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.
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 larger handset is the weightier of the two, coming in at 21 percent heavier than its rival.
Both the S5 and S5 mini feature an unashamedly plastic construction.
Both devices come in a choice of the same four colors.
The fully blown Galaxy S5 has a 28 percent larger screen than the GS5 mini.
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.
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).
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.
While the Galaxy S5 packs a full 2 GB memory, the mini offers a slightly less premium 1.5 GB RAM.
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.
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 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.
Both handsets feature a fingerprint scanner for secure unlocking.
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
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.
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).
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.
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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