iPhone 6 vs. Galaxy S5: What Buyers Can Expect

In just a few short weeks, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is going to be faced with another top competitor in the Apple iPhone 6. With iPhone 6 release date rumors putting the device just a few weeks out, we want to take a look at what we expect in the battle between the iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5.

Back in February, after months and months of rumor and speculation, Samsung took the stage at Mobile World Congress 2014 and announced its Galaxy S4 successor, a device that we now know as the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 was the first big smartphone launch of the year and it represents Samsung’s biggest launch of 2014.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 might seem like an old device but this is a smartphone that is still just a few months removed from its release, it arrived in April, and a device that remains one of the top smartphone options on the market. It’s a smartphone that consumers should certainly be taking a look at as we head into the fall.

With an Android 4.4.3 KitKat update seemingly on the way and a price that’s dropped considerably since its release in April, the Galaxy S5 has set itself up well for the tough road ahead. And unsurprisingly, we’ve talked to more than a few people that are considering it as their next smartphone.

iPhone 5s design vs Galaxy S5 plastic.

iPhone 5s design vs Galaxy S5 plastic.

Many of those people are curious as to how it will fair next to the device that’s expected to replace the iPhone 5s, one of the Galaxy S5’s biggest rivals. Interest in the rumored iPhone 6, Apple’s rumored iPhone 5s successor, has skyrocketed in recent weeks as iPhone 6 rumors have firmed up around a launch in September.

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen iPhone 6 rumors become more and more concrete. We’ve made some early comparisons to several devices including the Galaxy S5. Here, we want to explore those rumors and offer up some predictions of our own. Here’s how we expect the iPhone 6 to match up with the Galaxy S5 in key areas when it arrives later on this year.

iPhone 6 Release Date + Galaxy S5 Price

Apple still hasn’t confirmed the iPhone 6 but it’s clear the company has something up its sleeve for September. The iPhone 6 launch has been repeatedly rumored for September and a new, credible rumor puts the iPhone 6 launch date on September 9th.

While the date itself isn’t confirmed, Recode’s John Paczkowski is a solid source and we expect Apple to confirm that date sometime between now and early September. We would not be surprised if Apple tried to take some steam out of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4 launch on September 3rd with some news of its own.

iPhone 6

An Apple iPhone 6 release date is still out of reach and there’s a good chance that it will stay in the shadows until Apple takes the stage on September 9th. That said, we’re expecting an iPhone 6 release date that takes place inside the same iPhone launch window that Apple historically uses for its iconic smartphone.

Apple is known for its patterns. The company almost always releases iPhones in and around two weeks after launch. It’s a pattern it has used for many years now. It’s also known for releasing new iPhones on Friday. September 19th fits the criteria perfectly and unsurprisingly, the date is rumored to actually be the first of what could be two iPhone 6 release dates.

iPhone 6 release date rumors have continued to point to two separate release dates for Apple’s new iPhone. The latest rumor comes from VentureBeat who claims that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release date will happen in September while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release date could arrive up to a month after the initial release. This lines up with early iPhone 6 rumors including details from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

With an iPhone 6 event on the books, the iOS 8 release date is pretty clear.

With an iPhone 6 event on the books, the iOS 8 release date is pretty clear.

If Apple does have two iPhones up its sleeve, we expect the company to debut both on September 9th. If the company holds back, it could potentially cut into initial iPhone sales as consumers take a wait and see approach into the month of October. It helps that Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) recently confirmed that two iPhone 6 models are on the way. The disclosure reportedly has led to a meeting with Apple to discuss the revelation.

So in summary, here’s Apple’s potential iPhone 6 release timeline:

  • iPhone 6 announcement on September 9th.
  • iPhone 6 release date on September 19th. (Or September 26th, another Friday in late September.)
  • iOS 8 release somewhere between September 9th and September 26th.

What does this mean for the Samsung Galaxy S5?

