Two of the year’s hottest smartphones just so happen to be two of the most heavily rumored. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 figure to be two of the top smartphones of the year and while neither company has confirmed their arrival, we’re already hearing about what might be coming on board these two juggernauts.
In 2012, Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy S3, a flagship smartphone that replaced the Galaxy S2 and was designed to take on any flagship opposition on its way, including the iPhone 4s. The device was immensely popular, sold tens of millions of times worldwide, and combined with Samsung’s relentless marketing, put the company’s flagship on the same pedestal as the iPhone.
Several months later, Apple struck again, this time with a brand new iPhone 5 that featured a larger display, a brand new premium metal design, upgraded processor and camera, and 4G LTE data speeds, something that the iPhone had been immune to for years. The iPhone 5 upped the ante and put immense pressure on Samsung to deliver in 2013.
The build up to the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch was intense, marked by a legion of rumors and immense fan anticipation. It was almost as if Samsung had no way of living up to the expectations.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 arrived last March to take on the iPhone 5 and it touched down in the United States in April. It battled the iPhone 5 for months up until the arrival of Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c back in September.
The iPhone 5s, Apple’s current flagship, features a familiar design and display but offers a number of upgrades including more carriers, a better processor and camera, new colors, and a fingerprint reader for added convenience and security.
For the moment, it’s the Galaxy S4 versus the iPhone 5s though from the looks of things, that’s going to change in the near future as the cycle begins anew.
Rumors point to a Samsung Galaxy S5 coming soon to replace the Galaxy S4 and rumors also suggest that Apple, lo and behold, will be coming out with a new flagship iPhone 6 at some point later this year.
With that in mind and credible rumors in hand, we feel that it’s appropriate to start taking a look at how the Samsung Galaxy S5 currently stacks up against a device that will more than likely be its biggest competition. While we realize that these are two rumored smartphones, we still want to make an early comparison in order to supply those who might be interested in the devices with as much information as possible.
There are still plenty of holes to both of their stories but here, we’ll fill you in on what we think we know so far about inevitable battle between the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6.
Here, is how the rumors currently stack up.
Maybe the most important thing to know, at least right now, is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is more than likely going to launch well ahead of the iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 rumors are scarce and lack detail but they have pointed to potential launches in one of two windows. A launch during the summer, perhaps at the company’s annual WWDC conference in San Francisco, or, in the fall. Both make sense given that Apple has used summer in the past and has used fall for the past three iPhone launches.
The important thing to note is that there are simply no credible rumors that suggest that an iPhone 6 will arrive anytime soon. The only suspect rumor that we’ve seen point to anything outside of summer or the fall was from the hit-or-miss Digitimes which has claimed that we could see a new iPhone arrive as early as May.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 launch is all but confirmed thanks to an invite that was sent out earlier this week, inviting media to an Unpacked 5 launch event in Barcelona, Spain on February 24th. The event will kick off the start of Mobile World Congress 2014.
The company has not confirmed the event as a Samsung Galaxy S5 launch pad but there are plenty of reasons to believe that it will be the start of the show. At the very worst, it’s looking like we will see a launch date arrive by March, where Samsung will detail everything there is to know about the Galaxy S4 successor.
As for the actual iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 release dates, well, those remain a mystery at this point given that neither device has been announced. That said, it’s clear that the Galaxy S5 release will more than likely come well before the release of a new iPhone.
If February 24th holds up as a Galaxy S5 launch date, and at this point, there is no reason to believe that it won’t, we should see the Galaxy S5 release arrive just a few weeks later. Rumors have pointed to a release in late April. Gotta Be Mobile has been hearing about possible dates in late April as well.
Apple historically has pushed out its iPhone about two weeks after its announcement date. So unless the iPhone 6 debuts in a surprise March or April announcement, something that seems unlikely, the Galaxy S5 will likely make its debut against the iPhone 5s and not a brand new iPhone 6 variant.
At this point, rumors point to both summer and fall and Apple has used July, September and October for iPhone release dates in the past. Those are the months to circle at the moment.
At this point, the iPhone 6 design remains a mystery. What we do know is that Apple has a pattern of switching its iPhone designs once every two years and because the iPhone 5s shared the same design as the iPhone 5, there is a very good chance that we could see Apple make some significant changes.
What we can also say is that the company is well known for utilizing premium materials for its flagship device. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s were comprised of plastic, glass and metal. The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s used anodized aluminum and glass. Suffice to say, it would be strange to see Apple take a step backward with its build materials and its form factors.
That makes a comparison to the Samsung Galaxy S5 impossible at this point. Not only are iPhone 6 design rumors non-existent but Galaxy S5 design rumors are in flux.
Reports suggest that Samsung will be going one of two routes. On one side, rumors point to a premium metal design that would rival the iPhone 5s’. SamMobile specifically claims that it will have a metal back. The site also claims that there will be a plastic budget Galaxy S5 to rival the plastic budget iPhone 5c. KDB Daewoo Securities issued a recent note saying that it too believes that the device will arrive in metal.
Respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the man who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s’ features, claims that the Galaxy S5, both premium and budget, will come in plastic.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen the real Galaxy S5 make an appearance which means that we still aren’t sure if this will be the year that Samsung’s flagship design finally is on par with the iPhone’s.
