In the build up to the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in April, consumers are starting to weigh the Galaxy S5 against other top smartphones including the current Galaxy S4. With that in mind, here, we take a look at some reasons why one might want to consider buying the Galaxy S5 over last year’s Galaxy S smartphone.
Early Galaxy S5 rumors painted the device as a monster, in a good way. Rumors suggested that it would have features that would blow the Galaxy S4 out of the water. Reports suggested that its display would feature QHD resolution, that its processor would be a Exynos 6 or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, that its design would be made out of metal.
In reality, the Galaxy S5 does boast some impressive traits but it’s not the monster upgrade that many consumers were expecting from this year’s Galaxy S smartphone. And this is something that might make upgrading a little harder than it would have been if the Galaxy S5 featured all of the exciting features that popped up in the rumor mill.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is considered, by many, to be an incremental upgrade over the Galaxy S4. It’s debatable but we’re already seeing consumers take a cautious approach to the new Galaxy S. Instead of jumping in head first, friends, family and readers have begun to ask us questions. And one of the questions that we keep hearing is: “Should I spend the extra money and grab the Galaxy S5? Or should I save my money and buy the Galaxy S4?”
We can’t offer a definitive answer, everyone’s situation is going to be a little different, but what we can do is offer eight solid reasons to spend the extra cash and buy the Samsung Galaxy S5 over the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S5’s price tag isn’t know but there is a very good chance that it’s going to cost more than a smartphone that was released a year ago.
Water & Dust Resistance
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with an IP 67 certified, water and dust resistant design. While it’s not waterproof, the design does afford users a layer of protection that the Galaxy S4 design does not offer.
This feature should be attractive to those that take their smartphone into rugged environments, whether its for work or for pleasure. It should also bring an added level of comfort for all users.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 design is still made of plastic, not metal, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an upgrade over the plastic design of the Galaxy S5.
Instead a smooth, high gloss, polycarbonate back like the one used by the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S5 comes with a perforated plastic back that has a matte-like finish. We never liked the glossy finish of the Galaxy S4 and find the Galaxy S5’s design to be a marked improvement over last year’s model.
It’s not going to offer the same premium look as a metal design would but it still feels a lot more premium than the Galaxy S4’s design which feels extremely cheap.
The added durability and the clean look are two reasons why we think the Galaxy S5 will be worth the extra money to many consumers in the hunt for a new smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a physical home button on the bottom of the device. And while it looks similar to the Galaxy S5’s home button, they are nothing alike.
The home button on the Galaxy S4 is your standard navigation tool. It allows users to quickly exit out of applications and return to the device’s home screen. The home button found on the Galaxy S5 also is used for navigation but it also provides an added layer of security and convenience that gives it a leg up on the Galaxy S4.
Samsung embedded a biometric fingerprint reader inside the Galaxy S5. The feature allows users to unlock their smartphone simply by swiping down from the home button. Users can store three fingerprints.
The Galaxy S5’s fingerprint sensor will be accessible by developers which means that we should see applications take advantage of it in the future.
Last year’s Galaxy S comes with last year’s camera technology. The Galaxy S4 sports a 13MP camera sensor that shoots solid photos and good looking 1080p video. It also takes advantage of an extensive list of features that Samsung baked into its camera application, an application that we consider to be one of the best available to smartphone users.
This year’s Galaxy S5 comes with some upgrades that help to make the Galaxy S5 more attractive than the Galaxy S4. Most people will focus on the 16MP sensor that’s on board the Galaxy S5 and that’s fine. It will help the Galaxy S5 shoot some pretty amazing photos and shoot high quality 4K video. Yes, 4K video is an option. However, it’s some of the smaller features that should excite those with money to burn.
Samsung really put an effort into improving the auto-focus time on the Galaxy S5. The company says that it boasts a speed of 0.3 seconds. Side-by-side with the Galaxy S5, it’s easy to notice a dramatic difference in speed.
The Galaxy S5’s camera is also capable of real-time HDR photos and video. It also takes advantage of other features like Selective Focus, video stabilization and more. The camera is an integral part of any smartphone and the improvements that Samsung has made this year make it one of the most attractive pieces of the Galaxy S5.
The Samsung Galaxy S5’s display offers the same 1080p resolution as the Galaxy S4’s and it’s only .1-inch larger but it does come with two features that consumers may not know about.
Its display uses an algorithm and sensors to change the display in response to bright light. Samsung calls this local contrast enhancement, which essentially means that the phone can automatically deliver a display that is much easier to read when outdoors.
The Galaxy S5 also includes a Super Dimming mode that drops the brightness down to 2cd/m2, which as one might guess, is extremely dim. This mode is designed to make it easier on the user’s eyes in the dark and to avoid bothering others. It should also help to conserve battery life as displays typically eat up a ton of juice.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 run Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the latest version of Android. However, the Galaxy S5 software experience is much different than the Galaxy S4’s thanks to additions Samsung has made to its TouchWiz software.
While it did not introduce the dramatic new look at that many expected it to deliver with the Galaxy S5, the new version of TouchWiz does come loaded with features that the Galaxy S5 simply does not have.
A few of the highlights include Kids Mode which is designed to let parents share a smart phone with a kid without worrying about kids deleting apps and sending messages by accident, the additions to the camera application, Ultra Power Saving mode which stretch the life of the Galaxy S5 significantly when the battery gets low, and a new S Health application that can take advantage of the device’s heath rate sensor.
Some of these features may come to the Galaxy S4 but the Galaxy S4 will never have the same, feature-rich software experience. Samsung tends to bring a few of the bigger features to its older devices but never the whole feature set.
A better TouchWiz experience isn’t the only software advantage that the Galaxy S5 holds over the Galaxy S4. Those who buy the Galaxy S4 over the Galaxy S5 will be buying a device that has already seen a year of software support. Typically, Samsung devices seen two years of software support before they are retired.
What this means is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 should get one more year of software support. That’s huge because it not only means new Android features but new Samsung software features as well. To us, that’s definitely worth the extra money.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a larger battery than the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S5 utilizes a 2,800 mAh battery as opposed to the 2,600 mAh battery that is on board the Galaxy S4. In theory, this should mean that the Galaxy S5 will be able to stretch out battery life a little further than last year’s model.
Of course, there are some features that we think will ensure better performance. The Galaxy S5 comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor, a processor that Qualcomm says is more efficient than the Snapdragon 800. Only, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t have a Snapdragon 800. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600.
The Galaxy S5 also features the aforementioned Ultra Power Saving mode which will help the device conserve its battery supply.