There is no denying that Samsung’s Galaxy S-series is one of the most successful smartphone lines of all time. Adding to this successful series is the Galaxy S5 mini, the younger brother of the iconic Galaxy S5. While it comes with a smaller display screen of 4.5 inches, the Galaxy S5 mini doesn’t sacrifice on quality. As a matter of fact, it shares the same build and quality as its big brother. The Galaxy S5 mini is powered by a 1.4GHz Cortex-A7 processor with 1.5GB of RAM. It has a native storage capacity of 16GB, with an option to expand the memory by up to 64GB with the help of a microSD card. To take photos, users of the Galaxy S5 mini have a couple of options to choose from: an 8MP rear-facing camera with HD video recording capability and a 2.1MP camera in front. Following the footsteps of its older brother, the Galaxy S5 mini is equipped with fingerprint sensor technology and IP67 certification that makes it a dustproof and water resistant device. It also has a removable 2100 mAh battery that can last up to 10 hours of talk time. Color options available include Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Copper Gold, and Shimmery White. Upon unboxing, the phone runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, as it's name suggests, is a smaller version of the Samsung Galaxy S5. It has an impressive array of features for such a small device, but it does compromise on some of the more advanced feature-set available with the Samsung S5. Most notably, the Samsung S5 doesn't come with a full HD screen or camera. It does include a camera, but it's a fairly standard 8-megapixel camera seen on most other handhelds. While the camera and screen are two of the best features of the Samsung S5 Galaxy, the S5 Mini is not without its own perks and advantages. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is suitable for people who want a step up from the S4 Mini, but aren't willing to commit to the full-sized Galaxy S5.
A Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review wouldn't be complete without a comprehensive discussion of all of its features. The most prominent features on the S5 Galaxy Mini include:
4.5-inch 720p HD display
8-megapixel back camera 2.1-Megapixel front-facing
Micro SIM card
Full 4G support
16GB storage space
1080p HD video recording
Runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Exynos Quadcore 3470 1.4GHz
2,100 MAh battery
Why the Samsung Galaxy Mini S5?
A complete Samsung Galaxy Mini S5 review wouldn't be complete without justifying the reason for the device's existence. It is less feature-filled than its Samsung S5 Galaxy brother, smaller and is missing out the higher resolution camera. However, the price point is lower, you still get to take advantage of the KitKat operating system and it's smaller, which is a crucial selling point for many people. Ultimately, this is a go-between option for those who want a Samsung Galaxy, but are willing to sacrifice some features in the name of price, portability and convenience.
The Main Design and Features
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini looks identical to the Samsung Galaxy, with the exception of its smaller form factor. Upon closer inspection, the same icons, color profile and positioning of keys and buttons are also identical. It features slick, curved corners and a plastic silver trim that lines the edge. It doesn't have metal that the Galaxy Alpha has, but given the price point that shouldn't be expected. The back of the Mini features the dimpled plastic that provides good grip and makes it more comfortable.
There are two color options -- white and black. The white version feels a little bit cheap compared to the black version, so if you're not picky about color you should aim for black. The charcoal black color has a better texture and feel than the white version. The back is a bit smooth, but it could use a bit more grip to make it feel more secure in your hand. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini isn't as stylish as similar products in the same price range, but it's a good device for those who are committed to the Galaxy line of products.
The Mini is light and slim. With a 9.1mm thickness and weighing only 120 grams, it's a great option for the traveler that doesn't want a bulky device weighing them down. It is slightly heavier than the S4 Mini, but it's not much a difference and you're unlikely to notice. One nice feature is the removable back that allows you easy access to the battery. This makes it easy to purchase an additional battery to extend the life, or replace an old battery that is dying. It's nice to be able to purchase a device that doesn't require an expensive service call to insert a new battery.
The S5 Mini has a place for a SIM and microSD card slot. This enables you to store pictures and other data more easily on the S5 Mini. The back of the S5 Mini features a single speaker, but it's not an extremely powerful speaker. Additionally, there is a camera sensor and LED flash to improve picture focus. One nice feature is the heart rate sensor that is built right into the device. In tests, the heart rate sensor isn't perfectly accurate, but it does come in handy for use with certain exercise and fitness apps.
The fingerprint reader provides additional security, but it may require one or two tries to get the thing to work. It still seems to be a developing technology with Samsung, but the consistency and accuracy of the reader is good enough to be useful. When it comes to security, you can't beat the fingerprint reader for the safest and most secure access to the device.
The S5 Mini provides an infrared (IR) blaster that allows you to use the S5 Mini as a universal remote control. This is a great feature for those who want to reduce the amount of controllers in their household. The device is also certified to resist dust and is water-resistant up to 30 meters. You could actually jump in the pool with this phone and swim for up to 30 minutes before any serious damage is done. One caveat is that the battery cover must be securely in place, otherwise it will leak. However, the battery cover snaps into place securely, and you don't have to worry about any latches or other mechanisms to open the device.
The phone doesn't support USB 3.0, but that's not unusual for a phone in this price range. You need to rely on Bluetooth for most of your file transfers, or perhaps send files by email or the microSD. This makes it less likely that you're going to be able to transfer files like movies, music and picture, but it does help to keep the price down. Most people likely won't miss the USB 3.0 support, and it's not a deal-breaker unless you regularly need to transfer large amounts of data to and from the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini's Screen
The S5 Galaxy Mini has a 0.2-inch larger screen, higher 720p resolution and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3, as compared to the S5 Galaxy. The screen is bright, rich and provides excellent color, but once again, it's not as good as some other phones in its price range. However, Samsung does include the display settings that are available on the S5. This includes dynamic, standard, professional photo, adapt display modes and cinema mode for viewing widescreen movies and videos.
Software and Performance Features
The Android 4.4.2 KitKat software provides a clean, lean and quick software interface that users should love. The phone has plenty of RAM and a decent processor, which makes flipping between apps and screens a smooth process. The layout is organized and less scattered than previous versions of the software. Users should find the new layout a breeze to work with and very much welcome.
One criticism is the performance features available on the phone. While it's fast enough for most games, some of the more performance-heavy games may not work as well as some users would like. However, if you're coming from an S4, the performance has been improved greatly. The processor is a powerful quad-core, Samsung Exynos 3470 CPU clocked at 1.4GHZ with Cortex A7 cores. The phone also has its own graphic processor. The speed and performance is more than sufficient for everyday tasks, and it handles multiple running apps very well. Some framerate issues may be noticeable in more intensive games, but for the most part, the whole phone runs very smoothly.
Ultimately, this phone is fast enough for the majority of people's needs. All except the dedicated mobile gamer should find the performance and speed more than sufficient. Of course, a gamer would likely pick a device with a larger screen. The small screen size does make playing some of the more intensive games more difficult.
The most impressive feature on the phone is its battery life. The battery extends past the two-day threshold and is capable of going even further if you turn on the power saving modes. With just a 30-minute charge, you can increase the power by almost 30 percent. This is ideal for those who are traveling and only have a few minutes between stops to charge their phones. The call quality and sound quality is average, and you shouldn't have any issues in this department. This phone is perfect for those who want an affordable phone that is a step above the Samsung S4 Galaxy.
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