Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review

The mini S5 is due to go on sale in the UK on 1 September, and you can pre-order it now for £389.95. In the face of its closest competition - the HTC One mini 2 - that doesn't sound too bad. After all, HTC's mini smartphone has been on sale for a few months now, and SIM-free the One mini 2 is just £35 cheaper (the S5 mini should fall in price following its September release). And, in many respects, these two compact smartphones sit very much on par with each other.

More worrying is the smaller price gap between the S5 mini and its bigger, beefier brother, the standard Samsung Galaxy S5. In this pairing the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini just doesn't stack up. Until its price drops significantly, a smaller screen and less powerful hardware demands far greater than a £25 price reduction. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was available from as little as £413 SIM-free at the time of writing.  

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review: Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S5 mini 

The most obvious difference is the screen. Not only is the S5 mini's display smaller, at 4.5in versus 5.1in, it's also just 720p against the S5's 1020p, which means it has a lower pixel density, too (326- versus 432ppi).  

The processor-, memory- and storage options have been downgraded. Whereas the Samsung Galaxy S5 boasts a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM and 16- or 32GB of storage (plus microSD support up to 128GB), the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini has a still quad-core but slower-clocked 1.4GHz processor, 1.5GB of RAM and only a 16GB storage option (plus microSD support up to 64GB). 

And although the mini S5 has a smaller screen and is therefore lighter, shorter and narrower, at 120g, 65x131mm against 145g, 73x142mm, it's actually chunkier: the super-slim 8.1mm Samsung Galaxy S5 is a full millimetre thinner than its little brother. It's hardly a chunk, but width is traditionally one of the biggest giveaways of a budget price tag. 

Other cutbacks include the omission of 802.11ac Wi-Fi in the S5 mini, plus an inferior rear camera (8Mp, 1080p video versus 16Mp, 4K video). Surprisingly, the mini has the better front camera, but only just, at 2.1- versus 2Mp. 

The S5 mini also has a lower-capacity 2100mAh battery (S5: 2800mAh), but this is understandable given the smaller screen and less powerful hardware.

Next section: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review: Design and build