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Xiaomi Mi 5s vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: The $300 Difference

by Linus 10

Xiaomi is the Chinese company that constantly challenges the concept of flagship smartphones by producing some devices that have top-shelf specs, premium design and a very low price. The Mi 5s is one of those phones. How does it stack up against the  8 month old Samsung Galaxy S7 edge? Learn more in our comparison review.

VIDEO REVIEW

PRICE

First of all, the price. The prices of the Mi 5s start at about $330 via the third part resellers. The Galaxy s7 edge still costs at least as twice as much despite the fact it was released back in March.

In addition, please check out our in-depth Xiaomi Mi 5s review and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review for more details.

DESIGN

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When it comes to the design, we have a little bit different approaches here but let’s talk about the similarities first.

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Both phones look and feel premium but the Mi 5s has unibody metal design as opposed to the glass on the S7 edge, which attracts fingerprints and smudges very easily….but you can always wash those smudges out as the Galaxy s7 edge is water resistant.

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Both devices have capable selfie shooters, notification LED lights and fingerprint scanners on the front. The Mi5 s is a clear winner when it comes to fingerprint security as it is simply faster and more reliable.

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The Mi 5s ships with just 5.15” 1080p display but the S7 edge is not that larger despite the fact it has a 5.5” 2k resolution panel.

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Speaking of those displays, both are great but the S7 edge has a better overall panel, which looks sharper, more punchy and more visible outdoors.

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When it comes to optics, we have 12MP Sony shooters on both devices. The S7 edge has an edge since it has a built-in OIS and a much brighter f/1.7 aperture as opposed to f/2.0 aperture on the Mi 5s.

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As for loudspeakers, neither phone will impress you. Still, the Galaxy device has a better sound quality. Keep in mind that that S7 edge uses the micro USB port whereas the Mi 5s uses the USB type C port.

HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

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When it comes to hardware, things are getting interesting since the Xiaomi Mi 5s is a more powerful phone, at least on paper.

I have the high-end model that sports a brand new Snapdragon 821 chip, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and whopping 128GB UFS 2.0-based storage.

You can also opt in for a lower-end model that has 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Keep in mind, however, that only the high-end model has a pressure-sensitive display.

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The Galaxy S7 edge is already 8 months old but it still rocks some impressive hardware components.

My review unit is the EU model and it sports a home-brewed octa-core Exynos 8890 chip with the clock speeds of up to 2.6GHz, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.

As expected, both phones can handle anything you throw at them and the latest 3D just fly.

USER INTERFACE

Xiaomi and Samsung have completely different approaches when it comes to the user interface.

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The Mi 5s runs on the MIUI 8, which is based on Android 6.0.

As usual, we have a ton of customization options, various settings, tweaks and little features to make the phone look your own.

One of the key features is the pressure-sensitive display, which works great with certain apps. It is not a feature I can’t live without but hey, if you get used to using it, it may increase your productivity.

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The Galaxy S7 edge runs on the very familiar Touchwiz skin.

If you’ve used a Samsung device before, you will feel pretty familiar with the user interface. We have a bit cartoonish looking icons, a lot of quick settings toggles and what has become usual to the South-Korean manufacturer, quite a lot of features and customization options.

One of my favorite features is the always-on display, which makes the best out the power-efficient Amoled panel.

Both phones are pretty similar in terms of the UI performance as everything has been running smoothly without any lag.

IMAGE QUALITY

Xiaomi Mi 5s:

Galaxy s7 edge:

When it comes to the image quality, the Galaxy S7 edge is a better performer in most of the situations as the pictures usually look sharper and have more detail.

The s7 edge also tends to perform better in low-light thanks to the faster lens and OIS. Also, the Samsung phone shoots 4k videos that one of the best on any phone.

Still, the Xiaomi Mi 5s does a fairly impressive job both in picture taking and 4k video recording, and it definitely has one of the best cameras in its price range.

BATTERY LIFE

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When it comes to the battery life, both phones perform great.

The Xiaomi Mi 5s has a smaller 3100mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0 but the phone does not ship with the fast charger. The phone will get you through the day even if you are a heavy user and you will get at least two full days if you are a light user. That translates to over 6 hours of screen-on time, depending on the usage.

