Interface and functionality

Android 4.4.2 KitKat – that's what runs on the Samsung Galaxy S5 out of the box. As for the LG G2, a KitKat update has already started rolling out for LG's flagship handset. It doesn't come as a surprise, however, that both phones rely on a custom interface instead of Android's stock one.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 runs TouchWiz UI in its latest form, which is now flatter and packed with more features than ever. It is colorful, there's no denying that, but it is also visually inconsistent – some menus have a flat, minimalist look, while others appear as if they have been copied from a cartoon. The heavily customized UI on the LG G2 is a bit better in that respect, but it is probably too colorful and sparkly than it should be. Thankfully, LG is giving us plenty of customization freedom by letting us pick unlock and transition animations, as well as to switch the UI theme.

In terms of extras and goodies, the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with S Health 3.0, which is a fitness application for tracking your exercise regime and habits. In fact, the feature can generate a fitness routine tailored to the user's needs and preferences. How does that work? Well, through putting all of the S5's sensors to good use. These track the user's movements during exercise, and the data is used to calculate the amount of calories being burned. What's more, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a heart rate monitor built in – that module below the main camera – and it is used to feed even more data to S Health for even better results. The sensor, however, isn't as accurate as we wish it was. We gave it a few tries and it didn't always manage to measure our pulse. All in all, its success rate appears to be around the 50:50 mark.

One of the Galaxy S5's homescreens is dedicated to the My Magazine feature. And yes, as you might guess, it acts like a personal magazine with curated articles on topics you might be interested in. The service is provided courtesy of Flipboard.

Multitasking on the Samsung Galaxy S5 has been taken to the next level with the Multi Window feature, which lets us have two apps running side by side simultaneously. And it is pretty cool – for example, we can have a YouTube video playing while carrying a chat with a buddy at the same time. Not to be outdone, the LG G2 can also have certain apps opened in a window for enhanced multitasking. What's more, LG's flagship comes with Slide Aside, which lets us save up to three app in their current state for later use. Heavy multitaskers might find this feature useful.

On the Samsung Galaxy S5 we find an on-screen keyboard that feels very similar to the one found on its predecessor. It is convenient having an extra row on top with all the numbers, and the dedicated smiley key on the left is a welcome addition. The keyboard excels both in terms of speed and accuracy. Same goes for the keyboard on the LG G2. It is large, with well laid-out and easy to hit keys.

Processor and memory

The Samsung Galaxy S5 definitely has the upper hand in this category, although the LG G2 is not too far behind it. Samsung's newest high-end is powered by a Snapdragon 801 chip, model MSM8974-AC. This is pretty much the best silicon that Qualcomm currently has to offer, featuring a quad-core Krait 400 CPU that can be clocked at up to 2.5GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU running at 578MHz. Under the hood of the LG G2 we find last year's Snapdragon 800 SoC, MSM8974-AA, with a 2.26GHz, quad-core Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 450MHz. On paper, the G2's silicon is slightly weaker, but in reality, both phones are on the same page when it comes to real-world performance. Their UIs run fluidly, and so do even the newest 3D games. Still, the Samsung Galaxy S5 could prove more future-proof than the LG G2 in the long run. Both smartphones have 2GB of RAM, which is enough to meet the demands of the great majority of users. Sure enough, the two have no troubles switching back and forth between recent apps.

On a side note, a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 with an Exynos 5 Octa SoC will ship in select markets. The chip will sport a total of 8 processor cores – four high-performance ones with a 2.1GHz maximum clock speed and four 1.5GHz energy-efficient ones, which will take care of lesser tasks on their own. The Snapdragon 801 model of the Galaxy S5 is the one expected to reach a higher number of buyers.

Although the Samsung Galaxy S5 is advertised as having 16GB of on-board storage, only a fraction of it is available to the user – a well-known phenomenon among smartphones. To be more specific, the 16GB model provides you with about 10.7 gigs. Thankfully, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a microSD card slot for storage augmentation, capable of handling up to 128 gigs extra. Alternatively, you can always pick up the 32GB version. No microSD card slot is available on the LG G2 – keep that in mind when picking between a 16- or 32-gigabyte model. Note that about 6 gigs are occupied by non-removable system files.

Quadrant Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 25041
LG G2 20654
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 36603
LG G2 35376
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1186
LG G2 1229
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1632
LG G2 2951
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 777.3
LG G2 932.8
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S5 1054
LG G2 772

Internet browser and connectivity

Like a modern-day high-end smartphone should, the Samsung Galaxy S5 zips through both light and heavy web pages with ease. Navigation is smooth and responsive, pages load quickly, and it can swiftly go back and forth between opened tabs. We do see an occasional lag on those really heavy web pages, but overall, the phone's stock web browser is a pretty good one indeed. The LG G2 and its stock web browser are also ideal for surfing the web. With heavy web pages, however, lags are slightly more frequent.

