Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: in-depth specs comparison

The Apple iPhone 6 is no longer hidden below a thick veil of mystery, as Apple finally revealed the much-awaited flagship at a “historic” event today. After several years of dwelling in the realm of 4-inch displays, the iPhone lineup has finally scored a pretty substantial bump in its display size – from 4” all the way up to 4.7”, finally putting it (sort of) closer to the size league of its Android rivals, most of which have been hopping over the 5” inch barrier for quite some time now.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a quite sophisticated “love-hate” relationship over the past few years, and it is Sammy's flagship smartphone for 2014 – the popular Samsung Galaxy S5 – that is destined to be one of the biggest rivals of the newly-fledged iPhone. Usually, the top-end representatives of the Galaxy and the iPhone lineup sit on top of the list of bestselling devices, and it's almost certain that this will be the case in the upcoming months.

But how exactly does the iPhone 6 stack up against its formidable Android contender? Let's delve in a bit and make a more in-depth specs comparison between the two devices. Are these on par or one of them outshines the other by a margin? Let's find out!

Design

The iPhone 6 continues Apple's journey into premiumness, while Samsung might have taken a step back with the Galaxy S5.

Apple's flagship is made of a single aluminum block, now with slightly rounded edges, which is similar to the premium build philosophy of its predecessor, the iPhone 5s. Meanwhile, the polycarbonate encasing of the Galaxy S5 feels plasticky and not as premium as Cupertino's best to date. The latter comes with Samsung's typical design and sets itself from the previous Galaxy flagships with the so-called "glam" design, characterized with the distinct dimple-rich rear cover - yes, it provides more-than-adequate amount of grip, but does it look better than the head-turning aluminum back of the iPhone 6?

Most probably no. The Galaxy S5, however, comes with a removable rear cover and battery (typical for Samsung), whereas Apple has once again given a carte blanche to a fully-sealed body. The iPhone 6 marks a definite hallmark for Apple, as it has gained some 0.7 inches in favor of the previous generation, more than any other iPhone before it.

While its 4.7-inch display is a little behind the Galaxy S5's 5.1-inch one in terms of size, the iPhone is almost on par with Samsung's best if we take the overall dimensions of the two devices in consideration. The iPhone's dimensions are 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches (138.2 x 67.1 x 6.9 mm) and the flagman weighs 4.55 oz (129 g), whereas its Android rival stands at 5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches (142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm) and tips the scales at no more or less than 5.11 oz (145 g).

These measurements clearly suggest that the Galaxy S5 has a higher screen-to-size ratio. On the other hand, iPhone devotees will probably need some time to get used to the bigger size of the iPhone 6, as Cupertino's latest has surely sacrificed a little of its single-handed usability in favor of the bigger display and overall dimensions. The Galaxy S5 also scores a win in the resistance segment - it's IP67-certified and is dust- and water-resistant to some extent.

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Display

The size gap has been shortened, but it will be hard to choose between these compelling displays.

As we already said, the Apple iPhone 6 is Apple's first try at a smartphone with a display, larger than 4 inches, and from the looks of it, it seems that Cupertino might be on the right path.

The iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with a resolution of 750x1334 pixels, which translates to a pixel density that is similar to the one of the iPhone 5s - 326ppi.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels, which means that the Galaxy S5 comes with a higher pixel density of 432 pixels per inch.

Yes, Samsung's flagship is sharper and more pixel-dense on paper, but the average Tom, Dick, and Harry will probably hardly notice any significant difference between the displays of the two smartphones.

Processor and memory

Being the apex predators of their respective makers, both devices won't fail to deliver performance-wise.

Frankly said, no one expected Apple to fit a power-hungry quad- or octa-core processor inside the iPhone 6. The flagship comes with Cupertino's in-house A8 chip, purportedly humming at 1.4GHz. Similar to the A7 silicon inside the iPhone 5s, the processor of the iPhone 6 is a 64-bit one. While the number of cores and the clock rate might not seem impressive to some, Apple has put quite the effort in making the iPhone 6 more power efficient without sacrificing vital performance.

Apple's well-known for successfully optimizing its smartphones, and the iPhone 6 surely does not stray away from this positive trend - thus, we might expect that the hardware and software of the device will work in a seamless and flawless concert. The processor goodness is paired with 1GB of RAM, and it is yet to be seen if this will affect the multi-tasking capabilities of the iPhone 6 in a negative way.

Samsung's Galaxy S5, on the other hand, sports a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC SoC, which is ticking and clicking at 2.5GHz, aided by some 2GB of RAM. The result is pretty clear and logical - apart from occasional interface stutters and hiccups, you'll hardly find anything that will be able to make the life of the Galaxy S5 difficult.

