Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Preview: a small phone that can get wet


WhistleOut
09 July 2014

The Galaxy S5 Mini has been unveiled with official specs and a potential round-about release date. Set to make its debut in Russia this month, Samsung has promised that a global rollout will soon follow.

Of course, the S5 Mini sports an almost identical design to the Galaxy S5 flagship model, but unlike last year Samsung hasn't just stripped out all the flagship features and gone with a nuts & bolts slimmed-down model.

In 2013 the Mini market was flooded with devices that were essentially the same, but this time around there are some differences to actually choose between. Where the One Mini 2 and Xperia Z1 Compact both focus on camera quality (13MP and 20.7MP respectively), the Galaxy S5 has just an 8MP shooter around the rear. In fact, Samsung doesn’t seem to have changed the camera at all from the S4 Mini to the S5 Mini.

What the S5 Mini does have is an IP67 water-resistance rating, a fingerprint scanner on the front and the flagship S5’s heartrate monitor on the back. The Z1 Compact may be water-resistant also, but it doesn't have the other features and the One Mini 2 doesn't have any of them.

The goods

Like the rest of this year’s mid-range pack, the S5 Mini has a 720p HD resolution. The screen itself is 4.5 inches, which isn’t really that ‘mini’ but we gave up on expecting small Android phones a long time ago.

Running the Android 4.4 show is a quad-core 1.4GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Onboard storage is 16GB with a microSD slot to expand that up to a further 64GB.

Impressions

Overall the Galaxy S5 Mini what we expected but with a few surprises. We certainly didn’t think Samsung would sacrifice camera quality in favour of gimmicks like the heart-rate monitor and the questionably-popular fingerprint scanner. Camera quality is a much bigger concern for the majority of buyers, so we’re not sure how keen we are with this decision.

We’re happy to see the IP67 water-resistance rating which. We had no idea if that would make the cut, but it’s an important feature and Samsung has done well to include it.

You can make a sure bet that the Galaxy S5 Mini will sell well on its name alone, but so far the One Mini 2 is sounding like a more-useful device to us, based purely on its camera. Of course, MP rating is by no means an accurate way to judge camera quality, so we’ll hold off on deciding which we prefer until we’ve got our greedy hands on both units.


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