Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S5: How much has Samsung improved the Galaxy S?

galaxy s4 vs s5 galaxyspanner
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Galaxy S4
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Size 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 (mm) 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 (mm)
Weight 145g 130g
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
Storage 16/32GB 16/32/64GB
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
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 rated No
Battery 2800mAh 2600mAh
Charger USB 3.0 Micro USB
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $N/A $200+
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.

Editors' Recommendations

AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: Which one should you buy?
Renders of the Samsung Galaxy S24 next to the OnePlus 12.

The size increase may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the Samsung Galaxy S24 is a crushing success anyway. Samsung's new smaller flagship has a powerful new processor, an upgraded display, and Samsung's cutting-edge Galaxy AI. If you're looking for a powerful phone at a price less than four figures, then the Samsung Galaxy S24's $800 price tag is sure to appeal.

But OnePlus is ready with a strong competitor of its own. The OnePlus 12 is a larger phone with the same power, a capable camera suite, and some blindingly fast charging speeds. At the same price, you've got a tough job deciding between the two of them, and looking at long lists of specs can quickly make you feel dizzy. That's why we're here; we've crunched the numbers, placed them side-by-side, and broken down what it means so you don't have to. Here's how the Samsung Galaxy S24 compares to the OnePlus 12 — and which one you should buy.
Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: specs

Read more
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: not an easy choice
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs OnePlus 12.

2024 has barely begun, and we already have two of the most compelling Android flagships to launch this year: the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the OnePlus 12. While the OnePlus 12 banks on top-notch hardware, superfast charging, and an unrealistically bright display, the Galaxy S24 Ultra improves upon an already promising set of cameras and promises longevity through seven years of software updates.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra was released on January 31, and the OnePlus 12 was announced globally for release on February 6. For a starting price of $1,300, the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers a strong backbone of features that rely on Google's Gemini Nano framework to run myriad AI applications on the device

Read more
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S23 Ultra: Do you need to upgrade?
Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (left) and S23 Ultra Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The premium Android space does not suffer from a lack of options. There are plenty of good flagships with excellent performance, bright and visually enticing screens, glamorous designs, and cameras that trick you into thinking they are as good as DSLRs. The Galaxy S series ticks most of those boxes, and the new Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn't waver from the expectations set by its ancestors.

Read more