Samsung has quietly confirmed a smaller version of its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Galaxy S5 mini. The appropriately-named handset comes as little surprise, as Samsung and other high-profile manufacturers have taken to releasing diminutive variations of their hero devices over the past few years. This latest example keeps the design language and feature set of its bigger sibling, but shrinks it all down into a more compact, less powerful package.
Specifically, the Galaxy S5 mini rolls with a 4.5-inch, 720p OLED display, which is a step down from the standard S5’s panel, but a definite improvement over the 4.3-inch, 960×540 screen from last year’s Galaxy S4 mini. The new phone is a bit bigger and heavier than its predecessor, though, measuring 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1 mm thick and weighing 120 grams. By comparison, the S4 mini measured 8.9 mm at its thinnest point and weighed 107g.
Internally, the S5 mini takes a familiar approach, foregoing flagship-level specs a la Sony’s Xperia Z1 Compact in favor of mid-range power across the board. Much of it lines up with the S4 mini — a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor is joined by 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage (which is expandable up to 64 GB with a microSD card), a 2,100 mAh battery, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. The device runs Android 4.4 KitKat under Samsung’s usual TouchWiz skin.
While the S5 mini won’t be nearly as powerful as the normal S5, it does come with many of the flagship’s trademark features. Both the heart rate monitor and the fingerprint scanner of the S5 are returning, for one, as is the useful ‘Ultra Power Saving’ battery mode. We didn’t find the monitor or scanner to be particularly sensible on the larger Galaxy S5, but given the S5 mini’s diminished footprint, they may be easier to use this time around. The phone also retains the same dimpled plastic design of the S5, which we weren’t fans of, but isn’t without its supporters. It’ll come in blue, gold, white, or black.
Ultimately, the S5 mini’s appeal is going to come down to a.) whether or not you’re already okay with everything the Galaxy S5 offers, and b.) its price. Samsung hasn’t given any word on the latter just yet, though we’d be surprised if it wasn’t around the $400 mark, which is where the S4 mini launched last year. As far as availability is concerned, the company has only announced a Russian launch in “early July,” with an expansion to “global markets” coming thereafter. A dual-SIM model will arrive during that time as well.