Apple's new iPad Mini, a redesigned iPad, was one of the most anticipated announcements at Tuesday's iPhone 13 event. However, a limitation was identified by Jason Snell, Six Colors. The iPad Mini does not support mmWave5G. It is possible that the new A15 Bionic processor may be slower than the one in the iPhone 13 line (via MacRumors).
Apple's 5G support on the iPad Mini's cellular version was a highlight. However, if you look at Apples technical specs, it does not offer mmWave. It supports low- and middle-band 5G. Apple was the first to tap into the 5G hype machine when it launched the iPhone 12. The company continues to boast the faster download speeds and upload speeds that the tech can offer in 2021. Below are the highlights of the iPad Mini's cellular and wireless capabilities.
Fast 5G speeds are dependent on coverage. Although it has improved in the US, it is not always as fast as LTE. T-Mobile and Verizon have big plans for 5G performance, including expanding the availability of fast-mmWave. However, in areas where coverage is limited it may not be worthwhile. Our experience with the iPhone 12 Pro's mmWave was very limited. Here's Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verges:
A patch of 20 square feet allowed me to pull over 2 gigabits per sec down. I also pulled over 40 megabits per sec up, which was comparable to regular 5G. The signal dropped if I was more than 100 feet from the device. If you have large files to download, I don't think you will be very mobile with your 5G smartphone.
Mini may not be in such a big loss yet.
This could also be true for the iPad Minis processor. MacRumors cites GeekBench benchmarks that point to the Minis' performance at 2.9 GHz. This is a little slower than the 3.2 GHz publication sourced from the iPhone 13. GeekBench does not provide a complete picture of the device's performance. It is impossible to verify that the numbers are correct without an iPad Mini. It is also possible to falsify a GeekBench score as XDA Developers has shown.
Graphics performance is the key to determining if there's a real difference between the Mini and iPhones. The iPad Mini has five graphics cores, which is one more than the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Minis 4-core GPU. We can't tell how it looks until we see it but the mmWaveless iPad Mini may still be quite capable.