iPhone 6 vs. Galaxy S5: The two phone behemoths battle it out

Apple may be notorious for saving the best for last — ahem, a free U2 album — but the Cupertino-based tech giant was quick to announce its latest offering in the early stages of its September keynote. Appropriately dubbed the iPhone 6, the company’s next iPhone will feature a melange of upgraded components and set of new features that will go hand in hand with the launch of iOS 8. The sleek device touts a quicker Apple A8 processor and a 4.7-inch Retina display adorned with 1334 x 750 pixel resolution, along with improved camera functionality and NFC support designed for use with the newly-minted Apple Pay. Other hallmarks include 802.11ac support and the embedded M8 coprocessor, as well as the built-in barometer and capacity for slow-motion video at 240 frames per second. However, how does the latest offering stack up against the lauded Samsung Galaxy S5? Check out the comprehensive spec comparison below for a closer look at the features and hardware setting the two devices apart.

Related: Apple iWatch coming in 2015 and everything you need to know about the iPhone 6.

Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5
Size 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 (in) 5.6 x 2.84 x 0.32 (in)
Weight 4.55oz 5.11oz
Screen 4.7-inch Retina HD 5.1-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution 1334 x 750 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS iOS 8 Android 4.4 with Samsung UI
Storage 16/64/128GB internal 16/32GB internal, 128GB MicroSD possible
SD Card Slot No Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Apple, 64-bit A8 chip Quad-core Snapdragon 801
RAM 1GB 2GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, HSPA+ Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+
Camera Front 1.2MP, Rear 8MP Front 2.1MP, Rear 16MP
Video 1080p HD 2160p 4K UHD
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water Resistant No Yes, IP67 rated
Battery TBA, 14 hours of talk time 2800mAh, 21 hours of talk time
Charger Lightning Micro USB
Marketplace Apple App Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $650, $200 with a two-year contract $650, $200 with a two-year contract
Color offerings Gold, silver, and space gray Black, blue, white, gold
Availability Sept. 19 on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
DT Review 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Power and productivity

Apple has never been known for excessive computing power. Equipped with Apple’s 64-bit A8 processor and an upgraded M8 coprocessor — the latter component of which is designed to measure your activity from the newly-equipped barometer and other internal sensors — the iPhone 6 looks to be no exception. Apple claims the A8 chip is up to 50-percent faster than that of the iPhone 5, but its likely the Galaxy S5’s quad-core Snapdragon 801 will surpass the A8 in sheer processing power, especially considering it’s clocked at 2.5GHz compared to the iPhone 6’s 2GHz. However, aside from the sheer difference in RAM and several other facets, the devices’ internal components are virtually the same. Both the iPhone 6 and the S5 feature nearly identical connectivity (Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, HSPA+), along with a fingerprint sensor and Bluetooth 4.o.

Nonetheless, the Galaxy S5 also provides support for SD card whereas the iPhone 6 does not, while running Android 4.4 instead of Apple’s iOS 8. The iPhone 6 does boast the upper hand in terms of internal storage capacity, offering a staggering 128GB model in addition to 16GB and 64GB model. The S5 only offers 32GB of storage, with the option to expand storage to 64GB. Unfortunately, greater storage doesn’t make up for the smaller battery and slower processing power.

Winner: Galaxy S5

Design

Despite the S5’s clean interface and comfortable exterior, it doesn’t exude attractiveness the way Apple’s latest smartphone does. Apple built the iPhone 6 with anodized aluminum and stainless steel, and though it’s slightly smaller than the S5 in regard to its dimensions, it’s likely just as comfortable. Exterior frame aside, the S5 touts a larger 5.1-inch display, one offering 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution opposed to the iPhone 6’s 1334 x 750-pixel resolution. Moreover, the S5’s waterproof, IP67 rating means you can submerge the smartphone in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes with little worry — something you clearly wouldn’t want to do with iPhone 6 despite it’s water-resistant exterior. Both smartphones also come in a variety of colors, though the S5 does boast more color offerings.

Winner: iPhone 6

Camera

Unfortunately for Apple, the S5 blows the iPhone 6 out of the water when it comes to the onboard camera, at least by the numbers. Although Apple’s latest device touts a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera on the front and 8-megapixel camera on the back, it doesn’t compare to the S5’s 16MP rear camera and the device’s 2.1MP front camera. The merits of a great camera surely don’t come down to just megapixels, though, and Apple upgraded the iPhone 5 with a bevy of new advancements designed to make the most of the 8MP camera lens. The new iPhone model improves face detection and exposure control, while implementing automatic stabilization and a new sensor with Focus Pixels designed for swift light detection and auto focus.

Both devices also tout the ability to capture HDR images and video, but the S5 trumps the iPhone 6 with the ability to shoot in 2160p 4K UHD. The iPhone 6 can also shoot time time-lapse and slow-motion videos 240 frames per second. It remains to be seen which offering actually produces better images and video in real-world scenarios, but it seems the S5 comes out on top as far as hardware goes.

Winner: TBD (When we test the iPhone 6 camera)

Price and availability

There’s little room for debate when it comes to price and availability between the S5 and iPhone 6. Both smartphones are available for $200 with a tw0-year contract from all major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), or for an unsubsidized price of $650. However, unlike the already-released S5, the iPhone 6 is set for release on September 19 (pre-orders begin on Friday, Sept. 12).

Winner: Tie

Conclusion

Choosing between Android and Apple device is often simply a matter of preference. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a terrific offering, powerful and clean with a slew of commendable features that easily surpass its lackluster design. Apple’s iPhone 6 on the other hand, showcases a bevy of welcome improvements and refinements over the previous model in terms of both hardware and software, even if the internal components are not as competitive on the surface as that of the S5. The iPhone 6 is built with the Apple ecosystem in mind, allowing you to tap into the robust App Store and make the most of Mac OS X and the forthcoming iWatch. Furthermore, Apple’s proprietary software and iOS are almost guaranteed to outshine Samsung’s innate services. It’s what you do with the hardware that defines you, not necessarily the hardware itself. However, the S5 wins strictly on specs — for now. That said, it all may change when we put the iPhone 6 through a full review.

Related: iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus.

Related: iPhone 6 vs. LG G 3.

Related: iPhone 6 vs. Fire Phone.

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