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Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4

Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 specs comparison

We compare the two Samsung smartphones to see if it’s worth upgrading early

SAMSUNG UNVEILED its Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress (MWC) at the end of February, and clearly hopes that its loyal fans will be so impressed that they will upgrade early from its 2013 flagship Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4

We have lined up the two smartphones head to head on paper to find out whether the Galaxy S5’s specifications make it worth upgrading early from the Galaxy S4.

Design, measurements and weight
Samsung Galaxy S4: 137x70x7.9mm, 130g
Samsung Galaxy S5: 142x73x8.1mm, 145g

While smartphones typically get smaller, skinner and lighter from release to release, Samsung has bucked the trend with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy S5 is taller, wider, thicker and heavier than its predecessor, meaning that those happy with the size and weight of their Galaxy S4 smartphone might not want to upgrade just yet.

However, the Galaxy S5 improves on the Galaxy S4 in other areas. While they both are built out of plastic, the Galaxy S5 has an updated perforated casing, which we found made it easier to grip during our hands-on time with the phone, with the handset sitting more comfortably in the hand despite its larger size.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat in gold

The Galaxy S5, unlike the Galaxy S4, has IP67 certification too, making it the first Samsung Galaxy S smartphone to boast resistance to water and dust, with the firm clearly upping its game to compete with Sony’s Xperia Z2 smartphone. It’s also the first of the firm’s smartphones to have a heart rate monitor, meaning it could be worth the early upgrade for fitness fanatics, and it’s the first to feature a fingerprint scanner.

While the Galaxy S4 launched in only blue and white models, the Galaxy S5 will be available in black, white, blue and gold versions at launch.

Samsung Galaxy S4: 5in 1080×1920 resolution Super AMOLED display, 441ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5: 5.1in 1920×1080 resolution Super AMOLED display, 432ppi

If you’re thinking of upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S5 in hope of an improved display, you might want to think again, as last year’s Galaxy S4 has a higher pixel density than its successor.

That said, the Galaxy S4 beats the Galaxy S5’s pixel density by less than 10 points, which means it’s unlikely you’ll notice the difference in screen quality between the two, with both offering full HD 1080p resolutions and Super AMOLED display technology.

The screen on the Galaxy S5 is slightly larger, however, measuring 5.1in compared to the Galaxy S4’s 5in display.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy S5: Quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM

While the Galaxy S5 doesn’t offer an improvement in the display department, it has been given a revamp under the bonnet. The 2014 flagship handset has a quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, an improvement on the quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 processor in the Galaxy S4.

This should mean that the Galaxy S5 performs tasks such as gaming and browsing more smoothly than its predecessor, and we’ll be sure to test this when we get our hands on the device.

Operating system
Samsung Galaxy S4: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, custom user interface
Samsung Galaxy S5: Android 4.4 Kitkat, custom user interface

The Galaxy S5 arrives running the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 4.4 Kitkat. As a year old handset, the Galaxy S4 shipped running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, although it has been updated to the latest release.

Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in White and Black

Unlike the Galaxy S4 however, the Galaxy S5 also sports a newer version of Samsung’s custom user interface. This clearly has taken tips from Apple’s iOS 7 operating system, boasting a more colourful, stripped down design that removes a lot of the textures seen on the previous version, with the interface on the Galaxy S4 often seeming overbearing. As well as making the Galaxy S5 easier to customise than its predecessor, this should also ensure that it will receive software updates faster.

While the Galaxy S5 boasts a lot of the same software features as the Galaxy S4, including S Voice and Smart Screen eye tracking, it also introduces some new ones. These include S Health 3.0, which pairs with the built-in heart rate monitor to offer features such as exercise tracking and a pedometer, and Samsung’s Magazine feature, a personalised news feed accessible by swiping left on the handset’s homescreen.

For those eyeing the Galaxy S5 as a potential business handset, it also ships with an updated version of Samsung’s Knox security, including a built-in Private Mode.

Samsung Galaxy S4: 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and HD 1080p video recording, 2MP front-facing camera
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording, 2.2MP front-facing camera

The Galaxy S4’s camera received few complaints, with the 2013 flagship smartphone touting a 13MP rear-facing sensor capable of shooting HD 1080p video.

Samsung Galaxy S5 is available in white black gold and blue

However, the Galaxy S5 improves on that, touting a 16MP rear-facing camera that has the ability to shoot 4K resolution video. It also touts a larger 0.28in sensor with an increased 1.241┬Ám pixel size, which also means it should let more light into images, making for more natural and colourful photography. While we’re have yet to put this fully to the test, it sounds like the Galaxy S5 could be worth the early upgrade for those who are serious about mobile photography.

There hasn’t been much of an improvement in the front-facing camera, with the Galaxy S4’s 2MP camera being bumped to 2.2MP on the Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy S4: 2,600mAh battery with 17 hours of quoted talk time
Samsung Galaxy S5: 2,800mAh battery with 21 hours of quoted talk time

The Galaxy S5 improves on the Galaxy S4 when it comes to battery life, with the two smartphones having 2,800mAh and 2,600mAh batteries, respectively. According to Samsung, the Galaxy S5 delivers four more hours of talk time, with the firm promising 21 hours compared to 17 hours.

Improving on the Galaxy S4 further, Samsung also boasts that the battery on the Galaxy S5 can last for 24 hours once it reaches 10 percent, thanks to a new battery saving mode.

Samsung Galaxy S4: 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 64GB
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 128GB

The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 are fairly evenly matched in terms of internal storage, with both models shipping in 16GB and 32GB models. However, the Galaxy S5 can support up to 128GB of additional storage via microSD card, while the Galaxy S4 can handle up to 64GB.

By Carly Page

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