The iPhone 5s is six months old and there are plenty of rumors about a iPhone 6 coming this fall, but for many smartphone shoppers the debate is much closer as they ask,”Should I buy the iPhone 5s or the Galaxy S5?”
If you are sitting at home or in a store and looking at the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s trying to figure out which is the best phone, this list will show you five areas the iPhone 5s is a better smartphone. This is not to say the iPhone 5s is the best smartphone for everyone or the best phone you can buy, just areas where it is better.
After you read the reasons to buy the iPhone 5s, check out five reasons to buy the Galaxy S5 and you’ll know what each phone does best and be able to make a better choice for yourself. Ultimately you may need to go to a store and use each phone for 10 minutes to get a feel, but you’ll arrive knowing what you wan to test on each phone and what to try out for a fast and easy in store comparison.
If you are planning to buy either of these phones on contract this will help you find the best phone for your needs without relying on a sales rep that may have preferences for a specific smartphone already.
Both of these smartphones cost $199 on a two-year contract, start with 16GB of storage and are available or coming soon to all of the major U.S. carriers, but there are several areas where the iPhone 5s is better.
Size is a very big part of the smartphone design, and ultimately a very personal preference. The iPhone 5s is smaller than the Galaxy S5 in height and width, which makes it easier to use with one hand for some users. The iPhone 5s is 18.2 mm shorter and 13.9 mm narrower which is a significant difference.
- Galaxy S5 dimensions – 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
- iPhone 5s dimensions - 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
For users that have small hands or simply want a small phone, the iPhone 5s is a better option. There are software modes on the Galaxy S5 that let owners use the phone with one hand easier, but ultimately a smaller phone is better for some people.
The Galaxy S5 design is improved from previous years, but buyers that place a high premium on a smartphone’s design will likely flock to Apple’s aluminum and glass iPhone 5s design. This is the same design we saw on the iPhone 5, but this time Apple delivered a more durable coating that doesn’t show scratches as easily.
Apple’s iPhone 5s design uses metal where the Galaxy S5 is made of plastic. Even a new soft touch plastic is not enough to convince some users to switch away from a metal phone. If you value a metal smartphone the iPhone 5s is a better choice, and you should look at the new HTC One M8 if you need a metal smartphone running Android.
iOS 7.1 and Updates
Samsung is improving the speed of delivering Android updates to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, which are 12 months and six months old, but for devices farther out updates are slower and still questionable for some models.
Apple on the other hand can roll out updates to the iPhone 5s more regularly and without a carrier holding it up for testing for weeks or months after the update came out. Apple also delivers updates for several years to older devices. The iPhone 5s will likely see two more major iOS releases and possibly a third if Apple continues the current trend.
If you want timely updates that bring new features for the length of a two-year contract or a little longer Apple is still a step ahead of Samsung.
Apps and Accessories
There are a growing number of companies that sell Galaxy S5 accessories, but Apple is still the king of apps and accessories from third-parties. The Galaxy S5 has a Gear Fit that will not work with the iPhone 5s, but for that one thing there are many other accessories that are designed to work with iPhone first.
Many times these accessories will come to Android after a few months, but some like a Nike FuelBand app aren’t available still. This is in part thanks to various Android devices and Android fragmentation that makes developing and delivering a solid experience tougher on Android.
From an App standpoint we often see popular apps come to the iPhone first. Boom Beach is the latest big name app to arrive on iPhone first. It will eventually move to Android, but Galaxy S5 owners will need to wait. The app situation improved dramatically in the last year, but it is still an issue that users should take note of.
Ecosystem and User Experience
The final reason to buy the iPhone 5s over the Galaxy S5 is more of an intangible that comes from owning a variety of Apple products. Apple and Samsung both sell computers, tablets and media accessories, but the Apple experience still feels more cohesive than what Samsung offers.
Even with an aging Apple TV, Apple’s living room companion s a more attractive way to spend $75 than the Samsung Mobile Allshare Cast Wireless Hub. Apple users can enjoy a complete backup to iCloud or iTunes, while Samsung and Android backup solutions are more complicated.
The Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab tablets offer a better user experience than in previous years, but for many users an iPhone 5s and an iPad are a better combination than a Galaxy S5 and a Galaxy Note Pro, despite what Samsung commercials show.
This final reason to buy the iPhone 5s will depend on what devices you already own and what you plan to buy. If you are invested in Apple devices or need to communicate with friends that use FaceTime and iMessage the iPhone 5s is a better option.
What Else to Consider
Before rushing into a $600 purchase or a two-year commitment it is a good idea to take this information and the details in our other Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s articles into consideration and step into a store to try both smartphones.
iOS and Android offer varying user experiences that will appeal to different users. There is no one perfect smartphone and the small differences in Android and iPhone can be a major deciding factor in buying an iPhone 5s or a Galaxy S5. Over 100 Best Buy stores have a Galaxy S5 on display ahead of the release, so users can go check it out and the iPhone 5s out in the same store.
Spend 15 minutes with each phone trying the web browser, text messages, keyboard and other features. Hold each phone in your hand for a few minutes to read a book and see how easy you can hold the device and how easy it is to reach the corners. Try out each camera app to figure out which one you like best.
These five reasons to buy the iPhone 5s are only a starting point to help you identify things that may not jump out while trying both devices in store.