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Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini comparison review: New smartphone adds waterproof design, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor

Around £380 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

Almost exactly a year after launching the Galaxy S4 mini, Samsung has introduced the Galaxy S5 mini. Find out how they differ in our comparison review.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini

It's now a habit for smartphone makers to launch a mini version of flagship devices and Samsung has announced a Galaxy S5 mini smartphone which is smaller and cheaper than the flagship Galaxy S5. But how does it compare to its predecessor, the Galaxy S4 mini? Read our Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini comparison review to find out what the difference is. See also: The 35 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S5 mini, but the firm is launching it first in Russia to be followed by a global release. This means we don't yet know when it will arrive in the UK but it should be within a couple of months. For now we can compare the two on price and specs - whether you're thinking about upgrading from the old to the new or deciding between the two as a new purchase.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S5 mini comparison review and Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Price

Since the Galaxy S4 mini has been around for about a year, you can pick it up at a much lower price compared to when it launched. It's now available, at the time of writing, for around £250 which is pretty cheap.

Unfortunately, there's no UK price for the Galaxy S5 mini yet but you can be assured that it will be more expensive than its predecessor. Somewhere around the £350 mark is out bet matching the HTC One mini 2 and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. While writing this comparison, Mobile Fun put the Galaxy S5 mini up for pre-order at £369.

You're probably looking at a £120 difference between the two so read on to find out if it will be worth spending the extra on the new model or not.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Design and build

As per usual, the Galaxy S5 mini is exactly what you'd expect when compared to the Galaxy S5 – a smaller version and the same is true of the Galaxy S4 mini likened to the Galaxy S4. The mini versions haven't escaped the trend of size increase though, so the Galaxy S5 mini is bigger than its predecessor.

It's 65 x 131 mm against 61 x 125 mm. It not much but nevertheless it's bigger which may or may not please you. The Galaxy S5 mini both thicker and heavier than the S4 mini at 9.1 mm compared to 8.9 mm and 120 g against 107 g. Again, small differences.

The Galaxy S5 mini comes in the same colours as the full-size version – black, white, gold and blue – and has the same build quality meaning it is plastic. However, it comes with IP67 certification meaning it is dust- and waterproof so can be fully submersed in water. That's something which you don't get with the Galaxy S4 mini.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Screen

As we've already mentioned, the Galaxy S5 mini is bigger than the Galaxy S4 mini. This is partly down to a larger screen at 4.5in – the S4 mini's screen is slightly smaller at 4.3in. It's a trend which seems unavoidable.

The resolution has also been increased from qHD (540 x 960) to HD (720 x 1280) which means a nice pixel density boost from 256ppi to 326ppi – matching the iPhone 5s. Both phones use Samsung's Super AMOLED technology.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini screen

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Processor and memory

The Galaxy S4 mini has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor (1.7GHz dual-core) with 1.5 GB of RAM. The amount of RAM stays the same with the Galaxy S5 mini but it's got a quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz – Samsung hasn't confirmed what the chip is but Mobile Fun (see price) states it's an Exynos.

That's a nice, if fairly small upgrade. The Galaxy S5 mini is likely to offer improved performance.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Storage

There's a definite upgrade when it comes to storage as the Galaxy S4 mini only offers 8GB of internal capacity. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 mini doubles this to 16GB. Both have a microSD card slot capable of accepting up to 64GB cards.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor
Two of the keys features of the Galaxy S5 are the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor and you might be surprised to learn these remain on the Galaxy S5 mini. So there are two reasons which might swing your decision to the new model or persuade you to upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Other hardware

There's really no different when it comes to remaining specs as both the Galaxy S4 mini and Galaxy S5 mini offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, NFC, an IR blaster and 4G LTE support. Note that some models of the Galaxy S4 mini don't have NFC built-in.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Cameras

Photographers don't really have any reason to upgrade since the Galaxy S5 mini has an 8Mp rear facing camera with auto focus and an LED flash – exactly what the Galaxy S4 mini features. Both record video in up to Full HD while offering extras like HDR and panorama.

Things have improved slightly when it comes to the front camera as the Galaxy S5 mini offers a 2.1Mp shooter, up from 1.9Mp. Video quality remains at Full HD, though.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini camera

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Software

The Galaxy S4 mini runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean if it's upgraded and reports suggest an update to 4.4 KitKat will arrive this month. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 mini will ship with KitKat pre-loaded and the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

One thing to bear in mind is that the older model is less likely to be updated with the latest software in the future – for example Android L which will arrive later this year. But the Galaxy S5 mini will certainly receive the upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy S4 mini: Battery

You can remove the battery on the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy S4 mini and the capacity has increased on the newer model. It's rated at 8Wh (2100mAh) compared to 7.2Wh (1900mAh) but the higher res screen and beefier processor are likely to balance things out on overall battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini Expert Verdict »
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Scores 8.5 out of 10 based on 658 reviews
4.3in SuperAMOLED screen (540 x 960 pixels, 256ppi)
1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz
Adreno 305 GPU
1.5GB RAM
8GB internal storage (5GB available)
microSDXC card slot (up to 64GB)
8Mp rear camera with LED flash (1920 x 1080 video)
1.9Mp front camera (1280 x 720 video)
dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
infrared
A-GPS
Micro-USB
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
HSDPA 900/2100MHz
4G LTE 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz (varies with market)
Mini-SIM
7.2Wh removable battery
61 x 125 x 8.9mm
107g

The Galaxy S5 mini adds a reasonable amount of upgrades compared to the Galaxy S4 mini. These include better components, more storage, a waterproof design and newer software. Let's not forget the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor either. It's worth the extra £120 if you can afford it and will make use of those additional features.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£230
£248
£248
£250
£292

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