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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

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Interface and Functionality

Both the Galaxy S5 and Nexus 5 feature the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat. Samsung however puts a ton of its S apps and its new TouchWiz custom skin on top, The new TouchWiz is a UI that is now more user-friendly, with features like larger icons that remind of stock Android.

Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 5 come with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat on board, but while the Nexus 5 ships with a pure stock version of it, the Galaxy S5 sports Samsung’s newest TouchWiz skin on top.

It’s hard to point out whether stock Android or the Samsung-skinned version is better, even more so in this latest TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 version on the S5 that introduces larger icons and less clutter, much like in stock Android. The larger icons throughout the TouchWiz UI are easier to tap on, and they’re now restyled to a flatter, modern and less cartoonish look. Samsung takes its own customizations a step further, though, replacing hard to read long lists of text in places like the settings menu with a list of visual cues.

Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

Interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5


Interface of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

Interface of the Google Nexus 5


Samsung’s UI is also packed with more features and apps - some of them double up on existing core Android apps (things like Samsung’s S Calendar and S Voice come as alternatives to Google’s Calendar and Voice Search), and others like the file manager and weather widget fill some gaps.

Core apps like the phonebook and text messenger have received a redesign in the latest TouchWiz, with the phonebook now featuring a dark theme with less empty space, and with tiles for favorite contacts. The stock Android app looks different, but both get the job done equally well.

Samsung includes its own custom keyboard in the Galaxy S5, while the Nexus 5 uses the Google Keyboard (you can now download the Google keyboard for free from the Play store on any Android device). Buttons are well spaced, and typing is fast and easy on both, but the Google Keyboard comes with the slight advantage that it supports gesture typing right out the gate.

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Keyboards - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Keyboards - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Google Nexus 5 - Keyboards - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Keyboards - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

Samsung Galaxy S5

 

Google Nexus 5

 

Keyboards


One app that stock Android is missing right now is a health center like the S Health app in the Galaxy S5. Samsung has improved on it, making it a more comprehensive health and fitness hub that stores your daily steps, calories burned, and heart-rate results (that you can measure with the new heart-rate monitor on the S5). Another interesting new feature in Samsung’s skin is Download Booster that you can toggle on and off from the notification dropdown. It basically uses your mobile data and Wi-Fi connections in concert for quicker downloads of large files.

The S Health app and heart rate monitor of the Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
The S Health app and heart rate monitor of the Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
The S Health app and heart rate monitor of the Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
The S Health app and heart rate monitor of the Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

The S Health app and heart rate monitor of the Galaxy S5


Processor and Memory

The Galaxy S5 ships with the newest quad-core Snapdragon 801 system chip, but the performance gap with the Nexus 5 is not that large. Support for expandable storage, though, is a big plus for the S5.

Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 5 come with very fast, quad-core Snapdragon system chips that secure a smooth and enjoyable, lag-free Android experience. The S5 has time on its side, and as the newer handset, it comes with the slightly faster Snapdragon 801 chip, while the Nexus 5 runs on Snapdragon 800 silicon.

The difference between the two comes mainly from the different clock speeds. The S5 with the Snapdragon 801 chip can run its Krait 400 processor at up to 2.45GHz, while the Nexus 5’s CPU can reach clock speeds of up to 2.26GHz. The graphics chip on the S5 also runs at higher frequencies of up to 578MHz, while the Nexus 5’s graphics reach up to 450MHz. Along with that, both devices feature 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, but memory bandwidth is slightly speedier on the S5: 933MHz vs 800MHz on the Nexus 5. Apart from that, both chips are manufactured on the same 28nm HPm node, and are nearly identical in terms of architecture.

Put in a nutshell, we’re looking at gradual improvement in performance that does not make for a drastic difference in real-life usage, as both devices can run even the most demanding mobile software out there, including intense games, without a stutter. At the same time, the Galaxy S5 is clearly the more future-proof device. Its Snapdragon 801 system chip also enables some interesting new features like

Internal storage starts at 16GB on both the Galaxy S5 (with nearly 12GB of them being user-available) and the Nexus 5 (12.5 gigs available to end-users). The Galaxy S5, however, has the advantage of supporting expandable storage via microSD cards of up to 128GB, while the Nexus 5 does not have the option to expand its built-in memory.

