iPhone 5s vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: What We Know So Far

In just a couple of weeks, Apple’s iPhone 5s should get another serious rival. Rumors point to a Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that will almost certainly become one of the top challengers to the iPhone 5s. Thanks to the volume of Galaxy S5 rumors, we have a pretty good idea about what’s coming aboard the Galaxy S5 and here, we take a look at how the rumored Galaxy S5 currently stacks up with Apple’s flagship smartphone.

In 2012, Apple finally released an iPhone with a larger screen and 4G LTE data speeds. The iPhone 5 was certainly up to the task of challenging the Samsung Galaxy S3, the most popular phone that Samsung has ever released, and it was formidable enough to pose a threat to Samsung’s Galaxy S3 successor, the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S4 launched in March of last year at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The anticipation surrounding the launch was Apple-esque and rumors drove consumers into a frenzy. The Galaxy S4 itself was released to great fanfare in April of last year and almost immediately, consumers began weighing it against the iPhone 5.

In September, consumers saw Apple replace the iPhone 5 with an iPhone 5s thus adding a new threat to Samsung and another option for those in the hunt for a new device. Apple’s iPhone 5s built upon the foundation of the iPhone 5, delivering better hardware features, bolder software, and a Touch ID fingerprint reader embedded in the home button.

Right now, the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 are the flagships doing battle but it won’t be that way for long. Soon, Samsung will announce another Galaxy S smartphone, one that will take on the iPhone 5s in the first half of the year and perhaps, beyond.

While nothing is official, there is enough credible information out about the Galaxy S5 to make a comparison. Here, we take a look at how the rumored Galaxy S5 currently stacks up to the iPhone 5s and its features.

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Release Date

Consumers who are contemplating buying the iPhone 5s or the Samsung Galaxy S5 still have a little wiggle room. The Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t expected to debut for at least a few more weeks. In fact, its launch could be a little more than a month out.

Earlier this week, we heard that the Galaxy S5 launch date could take place on February 23rd, a day before the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The rumor was suspect, not only because it came from Eldur Murtazin, but because Samsung has shied away from trade shows in the past.

Another Samsung Galaxy S4 teaser ad in Times Square.

Murtazin quickly backtracked on those rumors, saying that nothing is set in stone and that Samsung still hasn’t decided on a date. This leaves the Galaxy S5 launch up in the air and puts the focus back on a launch in March, after MWC and at a venue and time of Samsung’s choosing.

Nothing is set in stone but the important thing to consider is this. Rumors have all suggested that the Galaxy S5 launch will take place in and around February or March.

A Bloomberg report has suggested that the Galaxy S5 will arrive by the end of April and Murtazin agrees with that notion. That the release will come in April. Samsung almost always releases its devices about a month after announcing them so at this point, the iPhone 5s should see its new challenged in about three months or so.

Design

Apple’s iPhone 5s design didn’t change much from the design found on the iPhone 5. It’s still the same premium industrial build, made of glass and aluminum. While that might sound boring, it’s far from it. The iPhone 5s features one of the best smartphone designs in the business. It’s light, it’s thin, and oozes quality. The design is one of the reasons why Samsung enthusiasts have been campaigning for a metal Galaxy S design.

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History suggests that Samsung will make design changes. Every year, the company tweaks its Galaxy S design. The Galaxy S4, while similar to the Galaxy S3, offered a new design. The Galaxy S3 was vastly different than the Galaxy S2. And from the looks of things, Samsung could be making another large leap, just like it did with the Galaxy S3.

Samsung’s Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg that the “Galaxy S4 may have fallen short of consumer expectations because its design was too similar to its S3 predecessor.” Lee also said that the Galaxy S5 design will probably be different from the Galaxy S5, though, she did not go into any details.

A rumor out of SamMobile goes even further and claims that the Galaxy S5 will come in both metal and plastic, similar to the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. This parrots several other reports that claimed that the Galaxy S5 would finally feature a premium, metal option. Problem is, this is as far as we’ve gotten.

Samsung Galaxy S5 concept with plastic and metal.

Samsung Galaxy S5 concept with plastic and metal.

Samsung is notorious for keeping its designs a secret and thus far, we haven’t seen the form factor emerge nor have we heard about possible dimensions. Typically, we don’t see these pieces leak out until close to the actual event.

From the looks of things though, we might finally see a Galaxy S design that is similar to the iPhone’s. Whether or not Samsung can execute a design that is on par with the iPhone’s, well, that remains to be seen.

Display

The iPhone 5s features the same 4-inch Retina Display that debuted on the iPhone 5. That means that it offers good looking content and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The Retina Display is still solid, thanks to a high pixel-per-inch count but with 1080p now ruling the roost, it has begun to show its age.

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Samsung’s 1080p display on the Galaxy S4 is arguably better than the iPhone 5s’ screen but it appears that Samsung isn’t content with the quality. Lee also told Bloomberg that “for the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.” Her comments suggest display changes and lo and behold, that’s exactly what rumors have suggested.

Numerous reports have pointed to a display around 5.25-inches in size and one that boasts QHD resolution. QHD resolution would provide 1440 x 2560 resolution with a whopping 500+ pixel-per-inch count. While it might seem like overkill, it would help to make content on the Galaxy S5 look even sharper than anything on the Galaxy S4.

