Samsung Announces Galaxy S5 Mini

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Samsung today announced a mini version of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S5.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is set for debut in Russia this month, with the South Korean conglomerate planning on an eventual worldwide rollout.

The dust- and water-resistant smartphone has a smaller screen in its 4.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display (720 x 1,280), down from 5.1 inches (1,920 x 1,080) on the larger S5 phone.

[Related: Samsung Partners Think New Galaxy Tab S Tablet Can Give Apple's iPad A Run For Its Money ]

The device's price has not yet been revealed.

The Mini also has a 1.4 GHz Quad Core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage with a microSD Slot for up to 64GB of space. Its big brother has a 2.5 GHz Quad Core processor, 2GB of RAM and offers 16GB or 32GB of storage stocked, but a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of space.

Like the larger Galaxy S5 phone, the S5 Mini offers a Power Saving Mode, a built-in heart rate monitor, a fingerprint scanner and connectivity with Samsung’s latest wearable devices. Both devices run on Android 4.4 Kitkat, but the Mini does have a downgraded 8MP camera with a 2.1MP secondary camera. That compares with a 16MP camera in the larger S5.

The Mini has LTE Category 4 connectivity, as does the larger Galaxy phone.

The device has four case color options: Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue or Copper Gold.

“We always strive to develop devices that appeal to a range of consumer tastes and styles.” JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics, said in a release. “The Galaxy S5 mini allows consumers to enjoy the iconic design and essential and useful features of the Galaxy S5 through a maximized minimalism approach.”

Some partners view Samsung's Mini launch as a strategic move that taps the strength of the Samsung brand name to target the entry- to mid-level smartphone market.

“There is not much of a market for smaller and slower in markets such as North America, so the only places to sell a downgraded smartphone is places where there isn’t a dominating smartphone market,” Ontario-based solution provider Xylotek Solutions President and CEO Douglas Grosfield told CRN. “It gives Samsung a strategic advantage in those areas. I don’t think anyone is suffering from buyer’s remorse from having ‘bigger, faster, better’ in established markets. It’s an emerging market play to get some of that market as their wallet continues to grow.”

Grosfield said releases, such as the Mini, are a smart move by Samsung, and Apple is missing out on these other markets by positioning itself as a “luxury brand.”

“I think it’s a smart play in the less mainstream or emerging markets geographically,” he said. “It’s a smart play to use the cache of the name. It probably won't do as well in established mobile phone markets, but there is a ton of opportunity in some of these other countries. It will be interesting to see the traction it gains given that Samsung is pretty good with its marketing strategies.”

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