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

While an exact date remains out of reach, all signs point to a Samsung Galaxy S5 launch in the next few weeks. This means that consumers in the market for a new phone will have yet another option to look at in their hunt for a new device. Gotta Be Mobile has been taking a look at how the rumored Galaxy S5 stacks up compared to some of the other big name devices on the market and now, it’s the Nexus 5‘s turn.

Late last year, Google pulled the plug on the Nexus 4, the company’s popular Nexus smartphone that attracted consumers with its high-end hardware, vanilla Android software, quick updates, and an extremely competitive unlocked price tag that was virtually unmatched in the smartphone world.


It took several weeks but Google replaced the Nexus 4 with something newer and a device that is arguably better. That device, unsurprisingly, was and is still called the Nexus 5.

Google’s Nexus 5, like the Nexus 4, is made by LG Electronics. While we didn’t see Google and LG’s new Nexus sell out as quickly as the Nexus 4 did, it’s probably not because it’s less popular but because Google and LG figured out ways to optimize the supply chain in order to meet demand.


The Nexus 5 improves on the Nexus 4 in just about every way and in our opinion, it’s one of the best smartphones around, Android or not. So, in other words, it’s likely on the radar of most smartphone shoppers.


Another smartphone that is probably a blip on the radar for most is the rumored Samsung Galaxy S5, a rumored successor to the Galaxy S4. Thanks to hefty amount of rumors, the Galaxy S5 is arguably the most anticipated smartphone of the new year.

At this point, there are enough credible Galaxy S5 rumors out to start making some comparisons to current smartphones and here, we take a look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 currently stacks up with the Nexus 5.

Release Date

Maybe the most important thing that we know thus far is that those debating between the Nexus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 should soon be able to come to a decision.

Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors point to a launch window that stretches from late February to mid-March with mid-March looking like the most probable of the two.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 event was about as grandiose as it gets.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 event was about as grandiose as it gets.

Eldur Murtazin, a Russian blogger known for his sometimes accurate leaks, rescinded his claim about a February 23rd Galaxy S5 launch, just ahead of Mobile World Congress 2014. He now says Samsung has yet to come to a decision and that the launch date is up in the air. This is what makes the March launch date much more believable at this point.

As for a release date, well, Samsung has historically released its Galaxy S smartphone about a month after the launch date. Assuming the mid-March launch date is on point, this would put the Galaxy S5 release date in April. Galaxy S5 release rumors currently point to April with Murtazin claiming that the company is looking to release it around May 1st. A report from Bloomberg, which cited comments made by a Samsung executive, stated that the device would arrive by the end of April.

So, we know that the Galaxy S5’s eventual match up with the Nexus 5 is close and that those who are on the fence should be able to make a more educated decision sometime in the next few weeks.


The yearly Nexus smartphone always boasts a high quality design and the Nexus 5 boasts maybe the most impressive of them all. Indeed, it’s a plastic-based design but it’s extremely durable and does not feel cheap. It’s also slim, measuring in at 8.5mm, and lightweight. The Nexus 5 weighs all of 130 grams. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will look different, the only question is how much different.



Early rumors pointed to two models, a plastic Galaxy S5 and a premium metal Galaxy S5. For years, Galaxy users and the public at large have been calling for Samsung to release a mainstream device with a metal casing and until this weekend, it seemed like it was a done deal. Not so fast.

Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released his own Galaxy S5 predictions over the weekend and they clash with some of the rumors that have already surfaced. He claims that both the premium, and budget, versions of the Galaxy S5 will be made out of plastic. In other words, he’s not sold on a metal Galaxy S5.

Galaxy S5 concept.

Galaxy S5 concept.


He doesn’t go into detail about the designs though that is not surprising. Samsung typically keeps the look and the dimensions of its designs under wraps until the actual event or if we’re lucky, just before it. Kuo’s analysis has thrown the design rumors into flux.


The Nexus 5, like the other big name smartphones from 2014, predictably arrived with a 1080p display, measuring 5-inches in size. The display offers gorgeous looking content and solid viewing angles. That said, from the looks of things, at least one variant of the Galaxy S5 will trump the quality of the Nexus 5’s display.

Nexus 5 front

Samsung itself seemed to confirm display changes when it 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.” The executive did not go into the major changes though rumors may have done the heavy lifting for her.

A report from SamMobile and more recently, predictions from Kuo, put a QHD display on board the premium version of the Samsung Galaxy S5. If true, the premium Galaxy S5 would have 2560 x 1440 resolution as opposed to the 1920 x 1080 resolution found on the Nexus 5. It would also feature more pixels per inch on a similar sized display.

The Galaxy Note 3 design could feature thinner bezels like the Galaxy S4 to stay with a similar size.

