Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone 5

News Marin Perez 19:40, Mar 14 2013

Does the Samsung Galaxy S4 stack up against the iPhone 5? We pit the two against each other to find out.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was just unwrapped and inquiring minds want to know if they should get that or the iPhone 5. We'll pit the two together and let you know what to expect from the latest flagship devices from Samsung and Apple. 

Be sure to read our full review of the iPhone 5 for a deep look at Apple is bringing with its latest smartphone. We'll have a full review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 as soon as we possibly can.  


The iPhone 5 is the first Apple smartphone to break the 3.5-inch barrier, as it sports a 4-inch Retina Display with 326 pixels per inch. This provides an extra row of icons on your home screen and many developers have also taken advantage of this additional screen space in apps. The screen itself is bright, beautiful and sports a resolution of 1136 x 640.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 sports a 5-inch 1080p HD screen with a whopping 441 pixels per inch. It uses Super-AMOLED technology and you can even use it with gloves. In fact, you can even use it without touching it because the Samsung Galaxy S4 lets you interact with the device by hovering your finger over it. 

The Samsung Galaxy S4 wins in terms of sheer specs on the display. I'm sure both will provide a nice viewing experience but I'd opt for the Galaxy S4 because I enjoy the additional real estate. 

Specs, Form Factor

The iPhone 5 is powered by a customized A6 chipset and because Apple controls the hardware and the software, it can potentially get more out of somewhat lesser hardware. That doesn't mean it's lacking really, as it sports Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE, GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, compass and nearly everything you'd expect except for NFC.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most powerful handsets ever created, as it will have an Exynos Octa processor (that may vary in some markets), it will have global 4G LTE roaming, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2GB of RAM and it will come with 16GB of memory. You can also upgrade to 32GB, 64GB and there's also a microSD slot. 

Once again, it appears like the Samsung Galaxy S4 outclasses the iPhone 5 in terms of raw horsepower. The iPhone 5 does have hardware that's optimized for its software and some of you may prefer its anodized aluminum over the plastic shell of the Samsung Galaxy S 4.

Software, Apps

The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6 and this is the best version of the software yet, as it features deep social hooks and it's a very polished and easy-to-use platform. The App Store is filled with the most apps out there and most of the innovative new services will start on iOS first and then come to Android. Apple iOS users will get exclusive access to software services like iCloud and FaceTime.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 launches with Android Jelly Bean and the TouchWiz custom skin adds some cool new features and some visual panache. Android is pretty easy to learn but it lacks a bit of the overall polish as iOS. It is much more flexible and customizable though and the Google Play Store is growing by leaps and bounds in terms of quality and quantity.

Samsung-specific features like SmartPause, Share Shot and more can be really useful. Look forward to a wide variety of new features like an enhanced S Voice, S Voice for driving, S Health to monitor your health, Knox to keep your 

Android and iOS are both really nice platforms for mobile computing but those wanting to try out the latest apps first may steer toward the iPhone 5. Users wanting to really customize their devices would probably like the Samsung Galaxy S4 a bit more.

Camera, Other

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13-megapixel camera and it also sports a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter. Look forward to new software features like the ability to "erase" people from photos on the device, the ability to shoot photos from both cameras at once and much, much more. Samsung has really done a good job of making the camera software on the Galaxy S4 really powerful. 

The iPhone 5 sports an 8-megapixel iSight camera and it includes things like Panorama shot and it also has a flash. The Samsung Galaxy S4 uses a 13-megapixel camera and it includes Samsung-specific features like Share Shot, Group Cast and more.

In my experience, the iPhone 5 has the best overall camera out there for the most situations. I'm sure that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will provide a really good camera too and the Android platform does make it easier to share on various social networks directly through the camera.

The Final Verdict

The iPhone 5 looks and feels better, in my opinion, and it should provide a better experience for you if you're in a mostly-Apple household. The Galaxy S4 has better specs and will really let you customize the heck out of your handset.

The iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are going to both be fantastic devices and I really don't think you can go wrong with either choice.

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