Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review, rating and latest UK deals & offers
With stiff competition in the mini flagship sector, does the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini have the credentials to be a best seller or are there too many shortcomings? Read our review and check the latest UK offers
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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Available in 4 colours
Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.
4.5 inch Super AMOLED touchscreen
8 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash
Memory card slot
Water and dust resistant
PayPal certified fingerprint sensor
Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader
With the announcement of Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, Samsung have hit back with their own waterproof sub-flagship handset, the Galaxy S5 Mini.
Mini of course isn't really mini, with a screen size of 4.5 inches, a size that Apple baulked at until the introduction of the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and 5.5 inch 6 Plus.
Previous iPhones had a 4 inch screen which the American giants deemed were as big as we would ever need.
The design of the Galaxy S5 Mini immediately strikes you as being exactly what it is, a smaller version of the S5. At least to look at. The same mottled back cover and metallic effect sides are there, and it's the same shape but of course, smaller than it's 5.1 inch brother.
At 131 x 65mm it's just over 10mm less in height and 7.5mm in width, but at 9.1mm is actually 1mm deeper. This isn't a disadvantage as it makes it easier to hold, and it is nice and light too at 120 grams. The IP67 rated waterproof casing otherwise looks virtually identical to the S5.
Great screen, but not premium
Samsung retain the bright and clear Super AMOLED screen but it is not Full HD, instead offering a 720p HD screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch against the S5's 432 PPI. It's acceptable on a 4.5 inch screen, but ensures it does not get a premium badge. The other major difference is it's not Gorilla Glass protected.
More 'missing' premium features
We have to report that the cutbacks don't end there. At 8 megapixels the camera is only half the size, in megapixels of course, of the 16MP camera of it's bigger brother, and although it includes plenty of extras including autofocus, touch to focus, LED flash, geo-tagging and face detection, a lot of the top end extras have gone.
Notably though you do get HDR and panoramic modes. Video recording is down to 1080p Full HD from Quad HD but the 2 megapixel front facing camera is retained.
With less power needed in this smaller version of Samsung's flagship android smartphone, you'll have to settle for a 1.4 GHz quad core processor and an odd sized 1.5 GB of RAM but this is more than sufficient for most people and the S5 mini handles everything comfortably with no signs of lag.
Plenty of memory options
Internal memory is still a generous 16GB and of course as with almost all Samsung handsets you can increase this up to another 64GB by adding a memory card. If that's not enough you also get 50GB of free cloud storage via Dropbox.
Still looking after your heart
The heart rate monitor has been retained, and there is little else missing here with dual band Wi-Fi for faster downloads, backed up with Wi-Fi hotspot and Wi-Fi direct functionality, ensuring you can easily get connected wherever there is a signal.
It's a 4G handset too so you can also enjoy faster downloads via your mobile network.
Version 4 Bluetooth is here too, with Enhanced Data Rate for faster file transfers and Low Energy enhancement to save your battery. You also get NFC, GPS and even an infra-red port so you can use your phone as a remote control for your television.
Slightly weak but replaceable battery
The battery is rated a slightly miserly 2100 mAh so heavy users are going to need to keep a charger to hand, but you can charge the handset via USB. Most users will need to charge the phone by the end of the the day though. The battery is user replaceable so you do have the option to carry a spare.
Overall it's a good handset with little to fault, but it's not a great one. Alongside it's nearest rival, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, it is missing an FM radio, DLNA, stereo speakers and IP68 certification which ensures you can take the Sony beyond 1.5 meters underwater.
The Z3 Compact also accepts memory cards up to 128GB, has a 2.5 GHz processor and, most important perhaps, the same superb 20.7 megapixel camera found on the Sony Xperia Z3.
All things considered then, although there isn't much to fault with the Samsung Galaxy s5 Mini but there is really no reason to choose it ahead of the Sony either unless you're a Samsung fan.
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