Sources say Apple is planning two iPhone 6 models with larger screens to better compete with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.

Sources say Apple is planning two iPhone 6 models with larger screens to better compete with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.

A benchmark alluded to a possible 1080p display on at least one Galaxy S5 variant though even if that’s the case, the Galaxy S5’s display will be on par with the iPhone 5s’.

Camera & Processor

Apple’s iPhone 5s features an upgraded 8MP iSight camera that delivers better photos and video than the iPhone 5. Remember, megapixels don’t mean much and Apple has shown that it doesn’t need to win the megapixel war. The Galaxy S5 is essentially locked in with a 16MP camera sensor. It has been rumored time and again and at this point, it’s all but confirmed.

How the camera will stack up against the iPhone 5s camera exactly is unclear though we do expect ISOCELL technology on board which would mean improved color accuracy and reduced crosstalk.

The Galaxy Note 3 could feature an improved camera with a 13MP sensor like the Galaxy S4.

The iPhone 5s features an A7 processor, a 64-bit chip, that offers solid performance when it comes to overall speed and graphics. Apple designed iOS 7 with 64-bit support in mind and the software performs phenomenally on Apple’s brand new smartphone. Samsung looks like it will try and match Apple, at least from the 64-bit standpoint.

Rumors point to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor or a Exynos 6 processor. Both are a given considering Samsung always upgrades its processors, year-after-year. If true, they should supply solid speed, gaming, and more and present a real challenge to the iPhone 5s.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s will run two completely different operating systems, we know that for sure. While the iPhone utilizes Apple’s iOS 7 operating system, the Galaxy S5 will run Google’s Android. Rumors point to Android 4.4 KitKat, Google’s latest version of Android that was released starting in November.

Thanks to several recent leaks, we’re starting to get a sense of how much different Samsung’s operating system will look from Apple’s iOS on the iPhone.

Samsung doesn’t just use stock Android. Instead, it puts its own UI over the top, a UI that it calls TouchWiz, and its TouchWiz that is responsible for the unique look and features on board Samsung’s Galaxy devices. Rumors suggest that Samsung will debut a new look to its UI on the Galaxy S5.

The reliable evleaks leaked two possible looks at the Galaxy S5′s software changes. If the leaks are accurate, the Galaxy S5 should come with a UI that looks a lot like the Magazine UI that Samsung introduced on its new tablet lineup at CES. The Magazine UI can be seen in the video below, running on the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2.

The new look offers more pastel colors and a updated user interface that seems to rely on cards. It reminds us of Google Now and the HTC BlinkFeed software found on the HTC One, a Galaxy S and iPhone competitor. There is also talk of improved touch less gestures, something that debuted on the Galaxy S4 and of touchpoints in the corners of the UI that would allow users to activate shortcuts to apps and settings.

Samsung is also rumored to be coming out with a Touch ID rival. The iPhone 5s boasts a fingerprint reader inside its home button for added security and convenience. Early rumors pointed to Iris-scanning technology in place of a traditional fingerprint reader but now it appears that Samsung will embed the technology under the display. What this would mean for a physical home button is unclear.

Carriers

On launch day, the iPhone 5s arrived on the four major carriers in the United States. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon have all offered the device since day one and they have since been joined by an armada of smaller carriers, both regional and pre-paid, including U.S. Cellular, C Spire Wireless and others.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is reportedly in testing at AT&T as a release approaches.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is reportedly in testing at AT&T as a release approaches.

It was Apple that played catchup to Samsung here. Samsung has put its Galaxy S on the five largest carriers in the United States for a number of years now, solidifying its offering with a stable of pre-paid and regional options. The only rumor that we’ve seen in regard to the Galaxy S5’s carriers is one that suggests a launch on AT&T.

The rumor itself was a bit flimsy since it’s based on a model number but consumers shouldn’t expect anything other than a massive Galaxy S5 launch on all five major U.S. carriers.

Price

Apple’s iPhone 5s starts at $199.99 for the on-contract 16GB model. Those looking to buy off-contract need to shell out a whopping $650 for a 16GB iPhone 5s. Those prices aren’t likely to change any time soon as Apple iPhone pricing typically stays static throughout the year.

It’s still not clear how the iPhone 5s’ price will compare to the Galaxy S5’s. In years past, we’ve seen Samsung mimic Apple’s pricing. But with two Galaxy S5 models rumored, including a metal variant, it’s not clear what Samsung will do.

iPhone 6 Price

A recent report from SamMobile claims that the Galaxy S5 will come in at two different price points, mirroring what Apple has done with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

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The publication asserts that the metal Galaxy S5 will cost about 800 Euros and the plastic model will check in around 650 Euros. Those are extremely exorbitant prices in U.S. currency and there is simply no way that Samsung and its carriers will be charging $1000 for the metal Galaxy S5, on or off-contract.

Comments

  1. emit012Eric says

    “Lee also said that the Galaxy S5 design will probably be different from the Galaxy S5, though, she did not go into any details.”

    Nah, really?

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