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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S


Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S

Samsung's 2014 flagship, the Galaxy S5, broke away from its predecessors' heritage with a water-resistance certification, and a new “perforated” rear cover design. That's not all, though, as Samsung also went after the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s, providing a scanner of its own in the home key, and added a unique heartrate sensor on the back, to make its flagship stand out.

As usual, we are staging a UFC combat between the “perforated” looks and the new features of the 5.1” Galaxy S5, against the slender steel-and-glass frame of the iPhone 5s, as this has become the heavyweights fight in the Android vs iOS championship. Which one has done the fingerprint sensing right? Whose camera takes better pictures? How are the interfaces different? Which one will leave the fight more bruised and battered ? Let's find out...


Plastic-fantastic S5 feels less premium to hold, but its water-resistant design still lets you swap the battery or add more memory. Its fingerprints sensor is more cumbersome to use than Touch ID, though.

Measuring at just 8.1 mm, the Galaxy S5 is thicker than the 4” iPhone 5s, and much larger, heavier, and cumbersome to use with one hand, as it houses a 5.1" display. Its plastic build introduces a new ”perforated” back refrain, which comes in four colors, including a golden version. Apple's handset also has a gold-colored variant, but the iPhone is crafted in a very different way, with premium metal and glass materials for the chassis. If you don't mind the polycarbonate casing of the S5, however, it will offer you not only a bigger screen, but also an IP67 certification, letting you dunk it in three feet (1 meter) of water for up to half an hour. You can still remove the back cover, in the best of Samsung's traditions, which gives you easy access to swap the battery, or add memory with a microSD card – possibilities that the iPhone 5s doesn't offer.

Apple shook the mobile phone industry with a unique Touch ID sensor embedded in the home key, which is the first fingerprint sensor on a mobile device done right. Samsung was apparently in a jiffy to catch up, and integrated a swipe Finger Scanner in the S5's home key in its turn. Queue the copycat jokes here, but the two sensors work in quite a different manner. Not only do the iPhone's dimensions make Touch ID way easier to use with one hand, but it is also much more sensitive than what Samsung offers. 

Upon initial setup, Apple's creation takes a “snapshot” of your fingerprint in all possible positions, so you can unlock the phone with the slightest touch, no matter how crooked your digit lands. The fingerprint scanner on the S5 stays true to its title, requiring you to swipe directly over the home key for it to work, which means that you usually have to hold the phone with the other hand. Imagine having to put down your bags of groceries each time you need to check something on your phone – you'll quickly prefer to ditch the print sensing altogether. 

If you register your thumb swiping it diagonally over the home key in the first place, however - the way you would use it when holding the phone with one hand - the S5 will record this position, and you will be able to unlock the phone easily by swiping briefly almost in parallel to the home key. It worked most of the time with us, as you can see in the video below.

Another unique new feature of the S5 is the heartrate sensor on the back, next to the LED flash. It is tightly integrated with Samsung's S Health app, and requires you to press your finger against it for a few seconds, before it takes an optical pulse reading. Some might dismiss this as a gimmick for the sake of inserting something new, but for athletes or older users it might present a convenient way to check their pulse without manually calculating beat counts.

Samsung Galaxy S5
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Apple iPhone 5s
4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


The phones sport bright displays, with good viewing angles, and nice outdoor visibility, but the default Standard mode on the S5 display exhibits way too saturated colors, and cold overall appearance.

The S5 has a 5.1" Full HD Super AMOLED screen with 432ppi pixel density, while the 4" 640x1136 pixels IPS-LCD display on the iPhone has 326ppi. You won't be able to notice the individual pixels on both displays from a normal viewing distance, but if you examine the screens closely, the S5 panel would come out sharper.

Apple has proven many times that its phone display panels flaunt almost perfect sRGB gamut color representation, whereas the AMOLED panels exhibit somewhat saturated, even gaudy colors. The same goes here, with the latest S5 and the iPhone 5s. By default, the color temperature of the Galaxy S5 screen is 8000K, resulting in very blueish, cold image. The Professional profile makes things better, with temperature of 7270K, almost on par with iPhone's 7150K. However, the S5 screen still has that cold feel, as its screen emphasizes green and blue. Here we should note that although the AMOLED screens of Samsung flagships are not very color-accurate, most people like them for that “wow” factor of their oversaturated imagery. The Galaxy S5 has deeper black levels, and lower minimum brightness (2 nits), too, which makes it a tad gentler on your eyes in very dark environments.

