Call quality


Apple's iPhone 5s offers three mics for noise-cancellation, so the voices relayed on the other side are strong, clear, and free of high-pitched distortions or ambient noise. Its earpiece is also very clean and powerful. The Galaxy S5 has two noise-canceling mics, and quality on both side of the fence is about average, while the sound volume is pretty strong. On our side the earpiece showed adequate strength, but the voices sounded somewhat hollow and muted. Its mics relayed our voice with a slight hiss and digitalization to the other end, but the sound remained strong and very audible.

Battery life

We get stellar battery endurance from both handsets, with a slight advantage for the Galaxy S5.

Samsung placed a 2800 mAh battery in the S5, that it said is good for 10 hours of web browsing, and up to 12 hours of HD video playback, which in our time with the device proved rather credible. The iPhone 5s also goes to similar endurance lengths in browsing and video, but achieves it with a 1570 mAh unit, since it has to power a smaller, lower-resolution display. Its talk time is cited as 10 hours in 3G mode, though, while the Galaxy S5 musters 21 hours.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)

Conclusion


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 won't be an exception. The phones are priced quite similar, as usual, but offer a completely different approach to your mobile needs. Both have very good displays and cameras, fast processors, and offer lag-free interface and app experience for their respective mobile platforms.

The steel-and-glass design of the iPhone 5s, however, looks better, and is way more comfortable to use with one hand than the largish plastic Galaxy S5. Samsung, however, offers a more versatile design with the water-resistant chassis, swappable battery and expandable storage of the S5. Granted, its Fingerprint Scanner is much more finicky to use than the elegant Touch ID solution of Apple, but the S5 throws in some extra features that the iPhone doesn't have, like a heartrate sensor, and an IR blaster that could prove more useful. Samsung offers a more functional interface, too, and one-ups the iPhone in the video capturing department, offering 4K video.

In case your preferences usually gravitate towards much more compact and leaner chassis than what the S5 offers, or you are firmly invested in the iOS ecosystem, the iPhone 5s will come to the rescue with a premium design and fine performance where it counts. If Samsung's extra hardware and software features mentioned above, however, seem more important for you, or you can't live without a large display, the Galaxy S5 is the one that will justify your interest.


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