Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Interface and Functionality
Samsung's new TouchWiz user interface takes a few important steps to become more user-friendly and likable. Plus, it feature a new S Health app that can aggregate health and fitness data.
Samsung ships the Galaxy S5 with the latest version of its TouchWiz (TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0), running atop the newest Android 4.4 KitKat. Good news is that the Galaxy S4 has now also been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat, and it is confirmed to also get the newest version of TouchWiz.
So what’s new in the latest TouchWiz on the Galaxy S5? The skin has undergone evolution towards improved user friendliness with larger icons, less clutter, and visual cues instead of endless text lists. Samsung has refashioned all the icons making them look flatter and modern-looking (less-cartoonish), without radically changing their looks, so you’d still feel at home in the new TouchWiz, if you’ve used a Samsung-made Android phone earlier. In the settings, long text lists are replaced with quick settings icons that give very clear visual cues that should help even newbie users easier adjust their settings.
Core apps like the phonebook and text messenger have also received a redesign with the phonebook now featuring a dark theme with less empty space, and with tiles for favorite contacts.
The new S Health app is worth a special mention since it has grown to become a more comprehensive health and fitness hub that stores your daily steps, calories burned, and heart-rate measurements (that you can take with the new heart-rate monitor). Another new feature is Download Booster that you can enable from the notification dropdown, a technology that uses your 4G and Wi-Fi connections in combination for quicker downloads of large files.
Processor and Memory
The Galaxy S5 features the latest, quad-core Snapdragon 801 system chip, and it's noticeably faster than the Snapdragon 600 silicon used in the Galaxy S4.
Coming nearly a year after the S4, the Galaxy S5 - naturally - features a faster system chip. There are actually two versions of both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxys S5 - each of the two is available either in an Exynos-based model, or in a Snapdragon-based one. We will be comparing the Qualcomm versions of the S4 and the S5 below, since that is the version that will ship to most of the world, including Western markets. The performance of the Exynos-based Galaxy S5 will be a topic of a different discussion.)
The Galaxy S4 has the Snapdragon 600, while the S5 ships with the newer and faster Snapdragon 801. The immediate practical benefits of the 801 chip include 2K video capturing and decoding capabilities, as well as support for eMMC 5.0, a new standard for faster memory transfers from memory. Diving deeper in the technical details, you’d find that the S5 and S4 have a lot in common - they both come with quad-core Qualcomm chips built on the 28nm node, and both feature 2GB of RAM, but there are some important differences as well. The S5’s Snapdragon 801 chip is manufactured using the more efficient, 28nm HPm manufacturing (vs 28nm LP on the S4), and its processor (called Krait 400) runs at much faster clock speeds of up to 2.45GHz (1.7GHz on the S4). In addition to that, the Galaxy S5 also sports Adreno 330 graphics, a chip running at up to 578MHz, much higher than the 400MHz-capable Adreno 320 on the S4. These big differences in clock speeds result in some very obvious real-world advantages the S5 has in areas like gaming.
Internal storage starts at 16GB on both the S5 and the S4 (of that around 12GB are actually available to end users), and - luckily - both support expandable storage via microSD cards. Officially, the S5 supports up to 128GB microSD cards, and the S4 - up to 64 gigs.
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 25041
Samsung Galaxy S4 12078
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 36603
Samsung Galaxy S4 24701
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1186
Samsung Galaxy S4 704
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1632
Samsung Galaxy S4 1702
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 777.3
Samsung Galaxy S4 1082.9
Internet and Connectivity
You can only expect the best from both the Galaxy S5 and S4 in terms of connectivity – both support 4G LTE, and surfing the web is a fast and enjoyable experience. The S5 has support for slightly faster LTE, though.
You access the web via either Samsung’s custom Android browser, or via Google’s Chrome, both of which come pre-loaded on the Galaxy S5 and S4. Samsung’s solution has received a visual overhaul moving towards flatter looks, and it also stands out with its full-screen mode that makes for a truly immersive browsing. Chrome, on the other hand, has a well-suited for touch interface, and comes with outstanding cross-devices syncing capabilities. In reality both browser are zippy and get the job done. Comparing the speeds between the S5 and S4, the Galaxy S5 has a very slight advantage in page loading and rendering speeds, but it’s a minute difference most users wouldn’t even notice. Scrolling and zooming around on both devices’ browsers is smooth and lag-free.
In terms of connectivity, both Galaxies come with 4G LTE support, but the S5 supports higher download speeds of up to 150Mbps with its Category 4 Qualcomm Gobi modem, while the S4 maxes out at 100Mbps downlink capacity.
Other connectivity options like dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, an Infra-red beamer and NFC are on board on both.
1. Cyan3boN (Posts: 437; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
And the best thing is the price drop for the Galaxy S4, which makes it much more affordable now :)
3. Tech_Junkie1996 (Posts: 43; Member since: 29 Aug 2013)
The funny thing about Phonearea's depiction of the display, is tha some company that grade screen panels claimed that the S5 had the dpbest display they had ever seen. If this is true, then Phone arena has a serious grudge against Samsung, and I will begin going somewhere else for my tech info.
4. buggerrer (Posts: 301; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)
"...turning off mobile data, GPS and locations services, it can extend your battery life to 24 hours of standby..."
I do that normally. Those features should be turned on at need, not always-on.
5. forum1 (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Apr 2014)
I’m really disappointed about the call quality review as I was expecting the call quality to be superb on this flagship device. I have difficulty justifying the purchase of any device with phone functionality that isn’t excellent, but it’s absolutely absurd when paying for a top-of-the-line phone. I know calling may not be the primary use for many people, but if the device is going to have phone functionality there is no excuse for it to not be top-notch.
6. tarek1980 (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
this is an advertisement for S5, because S4 was and still selling better than S5
8. javy108 (Posts: 482; Member since: 27 Jul 2014)
I hope Samsung release Galaxy S6 soon :) so I can buy a S4 cheeeapeeer! :D
9. robertkoa (Posts: 54; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)
I agree with Forum 1's comments above re; call quality.
In fact the idea that you may have a better Speakerphone, Microphone, and,Earpiece on
a $100-150 phone ( example LG Motion 4 G ) than a $650. (Galaxy S5 ) for example
is fairly ridiculous on ANY A/V Device.
In 2015 this needs to change and thanks to HTC One, One M8 etc. it will PROBABLY.
Consumers IMO should NOT accept inferior call quality on a 500 Dollar Device.
The Radios are much better now and it is mostly that you get
REALLY CHEAP speakers, earpieces, and microphones a on MOST phones.
It is not Rocket Science just manufacturers spending a few dollars more on Components.
No more inferior Audio on Flagships in 2015 PLEASE.
Manufacturers have been getting away with bells, whistles, screens, spec races, and forgetting Audio ....this should end.