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Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs. Galaxy S5


July 2, 2014

The Samsung Galaxy S5 (right) and its newly announced Galaxy S5 mini sibling (left)

The Samsung Galaxy S5 (right) and its newly announced Galaxy S5 mini sibling (left)

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Between these handsets, it’s no secret that the fully blown Samsung Galaxy S5 is the more capable of the two. The real question is just how many of the premium device's feature the Galaxy S5 mini manages to retain – and the results may surprise you. Read on as Gizmag compares two of the Korean firm’s biggest handsets for 2014.


The S5 mini is smaller than its rival, but it's also a little thicker

As you would expect, the mini is the smaller handset, coming in at 8 percent shorter and 10 percent narrower than the S5. Despite this, the smaller device is actually 15 percent thicker than its rival.


The Galaxy S5 is a little heavier than the smaller handset

The larger handset is the weightier of the two, coming in at 21 percent heavier than its rival.


Both handsets feature the same plastic construction

Both the S5 and S5 mini feature an unashamedly plastic construction.


Both handsets come in a choice of four colors

Both devices come in a choice of the same four colors.

Display (size)

The Galaxy S5 offers significantly more screen real estate than its smaller sibling

The fully blown Galaxy S5 has a 28 percent larger screen than the GS5 mini.

Display (resolution)

The larger smartphone features a full 1080p resolution

There’s a significant difference in resolution here, with the Galaxy S5 coming in at a full 1,920 x 1,080, with 432 pixels per inch. For comparison, the pixel density on the S5 mini is the same as that of the iPhone 5S.


The larger smartphone packs the beefier CPU

This is a key differentiator between the two handsets, with the Galaxy S5 packing the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, one of the fastest processors you'll see in 2014. We confirmed with Samsung that the S5 mini carries the Snapdragon 400, a less powerful chip designed for mid-range handsets (and smartwatches).


Both device's offer microSD card expandability

The larger handset is available in 16 and 32 GB flavors. While Samsung has only confirmed the 16 GB version of the S5 mini, the company has stated that the choice of storage configurations for the smaller device will vary by region.

Both smartphones offer a microSD card slot for expandability.


The larger Galaxy S5 is fitted with more RAM than its rival

While the Galaxy S5 packs a full 2 GB memory, the mini offers a slightly less premium 1.5 GB RAM.


The Galaxy S5 has a larger capacity battery

The higher-end smartphone also packs the larger capacity battery. We were happy with its battery life in our tests, as it streamed video for 9 hours and 27 minutes before conking out.


The rear camera on the Galaxy S5 doubles the mini's megapixel count

Going strictly by megapixels, the Galaxy S5’s 16 MP rear camera beats the 8 MP offering on the Galaxy S5 mini. The front-facing cameras are a slightly different story, with the mini’s 2.1 MP shooter just edging out the larger handset’s 2 MP module.

Megapixels certainly aren’t everything, though, and its difficult to judge the quality of a device’s camera without significant hands-on time.


Both handsets run on the latest KitKat flavor of Android

Both devices run Android 4.4 KitKat, augmented with Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI. The company’s changes to Google’s platform are mostly aesthetic, and tend to be pretty polarizing. We’d recommend taking a closer look at the software on offer here before pulling the trigger on either handset.

Being Android smartphones, both devices provide full access to the Google Play Store, complete with its offering of more than 1.2 million applications.

Fingerprint scanner

Both devices are fitted with a fingerprint scanner

Both handsets feature a fingerprint scanner for secure unlocking.

Heart-rate sensor

Both devices feature a heart-rate sensor

Impressively, the mid-range Galaxy S5 mini features the same heart-rate monitor found on its big brother. They sit on the phones' backsides, just below the rear cameras.

Ultra power saving mode

Both handsets feature the company's Ultra Power Saving Mode

The handsets offer the company’s Ultra Power Saving Mode that closes down all but the most essential apps and services, allowing users to eke out a few more hours of precious battery life.

Water resistance

Both devices feature IP67 dust and water resistance

Both smartphones feature IP67 dust and water resistance, something that can’t be said of some other leading handsets such as the HTC One (M8).


Samsung is yet to provide a timescale for the S5 mini's global roll out

The Galaxy S5 launched earlier this year, while the mini is set to launch first in Russia later this month (July). Samsung has confirmed that the smaller device will see global release, though it’s yet to provide a road map for the roll out.

Starting Price

There's no word on pricing for the S5 mini

The Galaxy S5 comes in at US$650, which seems to be the current go-to price point for premium handsets. There’s no word yet on how much the Galaxy S5 mini will cost, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it hit a price point similar to competing mid-range handsets such as the HTC One mini 2 or iPhone 5C.

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About the Author
Chris Wood Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones.   All articles by Chris Wood
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