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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. S5 Mini: only a small difference

Sterling Keys (translation)
0

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini has managed to remain as true to the original Galaxy S5 as possible.  Whereas in the past, mini versions have been mostly dumbed down versions of the flagship devices they mimicked, the Galaxy S5 Mini stands up to par with the Galaxy S5 in the important areas, but still retains some small but important differences between the two. We’ll highlight all of them in our comparison between the two devices.

s5 s5 mini teaser
Two "brothers" compared: The Galaxy S5 (left) and the Galaxy S5 Mini (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

Design

The S5 Mini definitely holds up to its name. The design and material selection are almost identical for both devices: both have the rubber back that is slightly textured and the housing is the same wide chrome frame that is made out of the Samsung standard polycarbonate.

s5 s5 mini camera 2
 The back of the S5 and S5 Mini are very similar. / © ANDROIDPIT

The front of the devices shows the typical Samsung features such as the Home button and the Samsung logo above the display. The differences between the two lies in the details: the S5 Mini is a little rounder, the camera module protrudes a little less than the S5, and the S5 Mini is a slightly thicker than the S5. The display bezel on both devices is the same width and as such, the S5 has a little bit more display space relative to the size of its housing.

s5 s5 mini front comparison
The S5 Galaxy and the Galaxy Mini S5 are almost identical from the front, only the size is different. / © ANDROIDPIT

Display

Without a direct comparison, the display of the S5 Mini looks like it could hold up its own. However, when compared to the first-class screen of the S5, it is clear that you make a few compromises with the S5 Mini.

s5 s5 mini display 1
The displays of the S5 and S5 Mini (right) differ only slightly. / © ANDROIDPIT

In both devices, the display can be adjusted by using the screen mode. In standard mode, it is clear that the S5 Mini has an even stronger saturation than the S5. The brightness is similarly good, with a slight nod in the favor of the S5. However, the viewing angles, stability, and black levels are similar between both devices.  

Software and Equipment

It is in this category that Samsung has listened to its critics and the S5 Mini is as close as possible to the S5. There are a ton of key features that are shared between both devices: the fingerprint scanner, the heart rate monitor, the ultra-energy saving mode, the protection against water and dust. All of the features that have been applied to the S5 are also found in the S5 Mini.

s5 s5 mini settings
A look at the Quick Settings on both devices. / © ANDROIDPIT

As well, an infrared transmitter is integrated into both devices. The main thing that is missing from the S5 Mini is the download booster as well as some minor settings:  vibration intensity cannot be modified on the S5 Mini, the air browse mode is missing (which works by moving your hand in front of the sensor without touching the display to scroll through pages), noise reduction for telephone calls. As well, with the Galaxy S5, you have an option for single-handed operation, but that doesn’t make much sense being built into the S5 Mini.

s5 s5 mini top
The top of the S5 Mini (left) and the S5: both have the headphone jack and an infrared transmitter. / © ANDROIDPIT

Also worth mentioning is that the Galaxy S5 supports the high-speed wireless standard, MHL, and has a USB 3.0 port. The S5 Mini has a USB 2.0 port.

s5 s5 mini bottom
At the bottom of the Galaxy S5 Mini is a USB 2.0 port, the S5 has a USB 3.0 port. / © ANDROIDPIT

Camera

At the core of the differences between the two devices lies the camera. The Galaxy S5 has Samsung’s Isocell sensor installed which offers a resolution of 16 megapixels in a 16:9 format, real-time HDR preview, selective focus, dual camera, and 4k video recording with image stabilization and audio-zoom. Thus, the S5 is a much better equipped smartphone for those who are selective in the camera ability. In practical use, the S5 offers much more of a dynamic range, more detail and natural color reproduction, shorter shutter lag, and better processing of HDR images.

s5 camera sample
An example image with the Galaxy S5 ... / © ANDROIDPIT
s5 camera sample 100 percent
And ... a 100-percent zoom of the same recording. / © ANDROIDPIT
s5 mini camera sample
For comparison: The same scene through the lens of the S5 Mini ... / © ANDROIDPIT
s5 mini camera sample 100 percent
And ... also a 100 percent zoom of the same recording. / © ANDROIDPIT

Hardware and Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a performance beast and has, at the time of publication, the best available hardware under the hood. The S5 Mini is a bit weaker when it comes to hardware, but in everyday life, the difference won’t even be noticeable. When browsing using wireless networks, both are almost equal and the S5 has a little bit of an advantage when it comes to speed.  Apps open and close at almost the same speed for both devices and this shouldn’t be an issue. However, for more demanding tasks such as graphically complex games or taking absolutely lightning fast pictures with the camera, the S5 does pull ahead. However, as we said, in everyday life, nobody is going to notice the differences between the two.

Battery

The smaller screen and resolution found on the S5 Mini, combined with a weaker processor, also means that it can support a smaller battery without having much effect on how long it lasts. The S5 Mini boasts a 2,100 mAh battery compared to the 2,800 mAh battery found in the S5. In practice, both of these devices can run two days of use before needing a charge and are both excellent competitors when it comes to battery life.

Technical Specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
System Android 4.4.2, TouchWiz Android 4.4.2, TouchWiz
Display 5.1 inch Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 432 ppi 4.5 inch Super AMOLED, 1280 x 720 pixels, 326 ppi 
Processor Quad-core, 2.5 GHz Quad-core, 1.4 GHz
RAM 2 GB 1.5 GB
Internal memory 16/32 GB + microSD (up to 128 GB) 16GB + microSD (up to 64GB)
Accumulator 2,800 mAh 2,100 mAh
Camera 16 MP (rear), 2.1MP (front) 8 MP (rear), 2.1MP (front)
Connectivity HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Infrared HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Infrared
Dimensions 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1 mm
Weight 145 g 120 g

Conclusion

The Galaxy S5 Mini is as close to the its big brother as it can be without actually being the S5. The biggest differences lie in the quality of the camera and photo quality and the pure performance of the devices. The processor in the S5 comes with power house of a processor that can handle some of the most complex tasks without having to break a sweat, but for the average smartphone wielding person, it may be a bit too much and considered a luxury item. As such, the S5 Mini is more than enough to satisfy the stingiest of smartphone consumers.