For those trying to decide between the iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5, it means that you should expect the iPhone 6 release to be just weeks away. That means that you should start preparing for the iPhone 6 right now.

It also means that we could see the Samsung Galaxy S5 price drop even more in the weeks ahead as retailers try and make it look pretty next to Apple’s brand new iPhone model. The Galaxy S5 price has already dipped down to $99 or less on-contract so it’s poised to be at least $100 cheaper than Apple’s new iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to two price points, $199 for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and $299 for the 5.5-inch model. If true, it would align with Samsung’s pricing for the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy S5 started at $199.99 but has seen its price dip dramatically since launch.

Key Design Differences & Similarities

iPhone 6 rumors have continually pointed to a redesign and we’ve seen rumors, leaks, and speculation from analysts align around some very specific iPhone 6 design details. Nothing is set in stone but when there’s a ton of smoke, there’s usually a ton of fire, so prospective buyers should expect a new look from the iPhone 6.

These iPhone 6 photos show the new design in detail.

These iPhone 6 photos show the new design in detail.

We fully expect Apple’s new iPhone design to come with a marked improvement. Specifically, we should see the iPhone 6 design come with more metal than the iPhone 5s, ditching the glass top and bottom parts on the back of the phone for a full metal back cover. The Galaxy S5 features a premium plastic design with a perforated matte back but it’s simply not on par with the iPhone 5s in terms of quality and we could see Apple push the gap further with the iPhone 6’s build quality.

Apple’s new design is also rumored to be thin, perhaps as thin as 7mm, and feature a taller and wider footprint to accommodate a larger display. The display itself is rumored to be made out of sapphire material to protect the front of the design from harm. So, we’re expecting a thinner, more durable iPhone 6 design.

A small plug covers the charging port to keep water out.

A small plug covers the charging port to keep water out.

 

The Galaxy S5 is thin, 8.1mm, and it’s also durable. In addition to the Gorilla Glass in the front to protect the display, the device is also IP67 certified which means that it’s both water and dust resistant. This is something that’s not expected to emerge with the iPhone 6 design and something that Samsung could potentially use to market the Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 is widely expected to have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a feature that arrived on the iPhone 5s. VentureBeat claims that Apple will introduce improvements that will speed up read times and improve accuracy. We expect both.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 also features a fingerprint reader embedded in its home button. The accuracy is simply not as good as Touch ID but it still provides an extra layer of security and added convenience to Galaxy S5 users.

This close up is one of two new iPhone 6 photos that show a key part of the new iPhone design.

This close up is one of two new iPhone 6 photos that show a key part of the new iPhone design.

The iPhone 6 itself has yet to leak out and there’s a good chance that Apple will clamp down on full blown leaks until its announcement. Fortunately, we’ve been able to go hands on with Spigen’s upcoming iPhone 6 case and the video below will give you a pretty good idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6 design. The mockup is based on rumors but there is a chance that Spigen is armed with inside info.

If you want a little more realism, take a look at these iPhone 6 concept photos below. These photos, from our friend Martin Hajek, bring the latest iPhone 6 design rumors to life and offer a glimpse at what the real iPhone 6 could look like when it arrives.

Big Beautiful Displays

At this point, we’re expecting the iPhone 6 to feature two display sizes, one smaller than the Galaxy S5 and one larger.

Galaxy S5 Review - 5

iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to a brand new higher-resolution Retina Display that measures both 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. Apple’s iPhone 6 will reportedly deliver a 4.7-inch screen with a 1704 x 960 resolution that delivers a 416 ppi experience. The best part is that it looks like the company might be able to accomplish that without blowing up the size of the iPhone.

The iPhone 6 is still possible to use with one hand, based on size alone. We're waiting on the iPhone 6 release to confirm this though.

The iPhone 6 is still possible to use with one hand, based on size alone. We’re waiting on the iPhone 6 release to confirm this though.

