Samsung's range of mini mobiles might not have the headline specs of the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note phones but they've carved out a sizeable niche for themselves.

Popular with those who want something slightly smaller and cheaper, but with some of the same positive qualities as Samsung's flagships, the Mini series started life in 2012 with the introduction of the Galaxy S3 Mini.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is the Korean firm's third iteration of this product line, and while we feared it would go the way of its predecessors in the spec department we've been pleasantly surprised by this latest offering.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A cut down version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5
  • When is it out? July 2014
  • What will it cost? Expected to be £350-£400 (around $550, AU$650) SIM free

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini release date and price

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S5 Mini will be available from early July in Russia, with global markets to follow.

Rumors have suggested a mid-July release worldwide for the S5 Mini, so hopefully you won't have to wait too long for it to hit a store near you.

We're yet to see anything on the Galaxy S5 Mini price, but these details will be announced soon. We're expecting it to land around the £350-£400 (around $550, AU$650) mark for a SIM-free handset.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini display

The Galaxy S5 Mini rocks up with a 4.5-inch display, making it a touch larger than the 4.3-inch offering on the Galaxy S4 Mini.

The real talking point here though is the resolution, as Samsung has boosted if from 540 x 960 on the S4 Mini to a far more acceptable 720 x 1280 on the Galaxy S5 Mini. Of course it doesn't match the 5.1-inch full HD offering on the Galaxy S5, but it was never going to.

That means the Galaxy S5 Mini is on par with the HTC One Mini 2, Moto G and the Xperia Z1 Compact, although the latter's screen is only 4.3 inches.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini power

There's good news in the power department as the Galaxy S5 Mini has shaken off the dual-core shackles of the S4 Mini, coming equipped with an own-brand 1.4GHz quad-core chip backed up with 1.5GB of RAM.

Samsung has dropped the impressive Snapdragon 801 chip found in the Galaxy S5 for its own offering in the S5 Mini. It will be interesting to see how it copes as Qualcomm's latest processor is a solid performer.

This setup puts the S5 Mini slightly above the 1.2GHz quad-core and 1GB of RAM you find in the One Mini 2, although the Z1 Compact still trumps both with a meaty 2.2GHz quad-core chip and 2GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini operating system

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini comes running Android 4.4 KitKat, although it's been covered in the firm's TouchWiz UI, matching the Galaxy S5 when it comes to on screen visuals.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini camera

There's not much change in the camera department, with the S5 Mini sticking with the 8MP rear snapper you'll find on the S4 Mini. No sign of the 16MP offering from the Galaxy S5 here.

That's a little disappointing considering the One Mini 2 comes with a 13MP option on the rear and the Z1 Compact boasts 20.7MP.

You do get a bumped up camera on the front though, with Samsung boosting it from 1.9MP to 2.1MP for all those selfies you're just dying to snap.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini design

When it comes to design the S5 Mini mirrors the Galaxy S5 very closely, and the 4.5-inch screen means it's bigger than its predecessor. It may be "mini" by name, but it's not by nature.

Measuring 131.1 x 64.8 x 9.1mm it is smaller than the One Mini 2 and at 120g it's lighter than both the HTC (137g) and Xperia Z1 Compact (137g).

It's not just the looks of the Galaxy S5 that have been borrowed here, as the Galaxy S5 Mini also sports the same IP67 dust and water resistance of its bigger brother.

Under the home key the S5 Mini has a fingerprint scanner, just like the S5, and below the camera lens on the back Samsung's heat rate monitor makes another appearance.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

More

Under the body of the Galaxy S5 Mini you'll find a 2100mAh battery, a step up from the 1900mAh offering in the S4 Mini and close to the 2110mAh One Mini 2 and 2300mAh Z1 Compact.

You'll be able to make the battery go further with the inclusion of Samsung's Ultra Power Saving mode too, something which impressed on the Galaxy S5.

In terms of connectivity the Galaxy S5 Mini is well equipped with 4G, NFC, Wi-Fi, an IR blaster and Bluetooth 4.0 LE plus a microSD slot allows you to easily expand on the 16GB of internal storage.