Battery life on the iPad Mini 3 is quoted at 10 hours for multimedia, which mostly refers to video watching or browsing the web.
It certainly doesn't refer to gaming, which hammers the battery life of the mini 3, although not as much as some other tablets. This is such a popular refrain for a mobile gaming experience that I've learned not to expect too much juice left after a particularly powerful game is pushed through the smaller screen.
That said, it's worth it. Despite the more muted colors (which you'll only notice if you've played with an iPad Air 2) the general gaming prowess of the mini 3 means I don't mind knowing it will leave me with minimal battery.
The general battery test, a looped Full HD video run for 90 minutes, showed a drain of 18%, which is, again, almost identical to that seen on the iPad mini 2. Have I mentioned these two models are pretty similar?
However, the general use drain for the mini 3 is excellent. Throw it in a bag for a few days and you can definitely still expect to have a lot of power left over by the end of the week. It's probably not what you're going to do with such a tablet, but if you do feel the need to leave it for a day or two the power won't get sucked down with background apps.
The quoted time of 10 hours seems a little over the top when it comes to web browsing, but with lower screen brightness could probably be achieved. I could have tested it by sitting under the covers playing with the mini 3 throughout a whole night with no cease, but I didn't.
I feel like I've let you down in some way. Sorry.
The upshot is this: the battery life of the iPad mini 3 is precisely as expected. Stream video at higher brightness (and the screen does get pretty bright) and you'll suck down 20% in around 90 minutes. Play a high power game like Real Racing 3 and it's not so bad - compared to the iPad Air 2, the mini 3 can hold its power during gaming a lot better, only losing a few percent every 10 minutes.
I really wish the more powerful A8X chip was running under the hood here, as the battery life would be stellar on a device like this.
The camera on the mini 3 is nothing to write home about, in the same way as it wasn't last year. The reason is the range of options isn't the same as it is on the iPhone range - no filters to apply here, no ability to take slow-motion video.
This is all the more galling as these are two features I'd actually want on a camera like this. The larger view finder is good for setting up a slow motion video, and the filters look nicer on a device like this.
But the output isn't terrible. The focus might not be too snappy, but colors are well-reproduced and the lower-light snaps come out better than expected.
You can set the exposure now with a slide of the finger up and down, so if you don't fancy locking the focus or exposure with a long press on one part of the screen there are plenty more options to improve the shot.
HDR mode is present and correct too, meaning you can improve the snaps further this way - but let's not forget that taking an iPad to a wedding is never acceptable.
Never. And if it ever becomes acceptable, I'm quitting this job to go and live on a tablet-less desert island.