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.
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||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
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.
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.
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.
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.