One thing that we do know is that it will likely feature a design that is different from the Samsung Galaxy S4. In comments made to Bloomberg, a Samsung executive outlined the change:
When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big.
For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.
Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors have aligned and state that the new Galaxy S will come with a display that is in the vicinity of 5.2-inches. This is a slight increase from the Galaxy S4’s 5-inch display. They also claim that the device, at least one version of it, will sport a new QHD display.
Most recently, it was Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin who chimed in saying that the Galaxy S5 would sport a display with 2560 x 1440 resolution with 560 pixels-per-inch. That’s better than the displays on the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5s and if true, would likely deliver crisp, sharp looking content to viewers.
From the looks of things, this year’s iPhone may actually have a screen that is on par with many of the large Android displays, including the Samsung Galaxy S5’s.
While we aren’t looking at QHD resolution, rumors virtually all point to a screen size increase with a bump in resolution. Three of the most credible sources include The Wall Street Journal, Ming-Chi Kuo and NPD DisplaySearch. Here is how each of those publications thinks the iPhone 6 display will play out:
- 4.5-inch iPhone 6 display – WSJ
- 4.7-inch iPhone 6 display – NPD
- 4.5-inch to 5-inch iPhone 6 display – Kuo
- 5+ inch iPhone 6 display – WSJ
- 5.5-inch iPhone 6 display – NPD
The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will kill off last year’s iPhone 5c, the company’s vibrant $99 plastic iPhone, in favor of two larger iPhone models. If true, this would position the iPhone 6 close to Samsung’s Galaxy S series and the company’s Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Note 3 currently uses a 5.7-inch 1080p display.
As we’ve noted, the resolution of the iPhone 6 display is up in the air with a 1280 x 720 resolution rumored for the smaller iPhone 6 and a 1920 x 1080 resolution for the larger iPhone 6.
These resolutions would make sense and offer a high pixel per inch (ppi) count that would translate into a better looking screen. It’s of course worth noting that Apple is very specific about resolutions on mobile devices and may go with something that is different to help with the scaling of apps and its iOS software.
Smartphones feature more than just designs and displays and fortunately we’ve heard more about the specs on both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6.
In recent days, Samsung Galaxy S5 specification rumors have started to firm up and here is how Russian insider Eldar Murtazin believes the Galaxy S5 will make out:
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB and 64GB Storage Options
- Exynos 6 or Snapdragon 805 Processors
- 3.2MP front-facing camera
- 16MP rear-facing camera
- 3,200mAh battery
Several of these rumors are currently in limbo. Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the Galaxy S5 will utilize 32-bit processors instead of these next-gen CPUs. He believes the device will use either a Snapdragon 800 or a Exynos 5 chip. Samsung has a history of using next-generation chips so for the moment, Kuo’s prediction doesn’t hold as much weight.
KDB DisplaySearch also believes that the Galaxy S5 will also come in 128GB form and PhoneArena thinks that the Galaxy S5 will come with a fast-charging 2,900 mAh battery that can hold 20% more battery than similar sized batteries.
An iPhone 6 spec sheet remains out of reach but rumors do suggest that the next iPhone could come with beefed up specifications. A rumor from from mobile.it168, suggests that the iPhone 6 will arrive with an improved 10MP camera and an improved f1.8 aperture. Previous iPhone 6 rumors suggest Apple is planning an iPhone 6 camera with an 8MP sensor using larger pixels or that the iPhone 6 will use a 13MP camera.
According to a report from Digitimes, Apple will use an A8 processor with the iPhone 6. Details about the processors performance remain unknown and likely will remain that way for much of 2014. Given Apple’s inclusion of a 64-bit A7 processor on the iPhone 5s, we expect the processor to at least feature 64-bit support, something that is not confirmed for the Galaxy S5.
The publication also claims that the iPhone 6 will retain the TouchID fingerprint reader embedded inside of the iPhone 5s’ home button for added security and convenience. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is also rumored to have a fingerprint reader as well, though, the technology is said to be underneath the display.
A report from 9to5Mac seems to confirm the obvious, that Apple is indeed working on a new version of iOS that will more than likely be dubbed iOS 8. The note from KDB Daewoo Securities suggests that the iPhone 6 will come with iOS 7.2 though that would be completely uncharacteristic of Apple.
The only way that happens is if Apple releases two iPhone models, perhaps one in the summer with iOS 7.2 and another later in the year with the iOS 8 update that Apple shows off at WWDC. That would just be strange but to us, that seems to be the only explanation for the brokerage firm’s claim.
iOS 8 rumors are scarce though 9to5Mac’s report has opened the door a little bit. Evidently, the software will offer a familiar look and feel, something that isn’t surprising given that Apple’s iOS software looked pretty much the same up until the release of iOS 7. It will evidently come with a focus on health and fitness tracking, something that could tie into the company’s rumored iWatch.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will not run iOS 7.2 or iOS 8. It will be running Google’s Android and probably Android 4.4 KitKat at that. It will also come with some unique properties, many of which have been rumored in the build up to the Galaxy S5 launch.
The focus of the Galaxy S5’s software appears to be on the look of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, improving on the touch less gestures that the company introduced alongside the Galaxy S4, taking better advantage of the device’s large display, and adding some new applications.
In other words, there will likely be some major changes installed on the Galaxy S5, changes that help to separate it from other Galaxy devices and Apple’s iOS software.
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