I’ve been on a quest to get a used iPhone for iOS testing but it’s proven more difficult than I thought. I wanted to share my experience of trying to get one I’m happy with. Here in the UK there are a number of high street shops such as CEX that you can pick up used models in various conditions, in my experience they are on the expensive side unless you’re trading something in yourself. Online there are a lot more options but you have to trust the source you’re buying from. I’ve tried a couple of online shops such as Music Magpie but in my experience I’ve had to send them back for a refund due to it being an international device or quality not as described.
After doing a lot of trial and error the only way to be certain you’re getting a phone that’s been looked after and has official Apple parts is either to buy from a friend where you know the history or from the Apple refurbished store.
Don’t waste you’re time with third parties if you want to be sure the phone isn’t dodgy I some way. Now I may be a bit picky but personally I want to know that I’m getting an official Apple screen for my money and the parts are all original.
So, my quest continues.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my gear this week since getting the iPad Mini. It’s strange but in a way it’s helped me think about how I’m using what I have. It’s replaced my iPhone for home use so got me thinking about if I could carry a smaller iPhone but get something to replace the photography elements. I’ve predominantly replaced my iPhone each year because of the camera but when looking at a small compact I could carry with me everywhere it makes sense for me to go down the camera route. I’m looking at something like a Sony RX100 that gives me the flexibility of zoom, pocketable and discrete when compared to my Canon DSLR. I haven’t actioned any changes to my setup yet but I’m seriously thinking of swapping things up.
I’ve been wanting to spend less time with my iPhone XS and it turns out getting the iPad Mini was the fix I needed. As I write this I realise I’ve not charged my iPhone for two days and left it at home multiple times by accident. I’m finding I’m using social media less, creating more and being more intentional with my devices. I’ve also found that I’m using my DSLR more, to the point I’m thinking about getting a new smaller camera to take around with me. I didn’t expect this to happen but it’s been a positive move for me.
Being on my second go with an iPad Mini 5 after having returned one previously I feel that the break without one has given me a fresh perspective. I’ve got enough experience with it now to write up a review.
The model I picked up was the 256GB in silver and I also picked up the £45 Smart Cover. It’s a tad expensive but my favourite accessory for giving the screen some protection when it’s being carried around. The reason I went 256 over 64 was that I wanted to incorporate it into my photography so didn’t want iCloud Photo Library to be constantly swapping images on and off my iPad.
The design is as it’s been since launch and in my opinion it’s great. Keeping this form factor meant the costs are reduced and as I’ve mentioned before not having FaceId is a bonus for me.
When comparing to our family 2nd generation Mini both the performance increase and screen are the most noticeable. The speed is on par with the latest iPhone XS and the screen now has True Tone and is glued to the glass so there are no gaps. This model is going to be on the latest iOS for at least 4 years so buying it to keep a while is definitely viable. It’s what I’ll be doing with mine now it can run the latest iOS.
Another win for me with the latest iPad Mini is pencil support. I use the original Apple Pencil every day with my larger Pro and being able to use the same pencil here was a big positive for me.
I use the Mini alongside my 10.5” Pro but I found I use it more. In fact it’s become my number 1 device to use around the house and on the go. I’ve pretty much replaced all my in house use of my iPhone with it and if I want to pop out I’ll take the Mini to catch up on a comic book or do some writing.
I wrote this review using it, in portrait two thumb typing.
If you’re after a kindle alternative or want a portable iPad that packs performance then you can’t go wrong with the 5th generation iPad Mini. It’s not just a device for kids but anyone that uses iOS and wants something more portable. I absolutely love it and at the moment my favourite product Apple has released this year.
Aside from loving the smaller form factor I’m also loving the screen on the new iPad Mini so it made sense for me to use it in my workflow. I’m using it alongside my Canon DSLR to import the images and have an initial run through, deleting those that I don’t like or won’t edit later.
When I picked up my iPad I also picked up the lightning to SD Card reader. This imports images from my memory card quickly and goes straight up to iCloud. I’ve been taking some test images and testing imports and this iPad Mini is going in my camera bag with me on longer trips.
I almost picked up an iPhone 8 to have as a testing device to write about the new iOS but it hit me, I loved the iPad Mini so why didn’t I just use the cash for that instead. A used 8 was going to cost me more than this iPad Mini 5 and I’d get less use out of it.
The reason my last one went back was the lack of work use but the more I’ve been reading and listening to music and wanting to spend less time on my XS the Mini seemed the perfect device for me. I now have a comfortable device for reading in bed and with the larger than my iPhone display it’ll be my main device around the house. I might even use it in my camera bag to take with me when I want to take the DSLR out for the day.