The Samsung Galaxy S5 is finally here to take on the likes of the all new HTC One M8, Galaxy Note 3, and the iPhone 5s. And while it has some big names to contend with right now, there are some bigger competitors rumored for later this year including a brand new 2014 iPhone, a device that’s currently being called iPhone 6.
Two years ago, Samsung made its move. In May of that year, the company announced the all new Samsung Galaxy S3, a device that arrived on shelves several months after the iPhone 4s. After the Galaxy S3’s arrival, Samsung launched a barrage of attacks at Apple, the iPhone and its customers in the form of Galaxy S3 commercials. Samsung backed up all that talk with millions of Galaxy S3 sales and a star was born.
Later in the year, Apple released the iPhone 5, its first 4G LTE smartphone. Several months later, Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S4, one of the most anticipated smartphones of all time. In the fall of 2013, Apple introduced the iPhone 5s, a device that replaced the iPhone 5 and stands as the company’s current flagship. Unsurprisingly, many consider the iPhone 5s to be the best smartphone on the planet.
Several weeks ago, in an effort to continue its campaign against the likes of Apple and others, Samsung introduced its 2014 flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that went on sale for the first time on Friday.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 ups the ante and thanks to its powerful hardware and software, the device has immediately shot up the ranks, and takes a place alongside the iPhone 5s as one of the top smartphones on the market. History will repeat itself though and Apple will almost certainly announce something to counter Samsung.
Over the past few months, we’ve started to learn about Apple’s 2014 iPhone, a device that we’re calling the iPhone 6. While nothing is set in stone, there are a number of credible iPhone 6 rumors that have surfaced as of late. And it’s those rumors that allow us to make an early comparison to the Galaxy S5.
With prospective Galaxy S5 buyers in mind, we compare the key rumored iPhone 6 details to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and its features. Here is how these juggernauts stack up to one another thus far.
As we mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was released on Friday after a bit of a wait. Samsung first announced the device in February and pegged it with an April 11th release. Major carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon now stock the device though smaller carriers like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have yet to confirm release dates.
Most Galaxy S5 carriers should get the device out before the end of the second quarter, the second quarter ends in June, so we should see most Galaxy S5 variants out on shelves before the next iPhone arrives. We say most because there is a chance that StraightTalk will carry the Galaxy S5 and StraightTalk is usually well behind the curve when it comes to major smartphone releases.
iPhone 6 rumors virtually all point to a release this fall. This makes sense given that Apple’s past three smartphones launched in the fall and that the company tends to stick with a very particular cycle.
Recently, the CEO of a company that partnered with Apple to sell the iPhone in Russia claimed that the iPhone 6 release date would land in September, 2014. This is the second Apple partner to point to the fall for an iPhone 6 release date and the most direct iPhone 6 release date claim from a company that has an instrumental role in helping Apple sell the iPhone in Russia.
His assertion lines up with just about everything that we’ve heard about the iPhone 6 and its release date. Here is a recap of the latest iPhone 6 release date rumors.
- iPhone 6 release date as early as September – Nikkei
- iPhone 6 release date in August or September – Steve Milunovich UBS via Barrons
- iPhone 6 release in the fall – Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest via Business Insider
- iPhone 6 scheduled for third quarter 2014 – ZDNet Korea
At this point, an iPhone 6 release this summer seems like wishful thinking and those weighing a Galaxy S5 purchase probably will have quite a bit of time to make a decision. An iPhone 6 release isn’t close, that’s abundantly clear.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 design is different than the Galaxy S4’s. While it does utilize a microSD card slot and a removable back, it comes with a brand new matte plastic design that is far more premium than the glossy polycarbonate back that came with last year’s model. It’s a noticeable improvement.
Samsung also tacked on an IP67 certification which means that it’s water and dust resistant. There are some limitations, users can’t go abalone diving with it, but the protection that it offers is the equivalent of the protection that many third-party cases bring to the table.
iPhone 6 design rumors remain inconclusive despite several alleged iPhone 6 photo leaks. A recent Macotakara report shared two possible sets of iPhone 6 dimensions for both 4.7-inch and 5+inch models. With a larger overall size the device may be thinner while still offering room for components and a larger battery. The rumored iPhone 6 dimensions are below.
