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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Smartphone

£234.50
design
features
performance
compatibility

4.2

5

Overall

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is a good improvement on the S4 and does a lot of things very well without many obvious downsides. Vying for -but not quite in- the Champions League places.

User Rating (13 votes)

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Price Comparison

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£200.00

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£234.50

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Sam Applegate

27th September 2014

By Sam Applegate

I like bacon sandwiches.


The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is a very respectable mid-level smartphone that offers a number of notable improvements over the S4 Mini and carries with it a lot of the functionality from its bigger brother, the Galaxy S5. If you like using Android and you want a good, portable smartphone that's steadfast and reliable without being mind-blowing, it could well be the phone for you.

Just A little Bit More Evolved

The S5 Mini is a bit bigger than its predecessor, but that only translates to an extra 10 grams in weight or so, and hence it remains a relatively compact and easy to handle mobile. The design is akin to the full S5, with a grippy, dimpled plastic back and a faux metal rib encircling the sides. In style terms it doesn't do anything that makes it stand out from the pack, either in a good or a bad way. It has the typical Samsung look, available in black, white, blue and gold. In way could you call it a radical piece of design.

For all of its aesthetic anonymity, one thing that makes the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini especially likeable is that the company have ensured that it still keeps its predecessor's water and dust-proof rating of IP67. For the buttery-fingered phone droppers out there, this is a wonderful feature that will save you a great deal of stress, even if you manage to dunk it the bath or down the toilet basin. In build terms, the metal frame that runs around the edges looks like it will be vulnerable to scuffs and damage, but otherwise the phone seems solidly constructed. It's a bit of an anti-iPhone in that respect: it may not look as sexy, but it can shrug off accidents much more stoically.

Samsung have managed to avoid adding the rubbery micro-USB cover that's present on the S5 whilst retaining the IP67 rating, which helps keep the design cleaner.

Looking Snappy

The S5 Mini's 4.5 inch screen is fine without being a major plus point. With a resolution of 720×1280 pixels and a density of 326, it's good, but not striking and falls short of being a fully HD display. Colours are exuberant and pleasing, and the screen is bright enough to use in strong sunlight painlessly.

With a 1.4GHz processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of memory (about 11 of which are available for the user), the Galaxy S5 Mini has enough power to run smoothly. It's true that you might experience occasional choppiness when you're playing more demanding games, but on the whole the phone runs well, fluidly changing between menus. You're still lumbered with the Touchwiz UI that's certainly not to everyone's taste, but it feels slimmed down and less bothersome than previous iterations and you can always change it if you're prepared to spend a little time. With a micro SD card slot that's tucked inside the casing, you'll be able to expand the memory significantly.

Additional Features

There are a few other elements of the phone that are quite distinctive. For security, you have the option of enabling the fingerprint scanner, but you may well find this more finicky than it's worth as you seem to need to have your finger in precisely the right position for it to register properly.

Samsung have included a heart rate monitor as part of their cunning plan for selling the Galaxy S5 Mini, which unfortunately ends up feeling like a bit of a gimmick. It works via sensor on the back of the phone that you hold your finger over, but by the time you've got your phone out and into position then it already seems like a bit of hassle, especially when you can check your pulse by placing two fingers on your throat and counting! I suspect that people who are genuinely interested in being able to find out their heart rate on a regular basis will already have more convenient and reliable devices, whilst for the rest of the population it will prove a bit redundant. Nice try Samsung, but it's unconvincing.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini's cameras are pretty good. Packing an 8MP rear camera with an LED flash and autofocus, you'll be able to take fairly detailed pictures with it, though as per usual with smartphones these will tend to look much better in outdoor conditions than interiors. The 2.1 MP front camera isn't exactly eagle-eyed, but it possesses more clarity and definition than many other gadget cameras, and will more than suffice for Skype conversations or doing your make-up.

There's the usual panoply of Samsung specific features like Shealth, Stranslator and so forth. The Korean company have also, as usual, thrown in an IR blaster that can be used as a remote control for your TV with the right app, and NFC connectivity alongside Bluetooth 4.0.

The S5 Mini's battery life is a middle distance runner in the quest to reach the marathon mark With normal usage it might last for around eleven hours, a time that's neither impressive nor pathetic. With intensive TLC, you might manage to eke it out a bit longer, and the S5 offers an ultra power saving mode gets rid of the colour display and effectively makes your phone dormant until you absolutely need to use it, extending the life quite dramatically.

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To read more on this model, check out the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini homepage here (opens new window).

Images

  • Enjoy the convenience of an ultra-slim and compact design
  • Be protected from the elements thanks to dust and water resistance
  • Make the most of your battery with Ultra Power Saving Mode
  • Experience stunning viewing on a 4.5-inch HD Super AMOLED screen

Model

Screen Size (inches)

Storage (gb)

Processor

Operating System

Rating

Price

Apple iPhone 5s

4

16

Dual-core

IOS 8

£N/A

Motorola Moto G

4.5

8

Quad-core

Android Kitkat 4.4

£109.00

Nokia Lumia 520

4

8

Dual-core

Windows Phone Os

£60.00

Nokia Lumia 630

4.5

8

Quad-core

Windows Phone Os

£74.95

Nokia Lumia 635

4.5

8

Quad Core

Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1

£64.91

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

4.3

8

Dual Core 1.7 Ghz

4.2.2 Jellybean

£139.99

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

4.5

16

Exynos 3 Quad 3470

KitKat 4.4.2

£234.50

Sony Xperia M2

4.8

8

Quad-core 1.2 GHz

Android OS V4.3 (Jelly Bean)

£119.99


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