Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha comparison review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is a smaller version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5, while the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a sort of metal version of the S5 smartphone. Here, we compare the two S5 spinoffs in our Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha comparison review, which looks at specs, price and features to determine which is best. Also see: Samsung Galaxy Alpha review.

See also: Best smartphones 2014

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is part of Samsung's flagship S5 line-up, designed for those who want a premium product in a compact body, though Samsung has slimmed-down the specs as well as the size. The Galaxy Alpha seems to be the start of yet another new range from Samsung, which is known for its tactic of launching smartphones in almost every size, shape, spec, price and colour it can think of. See also: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Alpha comparison

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Price UK

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha will set you back £499, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is cheaper at £389, though as we wrote in our full review, we think the latter is still too pricey for what you get. See: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Design and build

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha

As the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is a compact version of the Galaxy S5. It's available in the same white, black, gold or blue options as the S5, with the same dimpled plastic rear cover. See also: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S5 mini comparison

The Galaxy Alpha, on the other hand, seems to be Samsung's stab at the iPhone 5s (or maybe the upcoming iPhone 6), with a metal frame around the edge. The rear cover of the Alpha is still plastic, though.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha

Of course, there's also the matter of size, which could become the deciding factor between these two phones. The S5 mini has a 4.5in display, which isn't actually very 'mini' when you consider the iPhone 5S has a 4in display. It's 9.1mm thick, weighing 120g.

That's compared with the 4.7in display found on the Alpha (interestingly, that's the screen size expected for the upcoming iPhone 6). The alpha is thinner than the S5 mini at just 6.7m, and is also lighter, despite its slightly bigger display, weighing 115g.

The Galaxy S5 mini has a removable cover, giving access to the also-removable battery, plus SIM and microSD slots. As far as we're aware, the Galaxy Alpha's back is not removable, which means no access to the battery. The Alpha also misses out on the IP67-rated dust and waterproof protection boasted by the Galaxy S5 mini.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Screen

As mentioned above, the Galaxy S5 mini has a 4.5in display while the Alpha has a slightly bigger 4.7in display.

The Alpha's Super AMOLED display is 720p HD resolution, at 1280 x 720 pixels, making 320 pixels per inch. Similarly, the S5 mini has a Super AMOLED 720p HD display, but with 326ppi pixel density in part due to its smaller display. You'll hardly notice a difference in quality between the displays on these two devices, making them very closely matched when it comes to the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Hardware and performance

We've yet to get our hands on the Galaxy Alpha to run our full benchmark tests, but looking at the hardware specs alone, we can begin to see how it compares with the Galaxy S5 mini.

The S5 mini has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and Mali 400 graphics. We found it to be fairly snappy, though there was some lag when opening certain apps, particularly S Health.

The Galaxy Alpha has more impressive hardware, so we're expecting it to offer smoother and quicker performance. It boasts an Exynos 5 octa-core processor, with four 1.8GHz Cortex-A15 cores and four 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 cores. That's paired with 2GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Storage

 

The Alpha is only available as a 32GB model, though, and doesn't have a microSD slot for expandable storage, which is a bit of a surprise for a Samsung smartphone.

The S5 mini comes with 16GB of onboard storage, but offers the ability to add a further 64GB through the microSD slot.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Connectivity

 

Both the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha offer 4G connectivity, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. The Alpha is compatible with the faster 802.11ac WiFi, unlike the Mini which sticks to dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Extra features

Both the S5 mini and Alpha boast the new fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor that the company debuted with the Galaxy S5 in February.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Camera

When it comes to cameras, you'll find an 8Mp camera on the rear of the Galaxy S5 mini. It can shoot at 1080p video, and features auto focus, an LED flash and HDR.

The Galaxy Alpha boasts a more impressive camera than the S5 mini, with a 12Mp shooter on the rear. It has Dual Camera, an LED flash HDR and the ability to record video in 4K quality.

On the front, the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha both have a 2.1Mp camera that can record full HD video.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Battery

The Galaxy Alpha sports a 1860mAh battery, but it appears to be non-removable. The Galaxy S5 mini a slightly 2100mAh battery, which is removable thanks to the removable back of the phone itself.

We'll update this article when we've been able to spend some time with the Galaxy Alpha, to bring you information about how long you can expect the battery to last. 

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Software

Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini an Galaxy Alpha offer Android 4.4 KitKat, and both are expected to be upgraded to Android L later this year. Samsung overlays its TouchWiz UI on both phones.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini: Specs

  • 1.4GHz Exynos 3 quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD support up to 64GB
  • 5.5in (720x1080, 326ppi) Super AMOLED display
  • Mali 400 graphics
  • 4G LTE
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • fingerprint sensor
  • heart-rate sensor
  • IR blaster
  • 8Mp rear camera with autofocus and single-LED flash, supports full-HD video at 30fps
  • 2.1Mp front camera
  • GPS
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • water- and dust-resistant
  • available in white, black, gold and blue
  • 2100mAh removable battery with Ultra Power Saving mode
  • 131.1x64.8x9.1mm
  • 120g
  • 1.4GHz Exynos 3 quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD support up to 64GB
  • 5.5in (720x1080, 326ppi) Super AMOLED display
  • Mali 400 graphics
  • 4G LTE
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • fingerprint sensor
  • heart-rate sensor
  • IR blaster
  • 8Mp rear camera with autofocus and single-LED flash, supports full-HD video at 30fps
  • 2.1Mp front camera
  • GPS
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • water- and dust-resistant
  • available in white, black, gold and blue
  • 2100mAh removable battery with Ultra Power Saving mode
  • 131.1x64.8x9.1mm
  • 120g

OUR VERDICT

Overall, the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha are reasonably evenly matched smartphones from Samsung. With just 0.2in difference between the screen size, your decision between the two will come down to metal vs plastic when it comes to design. Of course, there's also the matter of processor and camera, both of which the Alpha wins at, but a lower price and better storage options are where the S5 mini manages to fight back.

It's a tough call, and will really depend on what you need from your device, so make sure you take a close look at our comparison review to help you determine which is best for you.

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