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Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 head to head review

We pit Samsung's Android 4.4 Kitkat flagship smartphone against its predecessor
Fri Apr 11 2014, 17:55

THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 is now available in the UK, and the firm will no doubt be hoping that owners of last year's Galaxy S4 will be tempted to upgrade early.

However, seemingly taking tips from Apple's iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, the Galaxy S5 doesn't offer a huge upgrade compared to last year's flagship smartphone, with Samsung instead adding only incremental tweaks and features.

The firm is no doubt hoping that the tweaks it has made, which include adding a heart rate monitor and fingerprint sensor, IP67 certification and a longer lasting battery, will convince buyers to upgrade early, so we have pitted the two handsets head to head to see if it is worth it.

Design
While both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 are crafted almost entirely from plastic, Samsung's latest flagship smartphone offers some major design improvements.

While it's slightly larger at 8.1mm thick and 145g compared to 7.9mm and 130g, Samsung has switched out the Galaxy S4's glossy plastic rear casing for a textured polycarbonate. This means that the Galaxy S5 feels much more premium than its predecessor and, despite the increase in size, is much more comfortable to grip.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S5 design

The Galaxy S5, unlike the Galaxy S4, is IP67 certified, meaning that it is resistant against dust and water - a bonus for those prone to dropping their smartphones. Samsung has also added both a heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner to its latest flagship, which should be attractive features for those interested in fitness and concerned about security.

While the Galaxy S4 launched in only blue and white models, the Galaxy S5 is currently available in black and white models, with blue and gold versions available to pre-order.

Winner: Galaxy S5

Display
If you're thinking of upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S5 in hope of an improved display, you might want to think again, as last year's Galaxy S4 has a higher pixel density than its successor.

That said, the Galaxy S4 beats the Galaxy S5's pixel density by less than 10 points, and with both screens having 1920x1080 HD resolution, it's nearly impossible to judge a winner based on display clarity. However, we think that the Galaxy S5 slightly edges the Galaxy S4 in colour vibrancy, although it is extremely close. Thanks to the Super AMOLED screen technology on both, viewing angles are also very evenly matched.

The screen on the Galaxy S5 is slightly larger, however, measuring 5.1in compared to 5in, although this is perhaps not enough of an increase to warrant an upgrade.

Winner: Draw

Next: Performance, operating system.

 

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