Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7: Can There Be Two Winners?

30.01.2017

Name a smartphone brand that comes to your mind first. Most people burst out “Samsung”. No wonder. This Seoul-based tech giant is widely known for making amazing products. And its biggest achievement, Galaxy S smartphone lineup, has everything you seek in a gadget: design, power, and convenience.

Xiaomi may not be so much heard of in the western countries yet, but there is one thing everybody associates it with — wallet-friendly prices.

Today their greatest smartphones so far, Xiaomi Mi 5 and Samsung Galaxy S7, will enter an exciting fray. By way of comparison, we will find out which of them is faster, tougher and eventually better. They are both all-around accomplished smartphones and have a lot in common. So which one do you bet on?

Design and build quality

Both smartphones use only premium quality materials and both have a few color options to choose from. They both sport a double-glass panel and an aluminum chassis. Mi 5’s body in its most expensive modification is pure ceramics.

Mi 5 also turned out to be lighter (139 g vs. 152 g), taller and thinner. The phone sits nicely in hands, so it just cannot slip out. Galaxy S7 is IP68 certified, being water and dust resistant. And that is where Samsung earns its first score because we think that phone safety is above all.

Though if you want to enjoy your handset completely and you think its premium design plays a major part there, then any of the two devices will be a good choice.

Display

They both have spectacular sharp displays with wide viewing angles, protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

Samsung Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch QHD Super OLED display with incredible 588ppi pixel density rate. Mi 5 exercises a FULL HD IPS 5.15-inch display with 428 ppi. If we jump to the screen both smartphones greet us with a nice display to body ratio, Mi 5 comes ahead (73.1% vs. 72.1%). But we could not but see that Galaxy S7 had more saturated colors with deeper blacks.

It is really hard to decide which smartphone we will go along with this time, especially when Xiaomi Mi 5’s small resolution screen also promises to save more battery life. But we think Galaxy S7 is more competent in this department.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

Screen size

5.15″

5.1″

Screen resolution

1080 × 1920

1440 × 2560

Processor and RAM

We are at the point where anyone who owns a smartphone knows about CPU or GPU or RAM more than a computer specialist thirty years ago. And we should, because to know means to be aware of the possibilities of device to able to enjoy its performance at every level.

Galaxy S7 comes with a Snapdragon 820. It also has an exquisite counterpart with company’s own 2.3 GHz octa-core Exynos 8890 chip. Xiaomi Mi 5 has been made with quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor under the hood. Its frequency varies depending on the model. Storage wise Mi 5 offers 3 GB or 4 GB. Adreno 530 graphics processor pairs with both (Exynos 8890-based Samsung S7 has Mali-T880 on board).

Both guarantee swift reaction in apps. Samsung S7 works seamlessly in one kind of apps and Mi 5 is a champ in other. Mi 5 supports a much higher refresh rate in games. And that appealed to us most. So we give Mi 5 the thumbs up. Synthetic benchmarks will prove our right.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

Chipset

Snapdragon 820

Snapdragon 820

CPU

Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo

Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo

RAM

4 GB

4 GB

GPU

Adreno 530

Adreno 530

ROM

128 GB

64 GB (TF-card up to 256 GB)

Camera

We are getting down in the heat of this battle. Mi 5 has an impressive image resolution and color saturation level, while Samsung delegate is more capable taking photos in low-light conditions. Its photos have a more than satisfying sharpness, level of detail and less noise. Mi 5 does not have that poor lower-light performance, it is just that Samsung S7 is more adept.

Round the back of Galaxy S7, you will find an all-seeing 12 MP camera with a combination of f/1.7 aperture and 1.4 µm pixel size. It has optical image stabilization for an improved picture quality.

Xiaomi Mi 5 does not feel inferior thanks to its 16 MP sensor with 4-axis stabilization, wide f/2.0 aperture, and 1.12 µm pixel size. Mi 5 has a great phase detection autofocus, but Galaxy S7 proved to have even better speed at taking photos, and with that, it can definitely stand up to rivals.

Xiaomi Mi 5 makes use of HTC-invented 4 Ultrapixel selfie camera with an even wider f/2.0 aperture and bigger (2.0 µm) pixel size. But Samsung also takes chances with new technology and its inventiveness is realized in its phone cameras. Galaxy S7’s front snapper shows decent results owing to its 5 MP sensor and wide f/1.7 aperture. We shot some fantastic selfies with both of them. And still, Xiaomi camera struggled in a bad light that is why Samsung Galaxy S7 gets a point.

