About two years ago Samsung released the Galaxy S3 Mini – a budget-friendly device that borrowed its design language from the fully fledged Samsung Galaxy S3 and wrapped it around a set of low-to-mid-range hardware components. With top-range devices getting larger and larger, the whole idea behind the Mini was to offer a smaller screen on a flagship-like smartphone that costs much less than the model used as an inspiration. Needless to say, the Galaxy S3 Mini has opened the floodgates to a whole market segment. Fast forward until this year, and manufacturers such as HTC, LG and Sony are all playing the “Mini” game. Evidently, Samsung continued the legacy as well, and following the release of the SGS4 Mini last year, the manufacturer has recently announced a brand new sequel, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini.
The SGS5 Mini is still not available for purchase, but the handset is official and the hardware specifications are no longer a mystery, for the most part. We take a look at the device and see what it has to offer, especially in comparison with last year’s Galaxy S4 Mini. Care to learn more? Then without further ado, here’s our Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini overview.
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Interestingly enough, one of the very few questions that have remained unanswered in regards to the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has to do with the processor. Although the device seems to make use of a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz per core, Samsung hasn’t announced the exact type or brand of processor. In fact, word is that this is an in-house CPU, so only time will tell by how much it can outperform the 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 400 dual-core CPU used by the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
In terms of RAM, both the S4 and S5 Mini feature 1.5 GB of memory, but storage-wise the SGS5 Mini steps it up a notch by delivering 16 GB of on-board memory as opposed to 8 GB. Both models come with a microSD card slot which can be used to expand the storage by up to an additional 64 GB.
Display and Camera
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini brings a number of improvements in the display department as well. For starters, the handset’s screen now measures 4.5 inches as opposed to 4.3 inches. In addition, the SGS5 Mini sports a resolution of 720 x 1280 and a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, whereas the Galaxy S4 Mini makes use of a 540 x 960 panel with a pixel density of 256 ppi.
As far as the camera goes, both smartphones use an 8 MP sensor coupled with an LED flash. The situation is slightly different on the front panel, where the S5 Mini features a 2.1 MP sensor as opposed to a 1.9 MP unit, but overall, both smartphones are quite similar in this regard.
Design, Battery and Other Features
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini borrows its design language from the top-range SGS5, and since the flagship phone has been built out of plastic, then it would be foolish to expect otherwise from the Mini. In fact, the gadget looks extremely similar to the S5, right down to the dimpled back pattern and the metallic rim surrounding it.
The S5 Mini measures 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1 mm and weighs 120 grams, which means that the handset is both larger (on all sides) and heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. This is probably due to the fact that the S5 Mini packs a slightly larger screen, but the dust and waterproof IP67 certification may have taken its toll as well. Not to mention the fact that the SGS5 Mini’s battery is 200 mAh larger, for a total of 2,100 mAh.
In addition, the S5 Mini also features a heart rate monitor and comes with a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button.
Last but not least, the Galaxy S5 Mini will be released with Android 4.4 KitKat on-board, whereas the Galaxy S4 Mini is limited to Android 4.3. We suspect that the SGS4 Mini will receive an update, perhaps even to Android L, so the discrepancy in terms of OS isn’t really that big of an issue. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S5 Mini is a newer device and it will be supported for a longer period of time than the aging S4 Mini.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is a superior device. It’s more up to date, and although it’s not as compact as its predecessor, it does feature a better display and more sensors on-board. Nevertheless, both smartphones are built out of plastic and performance-wise it remains to be seen how these gadgets perform side-by-side.
The SGS5 Mini is a better smartphone overall, but it’s also expected to go on sale at a higher price, perhaps $150 or more higher. Would any of The Diplomat’s readers be interested in buying the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini?
Vlad Andrici is editor for gforgames.com and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.