Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5: What Upgraders Can Expect

The iPhone 5 is now two years old and a difficult device to recommend. This comparison isn’t for people looking to buy the iPhone 5. This is for those of you who own the iPhone 5 and are looking to upgrade. Today, we want to take a look at one of the device’s that’s probably on your radar, the Samsung Galaxy S6. Here, we offer our own Galaxy S6 expectations and examine what we expect from the Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5.

A little more than two years ago, Apple took the stage to announce its iPhone 5, a revamped version of the iPhone that replaced the iPhone 4s as its flagship. Millions of people picked up the first iPhone with a metal design, the first iPhone with a 4-inch display, and the first iPhone with 4G LTE data speeds. And many of those people are still holding onto the device as it moves into its third year of existence.


While some people are content with the iPhone 5, others are starting to get a bit restless. Some owners we’ve spoken to are off contract, others are simply waiting to get off contract so that they can make a change to something new. While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are logical choices, there are a number of other big name devices that we think iPhone 5 users need to keep their eyes on. One of those devices is the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Concept - gottabemobile - 17

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been swirling for a number of weeks now and they continue to emerge at a rapid fire pace. As we’ve gotten closer to March 1st, the Galaxy S6 rumor cycle has started to mature to the point that we’ve now got a very good read on what to expect from the Galaxy S6 release date, Galaxy S6 specifications and the highly anticipated Galaxy S6 design.


We’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6. Many people, including current iPhone 5 users, want to know how it will compare to the top smartphones on the market and to their current phone. 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 5.


This early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5 will take you through 10 things we expect. 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. Here’s what potential iPhone 5 upgraders need to know.

Galaxy S6 Release Date

If you are looking to replace your iPhone 5, do not replace it right now. The next wave of flagship devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S6, are mere weeks away.

Here’s the deal. The Galaxy S6 launch is all but confirmed for March 1st which is now just a few short weeks away. It’s there that we expect to hear about when you will be able to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 and compare it with the iPhone 5, something that we recommend doing if this is your first time buying a new smartphone in two years.

As for the actual release, right now, Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that the device will arrive a few weeks after its launch date. The latest intel points to an arrival in and around March 22nd. A specific date hasn’t been rumored but it’s looking like we’ll see the start of the Samsung Galaxy S6 release take place in late March or early April, or, a little earlier than usual.



If you’re skeptical about the information, note that we’ve also started to see Galaxy S6 models receive necessary certifications ahead of their release, a sign that Samsung is pushing ahead and making solid progress behind the scenes. These filings don’t confirm an imminent release but they mean that the device is on the way. If that’s enough, consider Samsung’s teasers and the fact that carriers and retailers continue to promote the device’s arrival.

We would not be surprised if there was a way for you iPhone 5 users to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 ahead of its release date. After last year’s Galaxy Note 4 launch, Samsung put the flagship on display in Best Buy stores ahead of its release. We could definitely see the company getting the Galaxy S6 into stores ahead of release day.

Screen Size

The iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to feature a 4-inch display. At the time, that was big for the iPhone. Not anymore. In 2014, Apple made the jump up to 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches and it’s clear that the company has no intention of turning back. Apple’s iPhone 5 Retina display is much smaller than most flagship smartphones and we expect the Galaxy S6’s display size to be larger than the iPhone 5’s.



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 5’s. It should still be easy to wield with one hand. Companies have been able to thin out bezels and slim down designs so that the their devices are easy to hold. The Galaxy S5, LG G3 and Moto X are three good examples.

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 bent edge.

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.

If true, and we think it is, it would give Samsung another intriguing option for those looking into buying or replacing the iPhone 5. Expect the screen size on the Galaxy S6 Edge model to be similar to the regular version.


Display Resolution

Samsung 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. We could see the company make some tweaks to its display panel but we don’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 5’s Retina display offers 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.

Galaxy S6 display

Expect a great Galaxy S6 display.

For those looking for us to get more specific, we expect the Galaxy S6’s panel, like the Galaxy Note 4’s AMOLED panel, to display tons of detail in videos and photos. If you want to take a look right now, go into a store and compare the screen on the iPhone 5 to the Galaxy Note 4. You’ll immediately notice a difference in quality.


The iPhone 5’s 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 5, like the iPhone 5s, uses a combination of aluminum and glass and it’s still one of the best feeling, and looking, smartphone designs on the market. An impressive feat for a phone that’s over two years old.

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


This past fall, Samsung finally added metal elements to a flagship smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is mostly plastic but it also comes with a metal rim around the edges that give it a better look than its predecessors. At the time, we noted that the inclusion of metal in the Galaxy Note 4’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 rumors have all pointed 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 to an extent, the iPhone 5.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

These Galaxy S6 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 plastic Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6.

The dimensions on our Galaxy S6 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. The iPhone 5 is also thin and light which would make the transition to something a little bit bigger an easier pill to swallow.

Home Button

The iPhone 5’s home button does not come with the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor. If you’ve ever used Touch ID on the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s, you know how convenient it is to have.

We fully expect Samsung to use a home button on its new flagship though it should be for more than just navigation. We think Samsung will 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 fingerprint sensor and the company’s focus on mobile payments.


Apple’s iPhone 5 was once top of the line. After more than two years though, it’s starting to show its age and it can no longer compete with the high-end camera sensors that companies are packing into flagships. Apple included.

Samsung, like Apple, offers yearly upgrades to its camera, typically to the hardware and software, and this year we expect to see the same. Samsung’s been busy promoting its Galaxy S camera like never before with blog posts and teasers so we definitely expect to see a number of improvements that help to put the Galaxy S6 camera a few steps above the iPhone 5’s.

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

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

Galaxy S6 camera rumors suggest that these 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 people who love to take selfies.

If you’ve been dying to get a new camera, and a good one at that, expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to fulfill your needs.


This is probably going to be the toughest sell. If you’ve owned the iPhone 5 for this long, you’re probably accustomed to being in the Apple ecosystem. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 isn’t going to run iOS 8. It’s going to run Android and making the switch could be the hardest part about this potential transition from old phone to new.

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 5’s iOS 8.1.3 software to the software on the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4, you should know this. We expect the Galaxy S6 to have Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on board though it should be a whole lot different than what we’re seeing now.

This comparison shows what the Galaxy S6 screen size looks like next to the the iPhone 6.

This comparison shows what the Galaxy S6 screen size looks like next to the the iPhone 6.

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.


If you own the iPhone 5, you own a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB phone. We expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to at least match that.

Right now, we expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes as rumors suggest. If the device doesn’t have a microSD card slot, we’d expect U.S. 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.


If you’re looking to make a move to another carrier, or even if you want to stay put, the Samsung Galaxy S6 should have you covered. 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 like its predecessors to help it compete against the iPhone.

Galaxy S6 Price

If you’re planning to switch, prepare to open up your wallet for the Galaxy S6. The Samsung Galaxy S6 will almost certainly be an expensive phone. 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 or it will alienate tons of people.

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.