percent per hour.
This is a big advantage for the iPhone, as the iPad mini 3 has a lower-res 5 MP camera. It also skips out on iPhone camera features like OIS, a dual-LED flash (it has no flash at all) and slow-motion video.
The iPad mini 3 launched about a month after the latest iPhones, but remember that the Mini 3 is just an iPad mini 2 with a Touch ID sensor. So it's effectively a late 2013 product with one 2014 feature.
If you buy the iPhone with a new contract, then it will save you $100 over the iPad mini 3. If you don't care about Touch ID, though, the otherwise identical iPad mini 2 breaks even with the on-contract iPhone 6 Plus.
If you buy the iPhone at full retail, though, it starts at a much heftier $750.