iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy S6: 10 Things to Expect

Apple’s iPhone 5s is no longer the company’s flagship but thanks to updated software and an attractive price point, it remains a solid option for smartphone shoppers. In a few weeks the iPhone 5s will be joined by a brand new Samsung Galaxy S6 flagship and today, we want to relay our own Galaxy S6 expectations and as we examine what we expect from the Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5s.

In 2013, Apple took to the stage to announce its yearly iPhone release. As expected, the company announced an iPhone 5s follow up to its popular iPhone 5, a device that arrived with a number of upgrades on board including the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Thanks to those upgrades, Apple’s iPhone 5s quickly took its place among the smartphone market’s elite.


For a year, the iPhone 5s reigned as the company’s go-to flagship option. This September, Apple took to the stage again to announce its revamped iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a move that sent the iPhone 5s to the bargain bin on the Apple Store. The iPhone 5s is no longer the top device but it’s still one of the best phones that money can buy. We recommend waiting a few weeks before buying it or upgrading though.

iPhone 5s

Both HTC and Samsung have launch dates scheduled for March 1st and it’s there that we expect to learn all about Samsung’s new iPhone competitor, a device that’s currently being called the Samsung Galaxy S6.


Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been swirling for a number of weeks now. And as we’ve gotten close to March 1st, the Galaxy S6 rumor cycle has started to mature to the point that we’ve got a pretty good read on what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, Galaxy S6 specifications and the Galaxy S6 design.


We’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6. Many people want to know how it will compare to the top smartphones on the market. We still can’t answer those questions with 100 percent certainty but there is enough information, enough evidence out there, to start putting together some early expectations. Today, we want to offer our own set of expectations for those comparing the Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5s.

This early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5s will take you through 10 things we expect from this big smartphone battle. It covers specs but it will also take a look at some of the finer details that will become important once the Samsung Galaxy S6 arrives later this year.

Galaxy S6 Release Date

Right now is a terrible time to buy the iPhone 5s or really any top smartphone. That’s because the next wave of flagship devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S6, are mere weeks away from their heralded arrivals.

Samsung Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that the device will arrive shortly after its launch date on March 1st. The latest intel points to an arrival in and around March 22nd. A specific date hasn’t been rumored just yet but it’s looking like we’ll see the start of the Galaxy S6 release take place in late March, earlier than usual.


We’ve also started to see Galaxy S6 models obtain necessary certifications ahead of their release, a sign that Samsung is pushing ahead with a release that should land sometime within the next month and a half. All signs point to an arrival in the near future.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Concept - gottabemobile - 17

We expect there to be a way for consumers to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 ahead of its release. Shortly after last year’s Galaxy Note 4 launch, Samsung put the device on display in Best Buy stores ahead of its release. We could definitely see the company getting the Galaxy S6 into stores ahead of the release so that consumers can compare it to top rivals like the iPhone 5s.

Either way, we expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date to land a few weeks after Samsung announces the device on March 1st. Late March and early April seem like the safe bets at this point and you would be wise to wait until then so that you can compare the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S6 physically.

Display Size

Apple’s iPhone 5s is part of the old breed. That is to say that it features a smaller 4-inch Retina Display rather than the huge 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina displays found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 5s display is much smaller than most flagship smartphones and we expect the Galaxy S6’s display size to be larger than the iPhone 5s’.



Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors are all pointing to a 5.1-inch display on board. If true, and we think that it probably is, the Galaxy S6’s overall footprint will be much bigger than the iPhone 5s’. It should still be easy to wield with one hand.

Android manufacturers have slimmed down the bezels and designs so that they aren’t unwieldy. For instance, the LG G3 and its 5.5-inch display are comparable to the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5.

Count on an upgraded 2k display, many sensors and an upgraded fingerprint reader.

Count on an upgraded 2k display, many sensors and an upgraded fingerprint reader.


We also are expecting the company to release a Galaxy Note Edge competitor with a curved display. Rumors have hinted at the arrival of a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with two bent edges. The Galaxy Note Edge only uses one. If true, and we think it is, it would give Samsung another intriguing option for those looking into buying the iPhone 5s or the iPhone 6.

Screen Resolution

Galaxy S6 display rumors continue to hint at the arrival of a Quad HD display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also uses 2K resolution so we’re expecting the Galaxy S6 to at least match the quality found on Samsung’s current Galaxy Note flagship. Anything less would be weird. We could see the company make some tweaks to its display panel but we wouldn’t expect the resolution to be any different.


What this means is that the Galaxy S6 will deliver 2,560 x 1,440 resolution at 575 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5s’ Retina display features 1136 x 640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch. As we’ve noted in our reviews of the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Quad HD resolution isn’t just a gimmick. It delivers crisp looking content. We expect there to be a noticeable difference between the two.

Apple’s Retina Display is solid but we expect the Galaxy S6’s panel to be able to display more detail in videos and photos. If you want to get a feel for what to expect, go into a store and compare the iPhone 5s’ display to the Galaxy Note 4’s display.


The iPhone 5s’ overall design is now more than two years old but it can still hang with many of the top smartphones on the market. The iPhone 5s uses a combination of aluminum and glass and it’s one of the best feeling, and looking, smartphone designs available right now. An impressive feat for a phone that’s over a year old.

Design upgrades could make the choice tougher for consumers this year.

Design upgrades could make the choice tougher for consumers this year.

For years, Apple’s metal iPhone designs  have put Samsung’s plastic Galaxy S designs to shame. Samsung took baby steps over the years but the designs still couldn’t compete with Apple’s offerings. This year, it’s looking like the Galaxy S6 will take it up a notch as Samsung looks to reverse its fortunes and better compete with the iPhone.

