Samsung Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s: first look


Samsung Galaxy S5, together with the Sony Xperia Z2, will be the Android flagships to beat in the not-so-distant future, but there is another warrior lurking in the shadows - the iPhone 5s. Apple's finest is always a popular choice with users, that's why we staged a fight between the iPhone 5s, and the newly-announced Galaxy S5.

Design


Measuring at just 8.1 mm, the Galaxy S5 is only a tad thicker than the iPhone 5s, but much larger and heavier, thanks to the larger, 5.1" 1080p display. It's plastic build introduces a new perforated back refrain, which come in several flashy colors. Apple's iPhone features premium metal and glass materials for the chassis, while the handset is, naturally, much more compact, and way easier to use with one hand. Both handsets have some unique design features to flaunt - Apple has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded in the home key, while the S5 has a swipe Finger Scanner there. Samsung's phone is also waterproof, and sports a heart rate monitor on the back.

Display


The S5 has a 5.1" 1080p Super AMOLED screen, that Samsung says is capable of 500 nits of peak brightness, almost what the 4" 640x1136 pixels display on the iPhone is able to churn out, too. Both panels sport great viewing angles, but the S5 has higher pixel density than what the 5s offers. Apple has proven many times that its phone display panels flaunt almost perfect color representation, whereas the AMOLED panels exhibit somewhat cold and saturated colors, which seems to be the case with the S5 display, too.

Interface


The S5 carries Samsung's own interface overlay, coated over Android 4.4 KitKat. There are numerous functionality improvements, like Private Mode an Kid Corner, aimed to make your life with the handset easier. The iPhone runs the simpler iOS 7, with its command and notification centers, which doesn't, however, support the widget functionality.

Processor and memory


Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset with LTE support, paired with 2 GB of RAM. This processor is just a step below Qualcomm's fastest Snapdragon 805, and offers much improved image processing. Apple offers a no-less fast, 64-bit A7 processing chip in its handset, and 1 GB of RAM. The 5s has 16 GB of internal memory from the box, just as the S5, which, however, carries a microSD slot for more.
 

Camera


A brand new, 16 MP camera sensor, is what Samsung used for the Galaxy S5, and a 2.1 MP frontal shooter. It claims that the camera unit now provides the fastest 0.3 seconds autofocus times of all handsets - a feat made possible by the dedicated image signal processors in the Snapdragon 801 chipset. There's also a new Selective Focus camera option, that will capture at different focus settings, leading to a blurred out background, for more artsy photos - a feature we found to be a bit finicky on our demo unit. Apple's iPhone 5s' 8 MP camera has consistently delivered great results in our camera comparisons, and it flaunts a very simple, easy to use camera app.


Expectations


Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s might not seem in the same category, when it comes to one-handed usage, but the traditional Apple-Samsung rivalry has always set the duo apart, and this year is unlikely to be an exception. They will also be priced quite similar, if history is any indication. Both phones have very good displays, fast processors, and offer lag-free interface and app experience. Samsung one-ups the iPhone in the camera department, offering 4K video, Selective focus, and real-time HDR mode. Apple's iPhone 5s sports the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, whereas Samsung counters with the Finger Scanner, again in the home key, a heart rate sensor, and a waterproof chassis. If Samsung's extra features are important for you, the Galaxy S5 will be the obvious choice, unless your preferences include a much more compact and leaner chassis, like the one on the iPhone 5s.

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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28 Comments

1. verbalize

Posts: 150; Member since: May 03, 2013

Big big big disappointment... Guess what I'm not getting now.

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

get over it and buy a boring phone, buy an iphone...

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 7228; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The more boring the phone, the better. I'm buying things that help me communicate, I don't want to waste my time, flipping through stuff; if I want to entertain myself, I go see a play... So yes, a boring phone is the better phone.

16. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

I'm with you on this one. I had my hopes up so high that they were going to up the ante with the design. It's my only gripe with the Galaxy S phones. They are good performers but they are unattractive IMO. Keeping my Nexus 5 for sure now!

33. Finest

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

Z2 perhaps ?

2. alaw.14

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

What??? The iphone 5s

3. Carlitos

Posts: 664; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Idk why even bother comparing. The 5s is more in the league of the S4 and the Note 3.

8. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I take offense when you compare it to a Note 3. Night and day difference; I had a 5s and regretted the entire experience.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No you didn't.

38. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

+1 He probably never owned one; he hated the experience, geez. You could had lied better, and said it was too small for your hands.

30. blingblingthing

Posts: 946; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

The iPhone 5s and a note 3 in league? I guess you're talking respective flagships from manufacturers? Can't think of anything else.

5. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Probably not a fair fight for the 5S...idk

7. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I think it's time to retire the 5s from these comparisons. Just tired of seeing a very small phone go up against something much bigger than itself. It's the same theme every time when I see it.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Maybe you should retire account from PA then.

9. dancorcal

Posts: 39; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

I'm hearing that it really is the qhd display and the 1080 is not correct.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Post the link

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

People are tripping, but I think the blue Galaxy s4.2 is a nice device. I can't wait to see what the Galaxy s5 looks like in 2017.

17. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

That'll be around the same time Apple stops putting out the same device year after year.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That comeback suggests butthurt. Sorry today's announcement hurt your bum.

21. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

You must be fascinated with my "bum" and hurting my butt. Why else would you be mentioning it? And todays announcement was fine. I think the S5 is a great device and far superior to the crap that CR@ppl3 continuously puts out year after year.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Awwww the baby wants to one up meawww. Him wants the wast word, ok wittle man him can havy wavy the wast word. I promise not to respond to your response to my response to your butthurtness of the galaxy s 4.2.

26. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

And yet here you are. Commenting again. Guess you wanted the last word more than you care to admit. But denial is normal for Apple fanboys.

40. ChocolatePants

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

And yet here you are. Commenting again. Guess you wanted the last word more than you care to admit. But denial is normal for Samsung fanboys. (Don't care which device is better, but ur comment is hilarious.)

25. Ikechukwu

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

would this guy reviwing ever stop those little biased statements he always makes in favor of his iPhone?

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

And yet here you are. Commenting again. Guess you wanted the last word more than you care to admit. But denial is normal for Apple fanboys DJX2

28. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

So now you're going the childish route. Copying what I just wrote. I guess Apple fanboys are babies too. Then again, the iPhone is a Fisher Price toy so...

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So now you're going the childish route. Copying what I just wrote. I guess Apple fanboys are babies too. Then again, the iPhone is a Fisher Price toy so... DJX2

31. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Keep swinging from 'em homie. Its obvious you're lockjaw tight on them. Troll.

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