Take a look at the pictures below. Samsung Galaxy S7 — to the right, Xiaomi Mi 5 — to the left.

If we delve into video-recording the only thing these smartphones have in common is the ability to shoot 4K at 30 fps. Which is good for both, because 4K becomes a new standard right, now and we probably should not bother much about the rest. But until the world is fully conquered by 4K, Galaxy S7 offers 1080p at 30 fps or 60 fps, 2K at 30 fps and 720p at 240 fps. Xioami Mi 5 is limited to 1080p at 30 fps and 720p at 120 fps in slow-motion. Samsung has a better sound and detail level in Full HD videos. Xiaomi Mi 5 attracts with its realistic colors and image stabilization. We say: if you want to get away with the best one, Galaxy S7 camera will help you 100%.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

Front camera

4.0 Ultrapixel, f/2.0, 1/3″ sensor size, 2µm pixel size

5.0 MP, f/1.7

Back camera

16.0 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, 4-axis OIS, 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size

12.0 MP, f/1.7, phase detection autofocus, OIS, 1/2.6″ sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size

Storage capacity

Both smartphones come with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory. Mi 5 also has a 128 GB iteration, whereas Samsung Galaxy S7 is given a Micro SD slot to increase a storage space up to 256 GB. It is really tough to decide what is more convenient — a massive inbuilt storage of Mi 5 or expandable memory via an SD card of Galaxy S7... Samsung makes it more convincing, even though we need to splurge on the SD card.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

RAM

4 GB

4 GB

ROM

128 GB

64 GB (TF-card up to 256 GB)

Operation system (OS)

One more conflict that pits Galaxy S7 against Mi 5: which operation system is more usable and likable?

Xiaomi Mi 5 employs MIUI 7 — a simple OS that reminds greatly of iOS. Samsung Galaxy S7 makes use of TouchWiz UI, which was criticized as to have many unnecessary apps. Now we see TouchWiz slightly refined and it looks a little bit like Android. MUIU 7 does not have much blows and whistles and simply works, while TouchWiz looks more complicated but still packs a lot of interesting settings. This time we let you decide which one is better because both of them can find their user.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

OS

Android 6.0 Marshmallow, MIUI 7

Android 6.0 Marshmallow, TouchWiz UI

Connectivity

Both devices are monsters in terms of connectivity capabilities. They support dual SIM dual standby, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 and more. They also have GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and BDS. Here Xiaomi beats Samsung by a hair with just better sound quality during phone calls.

Samsung offers Samsung Pay and NFC chip for mobile payments. Mi 5 supports NFC technology either but the company needs to work on payment more. Mi 5’s IR-blaster and USB Type-C 3.0 (vs. 2.0 in Galaxy S7) give it a fair advantage.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

Network type

GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE

GSM, HSPA, LTE

Connectivity

2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, HSPA, LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, USB Type-C

2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, HSPA, LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, BDS

Bluetooth

V4.2

V4.2

Battery

Both smartphones are equipped with a 3000 mAh in-built battery, but Mi 5 has a lithium-polymer type and Samsung S7 sports a lithium-ion one. Both devices support Qualcomm rapid charge technology, but Xiaomi has an enhanced 3.0 version vs. 2.0 in Samsung S7. 30 minutes is enough for Mi 5 to fill the tank to 83%, while Samsung’s battery can rejuvenate to 60%.

Both batteries lost all their charge after more than a day and a half of intensive use (watching videos, playing games, using social media, listening to music). We shall not forget that Mi 5 has a smaller screen resolution that draws less power. Samsung does have many battery saving tricks up its sleeve, but Xiaomi gives it a mighty punch with its powerful battery.

Phone

Mi 5

Galaxy S7

Battery

Lithium-po

Lithium-ion

Battery capacity

3000 mAh

3000 mAh

Additional features

To make things work even better both smartphones have a good amount of additional features: fingertip sensor, gyroscope, barometer, and accelerometer. Samsung also brings in a heart rate and SpO2 sensors, S health app, S Voice app and KNOX security system. And for that, it receives a pat on the back.

Summary

In some departments, the difference between the two was very distinct, while in other affairs they showed equal results. Xiaomi is still almost two times cheaper. In any case, both get our approving. So no matter which one you pick you will be satisfied.

Here is one last look at their best sides.

Samsung Galaxy S7:

  • Bigger display and resolution
  • Better camera
  • IP68 certificate
  • Micro SD card support

Xioami Mi 5:

  • Durable battery
  • USB Type-C 3.0 and IR-blaster
  • Better graphics performance
  • 40% cheaper
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