Samsung announced and unveiled the Galaxy S5 as its latest flagship smartphone, rocking a slightly-larger display, faster internals and a better camera. The new device firmly places the ball back in Apple’s court, reiterating that a larger display is the way to go in today’s handset market.
Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest smartphone makers in the world, so pitting each company’s flagship device up against each other is pretty much the battle of the year — like Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston or Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady.
The Galaxy S5 can be regarded as a direct response to the iPhone 5s, coming with a fingerprint sensor on the home button and now the choice of a “copper gold” flavor that seems to be the new phone’s version of the gold iPhone 5s that was introduced last year in September. In any case, let’s take a look at the two devices and find out what makes each phone tick compared to the other.
One of the most obvious differences between the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s is the screen. The Galaxy S5 rocks a 5.1-inch display with a 1920×1080 resolution, providing nearly 541 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5s only has a 4-inch screen with a resolution of 1136×640, giving it 326 pixels per inch after it’s all said and done.
There were rumors that Samsung would bring out the big guns and introduce a 2560×1440 display on the Galaxy S5, but we knew that was a little far-fetched to begin with. Instead, we’re still stuck with the traditional 1080p resolution, which is still rather admirable.
Either way, both the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s sport great pixel densities and images and videos look good on either device. Your only choice is whether you want a massive screen that may be too big for your hands or your pocket, or if you want the more subtle option of the iPhone 5s.
Samsung took a page from Apple’s book this time around by introducing a fingerprint sensor in the home button of the Galaxy S5. However, instead of simply tapping down on the home button to get your fingerprint scanned, the Galaxy S5 requires users to swipe their finger downward in order to scan it.
Hopefully we don’t see any long-term problems with the Galaxy S5′s fingerprint sensor, as many iPhone 5s owners have experienced degraded performance from the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. In other words, the sensor would fail to recognize fingerprints over time, most likely because the sensor would become dirty after several scans.
In any case, Samsung certainly agrees that a fingerprint scanner is the way to go as far as securing your personal information. The iPhone 5s’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor can only be used to unlock the phone and purchase apps in the iTunes App Store, while the Galaxy S5′s fingerprint sensor can be used for other things like mobile payments. It’s likely that Apple’s Touch ID system will expand its usage, but who knows when that’ll be.
The camera in the Galaxy S5 is a huge improvement over the Galaxy S4, and it quite possibly might be in the running for the best smartphone camera on the market, but further tests will need to be done to see whether or not that’s true.
The 13-megapixel camera sensor in the Galaxy S4 has been bumped up to a 16-megapixel sensor in the Galaxy S5. Of course, megapixels aren’t everything, but it seems Samsung stepped it up significantly with new features like the world’s fastest autofocus in a smartphone camera, as well as Lytro-like focus shifting, where you can change the focus of a photo after it’s been taken.
As for the iPhone 5s, it’s rocking an 8-megapixel camera sensor, and again, megapixels aren’t everything; the iPhone 5s takes great photos and it’s still one of the best smartphone cameras around, but we just might see Samsung edge past Apple in this category this year.
Samsung decided to forgo its slimy plastic that it used on the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S4 in favor of a soft-touch plastic with a textured finish that makes it more appealing to the senses. While many have joked around that the gold Galaxy S5 looks like a band-aid, it’s hard to deny that that the new look and feel is a welcomed improvement over the previous generation.
Then again, the Galaxy S5 still uses plastic across most of the device, while the iPhone 5s uses a sleek aluminum casing on the back and sides, making it one of the best-looking smartphones on the market.
However, many folks would argue that this makes the iPhone 5s much less tolerable to drops, while the Galaxy S5 looks to have a more robust build quality overall. In fact, Samsung’s new flagship is water-resistant, meaning that you can drop it in the toilet or in a puddle and it’ll still live to tell the tale. Granted, it’s not completely waterproof, but for those accidental moments, the new water-resistant feature can be a life-saver.
While the Galaxy S5 might not be a huge upgrade from the Galaxy S4 just from the face of it, the new smartphone is actually a huge upgrade, with just a few amazing new hardware features, as well as a handful of new software features that really puts the Galaxy S5 leaps and bounds ahead of the Galaxy S4.
However, the iPhone 5s is still right there along with it, and it seemed that Samsung played catch-up a little bit with the Galaxy S5 in terms of the iPhone 5s, with the inclusion of a home button fingerprint sensor and a new gold color option for those who like to bling it up.
However, Samsung still brought their own style and flavor to the Galaxy S5, especially with the upgraded camera and the new rear body design. It’ll be quite interesting to see how Apple responds when it unveils and launches the alleged iPhone 6 at some point later this year.