iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Specs Head to Head

iPhone 5S vs Galaxy S4

Apple introduced its flagship, the iPhone 5S, smartphone a couple of days ago which is the “most advanced iPhone yet” according to the Cupertino-based company. Anyway the iOS 7 smartphone will have to cope with the Android rivals and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is definitely one of the most powerful competitors.

We though you might want to see the Samsung and Apple flagships involved in a specs battle and this is we’ve gathered here.

There’s no doubt that the Apple iPhone 5S and the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be two of the best selling smartphones of late 2013 and early 2014, that’s why we also want to know which of the two is better.

You probably know from our previous Versus articles that there will be ten rounds in the iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4 battle, where we will be judging them when it comes to Dimensions, Display, Processor, Memory, Design, Operating System, Connectivity, Camera, Battery, and Price.

Each round is worth 1 point and at the end of the battle the smartphone that scored most points (won most rounds) is declared the winner. It’s as simple as that.

Dimensions

Over the past couple of years the customers showed more interest in thin and light smartphones and their demand is reflected into the phone makers’ attempts to create slim and lightweight devices.

The new iPhone 5S is identical with predecessor in terms of size, measuring 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and weighing 112 grams. On the other hand the Galaxy S4 is thinner and ligther than the Galaxy S3 being 136.6 mm tall, 69.8 mm wide, and 7.9 mm thin, while having a weight of 130 grams.

I guess it’s more than obvious which of the two smartphones wins the dimensions battle. The Apple flagship wins the first round of the battle, being both thinner and lighter then its rival.

Display

Some want their smartphones to be easy to handle with one hand, other want a smartphone that has a generous display to use it for web browsing or watching movies.

While most of the big players of the smartphone market fit 4.7+ inch displays on their flagship devices, the Cupertino-based company is stuck with a 4-inch display. The iPhone 5S’ display is identical to the one of the iPhone 5, being a LED-backlit IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels and a pixel density of 326 ppi.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 boasts about a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display (1080 x 1920 pixels) which has an impressive pixel density of 441 ppi.

There’s no doubt that the iPhone 5S will be easier to use with one hand, but the Galaxy S4 is more suitable for web browsing, watching videos, or gaming. But why do we call it a smartphone if not because we use it for web browsing, watching videos, and gaming? The S4 scores its first point.

Connectivity

The LTE networks are starting to become mainstream all over the world and as the customers are demanding it the smartphone makers are supplying it.

The iPhone 5S comes with HSPA, 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, and Apple’s proprietary Lightning USB port.

Samsung Galaxy S4′s connectivity features include HSPA, LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0  with A2DP, EDR, LE, microUSB 2.0, NFC chip, and IR blaster.

To my disappointment, the iPhone 5S doesn’t come with NFC support, nor with WiFi ac, which puts the Apple flagship smartphone behind its main competitor when it comes to connectivity.

Processor

The iPhone 5S is the first smartphone in the world to come with a 64-bit processor. Called Apple A7, the new chipset is manufactured on a custom ARMv8 architecture and, according to Apple, it will be twice as fast as the A6 SoC.

The benefits of a 64-bit processor on a device that packs under 4 GB of RAM are minimal to almost zero and the way Apple has marketed the new A7 is already deceiving. I’m not saying the A7 isn’t twice as fast when compared to the A6, but the performance boost has nothing to do with the 64-bit architecture.

You will find two different processing units inside Samsung’s flagship depending on the variant you are getting your hands on. The I9500 comes with an eight-core Exynos 5421 SoC with quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex A15 CPU + quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 CPU and a PowerVR SGX 544MP3. The S4 I9505 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 chipset based on four Krait 300 cores clocked at 1.9 GHz and helped by an Andreno 320 GPU.

Even though there are no benchmark tests to prove it yet, I am sure that the new Apple A7 is more powerful than the Exynos 5410 and Snapdragon 600 chipsets, even though we are dealing with a dual-core processor (clock speed is reported to be 1.7 GHz), courtesy of the new ARMv8 platform, but, once again, not because of the 64-bit architecture.

The processor round goes to the iPhone 5S. +1 Apple

Memory

As of June 2013 there were more than 900,000 apps in Apple’s App Store, while in June 2013 Google’s Play Store was hosting more than 1 million apps. Should I also mention about the movies and music in iTunes and Google Play Movies and Music. For all these you will need a lot of storage and we will compare the iPhone 5S’ and Galaxy S4′s storage capacities.