The S7 Edge has a 3600mAh battery that can be charged using the supplied fast charger in just 1:15 mins. Also, you can charge the phone wirelessly, which is very convenient in practice.

The battery life is very similar on the Galaxy phone. You will get around 2 full days or around 5-6 hours of SOT, depending on the usage.

CONCLUSIONS

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So, there you have it, Xiaomi Mi 5s vs. Galaxy S7 edge.

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Obviously, the S7 edge is a better phone overall but the Xiaomi Mi 5s is no slouch at all.

Sure, the Galaxy phone has a better camera, water resistance, wireless charging, sharper display but when I say better, the gap is not always that significant.

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The Mi 5s is comparable to the Galaxy S7 edge in some of the departments and it is even better in others like 128GB of on-board storage or more features in the UI.

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Even though the Samsung phone has an edge, the Xiaomi Mi 5s is a very solid phone, for half the price.

Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • Raky_b

    well, s7 (flat) costs around 500-520€ here in Norway, and on price of Mi5s we need to pay 25% VAT, so it’s price starts with cca 420$.
    it’ not that good device and it come without international warranty…

    • fdotnet

      Well the S7 costs the same in Germany, but you can get the Mi5s from gearbest for 326 eur. And they offer warranty and have great service when it comes to returns (tried them myself).

      • Raky_b

        Hopefully newer have to test it, but i’ll trust you on that.
        Manufacturer guarantee is what bothering me, when i tried to contact Xiaomi, they just pedal me off… “the do not have international guarantee” they said. Same things with software issues, as with problems with Mi ID.
        If community did not found solutions for problems, you are on your own… Xiaomi just doesn’t care.
        And i bought that phone in Singapore, and just to go back to for a fix a phone… I mean, i like that city and i will definitely go again, but not in a same year, and after that time, warranty has expired.

    • Wolvie

      Yeah that’s the big problem with Xiaomi, they don’t provide international warranty so anything happened to your xiaomi bought from china (touch wood) then you need to send back to china for repair.

      As for 25% VAT tax i cannot advise anything , maybe only ask the seller politely (ahem) to put a lesser price on their invoice so you pay lesser tax. But of course don’t ask them to put a super ridiculous low price like $50.

      For CAMERA quality, samsung still MUCH better than Xiaomi or other brands *sigh*.

      2 weeks ago my redmi Note 3 pro i compared to my friend’s samsung galaxy s6 taken indoor with low light and i was totally defeated *sad* This is one of the main reason why she like to buy samsung.

      • Raky_b

        Off course, everyone have their own needs and reasons. I really couldn’t care less for front facing camera, but black bazels around screen are deal breaker, as Edge screen are too…
        But thing is, even with this new processor and a shiny 6GB of RAM, you cannot say that this 3T is better choice than f.e. Sgs7.
        And there is so many reasons why…

        I was pretty happy with Xiaomi devices until i had first problems with Mi4i.
        After that one i did buy only one more Xiaomi (redmi 3s),and i would recommend to anyone to buy Xioami if they are looking for device up to 150€ (although, there are some Huawei and Lenovo models on European markets that are great options too), but spending more on something that comes without warranty is just crazy.

        Anyway, OP does not have that problem, in case of emergency, you just need to send it back in some of EU storage, and wait. Don’t know how quickly they are handling problems, but i guess it is much quicker than if you had to send to one of Chinese retailers i case of other phones.

        Back on VAT topic, no way custom slips it, we need to add a recipe for stuff, and we are paying 25% on top of that, including shipping costs.
        Thats why OP was better to order from China than EU (400$ vs. 400€).
        But that is this country specific (and some others that are not members of EU, i guess).

  • RM199724

    Happy Mi5 owner. Had it for half a year now. I bought the phone as a replacement for the S6 Edge which was definitely the worst phone I ever had.
    Paid $300 all in. (I’m in the Netherlands)

    P. S. Older models but Mi5 battery life is literally double that of S6 Edge battery life! No joke.

  • Toufik Liverpool

    hello.
    which one are good MI5 or MI5S ?

  • Sel

    The battery life on the MI 5S is just bad. Hope they have an update to fix how quickly it drains! Heavy user here and barely lasts a day. Aside that, great phone overall for me

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