iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 (Rumored)

Back in September, Apple released its new iPhone 5, the first iPhone to feature a larger display and 4G LTE data speeds. And as we head into 2013, future competitors to the new iPhone 5 are already dotting the landscape with one of those devices being the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that should battle the iPhone 5 and presumably the iPhone 5S, for the hearts and minds of customers.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 (Rumored).

In 2012, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 faced some serious competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S3 which replaced the Samsung Galaxy S2 in May as Samsung’s flagship smartphone. Six months after its release in the United States, it has become apparent that Samsung has firmly established the Galaxy S series as a credible rival to the iPhone, amassing over 30 million in Galaxy S3 sales.

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The iPhone 5 is Apple’s latest smartphone.

The Galaxy S3 has virtually pushed all other big name Android smartphones out of the picture, Motorola and HTC included, and along with the Galaxy Note 2, have put Samsung in the drivers seat as the main competition to Apple’s iconic smartphone.

With the iPhone 5 though, Apple upped its game and introduced the first iPhone with a larger display and fast 4G LTE data speeds, both of which were present on Android phones long beforehand. However, with these new features, Apple has even better positioned its yearly smartphone against the opposition and they should help to keep it relevant well into 2013.

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Lurking in the distance though are several competitors that hope to put a serious dent into iPhone sales before Apple introduces a new one. One of those devices is the Galaxy S3′s likely successor, the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has already cropped up in quite a few rumors over the past few weeks. Already, we have decently clear picture of what will likely be the device that Samsung relies upon to keep pace with the iPhone during the course of 2013.

But how does the rumored Galaxy S4 stack up against the iPhone 5? Here, we take a close look at how Apple’s current-generation iPhone 5 fares versus the rumored next-generation Galaxy S4 smartphone from Samsung.

Release Date

On September 21st, Apple finally released its new iPhone after months and months of speculation about its features and its release date. As expected, the device quickly sold out and up until the beginning of December, the iPhone 5 was extremely difficult to find without any sort of a wait. Now, Apple seems to have gotten a grip on the iPhone 5′s supply and those looking to snag one shouldn’t have to wait for more than a few days to get it.

The iPhone 5 is already available on a number of major and regional carriers and it’s possible that 2013 will bring even more carriers into the fold, including Virgin Mobile which has long been rumored to be getting the device.

Of course, while the iPhone 5 is out, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is not. In fact, Samsung hasn’t even announced it yet and likely won’t until at least February. Thus far, four reports peg Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona as the launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S4. MWC is the same show that Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S2 and was heavily rumored to be the launching pad for the Galaxy S3.

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The Galaxy S4 could launch in February at MWC 2013.

The Galaxy S3 wound up launching at a separate event that took place in England during the month of May. While Samsung has not elaborated greatly on why it made the move, one supposed reason is that it wanted to put the launch date of the Galaxy S4 closer to the release date in the United States. Samsung announced the device in May and released it in the U.S. in June.

The Galaxy S2, which debuted in February of 2011, had a much windier road to the United States and one that Samsung likely wanted to avoid with the Galaxy S3. That being said, Samsung is also rumored to be launching the Galaxy S4 in April of next year with two reports pegging the month for launch.

A specific release month isn’t clear but it could be that it’s either announced in February and released in April or announced in April and released closer to the June release date of the Galaxy S3.

Either way, the first half of 2013 looks good for a Galaxy S4 release.

Design

Apple completely changed the design of the iPhone with the iPhone 5. With the iPhone 5, Apple now has a device that sports a taller design due to the larger display, a anodized aluminum back held together by two pieces of glass at the top and bottom and metal. It’s an industrial design that is both easy to hold and durable.

As for the specifics, the iPhone 5 is both lightweight and slim. It weighs 112 grams, much lighter than the 140 grams of the iPhone 4S, and much lighter than most smartphones in the market. In fact, it’s so light that some users were complaining about how light it was when it first came out.

The iPhone 5 is also one of the slimmest smartphones on the market checking in with a design that is just 7.6mm thin. That slim form factor makes it both sleek and pocketable.

Little is known of the Galaxy S4 design though a recent report suggests that it may be thicker than the Galaxy S3. The report suggests that it will be 9.1mm thick, much thicker than the iPhone 5. That would be a little strange given that smartphones, especially high-end ones, are slimming down so it could be that that information is off base. A look at a possible design for the Galaxy S4 can be seen in the video below.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Launch Pegged for April with S-Pen, Jelly Bean.

