Samsung Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s: 5 Reasons to Buy the Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives in early April and soon shoppers will compare the new Android smartphone with the iPhone 5s at carriers across the U.S. and we will likely see sales people pushing one phone or another based on features and occasionally personal preferences.

For shoppers trying to decide between the top of the line Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s there are a dizzying array of features and options that offer various advantages and benefits for specific users. We’ve already covered a feature by feature iPhone 5s vs Galaxy S5 comparison, and now we want to share the reasons You should buy the Galaxy S5 over the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5s is six months old but it can still compete with the new Galaxy S5 that arrives this month thanks to the iOS 7.1 software update and a design that looks as good as it did in 2013. The iPhone 5s is at a disadvantage with a smaller screen and it lacks several important design choices that make the Galaxy S5 a better buy for some users.

The Galaxy S5 pre-orders are available from every major U.S. carrier except Verizon, but those are coming soon, and shoppers are eagerly comparing these two smartphones before signing a two-year contract or locking in to a monthly payment plan to buy the Galaxy S5 for $0 down.


Without knowing your specific needs it is hard to pick the best smartphone to buy for one person, which is why we routinely pick five of the best smartphones every month. Instead of telling every reader that the Galaxy S5 is the best smartphone and that they should ignore the iPhone 5s, here are five reasons to buy the Galaxy S5. We’ll be back with a list of reasons to buy the iPhone 5s very soon, and combined these can help shoppers pick the perfect smartphone.

Galaxy S5 Display

The Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives with a 5.1-inch display that offers a 1920 x 1080 resolution similar to that found on most HDTVs. The high-resolution packs pixels together at 432 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5s offers a 4-inch 1136 x 640 resolution display with 326 pixels per inch. The more pixels per inch the better a display can look to users because the individual pixels are not visible when used normally, but a higher pixel count alone is not the reason you should buy the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy S5 display is larger and according to a report, the best smartphone display you can buy.

The Galaxy S5 display is larger and according to a report, the best smartphone display you can buy.

The larger Galaxy S5 display offers a bigger viewing area to browse the web, read a book and watch movies. If you plan to use your phone for these tasks a bigger display is a big factor.

Samsung includes variety of Galaxy S5 features that rely on the display. These settings and options allow for the best overall display setting based on the environment. A report from a display testing company found the Galaxy S5 offers the “Best performing smartphone display,” that they tested, beating out the iPhone. In addition to delivering accurate colors the Galaxy S5 is easier to read outdoors thanks to a high brightness mode and can also display content at a very dim setting for use at night. The display is also more power efficient which means better battery life.

The iPhone display is not a slouch, but for users that want the best looking display with more room, an ability to adjust to the current use and to use two apps on-screen at once the Galaxy S5 is a winner.

Galaxy S5 Water Resistant Design

The Galaxy S5 can survive 30 minutes in water up to 1 meter deep without damage to the phone. The iPhone 5s cannot survive a full dip into the water without a shopping trip for rice, a lot of waiting and possibly an expensive visit to an Apple Store or a carrier.

This small seal is part of a water-resistant Galaxy S5 design.

This small seal is part of a water-resistant Galaxy S5 design.

Samsung designed the Galaxy S5 with a seal around the important parts, including the charging port, but there is no need for a headphone jack plug to take advantage of this. If you are likely to drop the phone in a sink, bathtub or puddle this is a phone for you. The Galaxy S5 won’t survive at great depths or for long periods, so there is still a need for a case if you plan to swim with it, but there is no need to keep a case on it all the time just to avoid water damage.

If you plan to use the iPhone 5s near water you can expect to spend $60 to $100 on a good waterproof case. This case will protect the iPhone at greater depths than the default Galaxy S5 design, but it adds bulk and is not cheap.

Battery and SD Card Slot

The Galaxy S5 lets users add more memory and more battery power after buying the phone, without the need for a case. The iPhone 5s only offers storage at the time of purchase and there is no way to swap in a new battery.

Add more storage with a Micro SD card slot and swap batteries on the Galaxy S5.

Add more storage with a Micro SD card slot and swap batteries on the Galaxy S5.

Users can remove the back of the Galaxy S5 and install a Micro SD card to add up to 128GB more storage. Users can also remove the battery and install a new one to keep going without charging or adding bulk to the phone. We will also very likely see extended Galaxy S5 batteries that add even more battery life.

The iPhone 5s doe snot offer a removable battery or a Micro SD card slot, but users can buy a battery case that adds bulk to get better battery life. There is even a special iPhone 5s battery and storage case that adds more storage.

While both of these options are not as good as a smartphone with ample memory and all day battery life, the Galaxy S5 option doesn’t require a case to offer more power or storage.

Camera Software

The iPhone 5s camera is one of the go to cameras for Gotta Be Mobile team members and it consistently takes good photos, but for users that want more options the Galaxy S5 is a better choice. The Galaxy S5 comes with a 16MP camera that uses a hybrid auto focus system to focus on a subject in under .3 seconds — which is to say incredibly fast. The camera can also offer a live HDR view so that the owner can see what a photo taken with the popular high-dynamic-range option will look like before pressing the shutter.

The Galaxy S5 camera also offers a variety of modes to change focus similar to the HTC One M8, though the S5 uses software to blur a background. There are also modes to capture action across a photo, to remove an unwanted object and to get smiles on everyone in the photo. These options are similar to what you would find on a point-and-shoot camera.

The iPhone 5s offers a basic photo, square photo and panoramic photo in the default software as well as live filters. There are iPhone apps to add some features like this, but they are not part of the default camera app that users can launch from the lock screen, which is a downside.


The Galaxy S5 also allows users to use a multi-window mode that puts two apps on the screen at once to take advantage of the bigger display.

Watch the video above to see this in action and multi-tasking users with multiple monitors will know why this is a big deal. If you only have one device with you and you need to see a document while taking notes or watch a video while chatting this is for you.

There is no multi-window mode on the iPhone 5s, but it is a feature we would love to see on a larger iPhone 6 with iOS 8.

What Else to Consider

The Galaxy S5 is a bigger and thicker smartphone, so it is important to keep that in mind before making a decision. Some Best Buy stores offer a display unit of the Galaxy S5 right now that users can try out before the release. When buying a larger smartphone for the first time, spend a few minutes hands-on in a store or with a similar size device to get an idea of how it feels to hold. 

The Samsung Gear fit works with the Galaxy S5, but not the iPhone 5s.

The Samsung Gear fit works with the Galaxy S5, but not the iPhone 5s.

Fitness users may also appreciate the Gear Fit, which only works with Samsung devices. This small fitness band and smart watch includes a pulse tracker to monitor your heart rate and  curved display that can also show notifications. There is also a pulse tracker in the back of the Galaxy S5 and a new S Health 3.0 app to track heart rate and other activities on the S5. There are iPhone apps that can offer similar features.

The iPhone 5s is $199 on contract for 16GB of storage and the Galaxy S5 is $199 on contract for 16GB of storage as well. There is a 32GB Galaxy S5, but it is not on sale at this time in the U.S.