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iFive Mini 3 Unboxing and Initial Review: It’s Like the iPad Mini with Android

Unboxing the iFive Mini 3!
Unboxing the iFive Mini 3!

Unboxing the iFive Mini 3!

We initially showed the iFive Mini 3 a few months ago when Novo 7 Tech’s Chief Technology Officer, Adrian, dropped by the podcast and gave us a quick look at their new Android tablet. In last week’s episode we had the actual unit and we chimed in on our initial impressions. The iFive Mini 3 is a fascinating product because it looks so similar to the Apple iPad Mini. Heck you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it wasn’t an iPad Mini if you had this in a case! Anyway we’re definitely going to do a full review on this but for now we’d like to share with you guys our unboxing and initial review.

To kick things off let’s review the specifications.

iFive Mini 3 Spec Sheet

  • 1.6GHz Cortex-A9 Quad Core CPU, Rockchip RK3188 Chipset
  • Mali-400MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 7.9-inches capacitive IPS display (1024×768)
  • 5.0-megapixels primary camera
  • 2.0-megapixels secondary camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, OTG, Supports 3G Dongle
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 4100mAh Li-Ion battery

As you can see the specifications are quite respectable! It’s a quad-core tablet with 1GB RAM and 16GB expandable storage. Plus the form factor is amazing. SRP? Php8,399. Pwede.

Packaging and Unboxing

For this unboxing we asked help from Mr. Storm Trooper.
For this unboxing we asked help from Mr. Storm Trooper.

The iFive Mini 3 comes in a very colorful box that lacks product information. The shapes you see in the front cover is actually a multitude of number 5’s in different colors. As you can see there’s no identifiable mark that it is actually a quad-core Android tablet up front. The slogan is in Chinese so people won’t be able to tell if this is good or not if it’s just on the shelf. It’s the same issue when you turn the box around. There are no technical specifications, product photos, or even a decent product description. We find this to be a huge missed opportunity since the iFive Mini 3 actually does look nice and it does have competitive specifications.

Unboxing for us was straightforward. We peeled off the plastic covering the box and then popped open the top lid. We were immediately greeted by the iFive Mini 3. And yes, the first thing that came to our minds was… “WTH it looks like an iPad Mini!?!”

Wow. They even nailed the bezel. Hehe.
Wow. They even nailed the bezel. Hehe.

We’ll get more into the hardware in a bit.

We dug around the box to find what else was there and other than the manuals (which were in Chinese), we only found a USB to micro USB cable and a rather colorful wall charger, hehe.

Charger looks cool.
Charger looks cool.

If you’re worried that it will be hard to find a good case for the iFive Mini 3, don’t fret because it can actually fit snuggly into most iPad Mini cases. Here’s a case that we got from Speck that’s for our iPad Mini. The iFive Mini 3 slips in comfortably and tightly without any problem.


Let’s get to the hardware and software!

Initial Impressions

Yes, the similarity between the two is uncanny.
Yes, the similarity between the two is uncanny.

The iFive Mini 3 clearly takes inspiration from the iPad Mini. The side-by-side photo above shows you that they look so much alike and even have the same screen size! The iFive Mini 3 even matches (or some of us here say it’s slimmer) the thickness of and weight of the iPad Mini. Based on the numbers though the iFive Mini 3 actually comes out thinner at just 6.5mm. Crazy right? Hehe.

Up front the 7.9-inch display delivers a respectable resolution of 1024 x 768. It’s not HD-level but it will be good enough for most people since that’s actually the resolution of the iPad Mini as well. At the top is the power lock, micro SD card slot, micro USB port, and headphone jack.

Very thin at 6.5mm
Very thin at 6.5mm

At the back we have the iFive logo squarely placed at the middle, the 5MP shooter at the upper portion, and the speakers down low.

What the back looks like
What the back looks like

Now what are the pros and cons of looking and feeling like an iPad Mini? The biggest negative is that it’s a clear cut carbon copy and that the intent of the manufacturer was to plagiarize the design of the world’s best selling tablet. The positive? Well it actually is very lightweight, compact, and feels a whole lot more premium that a lot of tablets being offered by global brands for twice the price, hehe.

In short — if you don’t mind it copying the iPad Mini design and you prefer an Android tablet then you might wanna seriously take a look at the iFive Mini 3.

What about software?
What about software?

On the software side, the iFive Mini 3 runs Android Jelly Bean with a heavily customized UI called iFive Skin 2.5. Based on the first few hours of us using it, we find it to be very intuitive, easy to use, and cool to the eyes. It’s definitely one of the nicer custom UIs for Android tablets so we gotta give iFive major props for that.

As for the performance, the quad-core processor combined with the 1GB RAM is enough to deliver a good Android tablet experience. We barely felt any lag or delays. The only times it slowed down was when we were switching the screen orientations quickly or when we were switching in between RAM hungry applications (games).

Full Review Coming Very Soon

Alin... alin... alin ang naiba?
Alin… alin… alin ang naiba?

We’re going to put the iFive Mini 3 through the paces for our full review. Hopefully we can have it out by this weekend so please do watch this space for more updates.

Quick heads-up, the good folks from Novo 7 Tech will be guesting on next week’s Unbox Podcast. We will be talking more about the iFive Mini 3 and their new smartphone, the THL W8S War Machine, on the show. Make sure you catch the ep once it drops Monday night on YouTube.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. Sir Carlo, I would not recommend you play NBA 2k13 here. I tried it and it always has skipping frame issue which causes the LAG on Hardcore games. Navigation would be fine and light apps runs smoothly.

  2. I was just contemplating a while ago for a review of novo7 tablets then walaaaah here it is. actually you cant tell if its ipad mini or not and the design is superb the bezels are better than the ipad mini. its screen is really bright you might want to lower it down tried playing it in the stalls i almost bought this though i wanted a bigger one so i went to buy the x2. lastly novo7tech has a very good aftersales support. waiting for the x2 review haha

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