Samsung typically uses polycarbonate material to build its phones and it could opt for the same with the Galaxy S4. Unfortunately, Samsung has made it a priority to keep the designs of its Galaxy S smartphones under tight wraps so we may not actually know what it looks like until it launches.

Display

The iPhone 5 keeps the Retina Display that Apple has put on its two previous smartphones though this time, it’s bigger than the usual 3.5-inch display that was featured on previous iPhone models.

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The iPhone 5 display is a 4-inch Retina display.

Apple’s new smartphone features a more spacious 4-inch display which offers 1136 x 640 resolution and 326 pixels-per-inch which make for crisp images and text. It also features a 16:9 aspect ratio which offers widescreen resolution for content like television shows and movies.

The arrival of the Droid DNA by HTC has ushered in a new era of Android smartphone screens as the Droid DNA’s 1080p HD display will more than likely be mimicked by other Android manufacturers, Samsung included.

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The Galaxy S4 may have a 5-inch 1080p display.

So far, the Galaxy S4 has been rumored to have a 5-inch AMOLED HD display that features 1080p resolution and 441 pixels-per-inch. If true, it could mean that the Galaxy S4′s display will trump the display of the iPhone 5.

Samsung is rumored to be showing off new screen technology at CES 2013 in January and it could be there that we get our first glimpse of the Galaxy S4′s display.

Camera

Apple’s iPhone has always had one of the best cameras for a smartphone and that did not change with the iPhone 5′s 8MP iSight camera which shoots great video and captures fantastic photos. The iPhone 5 also has a high-definition front-facing camera that makes for good video chats.

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An iPhone 5 photo sample. The iPhone 5 has a fantastic camera.

The Galaxy S3′s cameras are not as good as the cameras on the iPhone 5 and that’s an area where Samsung might be looking to make up some ground. Already, the Galaxy S4 is rumored to have a 13MP camera and while megapixels don’t mean everything, it would be strange to see Samsung refrain from outfitting its flagship smartphone with a camera that isn’t at least close to the best on Android.

We imagine that it will also upgrade the front-facing camera as well which, while solid on the Galaxy S3, had some room for improvement. At the very least, look for the Galaxy S4 to sport some upgrades both in the hardware and software department.

Specs

Of course, there is hardware beyond the design, display and cameras on board the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 that will appeal to or dissuade potential customers. Here, we take a look at the other specs found on the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

First, here is the rundown of the iPhone 5′s specs:

  • 4-inch Retina Display with 1136 x 640 Resolution
  • Apple A6 Processor
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB models
  • 8MP rear camera/HD Front-Facing Camera
  • 1440mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
  • 1GB of RAM

Because the Galaxy S4 is still in the shadows, its other specifications are virtually unknown. Thus far, we’ve heard that it might sport a Exynos 5440 quad-core processor which makes sense considering quad-core processors are now the norm on high-end Android smartphones.

It’ll also likely, like the iPhone 5, come with several storage options besides the base 16GB model. A 32GB is likely and it could be that a 64GB Galaxy S4 hits the United States as well. It’s possible that it will have a microSD card slot for expanded storage as well.

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The Galaxy S4 is rumored to have the Galaxy Note 2′s S-Pen stylus.

Samsung likes to put removable batteries on their smartphones so expect that from the Galaxy S4 and it should also have a large battery to help power the device throughout the day. Battery life is huge to current customers and with the iPhone 5 up there with the best 4G LTE battery life on the market, Samsung will need to keep pace.

Lastly, while the iPhone 5 doesn’t feature built-in wireless charging, this is something that the Samsung Galaxy S4 could have as it has now become common in high-end smartphones including the Droid DNA and Nexus 4.

One rumor suggests that the phone will have an S-Pen stylus, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, though that seems a little off base considering the S-Pen is one of the Galaxy Note’s unique features.

Software

The arrival of the iPhone 5 also marked the arrival of Apple’s brand new operating system, iOS 6, which offers more than 200 features over the previous version of iOS, iOS 5. Many of those new features can be seen in the video below.

To touch on a few of the big name ones, Apple included more features with its virtual personal assistant Siri, a useful Do Not Disturb feature that can be seen below, Facebook integration, Apple’s new controversial Maps application, Panorama mode for the device’s stellar camera, and a app called Passbook which allows users to store gift cards, airline tickets, sports tickets and more.

And because it’s an iPhone, the iPhone 5 will be getting iOS updates for the years to come.