- iPhone 4s – 115.5 × 62.1 × 9.3mm
- iPhone 5s – 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
- iPhone 6 (4.7) -140 x 70 x 7mm
- iPhone 6 (5.7) – 160 x 80 x 7mm
Here is how the Galaxy S5 would compare:
- Samsung Galaxy S5 – 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 (Weight: 145 grams)
Sonny Dickson claims that the iPhone 6 may be as thin as 5.5mm, down from a 7.6mm thick iPhone 5s. This smaller size could come in part from new display technology that reduces the thickness needed for display backlighting, as shared in a report on LEDInside of TrendForce.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 display is 5.1-inches in size and comes with full HD resolution, more commonly known as 1080p. The display might offer the same resolution as the Galaxy S4 but it comes with some perks that make it superior.
It’s hard to argue with DisplayMate when it comes to displays, it’s the industry voice on mobile display quality. So when its says that “the Galaxy S5 is the best performing smartphone display that we have ever tested” and that “it has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch,” consumers should probably listen.
The publication claims that the Galaxy S5 display is even better than the 4-inch Retina Display found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. Apple’s Retina display has, for many years, been considered best-in-class.
Potential Galaxy S5 buyers will be pleased to hear that the Adapt Display, Super Bright Mode, Ultra Dimming and other Galaxy S5 display features and options are more than Samsung gimmicks. DisplayMate’s thorough report analyzes the performance of the Galaxy S5 display across all these modes and finds the performance impressive. For what it’s worth, we find the Galaxy S5 display to be impressive as well.
If iPhone 6 rumors are correct, we could see the next iPhone come with a change in size in addition to a change in resolution.
Rumors have suggested that Apple will introduce two new iPhones at two new sizes. Display rumors suggest that one model will come with a display that’s between 4.5-inches and 4.8-inches with a majority of rumors pointing to a 4.7-inch display. That device is rumored to have a higher 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution which would put it on par with many of the top Android smartphones.
The other iPhone is thought to be larger, closer to the Galaxy Note in size. Rumors point to a display that rests somewhere between 5.5-inches and 5.7-inches. NPD DisplaySearch, a well respected publication, asserts that the larger iPhone will come with a 5.5-inch display and 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.
However, a new report from Reuters puts a damper on an iPhone 6 large enough to be a head to head with a Galaxy Note 4. According to the report, Apple is planning a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release for this fall, but a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed. The report cites supply chain sources that also identified Japan Display Inc, Sharp and LG as producers of the new iPhone 6 displays.
There is also a ton of chatter about a sapphire iPhone 6 display. A Sapphire display would mean a more scratch-resistant display. If true, we could wind up seeing a iPhone 6 display that not only comes with a higher-resolution but improved battery efficiency and image quality.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a 16MP camera sensor. There are certainly benefits to sensor sizes and megapixel counts but the Galaxy S5′s major improvements from other enhancements that Samsung has tacked onto this year’s flagship.
Its new camera comes with a faster auto-focus system. Samsung switched to a hybrid focus system that it says can focus as fast as 0.3 seconds. The Galaxy S4, last year’s Galaxy S, does not come equipped with that type of speed. The iPhone 5s though, according to CameraDebate, possess an extremely fast auto-focus as well.
Other features include the ability to pick a point of focus after taking the shot. This allows uses to blur a background or foreground right on the phone. The Samsung Galaxy S5 can also show HDR previews live on the phone. It also shoots video in 4K resolution. Apple’s iPhone 5s doesn’t come with these features either.
iPhone 6 rumors suggest that it will come with an upgraded camera though a report suggests that Apple will not join the race to push more megapixels in 2014. AppleInsider reports that Apple is planning to focus on “image-enhancing components” based on discussions with people familiar with the matter.
