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Galaxy S5 vs. Nexus 5: Spec Showdown

galaxy s5 vs nexus 5 nexusheader1
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Hot on the heels of Samsung unveiling the new Galaxy S5 at the 2014 Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona, Spain, we’ve done some spec research and are running it against some of the top smartphones on the market. Today’s challenger is the Google/LG offering, the Nexus 5. Released this past November to rave reviews, the Nexus 5 itself was a big leap over it’s predecessor, the Nexus 4. So the question is, how does it stack up to the heir of the Samsung S4? Let’s take a look with our spec showdown below.

For similar smartphone comparisons, take a look at how the Galaxy S5 stacks up against the HTC One, as well as how it fares against Apple’s flagship, the iPhone 5S. Stay tuned for S5 showdowns against the Moto X and the Galaxy Note 3, too.

Galaxy S5

Samgung Galaxy S5

Nexus 5

Nexus 5

Size 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 (mm) 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm
Weight 145g 130g
Screen 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 4.95 inch True HD IPS
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels 1080×1920 pixels
OS Android 4.4.2 with Samsung UI Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Storage 16/32GB 16/32 GB
SD Card Slot Yes No
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 801 Quad-core Snapdragon 800
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC
Camera Front 2.1MP, Rear 16MP Front 1.3 MP, Rear 8 MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes No
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 rated No
Battery 2800mAh 2300mAh
Charger USB 3.0 microUSB
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $N/A $350+
Availability April on AT&T, Sprint T-Mob, Sprint
DT Review Available Soon 4.0

Power and productivity

The Galaxy S5 has a slight advantage over the Nexus 5 in the processing department thanks to its Snapdragon 801 processor and runs at 2.5GHz, compared to the Nexus 5 running at 2.3GHz and sporting the previous generation Snapdragon 800 processor. Both phones are 4G LTE compatible, and able to access Wi-Fi, giving them optimal coverage and download speeds. Samsung’s new offering does distance itself on a couple fronts by featuring a longer-lasting battery than the Nexus 5, the ability to utilize a fingerprint scanner, and a MicroSD card slot. These features are worthwhile advantages for those who choose the Galaxy S5.


If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4, then you’ll have a fairly good idea as to what the Galaxy S5 is going to look like and how it will feel. Sporting nearly identical screen sizes (5.1 inch for the S5 and 4.95 inch for the Nexus 5), the two have identical screen resolution at 1080 x 1920 pixels; once again these two go toe-to-toe in comparison. Samsung does raise the bar over it’s competition with water resistance. You can submerge it in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. To throw the Nexus 5 a bone here, we can go ahead and point out that it weighs less than the S5, clocking in at 130g while the S5 comes in at 145g.


The Nexus 5 has kept up with the Galaxy S5 in terms of power, productivity, and design. As we switch to talking about the cameras, this one is all Samsung. The S5 boasts a 2.1-megapixel front viewing camera, which is slightly better than the Nexus 5’s 1.3-megapixel front camera. Where they differ greatly, however, is with the rear facing camera. Samsung’s whopping 16-megapixel rear facing camera on the S5 doubles that of the 8-megapixel version on the Nexus 5. The S5’s rear facing camera is also said to be able to capture 4K video, which itself puts it in a league of its own.


A likely powerhouse once it hits the market, the Samsung S5 has all the tools to be your next favorite smartphone. Offering fingerprint scanning technology, a long lasting battery giving you up to 21 hours of talk time, and it’s incredible waterproofing, the Galaxy S5 comes out of this showdown ahead of the competition, the Nexus 5 — at least on paper. While it’s certainly not a bad choice for a phone and for it’s price it may be one of the best out right now, the Nexus 5 has many of the S5’s great qualities but falls short in terms of additional features. But, the Galaxy S5 will likely cost around $700 and the Nexus 5 is only half that at $350. That’s a lot of savings.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will go on sale on most major carriers. It is expected to hit the Sprint market in April of 2014.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
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