The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is Samsung’s great bet for the mid-range in 2014, although we continue without understanding too much this type of “mini” versions that lose the sense of the high-end, despite maintaining the noble name. of a whole Galaxy S.
With the Galaxy S5 mini, we bring you to Engadget Android the in-depth analysis of one of the smartphones called to command this year the line of devices that prioritize the quality / price ratio, and surely there will be no lack of incentives to do so.
Starting with its media nomenclature – something that already gives it enough packaging -, and ending with its design line, inherited from its older brother the Galaxy S5, this S5 mini dares to also keep the list of most important news from the Korean giant for this year: the fingerprint reader and the heart sensor.
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, video analysis
Having read the introduction that we have written and watching the video analysis, we suppose that you no longer have any doubts about Samsung’s will with this Galaxy S5 mini, since the Korean giant has wanted to maintain as much as possible the essence of its flagship terminal.
The design lines used are identical in both terminals – Galaxy S5 and S5 mini -, although Samsung has used less careful materials in the manufacture of the new “mini”, which is made entirely of plastic and loses the good feel of the back of its older brother, although it maintains the characteristic dotted pattern.
Nonetheless, the terminal is attractive and of robust construction, also adding a IP67 certification which is very striking if we pay attention to the fact that all the ports are uncovered and without the annoying waterproof covers, and that its rear cover is removable to access the battery and the microSD and microSIM slots.
We are facing a device that is comfortable to use, with a volume that adapts perfectly to the hand, and its 4.5-inch diagonal is surely in tune with more users than the sizes in which the most noble range already plays.
The Galaxy S5 mini has a 100% Samsung design, compact, light and robust, adding water resistance and the two star sensors of the year: heart monitor and fingerprint reader.
The plastic allows the device to be only 120 grams in weight, although its dimensions of 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1 millimeters could lead us to think of a less lightweight device. As for the optimization of space, the word can be improved, since frames could have been minimized anything else.
Mention also deserves the placement of the main speaker, which Samsung has brought back to the rear in its main devices this year contrary to what logic indicates, because despite the slight bulge the sound loses when the mobile is placed on A flat surface.
Little more to review in this regard, since the rest of the construction of the Galaxy S5 mini is already classic, with side buttons for power and volume, the typical Samsung central button that in this case also houses the fingerprint reader, and the rear camera placed in centered position with LED flash and heart sensor underneath.
There are no surprises and no bragging, but in terms of design this S5 mini will meet the expectations of most, also adding an IP67 certification that is appreciated especially if it does not bother, as is the case, thanks to the uncovered ports and the equally removable back.
Display and hardware
This is the key section of a “mini” version, because where we all expect a pointing device – like its older brother – but in a smaller size, Samsung brings us a terminal that lowers its claims to the mid-range, seeking to lower costs that later do not translate as they should in the final sale price, but that do put their performance in question.
The screen is not going to detract from the whole, and it is that the Koreans have made an impressive job with its next generation Super AMOLED panels, who never tire of receiving deserved compliments. As an image is worth a thousand words, we have left you in the upper gallery a comparative photo in the same circumstances with the Galaxy Note 3, and there you can see the improvement in brightness and definition of the new Samsung panels.
In this case, taking into account their 326 pixels per inch density, the 4.5-inch panel and HD 720p resolution seems more than enough to obtain an excellent reading clarity. The technology Super AMOLED has improved a lot, and although the colors remain vivid and saturated, this is no longer a problem thanks to the configuration options that Samsung includes in the settings.
The brightness is higher, which has helped greatly improve outdoor viewing even with the sun shining in bright light. Obviously there will be a loss of quality, but the terminal is fully usable in any lighting condition without any problem.
