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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: What’s different?

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Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: What’s the difference?

As the HTC One Mini 2 is to the One M8 or the Xperia Z1 Compact to the Xperia Z1, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is the smaller smartphone sibling of the Galaxy S5.

Set to go on sale in Russia first with a UK release date hopefully not too far behind, the S5 Mini makes some compromises in the specs department in a bid to make it more affordable, but how much are you really missing out on?

We compare the specs of the S5 Mini and Galaxy S5 to find out.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Design and Dimensions

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: Dimpled plastic back, 9.1mm thick, 65mm wide, 120g
Samsung Galaxy S5: Dimpled plastic back, 8.1mm thick, 73mm wide, 145g

Staying true to its new style direction, Samsung maintains its decision to drop the glossy plastic rear for the more textured matte plastic finish. It's definitely a marked improvement in terms of look and feel compared to the previous generation of Galaxy handsets, but it's still by no means as sleek or lavishly crafted as the One M8, the Xperia Z2 or even the One Mini 2. You will at least be able to own both in the same colour schemes, so that includes Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold.

The S5 wins on slimness while the S5 Mini with a smaller body is understandably the lighter of the two handsets, but both offer the same IP67 certified dust and water resistance, which means you can take it for dip in the bath. The S5 Mini also gets the same fingerprint and heart rate sensors included on the flagship phone with support for Samsung’s Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit wearable devices.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on video review

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Screen

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 4.5-inch Super AMOLED 720p HD display, 326ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5: 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 1080p HD display, 489ppi

Despite the obvious differences in screen size, the S5 Mini drops to a 720p HD screen that matches the One Mini 2 and the Xperia Z1 Compact for sharpness. The S5’s 1080p HD screen is one of the brightest and most colourful we’ve seen on a smartphone and it's by no means a surprise that the S5 Mini doesn't match it for resolution.

The good news is that Samsung still uses a Super AMOLED panel so you can expect good contrast and black levels that should still make it great for watching videos, even if it doesn't have the deliver the same superior levels of sharpness as the S5. Also, let's not forget that that 326 pixels per inch of the S5 Mini means it's just as sharp as the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5S and that's more than sharp enough.

See Also: Samsung Galaxy S5 tips, tricks and secret features

S5 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Power and Storage

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: Quad-core CPU, 1.4GHz, 1.5GB RAM
Samsung Galaxy S5: Snapdragon 801 CPU 2.5GHZ, 2GB RAM

The S5 runs on the upgraded version of the Snapdragon 800 chipset, helping to make it one of the most powerful smartphones available alongside the Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8. That’s accompanied by enough RAM to take care of multitasking and keep features like Multi-Window running smoothly.

Samsung has not specified the type CPU nestled beneath the S5 Mini's plastic exterior, but it’s highly likely to be a Snapdragon 400 Quad-core CPU. That would essentially give it the same kind of processing power as the One Mini 2, which runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU albeit clocked at a lower 1.2GHz.

In the storage department, the S5 Mini is only available in a 16GB model unlike the 32GB option with the S5, but you do have the back up option of a microSD memory card slot with support of up to 64GB giving you substantial amount of room for content like videos and music.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Software

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: TouchWiz, Android 4.4 KitKat
Samsung Galaxy S5: TouchWiz, Android 4.4 KitKat

Both are of course Android phones at heart and as Samsung handsets, both come with the TouchWiz UI overlaid on top of Google’s mobile operating system. Android 5.0 L is not arriving on smartphones until later this year so the S5 and S5 Mini are running on the latest versions of Android.

That means you not only get one of the cleanest and most intuitive version of Samsung's take on Android, but you also get to benefit from heavily integrated features like S Health and design tweaks like the new-look settings switches.

Additionally, both offer Bluetooth 4.0 and IR remote support, so you can use them as remote control replacements and connect to wireless headphones and wearables like smartwatches.

See Also: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2

S5 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Camera

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 8-megapixel main camera with autofocus and LED flash
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16-megapixel ISOCELL camera, 1/2.6-inch sensor, LED flash

The S5’s camera was one of the most upgraded features from the Galaxy S4 with a new ISOCELL sensor to generate better colour reproduction and phase detection autofocus for faster focusing among the latest additions. What we know about the S5 Mini is that it won’t match the S5 for megapixels or benefit from the new autofocusing technology, but it will have an LED flash to help generate more rewarding low-light photography.

You will also get to utilize some of the S5 camera modes on the S5 Mini, like Virtual Tour Shot, and there’s the same 2-megapixel front-facing camera to take care of selfie action.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5: Battery

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 2,100mAh, removable battery
Samsung Galaxy S5: 2,800mAh, removable battery

Looking at the numbers, there doesn’t appear to be a dramatic difference in the S5 and the S5 Mini’s reserves, but the crucial difference is that the larger Samsung handset also has the benefit of the battery optimisations that comes courtesy of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor. This helps push the S5’s battery life well over a day and half and that’s without tapping into the power-saving modes.

The good news is that the S5 Mini also packs the same Ultra Power Saving mode, which provides a simplified interface in black and white to promise equally impressive power reserves. How it will last in use, however, is something we'll only know when we get one in for a full review.

Next, read our guide to Samsung's Tizen OS

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