Samsung does not feature its own operating system and instead uses Google’s Android OS. Right now, there are two rumors out there about which version of Android will be running on the Galaxy S4. Previous rumors suggested that it would have Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie on board, Key Lime Pie of course being the as of yet announced version of Android. Its likely arrival will be at Google I/O 2013 in May.

No features of Key Lime Pie are known at this time.

Another rumor suggests that the Galaxy S4 will have Android Jelly Bean on board though no version was specified. We imagine that the device will have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board, the latest version from Google, if it indeed has Jelly Bean. Android 4.2 can be seen in the video below.

Samsung will also likely be tweaking the Android software with some powerful features of its own, it did the same with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, though those features remain firmly in the shadows at this point.

Carriers

The iPhone 4S was the first iPhone to launch on all three major carriers in AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Previously, the iPhone had only been available on AT&T and Verizon. The iPhone 5, not to be outdone, followed suit and launched on the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon right from the get-go.

Of course, each network has its advantages and disadvantages, but the point is that the iPhone 5 is available on the three largest 4G LTE service providers in the United States. Apple will be adding the fourth largest mobile carrier in 2013 as well as T-Mobile finally confirmed that it will start selling the iPhone in 2013.

It did not say if it would be the iPhone 5 though which leaves open the possibility of the carrier opting for the iPhone 5S instead of the iPhone 5. Whatever the case may be though, the iPhone will land on T-Mobile and it will likely do so on its 4G LTE network.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 still has no rumored carriers though its arrival is just as predictable as the iPhone’s. With the Galaxy S series, Samsung has launched the device on major U.S. carriers. With the Galaxy S3, the device landed on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, a launch that was a clear advantage over of its Android rivals. Look for it do the same with the Galaxy S4.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 smartphone will almost assuredly launch on the four current 4G LTE networks in place and it will likely hit T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE network, set to arrive next year, as well.

Price

One of the constants with the iPhone has always been its price and with the iPhone 5, Apple kept the status quo. When the iPhone 5 was released in September, it hit the major carriers with the usual $199.99 on-contract price. That price of course nets customers a 16GB model. And, as iPhone pricing goes, more storage means more money.

Here is how Apple’s on-contract price for the iPhone 5 breaks down:

  • iPhone 16GB – $199.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $299.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $399.99 on-contract

If T-Mobile does indeed get the iPhone 5, expect the price to be more in line with the off-contract pricing that Apple offers with its iPhone 5. Here is how the off-contract pricing breaks down:

  • iPhone 16GB – $649.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $749.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $849.99 off-contract

With the Samsung Galaxy S3, the company followed Apple’s pricing structure and American carriers offered the 16GB Galaxy S3 starting at $199.99 on-contract. T-Mobile was the only one of the major carriers to offer it for more and its Galaxy S3 starts at $279.99.

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The Galaxy S4, seen here in a render, could feature a familiar $199.99 price tag.

There is currently no rumored pricing for the Galaxy S4 though it would be surprising to see Samsung stray from what has worked so well in the past. Look for the Galaxy S4 to check in with a starting price of $199.99 for a 16GB model.

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And with T-Mobile switching over to Value plan pricing, expect a number of different price points for its likely 4G LTE version of the Galaxy S4. We haven’t seen the policy enacted quite yet so at this point, it’s impossible to predict how much the carrier might charge.

Comments

  1. Cal says

    What are you even comparing? You say multiple times you don’t know the details of the S4… So basically you’re just rehashing iPhone 5 features. Way to go.

  2. Serban says

    “Lurking in the distance though are several competitors that hope to put a serious dent into iPhone sales before Apple introduces a new one. One of those devices is the Galaxy S3′s likely successor, the Samsung Galaxy S4″… and that’s where I stopped reading. If there is any masochist out there who loved the pain of reading the whole lot, please tell me how it ends. What is the dude actually comparing? After the first paragraphs I tend to believe he’s comparing his phone with one that he doesn’t know what is going to be. I’m curious who’s winning (I mean, come on, if one is so much out of reality you can expect to any conclusion).
    Other than that, congratulation to the author for the pretty pictures.

  3. Luke says

    Mr. Author number 4 in Roman is IV not IIII. Iphone 5 has a Dual Core processor not Quad Core…

  4. Corinna says

    i have the samsung galaxy s3 now for 2 weeks..i love it :)
    the s4 looks great! :)
    i love samsung.. iphone is shit ^^

  5. larry says

    come on are you for real???? the S4 v/s iphone 5 well the S4 isnt out yet but soon i hear on this site?? thats a no brainer the iphone will choke and puke and be flushed down the toilet!!!!

