Staring at the competition
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has been launched to corner the competition from the compact handheld smartphones. It’s an improved version of its predecessor the Galaxy S4 Mini. Other brands like HTC One Mini2, Sony Xperia Z1 compact, iPhone5C, and LG G3 Beat have already stormed the market and Samsung being the market leader obviously wanted to cover this spectrum too.
The advantage of the phone over its standard version the Galaxy S5 is its price. It’s been smartly priced at Rs 26499 and a good value for money for consumers wanting to buy a high end phone at an economical price.
The Cover frame
Touted as slim phone weighing only 120 grams with a width of 9.1mm it boasts of a vivid display with a 4.5 inch HD Super AMOLED display that promises to bring pictures to live. The main display has 720*1280 high definition resolution and with the colour depth of 16mm. Like the standard version, the mini S5 also boasts of the dust & water resistant features and has IP67 certification.
The smartphone promises security and unlocks only when the user imprints his finger on the home key. This was tested but one had to imprint the finger twice or thrice to unlock the phone. The pixel density is 326 PPI and the pictures are sharp. The mini version though looks the same at an outward glance and fits nicely into one’s palm; it does not provide the same sophistication as its lead version because of the difference in the price. One needs to handle it carefully as the glossy finish of the frame can lead to accidental slide from the user’s hands.
The USB socket is 2.0 and not 3.0 as the standard version and thereby may affect the speed of the data transfer. The headphone socket is 3.5 mm stereo. The mini version is available in Black, White, Blue and Gold too. Applications like GPS, Wi-Fi, Blue tooth is available as usual.
Features which are unique to the mini version are the S Health app which is a personal fitness tracker and the finger print scanner. The device is compatible with Samsung Gear or Gear Fit offering great functionality.
The Hardware Run
The Galaxy S5 mini has 1.4 GHz Quad Core CPU with a RAM size of 1.5GB. This is not much compared to other compact phones like Sony Xperia which offers 2GB RAM. But the phone supports instant messaging and twitter functions of the users with ease and supports multitasks too. The battery offers up to 10 hours of talk time which is healthy.
The Battery Backup features of S5 mini is unique as the display changes to Black & White when the battery is inching towards low level and shuts down some of the features to optimize battery use. This power saving mode of the phone is an attractive feature as calls disconnecting suddenly would be a rarity as the user will be well aware of the battery mode and can charge the phone in time.
The Camera Zone
The touchscreen phone offers both the main camera that is at the back and a front camera for the selfie generation. The main camera has a CMOS 8.0 megapixel which is less compared to the 20.0 offers in other mini versions. The front camera has CMOS 2.1 megapixel which is also less compared to some mid segment phones that offer a minimum 5 MP. Flash feature is available only with the main camera.
However due to its compact size and the AMOLED display , the pictures will be of high quality as the pixels will be wedged closely to offer sharp images that are vivid and crystal clear.
The phone runs on the latest Android Kitkat 4.4 which is the latest which helps multitasking and other functions. That assures optimized memory management.
The network compatibility of the phone is varied and tunes itself well to 2G/3G/CDMA and even 4G LTE making it the most advanced in the market. The phone has sensors galore like HR sensor, Proximity sensor, geomagnetic sensors, Hall sensor, Gyro sensor, Accelerometer and even light sensors.
The mini version is certainly geared to meet the future network requirements of its users.
The phone has both micro-SIM and microSD slots with 16GB memory offering the users the option of saving their favorite pictures and videos.
The battery backup is quiet strong with 2100mAh battery and offers long time internet usage of 8 hours under 3G and up to 11 hours under Wi-Fi , video playback of up to 11 hours, and audio playback time of 47 hours .
The Final Word
The makers of the mini version have attempted to provide a superior product at a reasonable price and have succeeded to a certain extent. Although in terms of its high resolution or the hard space it has compromised the features to suit the mini version, it does not compromise on the ability of the smartphone to deliver on its core features. The phone offers crystal clear pictures, clarity of sound, a good battery backup, and compatibility with different radio spectrum.
Is it a good buy compared to other phones in the market? Certainly yes, as the smartphone is similar to its standard version in many ways and offers unique features like the heart sensor and is also super sleek.
From a consumer point of view, it is a good buy for users having the average usage of the phone. Apart from the basic features of the phone,the user can effortlessly use the phone for social interactions with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Will the S5 beat the competition? Maybe, as it offers its high end features at a low price. A consumer who is aware of the brand and who has used the other variants of the same brand is more likely to buy the mini version as it is comfortable and effortless to use. The smart-phone’s user friendly features are its biggest trump card.