Continuing the Samsung Galaxy S5 feature theme (see also Samsung Galaxy S5 specs: was I right? and Five things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S5), here I’m throwing the spanking new flagship into a good old-fashioned brawl, specifically against its older, slightly less powerful brother.
Yes, it’s Samsung Galaxy S5 (right) vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) time. Is the new guy that much different? Answers below.
Let's do this feature by feature, shall we? Processor and RAM, display, camera, software, battery then other features. Go!
Processor and RAM
Samsung Galaxy S5: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM
Samsung Galaxy S4: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB RAM
Things move incredibly fast in the world of mobile processors, and as such the Samsung Galaxy S4 finds itself two generations behind. It uses the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, which is now found in some mid-range phones, while the Galaxy S5 adopts the spanking new Snapdragon 801.
Compared to the Snapdragon 800, Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 801 delivers 45% faster camera sensors, 28% better graphics, 14% faster CPU, 17% faster memory, and 18% faster DSP (digital signal processing).
Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 have 2GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S5: 5.1in 1080p Super AMOLED
Samsung Galaxy S4: 5in 1080p Super AMOLED
The Samsung Galaxy S5’s display is marginally larger than that of the Galaxy S4, and since they both have a 1080p resolution, that means the PPI rating is ever so slightly lower on the former. Not that you’d notice, realistically.
It’s worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy S5 boasts a couple of fancy features, namely local contrast enhancement, which automatically makes the display easier to read outdoors, and Super Dimming mode, which – as the name suggests – makes the display really freakin’ dim.
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16MP
Samsung Galaxy S4: 13MP
The Samsung Galaxy S5 makes a fairly modest or “incremental” leap from 13MP to 16MP, but throws in 4K video recording (handy if you happen to have a, uhm, 4K-compatible TV), while Selective Focus lets you do that thing where you focus on, like, someone’s face while making the background all blurry.
Still no Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), however.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom is tipped to arrive with a 20MP rear camera, a first for Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S5: KitKat Android 4.4.2
Samsung Galaxy S4: KitKat Android 4.4.2
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 might run the same flavour of Android, but the former obviously has a spanking new slather of TouchWiz, including Kids Mode, Ultra Power Saving Mode (turns the display black and white to save battery) and S Health-related goodness.
Inevitably, as the newer device, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be supported longer than the Galaxy S4, and will be the priority for any updates in the immediate future.
Samsung Galaxy S5: 2,800mAh
Samsung Galaxy S4: 2,600mAh
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a marginally larger battery than the Galaxy S4, though it remains to be seen how it’ll fare in real life.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 boasts a trio of hardware features that might convince some to upgrade, namely a fingerprint scanner on the Home button, IP67-certified resistance to dust and water, and a heart rate monitor on the rear.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is clearly more than just an incremental upgrade, though price will be the all-important factor.
We’re still none the wiser about Samsung Galaxy S5 price, though rumour has it the South Koreans want to come in low, certainly lower than the Galaxy S4 was pitched at launch one year ago.
Of course, if that’s the case, the Samsung Galaxy S4 should find itself reduced accordingly, and might well become a super-attractive buy in its own right.