    • The truth says

      Really? Errr no, at the end of the day most iphone buyers barely use most of the features which are out done by the galaxy, but their phone IS a lot classier, not plastic and tacky like the Samsung. I personally have both, Samsung is personal, iphone is company. I love the openness of android, but I still find myself taking my iphone with me more than the Samsung, it’s just overall smoother. Once a jailbreak is available, there is no need for the Samsung IN MY OPINION!

  6. George says

    agree with the above comments – apart from such a ‘comparison’ being ridiculous, the galaxy s3..heck the galaxy nexus as well, both beat the iphone 5 already.

    love the sly way the apple loving writers on here a) refuse to say the s4 would be better based on these specs and b) uprate the iphon5e to have a quad core processor.

    way to go itards!

  7. ryan says

    Waste of my time. Another apple fan boy article with no unbias comparison. The s3 compairs similar to the iphone 5 therefore im sure the s4 will be vast improvement. That would have been the entire article and truthfull not just a bunch of defenses of apple. Get out of the year 2006 welcome to 2013

    • The truth says

      S3 is shite, s4 will be better, 5s will be released and beat them all, then note 3 will trump the lot. U all slate apple, but this is a numbers game that apple is overall winning, for a reason! Grow up people, Samsung provide the majority of iphone components and SHOULD be better , the fact that this argument exists just proves Samsung created something they have lost controll over!

  8. Edmond Chapple says

    apple fanboys can get jobs anywhere these days…just write a pointless article, say nothing new or intelligent, but say “iPhone 5″ 100 times, and you too can get published online

  9. Jordan says

    What I love about this is he’s comparing a rumored sIV phone to the iPhone 5. Well considering the s3 was better than the iPhone 5, I sure hope that the sIV is better than the iPhone 5. You gotta hand it to apple though. They have sold the same phone for the past 3 years and still are at the top for smartphone sales. Wonder how long it’ll take iPhone users to figure that out?

    • Larry says

      Wasn’t hard apple counts sales but DON’T subtract how many returned I bet just to the fact to show their greed!!! That’s why apple says they sell more I don’t think so but I believe would be close?? I see more android type devices than iPhones out there it’s simple do the math, many don’t want to spend the expensive apple iPhone so people tend to save and lean more towards Motorola,Samsung or LG etc.. I work at Verizon I see far less iPhones sold and I do have a relative who works at a apple store and says so many iPhones are returned!!

    • Larry says

      One more thing the galaxy S3 out performed the ip 5 so that’s a no brainer the S4 will way out beat the ip 5 unless apple has a trick up there sleeve on the next iPhone 5S or 6 what ever they call it?? To beat the S4!! But I don’t thing so but we will see!!

  10. markus says

    Its funny about all the phones out there, like whos the fastest and biggest phones out there, what’s next, 10 inch smart phone

    • Larry says

      Ya really I hear ya there, not surprised you will be able to make calls on a tablet soon?? Ehhhh that’s scary lol

  11. Jordan says

    When cell phones are first released: “I want a smaller phone!!!”
    Cell phones now: “I want a bigger phone! Bigger!! More battery, more apps, more screen! Now!!!”
    Cell phone manufacturers: “um…. Ok? Make up your minds, this is slightly annoying.”

  12. Ashadee says

    u are all chatting shit cos all this argument abt fones as long as one can make n receive calls, who cares if its s4, s8, iphone 5 or iphone 12 .

  13. larockus says

    how is this article REMOTELY relevant since the s3 destroys the iphone5 in virtually every conceivable aspect

  14. inthi says

    nokia 1100 is much better than both :p….. long bettery lyf + wnt get break easily n 1 more important thing … we can call even ….. :p n its much much much cheaper than both lyk 20 USD$….hehehehehehehe

  15. Jordan says

    The worst article I’ve read in a long time. I have no doubt that the GS4 will destroy any apple product it’s put up against. But until someone has the phone in there hand, and not just speculating on ‘what it could have’, I won’t be reading any more of these time wasters.

  16. Authors Dumb says

    You are comparing a phone not even out yet to the new iPhone? First off the Galaxy 3 alone is better then the iPhone in all aspects. BTW I have a Iphone 4s currently but will be switching to the next gen of Galaxy.

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