Just about every rumor about the Galaxy S5 points to a display that is a tad larger than the Nexus 5’s. Rumors suggest a 5.25-inch display on the Galaxy S5.

Camera, Processor & Battery

Google’s Nexus smartphones typically come equipped with the year’s best hardware. And while the Nexus 5 does feature some powerful specs, it’s here that we find the Nexus 5’s weakest points.

Its processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, is a high-performance chip, one of the best on the market, at least for the moment. It provides solid gaming, multitasking and more.


The Nexus 5 features an 8MP camera sensor that offers Optical Image Stabilization, something not found on most smartphones. And while the camera is arguably the Nexus 5’s weakest part, it’s still better than many smartphone cameras out there. And surprisingly, Google attached a smaller battery to the Nexus 5, a 2,300 mAh battery that has produced mixed results.

Galaxy S5 rumors, across the board, point to a 16MP camera sensor. Megapixels don’t mean everything but we expect the Galaxy S5 camera to be on par with the Galaxy S4’s 13MP sensor, if not better. The Galaxy S4’s camera is solid and arguably better than the Nexus 5’s so take that for what its worth.

The rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 specs arrive from a well-known analyst.

The rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 specs arrive from a well-known analyst.

The other two pieces aren’t as solid. The Galaxy S5 was rumored to have a 64-bit processor on board and a report from SamMobile put either a Exynos 6 or Qualcomm 805 processor on board the device. That report is now in flux thanks to Kuo who claims that the device will feature 32-bit processors across the board, with the Exynos 5 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 being the chips inside. Whatever the case may be, expect the Galaxy S5 to be on par with the Nexus 5 from a CPU standpoint.

Kuo claims that it will feature a 2,850 mAh battery which is around the same 2,900 mAh size that a PhoneArena report suggested would be on board. If true, particularly the part about it holding a larger charge than similar sized batteries, we could see the Galaxy S5 battery best the Nexus 5’s.


The Nexus 5, and all of Google’s Nexus devices, come with unique Android software. Instead of a user interface from LG laid over the top of Android, the Nexus 5 sports a pure vanilla version of Android 4.4 KitKat. What that means is that the software is a pure Google experience, or, Google’s version of Android. Android 4.4 KitKat can be seen running on the Nexus 5 below.

Google will also continue to update the Nexus 5 directly, something that the Galaxy S5 won’t benefit from. Instead, the Galaxy S5’s updates will be controlled by Samsung and its carrier partners, which means that the Galaxy S5 will typically be months behind the Nexus 5 when it comes to major Android updates.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 software will look different from the Nexus 5’s and leaks show just how different it might look.

The company’s Galaxy devices don’t use vanilla Android. Instead, Samsung places its TouchWiz user interface over the top, giving it a different look and bestowing a different feature set upon the device. It’s becoming pretty clear that the Galaxy S5 will utilize a new version of Samsung software, one that not only looks different than any UI before it, but also comes with new functionality.

Thus far, rumors have pointed to improvements to the device’s touch less gestures, a new interface with touchpoints in the corners that the allow users to activate shortcuts to apps and settings, and a brand new look for TouchWiz.


The rumors seem credible given that Samsung just introduced a similar looking UI in the Magazine UI found on its new tablets. Samsung’s new UI can be seen in the video below.

At the most basic level, the Galaxy S5 software will be different than the Nexus 5’s software. And we fully expect there to be a large feature set that further distances the software from Google’s.


Google’s Nexus 5 is only available on three major 4G LTE networks in the United States. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile currently stock the Nexus 5 and we don’t expect Verizon to get added on at any point in the future.

Galaxy S5 rumors thus far have only pointed to AT&T though we do expect the Galaxy S5 to arrive on Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon, just like the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 before it.


Google’s Nexus 5 is one of the most affordable high-end smartphones on the market thanks to its extremely attractive off-contract price through the Google Play Store. The 16GB Nexus 5 costs $350 off-contract while the 32GB model, on the Google Play Store, is a little more expensive checking in at $399 off-contract. Those are absurdly cheap price tags, much cheaper than the iPhone 5s 16GB which costs $650 off-contract.


A report from SamMobile claims that the Galaxy S5 will come in at two different price points, mirroring Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. The publication claims that a premium Galaxy S5 will cost about 800 Euros while the plastic model will be around 650 Euros. When converted to U.S. dollars, the premium model would be over $1000. We don’t expect the Galaxy S5 to cost $1000, on or off-contract in the United States.

So at this point, it’s not clear how much Samsung and its partners will charge for the Galaxy S5, though, we’d be surprised to see the company stray too far from Apple’s price points. The iPhone 5s starts at $199.99 on-contract and $650 off-contract while the iPhone 5c can be bought for a mere $99 on-contract and $549 off-contract.