Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S5 mini, a smaller and cheaper version of its flagship Android smartphone. See also: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini release date, price and specs.

The news is somewhat out of the blue as we weren't expecting the new handset until mid-July after the lack of a June launch. Samsung said the Galaxy S5 mini will launch first in Russia then globally afterwards. Read: The 33 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

"We always strive to develop devices that appeal to a range of consumer tastes and styles." said JK Shin, CEO at Samsung. "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."

Samsung said the Galaxy S5 mini delivers the same 'dedicated fitness tools and enhanced device protection features' which can be found on its bigger brother. To this end, it still has the heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner which were introduced on the full-size Galaxy S5.

The smartphone features a 4.5in Super AMOLED display with an HD resolution, 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and an 8Mp rear facing camera. It also has 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB more.

Like the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S5 mini will be available in black, white, blue and gold. Read: Best mobile phone deals: Samsung Galaxy S5 best deals UK.

Further specs include an IR blaster, Android 4.4 KitKat, a 2100mAh battery, IP67 dust- and waterproof certification and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. The LTE model of the Galaxy S5 mini will also come with NFC.

Samsung hasn't announced a price for the Galaxy S5 mini yet so we'll let you know as soon as we can, along with a UK release date.