Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5s: Everything We Know Before Launch

If you’re in the hunt for a new smartphone, the best thing you can do before making a decision is absorb as much information as possible. Those who have the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5 on their shortlist have come to the right place because here, we take a final look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 matches up with the Apple’s current iPhone.

It seems like forever ago now but it was only in September that Apple both announced and released the iPhone 5s, its current flagship iPhone model and a device that remains on shelves and will remain on shelves for the foreseeable future. In other words, it’s likely going to be the device that battles the new Android devices of 2014 including the heavily rumored Samsung Galaxy S5.

Over the past few weeks, not only have we heard a lot about the Samsung Galaxy S5 but we’ve also heard from a lot of consumers who are interested in the device. Family, friends and readers are all wondering how it will stack up against the other big names on the market including the iPhone 5s.

With a launch date only days away, the Galaxy S5 remains a difficult device to nail down. It has nothing to do with a lack of rumors but rather it’s due to the conflicting nature of these rumors. There is simply a ton of information out about the Galaxy S5 and that makes it difficult for consumers to compact that information and make an early comparison.

We’re here to do the heavy lifting for you. Here, we roundup all of the latest Galaxy S5 rumors and compare them to Apple’s iPhone 5s to give prospective buyers a better sense of what to expect come launch day. The more prepared you are, the better.

Release Date

Before we dig in here, we should make this clear. Galaxy S5 features and dates are subject to change. We’re presenting this information ahead of time to inform our readers and give them an idea about what to expect from the imminent battle between the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5. And when we say imminent, we really do mean imminent.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 launch and release rumors have firmed up in recent weeks and it looks like the Galaxy S5 is just around the corner. Samsung will be hosting an Unpacked 5 Episode 1 launch event on February 24th in Barcelona, Spain, an event that will kick off the start of Mobile World Congress.

The company hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy S5 for arrival but it’s pretty clear that it will be the device that makes its debut. Here are some reasons why:

  • The New York Times claims that the Galaxy S5 will launch alongside the Galaxy Gear 2 on February 24th.
  • Samsung always uses Unpacked Episodes for big name Galaxy devices, not small mid-range devices.
  • The number “5″ is everywhere and the reliable @evleaks recently confirmed the Galaxy S5′s name. Samsung used the number “4″ just about everywhere it could with its Galaxy S4 launch.
  • Samsung is hosting a media event in New York City that Gotta Be Mobile will be attending. The company doesn’t do this for small events.
  • Galaxy S5 rumors pointed to a late February launch.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to what’s important. The Galaxy S5 release date, the day that you’ll actually be able to go hands-on and potentially decide between Samsung’s new Galaxy S and Apple’s current iPhone.

Until today, the Samsung Galaxy S5 release looked like it would arrive in April. All signs pointed to a release date starting in the second quarter. Q2 is made up of April, May and June. While that’s still entirely possible, it looks like the first Galaxy S5 release could arrive as soon as three weeks from now.

GSMArena claims that the Galaxy S5 will arrive in mid-March, just a few weeks after its announcement. If true, it would be an extremely quick turnaround. What’s even more interesting is that rumors suggest that there could be another Galaxy S5 release in the pipeline later on this year.

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Rumors have pointed to two Galaxy S5 models and Samsung’s version of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch. There is supposedly a premium Galaxy S5 and another lesser Galaxy S5. While it has been referred to as a “budget” model, Russian insider Eldar Murtazin says that it’s not a budget smartphone. He just claims that there is one that is more advanced than the other. This lines up with earlier rumors.

It appears that it could be this lower class Galaxy S5 that arrives first, followed by the premium model. Android Authority says that a T-Mobile Galaxy S5 will arrive in June and it could be that this is the premium model. Rumors point to the device arriving months after the initial Galaxy S5 release. Murtazin says that it could be just weeks.

If this sounds confusing, it’s because it is. In summary, it’s looking like one Galaxy S5 model could become available in mid-March followed by a release of an improved Galaxy S5 in the summer. The devices will supposedly both be announced on stage in February, something that would help to make this a little less confusing.

Design

The iPhone 5s borrows the sleek design that first arrived with the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s measures a mere 7.6mm thin and weighs just 112 grams and it offers users a premium form factor that looks as good as it feels. The device is extremely compact due to its 4-inch Retina Display and it utilizes a combination of glass and metal to offer an elegance that isn’t found on a majority of smartphones.

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Apple’s iPhone 5s comes in three colors including silver, gray and the much talked about gold, and it also offers a fingerprint sensor embedded inside of the home button for added security and convenience. Apple calls it Touch ID and its a feature that many iPhone 5s owners have grown to appreciate over time.

At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S5 design exists only in rumors and leaks. Samsung is well known for keeping its designs hidden away from view before launch and so we haven’t been shocked by the lack of renders or shots from the wild. The closest we’ve come is a possible 3D schematic from the resourceful Sonny Dickson. Just because the design itself hasn’t leaked doesn’t mean that we haven’t heard a lot about the Galaxy S5 design.

A new Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor shows a possible design and dimensions.

A new Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor shows a possible design and dimensions.

Thanks to Bloomberg, we know that the Galaxy S5 will likely feature a design different from the Galaxy S4. Exactly much different remains to be seen. SamMobile claims that the premium model will come with a metal design. South Korean brokerage firm KDB Daewoo Securities also thinks that the Galaxy S5 will come in metal. This would be a step up from Samsung’s plastic designs that simply haven’t been as good as the iPhone designs.

However, respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that both the premium and non-premium model will both come with plastic designs, hallmarks of past Galaxy S devices. A report from Android Geeks goes even further and says that at least one Galaxy S5 model will come with a design that is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Z10’s rubberized back.

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A recent report from ZDNet Korea claims that the Galaxy S5 will come with a dust and water resistant design, similar to the Galaxy S4 Active that’s on AT&T. This is something that the iPhone 5s doesn’t have and it could prove to be one of the device’s biggest selling points, if true.

It also looks like the Galaxy S5 will try and match the iPhone 5s with a fingerprint reader embedded in its own physical home button. SamMobile went into detail about the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5 and it looks like it will be a swipe sensor, something that may work against it.

And yes, it looks like the Galaxy S5 will come in gold.

Display

The iPhone 5s utilizes a 4-inch Retina Display that offers widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and beautiful looking content, though, it does not support 1080p resolution.

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Everything that we’ve seen points to a much larger display on the Galaxy S5. The most recent confirmation comes from Bloomberg who says that the Galaxy S5 display will not only be 5.2-inches in size but will be sharper than the display found on the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 utilizes a 5-inch 1080p display.

The report from The New York Times, Kuo, benchmark leaks, and User Agent Profiles discovered for known Galaxy S5 model numbers on Samsung’s website all point to a full HD, 1080p display on at least one version of the Galaxy S5. So it’s unclear exactly what “sharper” might mean.

Perhaps it is referring to the other side of the Galaxy S5 display rumors that suggest that at least one model will come with a QHD display or 2560 × 1440 pixel resolution with a density of 560 pixels per inch. This would make for a much sharper display than the display found on the Galaxy S4. Thing is, this feature might only make it to one of the Galaxy S5 models and not both.

A high-resolution 2560 x 1440 resolution display could be a flagship feature.

A high-resolution 2560 x 1440 resolution display could be a flagship feature.

ETNews and OLED.at both claim that the QHD model will arrive later in the year. The first Galaxy S5 will evidently offer a full HD display instead, something that could explain the NYT’s insistence on a 1080p screen.

At the very least, we should see a Galaxy S5 with a 1080p display which means that it will be on par with the Retina Display. And at this point, consumers need to just assume that its display will be much larger than the iPhone 5s’.

Specs

We’ve pulled from all of the recent Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors and here, we offer up a look at the supposed features on board the premium and non-premium versions of the Galaxy S5.

Premium Galaxy S5

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805/800 (Kuo), Exynos 5 (Kuo)/ Exynos 6 (Exynos Infinity?)
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.2-inch QHD Display
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16 GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB
  • 3.2MP (KDB)/2MP (Kuo) front-facing camera
  • 16MP rear facing camera
  • 2,850 mAh (Kuo), 2,900 mAh (PhoneArena), 3,200 mAh (KDB)
  • WiFi
  • Fingerprint Reader in Home Button

Non-Premium Galaxy S5

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon800 (Kuo), Exynos 5
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.2-inch FHD Display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB (KDB)
  • 3.2MP (KDB)/2MP (Kuo) front-facing camera
  • 16MP rear facing camera
  • 2,850 mAh (Kuo), 2,900 mAh (PhoneArena), 3,200 mAh (KDB)
  • WiFi
  • Fingerprint Reader in Home Button

iphone-5s-review-18-300x221iPhone 5s

  • Apple A7 64-bit processor
  • iOS 7
  • 4-inch Retina Display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB / 64GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1570 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a, b, g, n Wi-Fi
  • Touch ID

Software

As of right now, the iPhone 5s runs iOS 7.0.4 in the United States though it will soon be upgraded to iOS 7.1, the biggest update to iOS since the arrival of iOS 7 back in September. The iPhone 5s launched with iOS 7 which means that iOS 7.1 will represent its largest update yet. It can be seen in beta form in the video below.

It also means that the device still has three years of software support ahead of it. And that’s something that makes the iPhone 5s a solid buy, even now, months after its release. Apple typically updates its devices for three years before discarding them and that means there is a potential for iOS 8, iOS 9 and iOS 10.

The software on the Galaxy S5 will be much different. There will be features that it shares in common with the iPhone 5s, though they will have different names and functionality, but there will also be features that are unique to the Galaxy S series.

For instance, rumors point to improved touch less gestures which can be seen in the video above. The range is reportedly improved inside the Galaxy S5. The iPhone 5s lacks the gestures required for these features which means that they will never become available to Apple’s device.

Leaks also show a flatter overall design to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI that could borrow from the card layout popularized in Google Now. The image below shows a possible Galaxy S5 Touchwiz screen shared by @evleaks.

Galaxy S5 Software

There are also said to be extensive changes to the features including improvements to S Voice, the Galaxy S’ version of Siri and a ton of improvements to the camera application that will make one of the best camera apps even better.

Carriers

We’ll cut to the chase here. The iPhone 5s is available on all five of the largest U.S. carriers and is also available on a wide range of pre-paid and regional carriers as well. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. It too should come to a number of smaller carriers though those carriers have not yet been revealed.

Price

The iPhone 5s starts at $199.99 on-contract and $650 off-contract. While we see the occasional sale, we typically don’t see the iPhone budge much from its starting price point, at least not until a new iPhone is imminent.

The U.S. Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will likely bring deals of close to 25% off on a contract.

The U.S. Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will likely bring deals of close to 25% off on a contract.

Perhaps that might change with the arrival of the Galaxy S5. According the Bloomberg, Samsung is considering a price drop for the Galaxy S5. Evidently, the change comes at the request of a carrier though it’s not clear who that carrier is. If Samsung is considering a price drop based on the comments from one carrier, that carrier must be pretty important to the launch.

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It’s not clear how much of a price drop we’d be talking about here but the report says it’d be a price cheaper than the Galaxy S4 and previous Galaxy devices. The Galaxy S4, like the iPhone 5s, started at $199.99 on-contract.

Comments

  1. Brett Johnson says

    Neither of the S5 models will have only 2 gigs of ram I say the premium gets 4gigs and the regular gets 3gigs of ram but they may both have 3gigs at the least. With the Note 3 having 3gigs there is no way that the S5 will only have 2gigs.

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