The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could be much larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and perhaps larger than the Samsung Galaxy S5. We’ve only seen that device leak out a few times though in each photo, it’s been noticeably larger than the 4.7-inch model. The photo below shows a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 - Apple reportedly preps a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhone.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 – Apple reportedly preps a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhone.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is one of the best on the market and it delivers stunning looking games, video content, and more. So, we’re expecting the size difference to be the biggest difference here because both should provide fantastic resolution and excellent real estate for gaming, watching movies and getting work done.

iPhone 6 Specs vs. Galaxy S5 Specs

The Galaxy S5 comes with some solid specifications including a Snapdragon 801 processor from Qualcomm, 2GB of RAM, 16MP camera, 2,800 mAh battery, and a heart rate sensor tied into the S Health app. It’s a powerful smartphone that delivers a ton of horsepower. This almost goes without saying but we’re expecting the iPhone 6 to challenge it in all key areas.

iPhone 6 specs include a better camera, but the details aren't in focus yet.

iPhone 6 specs include a better camera, but the details aren’t in focus yet.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest iPhone 6 specs:

Apple’s new A8 64-bit processor has been rumored many times throughout the year and it appears to be a lock for the new iPhone. Rumors also suggest that the 5.5-inch model could be faster than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. We still don’t have any benchmarks but seeing as though it’s a 64-bit chip and a step up from the A7, we’re expecting the iPhone 6 to deliver a solid performance in areas like battery life and multitasking.

We’re also expecting the usual upgrade to the iPhone camera though rumors are still a bit blurry. Rumors point to a better iPhone 6 camera in 2014, but it isn’t clear what Apple plans to do. Rumors currently focus on several upgrade options including;

  • 8MP sensor with bigger pixels
  • 13MP sensor from Sony
  • Optical Image Stabilization or Electronic Image Stabilization.

The Galaxy S5 camera is good but it’s not best-in-class so the door is wide open for the iPhone 6 to come in and deliver a knockout blow in this area. This is a feature that prospective Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 6 buyers will want to keep track of as we head into the fall.

We’re still not sold on the 128GB iPhone or NFC, the rumors are more flimsy than the camera and processor upgrades, so prospective users will want to temper expectations.

iPhone-6-Concept-6

NFC, or Near-Field Communication, would allow iPhone 6 users to use their phone like a mobile wallet. It’s a feature that comes with the Galaxy S5 and many other Android smartphones. As far as storage is concerned, the Galaxy S5 comes in 16GB form in the U.S. but features a microSD card slot that’s capable of reading 128GB microSD cards for extended storage. The iPhone 6 will likely not come with that attribute.

Finally, don’t let the potential difference in battery size fool you. Yes, the Galaxy S5 offers superb battery life but the iPhone always does as well and its batteries are almost always dwarfed in size. Processing power and software tweaks come into play here so with the A8 and iOS 8 update on the way, we expect an iPhone 6 that delivers battery life that’s at least close to the Galaxy S5.

iOS 8 vs. Android & TouchWiz

When the iPhone 6 arrives in September, it will be running Apple’s new iOS 8 update. To get a feel for the new iOS 8 update, we suggest taking a look at our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough. It will bring you up to speed on the changes Apple has made in its new update.

The Galaxy S5 doesn’t run iOS 8. Instead, it uses Android 4.4.2 KitKat combined with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. To get a feel for the major differences, have a look at the iPhone 5s vs Galaxy S5 comparison above.

Similar Carrier Options

We haven’t seen any iPhone 6 carrier rumors emerge though we expect the same from this year’s model. That means the usual suspects AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon along with U.S. Cellular and an assortment of pre-paid and smaller regional U.S. carriers. We would also not be surprised if U.S. Cellular released the iPhone 6 alongside the big boys this year.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is also available on the top five U.S. carriers in addition to Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Ting. So if the iPhone 6 follows in the footsteps of the iPhone 5s, we could see more iPhone 6 carrier options. Only time will tell.

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