While the Galaxy S5 features a 16MP sensor and we could see a higher megapixel count on a Note 4, expect Apple to go for quality without boasting about megapixels.
Another rumor suggests that the iPhone 6 will arrive with Optical Image Stabilization. This is based off supply chain chatter, and could allow users to take better looking photos and videos and enhance low light photography by using a special gyroscope and technology inside of the new iPhone’s camera.
The iPhone 6, like the Galaxy S5, will be made from more than just a screen and a frame. We’ll likely see Apple perform its yearly hardware maintenance and offer some improvements over the iPhone 5s. In fact, rumors are already pointing to a number of potential iPhone 6 feature upgrades.
Here, we take a look at how the iPhone 6’s rumored specifications compare to the specifications that are on board the U.S. version of the Samsung Galaxy S5.
- Apple A8 64-bit processor
- iOS 8
- 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch Sapphire displays
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 3.2MP front-facing camera
- 8-10MP rear-facing camera
- 1,800 mAh battery
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
Samsung Galaxy S5
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 5.1-inch display
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB Storage Option (32GB could come later)
- 2.1MP front-facing camera
- 16MP rear-facing camera
- 2,800 mAh battery
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Fingerprint Reader
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 comes loaded with Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update and a brand new version of the company’s TouchWiz user interface. The software delivers a new, flatter look and a host of new features including an updated camera application, S Health 3.0, and a number of other features that enhance the experience.
Those who aren’t familiar with the Samsung Galaxy S5’s software can get a taste of it by watching the hands-on video below. It will showcase many of its top features.
The iPhone 6 will utilize a completely different version of software. Instead of Google’s Android, the iPhone 6 will run Apple’s iOS. This means that it will come with a different look and different features.
Rumors suggest that the iPhone 6 will debut with iOS 8 on board. iOS 8 is rumored to be the next version of iOS software and new iPhones always come with brand new iOS software.
At the moment, iOS 8 rumors point to a piece of software that not only delivers VoLTE support on the new iPhone 6 for this year but also comes with a host of other changes.
Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac has shared a great many details about the new version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad software. Health and fitness are a major focus and a collection of iOS 8 mock ups show what a Healthbook feature could look like. Other iOS 8 rumors flowing from Gurman and his sources include plans for a better Apple Maps, a standalone iTunes Radio app and more.
There is also talk of a much improved Siri after Techcrunch reported that Apple bought Novauris last year for an undisclosed sum. Yoon Kim, and other voice recognition experts from the company are currently working with Apple.
Apple will likely show off iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 on June 2nd followed soon after with an iOS 8 beta for developers.
In November, Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group made a bold prediction: He thinks the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100 from the price of the iPhone 5s. Caso sees “the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” adding, “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”
Speaking with CNBC, UBS analyst Steve Milunovich claimed that the iPhone 6 price may not jump, which could result in a lower margin for Apple. For consumers a larger iPhone 6 at the same price would obviously be a welcomed upgrade.
At this point, nothing is set in stone. Apple’s iPhone price has remained the same for years but when it increased the price of the iPad mini, it showed that it’s willing to raise the cost if it needs to. A large, high resolution could be all the motivation that it needs. At the very least, consumers should not expect the price of the iPhone 6 to drop from the usual $199.99.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 stands at $199.99 on-contract across major carriers. Off-contract, it ranges from $650 to $660. This is standard for a brand new flagship smartphone and it lines up with the pricing found on the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s starts at $199.99 on-contract and commands a $650 price off-contract.
We have, however, seen retailers discount the price of the Galaxy S5. Amazon, for instance, knocked the Verizon Galaxy S5 price down to $99. Target is selling the Galaxy S5 with a steep discount as well. This is a trend that we should see continue throughout the year. Carriers will sell the device at $199.99 while retailers will offer steep discounts.
Consumers should expect the Samsung Galaxy S5 to be cheaper than the iPhone 6. Maybe not through carriers but certainly through retailers like Amazon.