Comparing Samsung’s Galaxy S5 to Apple’s iPhone 5s is like pitting the Tesla Model S against the Ford Model T. From its more capable camera to its cutting-edge fitness features, Samsung’s new flagship phone has a slew of amenities that Apple, famous for being the last to embrace new technologies (NFC anyone?), will probably add to the iPhone 7s.
I could spill a vat of digital ink, detailing every way in which the Galaxy S5 is the best 2014 has to offer and the iPhone 5s feels like an average Android device from 2012. However, iPhone users would have to scroll a lot to read them on their low-res displays. Here are the six biggest reasons why the Galaxy S5 beats the iPhone 5s.
1. Larger, Better Display
In an age when most flagship phones have full-HD displays 5 inches or larger, the iPhone 5s' 4-inch, 1136 x 640-pixel display is such a relic that it should come with a cassette adapter. Sure, the iPhone's screen has good color fidelity and a sharp 326 pixels per inch, but it can't hold a candela to Samsung's 5.1-inch, 1920 x 1080p super AMOLED panel.
A larger screen means a better movie-viewing experience, more-legible Web pages and books, and larger keys on the virtual keyboard for accurate typing. With a full-HD resolution, the Galaxy S5 shows the best online videos at an eye-popping 431.9 PPI, with no downscaling required. Better still, the Galaxy S5 has a new technology that adjusts not only the brightness, but also the contrast ratio and color gamut, to provide a superior experience in direct sunlight and other challenging conditions.
2. Much More Powerful Camera
The iPhone 5s' 8-MP camera takes photos with great color accuracy and sharpness, but it only captures half the detail of the Galaxy S5's 16-MP shooter. But it's not all about megapixels. The Galaxy S5 has real-time HDR (high-dynamic range), which uses different exposure levels for different parts of an image, while the iPhone can only provide this functionality on individual shots, not on videos or in preview mode.
The Galaxy S5 allows you to refocus your images after capturing them so you can focus on that face in the background rather than on the person in front. Add in previous Samsung features like Eraser Mode, which removes photobombers, and Best Face, which helps you pick the best smile for each person in a group photo, and you have a photography experience that's generations ahead of Apple's.
3. Longer Battery Life
If you want a built-in excuse for not answering that 5 p.m. email from your boss, get an iPhone 5s. With its puny 1,560-mAh battery, Apple's phone lasted a miserable 5 hours and 46 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous Web surfing over 4G LTE. If you don't pick up your phone much or buy a battery case, you can make it through the day with the iPhone 5s. But why worry about it?
In contrast, Samsung equips the Galaxy S5 with a 2,800-mAh battery and a new Ultra Power Saving Mode that turns the settings down when you're running low on juice. Samsung also provides a removable back panel that lets you replace its battery, either with a spare of the same size or a third-party extended battery.
4. Water Resistance
Drop your iPhone 5s in the toilet, and you might as well flush it, because it's never coming back. However, if your Galaxy S5 should take a potty pitfall, you can hold your nose for 29 minutes before fishing it out and rinsing it off. Samsung's IP67-certified phone can survive up to 30 minutes submerged in 1 meter (about 3 feet) of water. If it's like the Sony Xperia Z, which boasts the same water resistance, the Galaxy S5 will continue streaming music to your Bluetooth speaker while submerged.
5. Better Security, Manageability
Apple earned kudos for embedding a fingerprint sensor into the iPhone 5s' home button, but Samsung has taken biometric security to the next level on the Galaxy S5. In addition to using the Galaxy S5's fingerprint reader (which is also built into the home button) to unlock the phone, you can enter a "private mode" that provides added security for your most sensitive documents and emails. The sensor also integrates with PayPal for secure online purchases.
Samsung also bundles the Galaxy S5 with its unique KNOX environment, which places business data and apps into a separate environment. Your corporate IT manager can feel secure knowing that your apps, business contacts and emails all live in a secure area of your phone, while you can feel comfortable knowing the IT department is not looking at your personal data.