Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress 2014 last week in Barcelona. The handset will hit retail in over 150 countries on April 11th on several carriers and retailers across the globe. For those of you who are still in possession of the last year’s flagship from the Korean OEM, and want to know if it’s worth to spend some extra bucks to make a switch to the Galaxy S5, check out our comparison below and see what’s different. And, decide yourself if it’s worth upgrading.
Let’s just start with the most basic functions, that is, the display. There isn’t much different here when it comes to both flagship devices, but the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a slightly bigger 5.1-inch display, compared to 5-inch on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Both devices rocks the same resolution and comes with Super AMOLED touchscreen.
Samsung Galaxy S4 came in two variants: one of them was powered by a Snapdragon 600 SoC while the other one came with Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa chipsets for 3G-enabled markets. While these processors aren’t too slow, but it seems Samsung felt they need to give their latest flagship device a considerable bump in this area. Samsung Galaxy S5 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 801 chipset with the same Adreno 330 GPU that’s found inside the Galaxy S4 as well. The processor on this beastie is clocked at 2.5GHz, while the Galaxy S4 ws clocked at 1.9GHz on the Snapdragon 600 variant.
This area received a pretty decent bump when it comes to Samsung Galaxy S5. It comes with a 16MP camera, with 1/2.6′ sensor size, on the back compared to 13MP on the previous iteration. Additionally, it’s capable of recording 4K videos, although it might be a little difficult to find displays that can run those videos, without the consumer spending a couple of extra hundred bucks just to get a compatible display. Other features include HDR (Rich tone), selective focus, virtual tour shot, shot&more.
Software and Design
Samsung Galaxy S5 will come with Android 4.4.2 KitKat as it’s operating system. While the latest operating system is rolling out for the Samsung Galaxy S4 as well, the OS is still a little different than the one on Samsung Galaxy S5. Although there aren’t many changes, but the most drastic ones are found in the quick settings toggles screen, where there are a couple of changes.
Additionally, Samsung has released an updated S Health app that goes well with the Galaxy Gear smartwatches the company unveiled at the MWC 2014.
As far as the design is concerned, we heard several leaks suggesting Samsung might ditch the plastic form factor in it’s Galaxy S5, but they turned out to be incorrect. Samsung Galaxy S5 does look and feels a little premium, but it still shows how much the company loves plastic.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a few features that are not present in the Samsung Galaxy S4. Following Apple’s footsteps, Samsung also added a fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S5 that resides under the home button, but it works differently and is a swipe sensor, and allow users to unlock the device as well as PayPal integration.
Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes with a heart sensor and is present under the rear camera of the smartphone. Lastly, it’s IP67 certified, making the handset dust and water-resistant.
Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes with a slightly bigger 2,800 mAh battery compared to the 2,600 one in the previous iteration. The handset comes with a new Ultra Saving Mode that turns the display black & white and shuts down unnecessary background processes when it reaches a certain level, resulting in improved battery life. Samsung says with the mode enabled, Samsung Galaxy S5 with 10 percent battery can provide users with 24 hours of battery life. We’ll find out if that’s true once the handset is available in the market.
Worth the Upgrade?
The handset will hit the shelves in April, and we don’t know how good all these shiny new sensors are in real life. We can’t just recommend the handset without giving it a go. Nonetheless. Samsung did a good job with the Galaxy S5, but it came out to be a little below the expectations as rumors really created a hype about this device being a monster.
It also depends on the price tag it will come with when it hits different regions. Reports suggests it will come with a competitive price, but recent listings by UK retailers posts a different picture. The handset costs as high as $1000 in unlocked flavor, but the pricing might be different in the US and other regions.
Overall, it appears to be a minor upgrade over the Galaxy S4, especially if the new fingerprint or the heart sensor doesn’t catch your eye.
Hammad is a full time writer who worked for many popular websites in the past. He loves to write about smartphones and gadgets. When he is not writing, he can be found playing Clash of Clans on his iPhone or looking for a good place to eat.