Performance benchmarks

Quadrant
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 25041
Google Nexus 5 8455
AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 36603
Google Nexus 5 26340
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1186
Google Nexus 5 1166
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1632
Google Nexus 5 1524
Sunspider
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 777.3
Google Nexus 5 723.9
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 11.7
Google Nexus 5 9.4
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1054
Google Nexus 5 891.3
View all

Internet and Connectivity

Both the Galaxy S5 and Nexus 5 support 4G LTE, rich connectivity options, and a smooth web surfing experience.

You can surf the web via the mobile Chrome browser, which comes pre-loaded on both devices, but Samsung actually opts for its own custom Android browser as the default solution. Both browsers get the job done in an efficient and fast manner, and differ mainly in their interface. Chrome seems just a tad bit better suited for touch interface with its neat card-based interface, and it supports cross-device syncing. Scrolling and zooming around webpages happens without a stutter, as you’d expect from such high-class smartphones.

Browsing the web on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Browsing the web on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Browsing the web on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Browsing the web on the Samsung Galaxy S5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

Browsing the web on the Samsung Galaxy S5


Web browser of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Web browser of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Web browser of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5
Web browser of the Google Nexus 5 - Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5

Web browser of the Google Nexus 5


In terms of connectivity, both feature 4G LTE with appropriate bands for different markets, but the S5 has the newer Category 4 Qualcomm Gobi modem that supports up to 150Mbps on the downlink, while the Nexus 5 can handle as much as 100Mbps in downloads.

Additionaly connectivity options include dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and NFC on both. The S5 also has an infra-red (IR) beamer that can be used as a remote control for a TV and other electronics.

9 Comments
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posted on 07 Apr 2014, 23:30

1. techloverNYC (Posts: 422; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


If only the Samsung camera have ISO, it would have been the perfect camera. I don't why phone companys always leave out things they know it would improve their product.

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 23:48 3

2. iushnt (Posts: 753; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


at first s5 felt like an dissapointed but now it is becoming the King.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 00:26 1

3. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Nexus 5 is still 'the little phone that could'....

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 00:39 1

4. camera531 (Posts: 173; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


The Nexus 5 screen is washed out compared to the HTC M8 (and definitely an AMOLED screen). It's still decent and acceptable if you're not comparing it to a top screen side-by-side. My problem with the N5 screen is the backlight "wash". Looking straight on is great. Tilt the phone straight back and the viewing angle is great. However, start looking at it from side angles and the backlight suddenly washes everything out with a grayish tint over the screen. The reason this is a major problem (for me) is because that's generally the angle you're looking at when it's laying flat on a table. Unlike the HTC M8 and (presumably) the S5, the N5's screen is horrible at off angles, replicated when looking at it flat on a coffee table, for example. It just screams "low end", and with a 1080 IPS screen, it should be the exact opposite. It's supposedly based on the LG G2, which has a class leading LCD (with outstanding viewing angles). Very unfortunate.

posted on 08 Apr 2014, 08:14

5. wildcat80 (Posts: 5; Member since: 02 Aug 2012)


This the fourth review/comparison if the S5 without a chart showing the S5's battery life. PA, what gives? Where is this vital info?

posted on 09 Apr 2014, 00:34

6. irbaaz (Posts: 115; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


I would prefer 2 nexus 5 rather than 1 s5......

posted on 16 May 2014, 06:34

7. sanopa (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 May 2014)


I just sold my Nexus 5 and bought an S5 and I have to say I really miss the Nexus. Yes the S5 has more features however when it comes to battery life and performance it doesn't feel fair to compare them even-though I tried two launchers to get away from touchwiz and used task killers. Very disappointed in the S5.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 07:07

8. andriodfanboy1 (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


nexus 5 vs samsung galaxy s5 which one i should buy i used s4 and sold to buy z1 but u know z1 isnt for me i am plaining to change and i am confused in these two ?any sug

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 11:12

9. DreadfulArc94 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Nov 2014)


When the Nexus 5 updated to Lollipop 5.0 is runs alot smoother and it is a lot faster now, i highly suggest getting the Nexus 5 is cheaper and a better pick

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