What do you do when you’re one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world with a line of smartphones so popular that it has shot to you the top rung on the mobile food chain? Keep playing the hits. That’s what Samsung’s plan has been with its Galaxy S lineup, and the popular set of smartphones has a new addition to its family. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5 on stage at its Unpacked event while in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014. The Galaxy S4 was about as well-received a phone as you can find, so topping it can seem like a tough task. Is the Galaxy S5 a worthy successor to the Galaxy S throne? We take a look at the numbers to see.
|Galaxy S5||Galaxy S4|
|Size||142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 (mm)||136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 (mm)|
|Screen||5.1-inch Super AMOLED||5.0-inch Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||1080×1920 pixels||1080×1920 pixels|
|OS||Android 4.4.2 with Samsung UI||Android 4.2 with TouchWiz UI|
|SD Card Slot||Yes||Yes|
|Processor||Quad-core Snapdragon 801||Quad-core Snapdragon 600|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC||Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC|
|Camera||Front 2.1MP, Rear 16MP||Front 1.9MP, Rear 13MP|
|Bluetooth||Yes, version 4.0||Yes, version 4.0|
|Motion Processor||Heart Rate Monitor||MPU-6050|
|Water Resistant||Yes, IP67 rated||No|
|Charger||USB 3.0||Micro USB|
|Marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Availability||April on AT&T, Sprint||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob, Verizon|
|DT Review||Available Soon||4.0|
Power and productivity
The Galaxy S4 was a powerful phone when it made its debut in 2013, and by all means it’s still more than capable of competing with the newest devices now. But mobile moves fast, and the Galaxy S5 is now the latest and most powerful of the Galaxy S lineup. Despite rumors of possibly jumping into the 64-bit architecture, Samsung decided to give the S5 a standard boost in power without making the leap. The Galaxy S5 has a quad-core, 2.5GHz processor that out powers the S4’s 1.9GHz model. Samsung as also instituted new features to make the most of the S5, including a super battery-saving mode and new fitness tools including a heart-rate monitor.
Samsung is also ensuring that the Galaxy S5 is blazing fast when users are on the Web. The company claims the S5 is optimized to take advantage of the 4G LTE technology available for all carriers. This brings a promise of better coverage and download speeds. The Galaxy S5 is also the first smartphone with Wi-Fi with MIMO support. Samsung says this will provide up to twice the download speeds for faster browsing and streaming.
When you look at the Galaxy S4 and S5 side by side, it can be hard to tell which phone is which. Aside from a slight boost in size, the front of the devices look nearly identical. There are some design differences, though, that you wouldn’t notice just by giving the smartphones a quick glance.
A new home key on the Galaxy S5 welcomes a fingerprint sensor. This is sure to draw comparisons to the iPhone 5S and its similar feature, but now it’s available on a Samsung product. The sensor can be used to unlock the phone, or as verification to make online payments. The Galaxy S5 also gets water-resistant treatment, adding a bit of durability missing from the Galaxy S4. The S5 is IP67 rated, meaning it can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. We don’t suggest doing this with your S4, unless you’re in the market for a new phone.
Samsung put a lot of emphasis on the camera of the Galaxy S5, and for good reason. There are some impressive features to tout. Resolution leaps from 13 megapixels to 16, and improves a bit on the front cam too, but the capabilities of the Galaxy S5’s cameras extend past the spec sheet. The 16-megapixel rear-facing camera is capable of capturing 4K video, and advanced auto-focus features make it easier to capture clean-looking action shots. Samsung is making comparisons between the Galaxy S5 camera and DSLR camera features, which is a bold claim, but it speaks to how big of a step up the S5’s camera is.
The Galaxy S4 is still one of the most successful smartphones on the market, but the Galaxy S5 appears to be a clear upgrade over its predecessor. A general upgrade to all the internals and plenty of additional features make the Galaxy S5 tempting to anyone whose contract is ending soon, but we don’t expect too many S4 users to scramble for the new model.
The Galaxy S5 has been confirmed to be available in April on AT&T and Sprint networks.