Samsunghas been favorite here for a long time but as Xiaomi recently started launching its latest phones in Nepal, it is early to say how the likes of Samsung, be challenged by Xiaomi’s arrival. Tens of thousands of Xiaomi phones get sold out in minutes from their official eCommerce website in mainland China and India whereas you don’t have to queue nor rush online to get the Samsung phones.
That sort of rush and wait for Xiaomi phones is not there in Nepal due to the availability of the phones online (without any registration, code or invite) and in the retail market, with a grain of salt i.e. the extra pricing compared to that in China and India.
In this post, I will be comparing the latest flagships from both of the handset makers, Samsung Galaxy S7 (Edge) and Xiaomi Mi5. As most of the hardware and features are the same with S7 and S7 edge except for the screen size, curved edges, Lil extra battery size, and weight, I will be taking them side by side.
To put into the paper, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a 5.5 inch (S7 has 5.1 inches) phone with Super AMOLED Screen, rounded rear (available in S7 as well) and additional curved edges (not available in S7) whereas Xiaomi Mi5 is a 5.15-inch phone with IPS screen, rounded rear for better grip for holding the phone. Samsung S7 is powered by Exynos 8890 Octa-core processor outside the US otherwise it is the same Snapdragon 820 processor as in Xiaomi Mi5. Samsung S7 Edge has 4 GB RAM and 32 GB of memory space while Mi5 has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. There are 64 GB versions of both the devices while another variant of Mi5 has 4 GB of RAM with a ceramic back (that is not available in the country nor the 64 GB). Samsung S7 edge has Lil protruded 12 MP rear camera with OIS, Phase detection AF, dual-LED flash, Aperture f/1.7 and 5 MP front camera whereas Mi5 has 16 MP rear camera with 4 axes OIS, PDAF, dual-tone LED flash, Aperture f/2.0 and 4 MP UltraPixel front camera. Both the camera supports 4K video recording and Slow Motion video. Mi 5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with Dual-SIM support but the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge also supports microSD cards in one of the SIM card slots whereas Mi 5 does not have a memory expansion option via microSD card. The major difference lies in the availability of type C connector in Mi5 and IP68 certified water resistance in Samsung S7. Samsung S7 Edge has a higher battery capacity (3600 mAh vs 3,000 mAh) than Mi5 but its the same 3,000 mAh in S7. The fast charging from type C connector in Mi5 normalizes the lesser battery juice as it charges 50 percent within 30 minutes. Both of the phones are quite fragile for fall due to the presence of a glass back panels whereas the metal frame makes both the phone look elegant.
Both the devices support all the cellular technologies in GSM family including popular LTE bands like FDD 1800 MHz while Mi5 additionally supports CDMA in one of the dual nano-SIM slots.
The specs in the paper tell us both devices are equally powerful, feature-full and grande. But with the design and looks, Samsung S7 (Edge) feels more premium and very comfortable to hold in the hand than Mi5, which does not mean Mi5 won’t live up to your expectations as the specs in the paper. Mi5 can be more preferable to some due to its lighter weight (129 gm vs 159 gm) and thinner size ( 7.3 mm vs 7.7 mm, 7.9 mm in S7 edge).
The screen looks better in S7 than Mi5 due to better color representation and higher resolution whereas the sunlight feature in Mi5 makes it better viewing in bright situations.
With the regular use of the phone for multitasking and gaming, I find the extra RAM in S7 was not making any difference to the performance of the phone. Both of the phones heat up while using for camera, 3G cellular data and some gaming, but I hope some optimization from the new updates will reduce the heat. Though I did not find any lags with the Samsung S7, I had some problems with the Chinese Stable MIUI in Mi5. I am pretty sure they will get rid of this problem with the new update while that sudden app crashes maybe not there for the Global stable MIUI available with the Mi5 phones in Nepal.
Though Mi5 has better optical stabilization than S7, the low lighting capturing is far superior in S7 most probably due to the dual-pixel technology and larger aperture. Auto Focus on Samsung Galaxy S7 is a lot faster and accurate compared to Mi 5. The four-megapixel rear camera in such a grande phone like Mi5 is not up to the mark at least to me. The audio trigger for shutter, Straighten, tilt-shift feature and higher value of Shutter (32s vs 10s) in the manual mode of Mi5 do not make it a better camera phone than S7. Higher ISO in Mi5 (3200 vs 800) is there to make up for the pictures of the low light which adds a lot of noise to the picture. But the photos from Mi5 in a well lit and somewhat dark situation is still better than other phones.
Here are some of the comparisons of photos from both devices.
Both of the devices come up with Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS while the regular updates in the android skin MIUI add up a new feature in Mi phones quite often. Contrary to my expectations, Mi5 has faster fingerprint sensor than S7, it may be due to the somewhat protruded front home button compared to that in Mi5. As I am quite used to with the quick screenshot in Xiaomi phones, I find that in S7 to be quite harder with both the buttons combo and palm swipe feature. Other features included in S7 are Split screen, gesture controls, S health monitor and search within the settings are nice to have.
Samsung Galaxy S7 (Edge)
No lags while doing multi-tasking.
Always on display (for clock or more)
Water resistance and dustproof
Expandable memory slot
Feels comfortable with the size and tapered back (To me, its size is comfier for holding for a long time).
The new feature adds up regularly from new update (MIUI)
Low price but equally powerful
USB type C for fast charging and easy interface.
Supports CDMA SIM too.
Price and Verdict
The challenge from Xiaomi to the Korean Giant is quite high this time due to the competitive specs at less price. Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge cost Rs 77,900 and Rs 88,900 respectively whereas Mi5 costs around Rs 49,999 in Nepal. As Mi5 costs significantly less than Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and even S7, the fast yet cheap Mi5 phone seems like a winner but the extra price for Samsung Galaxy S7 is worth it due to better looks, more features (Split screen, Gesture controls and more), better camera in low light and water resistance. If you can bear with the extra pressure on your wallet, then go for Samsung Galaxy S7 with worthy features. Samsung Galaxy S7 is a dream phone, except for the absence of USB type C port.