Samsung says this is the brightest AMOLED screen it has produced to date, capable to reach 500+ nits of peak brightness, in line with what the iPhone 5s is able to churn out, too. Both displays seem on par in both indoor and outdoor visibility, as a simple sunlight test outside confirmed for us, too. The phones' panels sport great viewing angles, both vertically, and horizontally.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5s 587
Samsung Galaxy S5 442
View all

Samsung Galaxy S5 360-Degrees View:

Apple iPhone 5s 360-Degrees View:

  • Options

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 23:39 14

1. iushnt (Posts: 1699; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

S5 over 5S any day

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 01:50 8

5. sgodsell (Posts: 3637; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Who ever wrote this article love iPhone more. The Samsung S5 to date has the most accurate display to date.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 10:03 4

13. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)

Yup. All the tech sites are found by ifans. No matter what name of the site they use, and what they pretend to be.

About the display , should I believe on ifan "review" or this:
“[The Galaxy S5] has a long list of new records for best smartphone display performance including: Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle,” DisplayMate concludes. "

It's same thing about the (useless)FingerPrintScanner. Soon we will see that S5's FPS works better than iphones from different angles, simply the iboys didn't make the right set-up.

And everything else.
S5 beats to the groung iphone5S in everything(even the desugn)

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 15:37 2

17. sipha (Posts: 434; Member since: 12 May 2012)

"the Galaxy S5 is both faster and more accurate than the HTC One and iPhone 5s." ..gsmarena's review of the galaxy s5 camera

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 15:53 1

18. sipha (Posts: 434; Member since: 12 May 2012)

"the Galaxy S5 really makes the "LCD offers more natural colors" argument useless." .....gsmarena's review of the galaxy s5 display (& dislaymate)

posted on 09 Apr 2014, 03:38

24. imran86 (Posts: 174; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

PhoneArena on S5 Display

the S5 screen still has that cold feel, as its screen emphasizes green and blue. Here we should note that although the AMOLED screens of Samsung flagships are not very color-accurate, most people like them for that “wow” factor of their oversaturated imagery.

GSMArena on S5 Display

The color rendering has also been tweaked and now the Cinema mode offers as true to life colors as any other smartphone on the market. Not that the Galaxy S4 wasn't close enough for most purposes practical, but the Galaxy S5 really makes the "LCD offers more natural colors" argument useless. And, as usual, Samsung offers more saturated screen modes if you prefer your images punchy rather than accurate.

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 23:42 4

2. imran86 (Posts: 174; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

Give a child both the phones and he can tell you which one is better, why such a BS and biased article for it.

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 23:44 1

3. wilsong17 (unregistered)

One app a the time

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 00:10

4. pocketbook (Posts: 21; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)

Ah, more click-bait to get the views and arguments a'flowin.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 03:32 4

6. Agarwalm214 (Posts: 31; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)

Someday phonarema will say iphone 5s camera is on par with lumia 1020 :P
This site is so much biased towards iphone..

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 21:50

29. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)

Here is one-hand FPS unlock on S5

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 03:58

7. wando77 (Posts: 839; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)

Screen and camera of iPhone on par with s5?......... Of course they are bwahahahaha

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 04:11 1

8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Man this bias of phonearena is world famous. I've seen many people commenting on other sites about phonearena bias. PA dont become like BGR. See what gsmarena(the most reliable review site) said about iphone's screen and camera. Lol.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 05:36 5

9. Dude2014 (Posts: 439; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)

Better Display
Better processor
Better camera
Better OS
Better features
better battery
Better storage
Except design
Now you tell me which phone is better?

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 08:14 3

10. tiara6918 (Posts: 2036; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

s5 is obviously the winner. Seriously, I've never heard from pa claiming that an opponent smartphone has won against an iPhone

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 09:00 1

11. strikercho (banned) (Posts: 156; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)

I am not surprised. 5S is still the king. What I do wonder, is why there are still people who buy Samsung. Even Chinese brands offer more premium looks and better displays.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 17:40

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 21289; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

You've got the Sammites crying with that one lol.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 20:56

23. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


If they are cranking out premium handsets in the sweat shops EASILY, and it takes the best Korean manufacturer in the world to do the GS5, then you might want to rethink if the sweat shop process is truly the premium one here. It obviously doesn't cost a lot or the china brands wouldn't use those materials.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 09:27 2

12. greatoneiw (Posts: 41; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)

lol , this is just hilarious
all new android phones are keep losing to iphone :))))
i'm just waiting for lg g3 , and PA be like :
LG G3 2K 550 ppi screen is equal to iphone 5s and we liked i phone's more...
you guys are awesome...keep it up for steve jobs ;)

