Samsung’s world beating flagship will be here soon and while it’s not quite the phone some were hoping for it’s still tremendously powerful and packed full of features. It’s also arguably the only phone which is likely to stand up to the might of the iPhone 5S. Apple’s phone is getting on a bit now, but it’s still the latest and greatest iPhone and still flies off the shelves. But which superphone is best? Read on to find out.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is no less plastic than the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it has at least had a bit of a redesign, with a perforated, almost industrial looking back replacing the curved glossy plastic of its predecessor. The new look is arguably better and certainly a much needed change. The biggest improvement though is that the Galaxy S5 is dust and water resistant, which gives you one less thing to worry about. Its 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm dimensions leave it quite large, but there’s little wasted space and its weight of 145g feels about right for a phone of its size.
The Apple iPhone 5S is in a whole other league of quality though. It has a mostly aluminium back, broken only by a strip of glass at the top and bottom, creating an attractive two-tone effect that’s a million miles away from the plastic of the Galaxy S5. At 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and 112g it’s also smaller, slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy S5. It’s not dust or water resistant but it undeniably has a higher quality build.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1 inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch. It’s big, bright, has rich colours, great contrast and avoids looking over-saturated.
The iPhone 5S has a 4 inch 640 x 1136 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. It’s both smaller and lower resolution than the Galaxy S5 screen then and while the visuals are almost as impressive it can’t quite match its Samsung foe.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the Apple iPhone 5S has a 1.3 GHz dual-core Apple A7 processor and 1GB of RAM. The iPhone 5S uses a 64-bit chip, while the Galaxy S5 only uses a 32-bit one, plus iOS seems to require less processing power to run well than Android, but even so the Galaxy S5 out-matches it in the power stakes.
In fact it’s one of the most powerful phones on the planet, though both handsets have almost flawless performance so you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference.
Samsung has put a lot of focus on photography for the Galaxy S5. It has a 16 megapixel camera with a variety of modes, such as real-time HDR. It can also shoot 2160p video at 30fps, 1080p video at 60fps and has a 2 megapixel front facing camera.
The iPhone 5S has just an 8 megapixel main camera, a 1.2 megapixel front facing snapper and can shoot 1080p video at just 30fps. It’s still more than capable of impressive photos, but the Galaxy S5 outperforms it.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2800 mAh battery, quoted for 390 hours of standby time or 21 hours of talk time, while the iPhone 5S has a 1560 mAh battery which can manage up to 250 hours of standby time or 10 hours of talk time, so the Galaxy S5 is quite a lot longer lasting.
The Galaxy S5 comes with a choice of 16 or 32GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot, while the iPhone 5S has 16, 32 or 64GB of built in storage but no microSD card slot.
For connectivity options, both phones have Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE and Bluetooth 4.0, but the Galaxy S5 also has NFC and infrared.
Both handsets have a fingerprint scanner, the iPhone 5S’s arguably works better though as you just place your finger on the home button, while on the Galaxy S5 you have to slide it across.
Aside from that each phone has a unique stand out feature. The iPhone 5S has an M7 motion co-processor, which constantly tracks your movement without draining your battery, making it ideal for fitness tracking apps. The S5 also has some health and fitness DNA in the form of a heart rate monitor.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Apple iPhone 5S are top flight phones but there’s one clear winner. The iPhone 5S has a much more premium build than the Galaxy S5, a slightly better fingerprint scanner and potentially more built in storage, but those are the only areas where it really tops its rival.
On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a better screen, it’s more powerful, has a more impressive camera, a longer battery life and it has additional connectivity options in the form of NFC and infrared, which all in all makes it a substantially more impressive handset than the iPhone 5S.
Beyond that things get subjective, the iPhone 5S runs iOS 7 while the Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 and the iPhone 5S has a motion co-processor while the Galaxy S5 has a heart rate monitor. All of those things will affect buying decisions, but don’t make one handset objectively better than the other.
Ultimately, they’re both their respective companies best and they’re both great in their own way, but if the operating systems and extra features don’t sway you in one direction or the other then the Galaxy S5 is the one to go for.
Have you read our reviews of the above smartphones?
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