Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review: Big enough

Big enough

GSMArena team, 17 August 2014.

Super AMOLED splendor

One of the key differences between the Samsung Galaxy S5 and its mini is the display. The latter has a 4.5" Super AMOLED panel of 1280 x 720 resolution that's good for around 326 ppi - the same as an iPhone 4 and onward. The sharpness is different at 300 ppi and 400 ppi and you will see a difference, especially in smaller text on websites and such. Having said that, anything above 300ppi will easily pass as tack sharp, even though not class leading.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini display

Since this is a Super AMOLED unit you can expect superb colors, unmatched contrast and great viewing angles, even outdoors. As with the Samsung Galaxy S5 the mini also has a number of screen modes to choose from.

Looking at the matrix of the Galaxy S5 mini under a microscope we're greeted by the PenTile diamond-shaped matrix with subpixels of different sizes - the green sub-pixels are smaller and are twice as many as the blue and red sub-pixels. The pixel arrangement can lead to visible pixilation on some UI elements but at above-300ppi density the pixilation is almost impossible to spot with the naked eye.

We performed our display test on the Galaxy S5 mini and noticed that the screen is a little dim at below 500 nits of maximum brightness. The same can be said about the Galaxy Alpha display so perhaps the Super AMOLED panel is perhaps the same.

Otherwise contrast and blacks are incredible as par for the course with AMOLEDs.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 0 226 0 432
LG G2 mini 0.12 91 752 0.52 398 748
Apple iPhone 5s 0.14 163 1145 0.49 596 1219
HTC One mini 2 0.19 220 1141 0.42 501 1196
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Sony Xperia SP - - - 0.7 568 816
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 0 228 0 456
Samsung Galaxy S5 0 274 0 529
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - - - 0.34 626 1819


Another characteristic of the Super AMOLED displays is the excellent outdoor visibility since the panel lacks a glass layer between the topmost layer and the display panel itself. This allows for low reflectivity and thus great outdoor contrast.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life test

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini holds a 2,100mAh battery that should power the device during your daily tasks. That's way more than what the Galaxy Alpha has on tap, but around the same as the battery capacity of the HTC One mini 2. It is smaller than the batteries inside the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the LG G2 mini.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini battery

In our testing the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini offers great battery life - it managed an endurance rating of 72 hour - that's the interval between charges you should expect if you use the phone for watching an hour of video, and also web browsing and calling for an hour daily.

The commendable 72-hour score is headlined by equally-solid scores on all three individual tests - 12 hours of calling, 13 hours of browsing and 11 hours of video playback. The stand-by time was good as well - we measured it to be around 250 hours.



Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

You can also find a detailed battery life test of the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini here.

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini offers two versions - a non-LTE dual-SIM variant and two LTE ones - for Europe and the US. Both support quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and quad-band HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100. The LTE bands are six in total - 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600. There's NFC on board the LTE Galaxy S5 mini but none on the dual-SIM one.

Connectivity includes dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, low-energy Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, and an infrared port. There's a microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB of storage. The MicroUSB port is 2.0 and it supports on the go.

The fingerprint scanner can communicate with your finger via a swipe down and has been certified to work with PayPal.

There's no MHL support and no way to get wired TV-Out functionality. Wireless TV-Out is available via the Miracast protocol.

Reader comments

  • Pathie

I have a same problem

  • Anonymous

and fragile lol

  • AnonD-540658

Hmm... like the S5 would get 1066 in basemark x... hm....