Any connectivity feature you might need on a smartphone is present on the Samsung Galaxy S5, and then some: Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0LE, NFC, USB 3.0, and GPS with GLONASS compatibility for improved accuracy in areas with weaker signal. LTE is also supported, as long as your carrier is offering LTE services, that is. Of note is the Wi-Fi MIMO setup, which uses dual antennas to enhance the Wi-Fi radio's performance. While we're at it, we have to mention the Download Booster feature included with the Galaxy S5. In a nutshell, it aggregates bandwidth from the Wi-Fi you're connected to and your carrier's cellular network to enable super-fast downloads of up to 300Mbps. The boost, however, should be used only when it is really needed as you probably don't want to use up your plan's megabytes on non-urgent stuff.



1. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I still don't see the while concept behind the om screen buttons, never understood why google shifted to this direction, and will always chose a phone with physical/capacitive buttons over on screen ones.

10. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Ditto. That's why I chose the DROID Maxx over the Moto X, but was severely underwhelmed by it so I rolled with the Note 3. I'm curious to see if the multitask button on the S5 can be changed to a menu button.

2. rkoforever90

Posts: 473; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

G2 is almost 200 pounds cheaper than s5. making it a far better handset in terms of VFM. also designwise G2 seems better . but samsung`s camera is impressive

3. asingha94

Posts: 295; Member since: Apr 08, 2012

g2 any day!!It has a far better camera & obviously cheap!

6. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

LG G2 is still the best phone for its price ! s5 is not good design and i hate AMOLED 'S FAKE COLORS! STILL G2 IS CHEAPER AND BETTER CHOICE ....

9. thunder18

Posts: 156; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

Don't drink the Kool-aid. Even Displaymate says the S5's screen is the most accurate yet. More accurate than standard IPS LCDs.

12. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

try to read the article you are commenting on you troll

4. Sprissy

Posts: 193; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

The G2 buttons on the back are actually quite nice once you get use to them, I never have any issues with them like I do with the side ones on other phones. When I gave up my S3 for the G2 I was not disappointed, it's an awesome phone.

5. TisaTsir

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

G2 is out performing S5 in some areas...I would go for G2 since it's €230 cheaper than S5 and the specs are almost the same.

7. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

G3 SOON.......... as of now still G2 !

13. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

do you mind mentioning where the G2 oit performed the S5? unless and of course you didn't read the article, just like every other LG fanboy who commented in here.

16. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Battery life, screen to body ratio(ofcourse onscreen buttons take some place, but still you got 0,1 bigger screen in smaller body) and for some people design. I also like buttons on the back. However I think that amoled screens are future and screen in S5 just confirm it :)

8. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Wow, the 9 month old G2 can hold its own against the S5. But with better ergonomics, on-par display and camera but with that bonus OIS, better looks (for me, and for all non samsung fan boys) and a whole lot of cash in my pocket, I would easily go with the G2. G2 FTW..!! Btw, I dunno what torture the G3 is going to do to the S5..lols

11. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

the G2 is 6 months old smarty pants. And try to read before you comment, not just this site but every other reviewer felt that the S5 is far better in design since it ditched the glossy plastic. And did you even bother reading the display part? the S5 has 4 different modes, 2 of them have more accurate color reproduction than the G2. And the G2 didn't do any harm for the S4 sales, actually nothing did, so why on earth do you think people will want it over the S5?

14. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

yeah yeah, you again with the sales numbers, please...lols...hahahaaa. Pity on you, seriously..!! Try to read before comment?? Did you read my comment and also the things in the brackets?? C'mon super sammy boy..stop yelling at people having a different opinion than yours. And looks are subjective, and I clearly mentioned that. Btw, the G2 was announced in August 2013, so do the math.

15. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Announced in August, released in September. Still, if you're taking the announcement in account, the S5 was announced in February, that makes it 5 months instead of 6 "genius". better looks (for me, and for all non samsung fan boys), yeah I can clearly see how is that being subjective. And it is you who said that you can clearly see how it will torture the S5, you were clearly pointing at sales you knucklehead

19. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Hahahahaaaa, its utterly pointless replying to you, so i'm done..! :-D

17. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I would choose the G2 over the GS5 if it had the 801 instead of the 800 and if the buttons weren't on the back. So unfortunately the GS5 wins hands down, although the G3 should beat the GS5 hands down.

18. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

I'll keep my G2, thank you S5 :)

20. acn2003

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

G2 any time... s5 is way too overpriced for what it gives...

21. Mrobinson

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

I had my Lg G2 for 6 months and hate it. Its still mint condition and its been freezing and the battery dies alot quicker than it suppose to. Thinking about switching to the s5. LG and my carrier cant find a single problem with me phone so if anyone has any tips let me know.

22. lamrith

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Just FYI - This may not be an issue for everyone, but the S5 has issues with USB connectivity. It will only connect as a media device, it will not connect as a USB Mass storage device with a drive letter. Due to that you cannot access and edit files on the phone directly. I have also heard people having issues connecting to car sterios etc. GREAT phone other than that. How can these new phones not come with this basic feature?

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