Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review

The Galaxy S5 gets shrunk, but smaller isn't always better

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Honey, I shrunk the Galaxy S5 Mini!

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HTC One Mini 2

The HTC One Mini 2 is probably the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini's biggest competitor with the two handsets taking cues from arguably the two biggest Android flagships of 2014.

If you like your smartphone to look and feel great the metal unibody of the One Mini 2 easily beats the all-plastic Galaxy S5 Mini which just seems cheap and toyish in comparison.

I also found the general performance on the One Mini 2 was slightly better, with more fluidity and shorter loading times compared to the S5 Mini.

HTC One Mini 2

The S5 Mini did impress in the battery department, and that's the one real area where the HTC handset falls down. It doesn't have awful battery life, but it certainly isn't as good as the Galaxy S5 Mini.

You also get Boomsound and a strong 13MP snapper on the One Mini 2, where as the S5 Mini makes do with a tinny mono speaker and 8MP lens.

While the fingerprint and heart rate sensors are a nice touch they don't quite cut the mustard.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Another close competitor to the Galaxy S5 Mini, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact may be a few months older but it still boasts significantly better specs.

Sony has managed to cram in the same 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 20.7MP rear camera you find in the full fat Xperia Z1, while the screen is squashed down to a 4.3-inch 720p offering.

Like the S5 Mini, the Z1 Compact is also dust and water resistant, although there is a fiddly flap covering the charging port on the Sony, while battery life stands up well.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Considering the powerful camera Sony has packed into the Xperia Z1 Compact the results aren't as special as you might think, and its screen is no match for Samsung's Super AMOLED offering.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is a true flagship phone in a smaller body and the performance shows.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 laid the foundations for the S5 Mini, and the two handsets share the same design, interface, heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner.

Sadly though Samsung hasn't carried over the power of the 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM found inside the S5 to its mini reincarnation.

You also benefit from a 5.1-inch full HD display and 16MP rear facing camera on the Galaxy S5, compared to the S5 Mini's 4.5-inch 720p screen and 8MP snapper.

Samsung Galaxy S5

With the additional grunt the Galaxy S5 is a slicker, faster and all round better performing handset, although there is a price to pay and unsurprisingly it's more expensive than the S5 Mini.

If you really like the look of the Galaxy S5 but either can't afford it, or want a phone which is a little more manageable in the hand the Galaxy S5 Mini does a decent job of aping its big brother - but some of the compromises are pretty obvious.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.