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 17:39

20. darkkjedii (Posts: 21289; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Why don't you stop coming to this site, go buy all these phones, and do your own reviews.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 10:59 2

14. teknoboy (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Feb 2014)

İphone 5S is better than galaxy S5 ;)

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 12:55 2

15. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Lol did you see during the finger print sensor comparison when he was saying the s5 sensor was more finicky then he purposely tried to make it fail by swiping bent and swiping fast, only the 3rd time when he tried to make it fail it failed because he barely touched the sensor. No doubt the 5s implementation is better just saying the s5 wasn't bad itself even when he tried to make it look bad.. Display Yh pa I'll take display mate more seriously, people who are qualified to test display, I have no idea what method you use. 1 handed use yes 5s is better obviously but the s5 does have a 1 handed mode where the whole screen shrinks to the size of a 4" or any size you want making it easy to reach all areas with 1 hand.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 15:19 2

16. kopkiwi (Posts: 50; Member since: 31 May 2013)

You guys are fast becoming a fkcing joke. Your bias is crystal bloody clear.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 17:37

19. darkkjedii (Posts: 21289; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Very good article, unbiased, and accurate. +1 PA.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 18:53 1

22. edelxander (Posts: 54; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)

yeah.. the iboys & ifans just be like: " i can fap to this"

posted on 09 Apr 2014, 05:11

25. Agarwalm214 (Posts: 31; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)

Lets see what happens when PA compares iphone with xperia z2 :P

posted on 09 Apr 2014, 09:40

26. alfipratama (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Nov 2013)

vote it here polarb[dot]com/polls/161442

posted on 09 Apr 2014, 17:01

27. DAMONORIBELLO (Posts: 109; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

UFC is a promotion company. What you mean to say is "we are staging an MMA combat".

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 07:57

28. registrar (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)

It's quite obvious that PhoneArena doesn't know what it's doing.

1. The photo comparisons were taken at different orientations (portrait vs landscape), changing the color balance.
2. Photo comparisons in low light were not exposed to the same amount of light.
3. Photos were taken at different angles and were laughably amateur.

It's sad because I am choosing between these two phones soon, but after seeing all the bias in favor of the iPhone, I don't know if I can trust the word of any non-technical person anymore regarding this topic.

Also, I don't know who Daniel P. is, but he sure seems like an idiot.

I'm going back to GSM Arena for more trustworthy reviews. At least they are objective over there.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 05:46

30. vishalaestro (Posts: 81; Member since: 08 Dec 2013)

Go to anandtech. Com and read the review for s5 I would recommend for anybody if
they need toread review for any tech products.

posted on 19 Apr 2014, 01:37

31. verty (Posts: 122; Member since: 07 May 2012)

Now I know that even phone arena staff is full of nothing but trolls. I am so upset at this unbalanced twisted misleading unhealthy deceitful offensive comparison. And I suggest a visit to the psychologist for a head check. Even if you are biased be biased to yourself and deceive yourself for as long as you like. How dare you call s5 premium. Forget it that phone feels lovely and super comfortable to hold. Let me add that there is nothing premium feeling about the iPhone. Boring unexciting phone. I used it and absolutely nothing spectacular. I sold it for a z30 and boy do I love the bb10 OS. Nicer gestures I tell you. I have a note 3 and that phone is a beast. I feel heaven every time I use that phone. Daniel P should be fired and then banned from all tech site.
Phone arena should really check articles like this. It really depreciates your equity as a brand and dilutes it too. How dare Daniel P!!!!!!!

posted on 26 Apr 2014, 11:31 1

32. swaguire (Posts: 21; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)

The only thing holding me back from getting any Android device is Imessage, even though you all might think it is not important I use it so much and would rather use imessage than text, so if Android came out with something like Imessage I would definitely get an Android phone.

posted on 22 May 2014, 15:35

33. BretaSal (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 May 2014)

S5 was pretty amazing, but let's see if the design of iphone 6 is better or not. Here's a phenomenal comparison between both the Brands.. Source: "Bidness ETC"

posted on 03 Aug 2015, 11:33

34. leo.d.monkey (Posts: 8; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

Gsmarena can't be trusted anymore ... they are taking money from samsung... they removed the user score system, samsung phones had the worst scores. bad mouth samsung there and your posts will disappear...welcome to the new gsmarena

I have a S5, mic is a piece of s**t , so many people with mic problems on the s5, caused by bad software, bad design and defective mic...i though ok the phone looks ugly was s**t but gsmarena review as positive... users review was s**t... money wasted.

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