On paper, at least, the Galaxy S5 is a winner, as it packs comparably better hardware specs and the iPhone 6 has little to bring to the table, but how does this affect the day-to-day performance of these smartphone beasts? As we already said, despite being more power-laden than the iPhone 6, we strongly suspect that both devices are on par performance-wise.

Interface

User-friendliness meets an abundance of features, beauty meets flexibility, iOS 8 meets customized Android.

Cupertino already lifted the veil off the latest version of its iOS platform, iOS 8, early June 2014, and the iPhone 6 will arrive with this exact variation of the eye-pleasing and buttery-smooth OS right out of the box. This was yet another hallmark for Apple, as iOS 8 brings a formidable number of new features and functionalities on top of its predecessor - it has taken a page from Android's book and is now a lot more open to developers. Third-party keyboards are one of the several aspects that Apple now allows, and aside from this big implementation, iOS 8 has also scored a multitude of performance and feature-related novelties.

The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, runs Samsung's often-criticized and somewhat messy TouchWiz user interface atop Android 4.4 KitKat. It might be a farrago of an excessive number of software features, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 surely has the upper hand over the iPhone 6 when it comes to software customization and overall flexibility. It is expected that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be eventually treated to the Android L goodness - on paper, we might expect improved performance, battery life, and design, but will this be enough for the Galaxy S5 to stand up to the iOS 8-running iPhone 6 in terms of software?

What's more, we can't overlook the fact that the interface of the iPhone 6, apart from being a tad more eye-pleasing, is also a lot more user-friendly than TouchWiz, while the Galaxy S5 totes a hefty learning curve with itself, especially for those Android newbies who take a Samsung flagship in their hands for the very first time.

Camera

The Apple iPhone 6 has all the potential to challenge the Galaxy S5 in both the photography and video-recording departments.


Packing a 16MP camera with an ISOCELL sensor and an aperture of f/2.2, the Samsung Galaxy S5 already topped several of our blind camera comparisons and proved that it has one of the best imaging sensors among the current crop of smartphones. The newly-unveiled iPhone 6 comes with a 8MP rear iSight camera with an aperture of f/2.2. A True Tone dual-LED (dual tone) flash assists the smartphone in its photography endeavors. The size of the imaging sensor in the rear camera of Cupertino's latest has also grown in size to 1/2.6" compared to its predecessor, which has a 1/3" one. It also comes with a phased detection autofocus, which is similar to the autofocus of most DSLR cameras. However, the iPhone 6 doesn't have the OIS (optical image stabilization) that is found in the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which would have been a great asset in the heated battle against the notable Galaxy flagship.

This will surely have a positive effect on the overall quality of the produced photos, and while sound logic suggests that Apple has upped its game in this department, it is yet to be seen to what extent this is entirely true. The front-facing snappers of both the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5 are 2.1MP ones. The front camera of the iPhone 6 scores an aperture of f/2.2, and according to Apple, allows 81% more light to get inside the sensor. Undoubtedly, both rivals will breathe down one other's necks in the selfie department.

The video-recording capabilities of the Apple iPhone 6 deserve a special mention - while the iPhone 5s came with a 120fps video-recording mode at 720p, the Apple iPhone further pushes this margin to 240fps at 720p. This paves the way for spectacular, ultra slow-motion videos. Additionally, 1080p videos can now be shot at 60fps, another novelty over the older iPhone generation. However, let's not forget that the Galaxy S5 is able to record 4K videos with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels at 30fps. 


Conclusion and expectations


Well, there we have it, our deeper look at the main differences between the Apple iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5! It is pretty safe to say that both of these will grasp each other by the necks right off the bat. As the Apple iPhone 6 got unveiled a whole half a year after the Galaxy S5 got launched, it's pretty logical that Apple has taken its time and perfected its new flagship so as to make it a lot better than Sammy's finest, but has it succeeded?

If we take the improvements the Apple iPhone 6 has over the iPhone 5s and compare them to the perfections that the Samsung Galaxy S5 has over the Galaxy S4, we could say that Cupertino has stuck to the basics and carefully perfected its flagship in some of the most vital areas, which is usually a winning strategy. Undoubtedly, the iPhone 6 will give the Galaxy S5 a hard time on the market, but does this make it a better overall device? We suppose that as most things in life, it comes down to your personal preferences, but we have to give credit to Apple for once again pushing its limits.

While it's only now scoring some hardware features that most of its Android rivals have sported for quite some time now, Apple's foray into bigger, more advanced smartphones will surely sound the alarms in the headquarters of most of its rivals - they won't be able to rely on sheer screen real estate to score an easy victory over the iPhone 6 and its bigger brother.


Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7 inches 1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A8 1GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1810 mAh
  • OS iOS 12.x
Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera) 2.1 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow Samsung TouchWiz UI

FEATURED VIDEO

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless