Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4: Everything We Know

Current and prospective Samsung Galaxy S4 owners are likely wondering how the device is going to standup to the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S that is heavily rumored to be replacing it. In an effort to provide interested consumers with as much information as possible ahead of launch, we take a look at how the Galaxy S5 stacks up to the Galaxy S4, just days ahead of its announcement.

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived and replaced the Galaxy S3 as Samsung’s flagship smartphone. The year before, the Galaxy S3 debuted and replaced the Galaxy S2. The year before that, the Galaxy S2 was announced as the company’s replacement for the Galaxy S. Seeing a trend here? Good.

It should as a surprise to no one that Samsung is interested in replacing the Galaxy S4 with something newer, and quite possibly, something better. It does the same thing every year. And it comes as no surprise to us that current Galaxy S4 owners and prospective ones alike are interested to see how the new flagship, currently called Samsung Galaxy S5, stacks up with the device.

There are some Galaxy S4 owners who might be interested in a change at this point. Remember, not everyone signs two year contracts. And given the Galaxy S4′s stature as one of the top smartphones available, there are consumers that are likely considering it as their next smartphone, despite its age. This is meant to help those people.

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 because of the conflicting nature of Galaxy S5 rumors.

Right now, there is 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. Well, we’re here to do the heavy lifting for you.

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Here, we roundup all of the latest Galaxy S5 rumors and compare them to the Samsung Galaxy S4 to give prospective buyers a better sense of what to expect come launch day.

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 match up between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Indeed, the match up is imminent because just about every single sign points to a launch on Monday at Samsung’s Unpacked 5 Episode 1 launch event in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung still hasn’t confirmed the products that it will be showing off there, but its teasers, Galaxy S5 rumors and logic all point to that date as the Galaxy S5 launch date.

If that teaser isn’t confirmation enough, consider this armada of reasons that all point to a Galaxy S5 launch taking place in just a few days at Mobile World Congress:

  • 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 launch events for mid-range devices.

Needless to say, if Samsung announces something else on February 24th, it’s going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Samsung typically reveals key release date information at its launch events and so, we expect the company to confirm Galaxy S5 release dates, yes we said dates, at the event on Monday.

Up until this week, 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.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 launch date is rumored for February 24th.

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, even faster than the Galaxy S4 release. From the looks of things, this might not be the only Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the pipeline.

Rumors have pointed to two Galaxy S5 models. Supposedly there is a premium Galaxy S5, which reports say could be called Galaxy S5 “Prime” and another non-premium 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.

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 a few weeks before the premium model arrives.

Design

We never fell in love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 design. While it’s slim, 7.9mm to be exact, and lightweight, it’s made of plastic. While it’s good plastic, it just doesn’t have the same draw as the premium metal designs found on the iPhone 5s and HTC One. We’re not the only ones who feel this way either.

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A Samsung executive recently told Bloomberg that it believes the Galaxy S4 didn’t resonate with consumers because the company didn’t offer much of a design change from the Galaxy S3. And because of that, the company says that it has put focus into the cover of the Samsung Galaxy S5′s design.

The exact changes that Samsung made to the Galaxy S design are up in the air at this point but that doesn’t mean that there is a lack of Galaxy S5 design rumors. On the contrary, there are tons.

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

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

Samsung is well known for clamping down on design leaks so we haven’t seen any confirmed images of the Galaxy S5 leak out just yet. We do, however, have two possibilities. The first, a schematic leaked by the reliable Sonny Dickson that shows an unknown device that he thinks could be the Galaxy S5. The schematic offers dimensions for the smartphone and could be a model that was drawn up for case makers without revealing the entire design.

Is Samsung teasing part of the Galaxy S5, or is this a current phone with photography tricks?

Is Samsung teasing part of the Galaxy S5, or is this a current phone with photography tricks?

The other is a possible leak inside of Samsung’s latest teaser. We discovered an unknown device lurking inside the teaser but it’s impossible to say what it is. Other than those two leaks, we have no pictures, we simply have words. Lots of them.

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.

On the other hand, respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that both the premium and non-premium model will both come with plastic designs. A recent 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. That could be the cover change from the Galaxy S4 that Samsung is talking about, it’s not clear yet.

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What we’re also hearing is that the regular old Galaxy S5 could come with a dust and water resistant design, similar to the Galaxy S4 Active design on AT&T. ZDNet Korea claims that the Galaxy S5 will have that on board and Samsung’s latest teaser which singles out the word ‘Wet’ seems to hint at that.

It looks like the Galaxy S5 will try and match the iPhone 5s with a fingerprint reader embedded in its 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. The Galaxy S4 also offers a home button but it does not have a fingerprint reader for added security and convenience.

Unsurprisingly, it looks like the Galaxy S5 will come in gold to rival the gold iPhone 5s. This isn’t confirmed and earlier rumors only pointed to white and black models, same as the Galaxy S4.

Display

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 offers one of the best looking displays of any smartphone. The 5-inch screen offers beautiful 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution at 441 pixels per inch. Content simply looks stunning on the device’s large display. Samsung is the type of company that likes to push the boundaries though so it’s no surprise that we’re hearing chatter about a potential upgrade on the Galaxy S5.

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Let’s start with the size. Every Galaxy S5 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. It’s not clear what it means.

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 perhaps, the sharper display will arrive on the “Prime” version of the Galaxy S5.

Rumors point to at least one model coming 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 but it’s not clear just how much of a difference, overall, it would make. And that’s what makes it exciting. Samsung is known for its gimmicks but it would be strange to see it invest this much into a gimmick.

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.

Both ETNews and OLED.at claim that the QHD model will arrive later in the year and that means that the 1080p model could be the device that arrives first.

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 (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

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

Samsung Galaxy S4

  • Snapdragon 600 Processor
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 5-inch FHD display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB storage options
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 13MP rear-facing camera
  • 2,600 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a, b, g, n WiFi
  • Regular Home Button

Software

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out has begun, bringing Android 4.4 functionality to Samsung’s aging flagship. The update, however, did not bring significant changes to the device’s TouchWiz software that Samsung puts over the top of Android.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has some life left ahead of it because Samsung typically offers software updates for two years. This not only means that the Galaxy S4 is still a safe buy but it means that it should see some major changes down the road with the arrival of big Android updates. Perhaps, one of those updates will bring some of the features found on the Galaxy S5.

The company always loves to dish some of its new software features out to older devices so it could be that some of the rumors features we’re seeing for the Galaxy S5 will eventually make it to the Galaxy S4.

What we’re seeing is 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.

Samsung always offers some big changes when it comes to Galaxy S software so we fully expect the software to be vastly different than the software on board the Galaxy S4.

Carriers

The Galaxy S4 is found on a host of carriers in the United States including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. It’s also found on a number of smaller carriers, both pre-paid and regional.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Features - 2

Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors point to an arrival on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon but we should also see pre-paid and regional carriers jump on the bandwagon as well.

Price

While the Galaxy S4 started at $199.99 on-contract for the 16GB, $250 for the 32GB model, those prices have dropped in recent months, particularly at third-party retailers. The Galaxy S4 is much more affordable, something that makes it an extremely enticing option even now with the Galaxy S5 on the way.

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.

Rumor has it, the Galaxy S5 might start cheaper than the Galaxy S4 did. According the Bloomberg, Samsung is considering a price drop for the Galaxy S5. It’s not clear how much cheaper the device might be.

We doubt that the price drop would arrive for the “Prime” model given the specs so it could be that it’s for the other Galaxy S5 variant that’s rumored for arrival in March.

Comments

  1. Anthony Johnson says

    Is it true that the price of Galaxy S5 is cheaper than Galaxy S4 during their launch time? Well I think I have to wait for 24th February to get the right answer as there are many rumors prior to its launch. I even read news post which says it might not support wireless charging and if so I am not going to buy it and stay with Galaxy S4 which support.

  2. Chris Cooper says

    I am overdue for a new phone and this looks like the time to grab a new S5. And I can live with a charging pad like the S4, wireless charging (using your phone near the charger) seems a year or two away.,

  3. mara says

    Why is it I always end up having to buy my phones days before the newer model arrives?!?!?!

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