Last year, Samsung finally added metal to a flagship smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is mostly plastic but it does come with a metal rim around the edges. At the time, we noted that the inclusion of metal in the device’s design language hinted at future designs. And guess what? It’s looks like that’s exactly what we’re going to see from the Galaxy S6.


Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumor after Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumor all point to the same exact thing. A shift from the usual plastic designs to a new all-metal design that’s in line with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s.

These design rumors prompted us to put together a Samsung Galaxy S6 concept, based on recent Galaxy S6 design rumors. The concept shows what the device could look like next to the real iPhone 6. The Samsung Galaxy S6 dimensions in our concept are 143.30 x 70.81 x 6.91 mm which are in line with rumors. The exact measurements could be a bit different but we’re expecting metal and we’re expecting thin. It should be comparable to the iPhone 5s design.

Fingerprint Sensor

Touch ID, which debuted on the iPhone 5s, is the fingerprint sensor embedded in the device’s home button. It brings added convenience for downloads, payments and accessing the home screen.

We’ve found Apple’s touch-based sensor to be far more accurate, far more reliable, than the swipe-based technology found in the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4. So it should come as no surprise to learn that Samsung’s apparently planning to make the switch this year.

Expect to use a fingerprint on to unlock both devices, and the Galaxy S6 could match the ease of using Touch ID this year.

Expect to use a fingerprint on to unlock both devices, and the Galaxy S6 could match the ease of using Touch ID this year.

We expect Samsung to upgrade the Galaxy S6 with a touch-based sensor that’s similar to the Touch ID sensor found inside the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. The move makes sense given the failures of the Galaxy S5.

It also makes sense to lock in something more accurate if Samsung really does have an Apple Pay competitor on tap for the Samsung Galaxy S6 as rumors suggest.


The iPhone 5s camera is still extremely solid though it’s no longer the best iPhone camera available. That distinction goes to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which offer several upgrades. It’s not the best and it isn’t going to win any megapixel battles (it’s 8MP) but it’s a very good camera that many consumers will love.

Samsung, like Apple, offers yearly camera upgrades. This year, Samsung’s promoting its Galaxy S camera like never before with blog posts and teasers. We definitely expect to see some improvements.

Rumors suggest we will see a 16MP or 20MP camera with OIS.

Rumors suggest we will see a 16MP or 20MP camera with OIS.

Rumors suggest that those changes will include a new sensor, possibly a 16MP or 20MP, Optical Image Stabilization, and a 5MP camera in the front. The Galaxy S6’s new camera module should deliver better photos in low light and the switch to a larger sensor on the front should come with support for wider angles, something that will benefit selfie lovers.

The Galaxy S6 is a smartphone from 2015 that uses the latest technology. While the iPhone 5s camera is good, it’s older technology. The inclusion of a larger sensor and OIS should help to make the Galaxy S6 camera better than the iPhone 5s’. We expect it to be more in line with the iPhone 6’s camera.


Apple’s iPhone 5s currently runs iOS 8.1.3 and soon, it will run the company’s new iOS 8.2 operating system. iOS 8.2 will bring support for Apple’s new Apple Watch. As many of you know, iOS looks and feels a whole lot different than Android and we expect Samsung’s Galaxy S6 software to look and feel a whole lot different than the software on the iPhone 5s.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 will almost certainly run Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s new operating system, though we expect it to also have Samsung’s TouchWiz on board. Before you run out to compare the iPhone 5s’ software to the software on the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4, you should know this.


Galaxy S6 rumors point to a stripped down version of TouchWiz. Samsung began stripping down its user interface with last year’s Galaxy S5 but we expect it to take it to another level with the Galaxy S6. From what we’re hearing, it looks like the device could be void of pre-loaded Samsung applications. It’s also expected to deliver some other changes including more themes, changes to the default keyboard (it supposedly has some iOS elements to it) and more.

The point is this. We expect this to be Samsung’s most impressive software in years and we expect it to be as attractive and feature-rich as Apple’s current mobile operating system. With all of the iOS 8 problems going around, Samsung has a real chance to capitalize here.


The iPhone 5s comes in 16GB and 32GB form on the Apple Store though you can find the 64GB model through third-party retailers. The iPhone 5s does not feature a microSD card slot though it does come with iCloud storage for photos, videos and more.

It’s not clear if the Samsung Galaxy S6 will come with a microSD card slot but even if it doesn’t, we expect it to offer a ton of storage. 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are rumored for arrival. If it doesn’t have a microSD card slot, we’d expect carriers to offer at least a few different options to make up for that. If it does have one, we’d expect carriers to offer the 32GB model and perhaps, the 64GB model as well.


Apple’s iPhone 6 is available on all five major carriers in the United States which includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. It’s also available on several regional and pre-paid carriers. We expect the Galaxy S6 release to include a number of different carriers both in the United States and in regions around the world.


Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is rumored to be coming to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon at the very least. We expect it to debut on smaller carriers as well.

Galaxy S6 Price

With the arrival of the iPhone 6, the iPhone 5s price dropped down to $99 and $149 on-contract through the Apple Store. Those are solid deals for a very solid phone.

We expect the Galaxy S6 to be more expensive than the iPhone 5s. Flagship Android smartphones like the Galaxy S typically command iPhone-like price tags at launch and we expect the Galaxy S6 to be close to Apple’s $199.99 base iPhone 6 model. Samsung can’t afford to go much higher than that else it risk pushing people away.

If Samsung releases a Galaxy S6 Edge, we’d expect it to be $50 to $100 more on-contract than the regular model. Maybe $299.99 or so to keep it in line with the iPhone 6 Plus.