The "1-Minute" Review
- Frustrating fingerprint scanner
- Plasticky design
- Mid-tier performance
- Weak low-light camera performance
With a smaller screen, slightly slower internals and a much lower price tag, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini hopes to dominate the mid-range market. But will it live up to the hype of its much-touted bigger sibling? Let’s take a look at the reviews and find out.
In many ways, the S5 Mini is simply a shrunken version of the S5. Trusted Reviews sums up the phone’s appearance well, stating, “The S5 Mini is every bit the spitting image of the S5.” The phone features a soft, dimpled back for excellent grip, tactile buttons, a chrome-like bezel and maintains the P67 water resistance of the full-size S5.
While not metal like some of the other choices in this price bracket, the phone’s grip and construction receives positive reviews. Most agree with Android Central, calling the phone’s design “Solid, but nothing special.”
With a 4.5-inch, 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display, the screen features the same pixel density as Apple’s Retina displays. Reviews all mentioned great outdoor visibility, snappy colors and crisp text. Trusted Reviews called it “a great screen” while TechRadar called it “impressive.”
One area where the S5 Mini differs from its larger predecessor is performance and internal specs. The phone features a quad-core 1.4GHZ processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Reviews were consistent with Android Central saying, “It's fast enough as to not feel slow, but there's a tangible difference compared to the top-level Android phones of the moment.”
Unfortunately, when really pushed, the phone appears to expose a bit of its weakness. TechRadar says, “The lack of flagship power becomes more apparent when you fire up more intensive apps.” However, all reviews agree that the phone has plenty of power for most users and average day-to-day tasks.
Fortunately, there does appear to be a benefit in scaling back the performance. Battery life on the device rates as the best in its class. Most reviewers noted exceptional battery life with CNet predicting, “If you're fairly careful with your usage you should be able to get a day out of it.” Should you need to charge your phone during the day, TechRadar found that an hour of charge time offered nearly 50-percent of a charge.
The S5 Mini’s 8MP rear camera and 2.1MP front-facing cameras were received generally well. Reviews noted a muddled appearance to low-light shots but found outdoor and well-lit shots to be detailed and crisp. Android Central called the camera a “competent mid-range shooter.”
Other features of the phone include support for microSD cards and a built-in heart monitor that powers the extensive S Health fitness app suite.
There were a two concerns listed in most reviews. Both TechRadar and Android Central feel that the phone is price slightly higher than it should be compared to its competition. Also, the fingerprint scanner on the phone is just as finicky as the scanner on the S5 with Trusted Reviews calling it “a hit and miss affair.”
Overall, Android Central sums up reviews well when they say, “If you place value on features, you'll find plenty to like here.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Samsung released the Galaxy S5 mini on July 31, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini user manual here.
Samsung backs up the Galaxy S5 mini with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Galaxy S5 mini has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.