Call Quality

First, we start with the call quality on the Galaxy S5. On our end of the line, voices are transmitted loud enough, but the sound itself is a bit muffled and lacks in quality. Our callers, on the other hand, reported hearing our voice loudly, but there was a slight hiss to the sound and high-frequencies appear too loud. Summing it up, call quality on the S5 hovers around average.

The Nexus 5 yields comparable results, with its own different advantages and disadvantages. The issue with Google's handsets that volume in the earpiece is lacking, and you have to press the phone tightly against your ear to hear better, especially in loud environments. Moreover, voices have a bit of flat tone – that's not something that would stop you from understanding what caller say, but still it's noticeable. On the other end of the line call quality is better and our callers reported hearing our voice in its natural, distinctive tone.


The Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 2800mAh battery, while the juicer on the Nexus 5 has a 2300mAh capacity. Battery is often said to be a weak spot for the Nexus 5, as the device barely makes it through a work day, and ranks towards the bottom of our battery rankings. The Galaxy S5, in contrasts, fares much better as it will easily withstand a full day of intense use, and under scarcer usage, you might even have to recharge it once every two days.

The battery on the S5 is also user-removable - all it takes is to peel off the back cover to access the battery department. That’s one feature the Nexus 5 does not have as it’s battery is sealed.

On the flip side of things, Google’s Nexus 5 features wireless charging out of the box (via the Qi standard) - a convenience that the Galaxy S5 does not support.

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)
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)


The Galaxy S5 modernizes and improves Samsung's vision for what Android should look like with a nice and modern reiteration of the TouchWiz user interface. Interestingly, in its vision, Samsung approaches Google's idea of what stock Android should look like. While still hugely different, the Nexus 5 and Galaxy S5 seem to be sharing more in terms of interface than before.

The Galaxy S5 has some other advantages in the form of its protected from the elements body and more powerful silicon. Its biggest improvement, though, seems to have happened in the camera department where Samsung has done a good job with its ISOCELL sensor. All of these are meaningful advantages over the Nexus 5.

At the same time, touted features like the fingerprint reader and heart-rate monitor are a bit fiddly. Most importantly, though, the Galaxy S5 just cannot match the extreme price-to-value ratio of the Nexus 5. At just half the price of the S5, one is tempted to forgive a lot of the flaws in Google's smartphone.

Summing all up, we'd say that – regardless of price – the Galaxy S5 is a phone that is better by a slight but consistent margin, in nearly all its aspects. The huge price difference, though, is a tough argument to overcome with gradual improvements, and we still expect budget-conscious buyers to swing towards the Nexus 5.

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