With the chosen hardware platform, the problems of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 mini do begin, although first we go with the specification table, because we know what everyone wants to see before buying a device:
|Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, specifications|
|Physical dimensions||131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1 millimeters 120 grams|
|Screen||4.5-inch Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||HD 1,280 x 720 pixels, 326 dpi|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 3470 Quad Core @ 1.4 GHz|
|Graphics processor||ARM Mali-400MP4|
|Memory||16 GB + microSD up to 64 GB|
|Version||Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Samsung TouchWiz UX|
|Connectivity||LTE Wireless 802.11 a / b / g / n 2.4 + 5 GHz with Direct WiFi GPS + GLONASS Bluetooth 4.0 NFC IR port|
|Cameras||Front: 2.1 MP Rear: 8 MP with autofocus and LED flash|
|Drums||Li-ion battery, 2,100 mAh|
|Sensors||Proximity, luminosity, digital compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, heart sensor and fingerprint reader|
|Starting price||365 euros|
|Other data||MicroUSB 2.0 charging and synchronization connector Micro-SIM slot Notification LED IP67 certification|
In general, the S5 mini is a smartphone prepared for any use that we want to give it today, although its hardware possibilities are in question if we compare other terminals of the competition that, sometimes, are even cheaper.
We will expand on this aspect further in the next section, but the surprisingly Samsung’s Exynos 3470 low power – which works in this case at 1.4 GHz and has an LTE modem – it weighs too much on the terminal, although the RAM memory is not buoyant either, which remains at 1.5 GB while others already raise the bet to 2 GB.
There are the drawbacks, because the rest of the components are as expected, with the 16 GB of internal storage (slightly less than 11 GB for the user) that can be expanded with microSD cards, or the LTE connectivity that works perfectly for that browsing speed is not a problem.
Samsung has also wanted to provide its S5 mini with connectivity Dual WiFi, with support for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, as well as a Bluetooth 4.0 LE that will be appreciated by the wearables of the Gear range and the aGPS with GLONASS that positions quickly and correctly. There is also the NFC, which as usual Samsung is integrated into the battery, nor the infrared port recovered for the cause last year.
In terms of sensors, the expected ones plus the cardiac monitor to expand the possibilities of the S Health suite and the fingerprint reader to improve the security of access to the device, and little more dressing that we can review.
The Galaxy S5 mini is a terminal for day-to-day warfare, with compensated hardware but fair power, especially in the graphics part
Performance and autonomy
We have not wanted to delve too deeply into the operation of the Galaxy S5 mini in the previous section, which we have purposely left for the cold data with the intention of talking about the performance separately.
The terminal moves correctly through the operating system, the new TouchWiz is fluid and the user experience quite acceptable, although we must talk about certain lag when returning to the desktop with the button home, perhaps due to the S Voice detection rather than a lack of optimization.
In daily use you will not notice the evident lack of power that we did notice when performing the benchmarks, especially in the graphical part, where the Exynos 3470 shows scores similar to those of the Samsung Galaxy SIII or the Nexus 4. This is where the hardware bar of this Galaxy S5 mini is, which will surely make many choose ranges highs from previous years instead of this terminal, a new-batch mid-range.
The data is what it is and we cannot ignore it, so we leave you the score table and screenshots of the Galaxy S5 mini passing through our recognition wheel:
|Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, performance|
|AnTuTu X||Standard: 19,840 points|
|3DMark||Ice Storm @ 720p v1.2: 3,812 Ice Storm Extreme @ 1080 v1.2: 2,841 Ice Storm Unlimited v1.2: 3,534|
|Epic Citadel||High Quality: 53.5 FPS @ 720p|
|Vellamo||HTML5: 1355Metal: 728Multicore: 986|
Away from the graphic power, we have to talk about a good general performance as a phone for regular use, since the S5 mini behaves well in different environments when having conversations, and has acceptable sound from both the conversation speaker and the main speaker.
However, this aspect is something to improve at Samsung, since HTC and its Boomsound or Sony have a considerable advantage in terms of sound, and the community itself usually releases patches to improve the response of Samsung terminals in that section. Also, the …