Samsung Galaxy S4 is available in three internal storage variants: 16/32/64 GB. Moreover, the Android-powered smartphone also has support for microSD cards up to 64 GB, which is a total of 128 GB of storage.

The Apple smartphone comes with 16, 32, 64 GB of flash storage, but, unfortunately there’s no support for microSD cards.

It’s also worth mentioning that the iPhone 5S most likely comes with 1 GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S4 has 2 GB of RAM, which would be to Samsung flagship’s advantage when it comes to multitasking.

Summing up, the memory round goes to the GS4 because it has a higher amount of RAM and higher storage capacity.

Operating System

We are dealing with two smartphones running two different software platforms, and each platform has its fans saying their favorite is the best.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was introduced in March 2013 and it running what was at that time the latest Android version. Of course, the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 was customized by the Korean company with its proprietary TouchWiz Nature UX interface.

The TouchWiz was always about introducing new and innovative features and after the Galaxy S3 brought us Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, or S Beam last year, the Galaxy S4 now comes with Smart Pause, Air View/Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, Group Play, or S Health.

As you probably know the iPhone 5S is running iOS 7, which is the biggest refresh the Apple platform received since its debut in 2007. The iOS became obsolete and Apple finally decided to change its design completely by putting Jony Ive in charge.

Let’s face it, the new iOS looks good. But it looks like Apple borrowed the all the decent things from Windows Phone 8, Android, and WebOS, retouched them, and presented them as the new iOS 7. In an attempt to refresh the iOS, Apple has focussed more on design and less on functionality. The former iOS versions weren’t about beauty, but about functionality. And now what everybody loved about iOS it’s gone.

It’s obvious that for some reason Apple has stopped innovating, therefore the Galaxy S4 is winning the operating system fight.

Camera

There’s no doubt that the smartphone owners are using their devices to take loads of photos, therefore the camera round is next in line.

The iPhone 5S comes with the same 8 MP iSight camera of the iPhone 5, which has received a couple of tweaks. Just like the old iSight sensor the one fitted on the back of the iPhone 5S brings autofocus, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, panorama, HDR photo and support for 1080p@30fps video recording, but it has been enhanced with dual LED flash, f/2.2 aperture (instead of f/2.4) with 1/3” sensor size and 1.5 µm pixel size. Learn that you can also record 720p movies at 60fps.

The front-facing camera of the iPhone 5S is a 1.2 MP unit that only records HD videos.

Galaxy S4 sports a 13 MP camera with autofocus, LED flash, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and 1080p@30fps video recording. But S4′s camera brings a plethora of interesting features like Eraser (remove objects from a picture), Cinema Photo (freeze or animate objects in a picture), Drama Shot (take a series of photos of a moving object and merge them into one), Sound and Shot, Dual Shot, or Dual Video.

The Galaxy S4 is obviously bringing the better camera here, therefore here’s another point going to the Korean flagship.

Design

Ask any Samsung fan what is the worst thing about Sammy’s smartphones and it will most likely say that it’s their design.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is somewhat a reminiscent of the Galaxy S3, but it has a more premium approach, with sharper edges and less rounded corners. Anyway, the Koreans used plastic for the case and added an aluminium finishing bezel around its body, for a premium-ish look.

The iPhone 5S is one of the most beautiful smartphones currently on the market. It continues the successful design language introduced in 2009 by the iPhone 4, but it has now became thinner, lighter and it feels even better when held in hand. It has aluminium all over the place, a smartphone that screams “premium” from the first moment you see it.

There’s no point questioning Apple’s skills when it comes to building insanely beautiful smartphones, therefore, the 5S is the king of this round.

Battery

The biggest problem of the smartphones build nowadays is the battery life. The smartphone makers doesn’t seem to be able to find a balance between providing decent battery life, most smartphones barely making it alive from morning until night.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a removable (which might prove useful for those of you traveling a lot) Li-Ion 2,600 mAh battery despite being only 7.9 mm thin. Our tests have shown that he Sammy handset can make it through more than a day and a half of moderate usage being above average.

The iPhone 5 was one of those have-day smartphones, but it seems it’s not the case any more with the iPhone 5S. Apple has announced boosts in terms of battery life, therefore we are expecting the new iPhone to be more battery friendly than its predecessor, staying awake through almost 24 hours of typical usage. Oh, by the way, Apple squeezed a Li-Po 15,70 mAh battery  inside the 7.1 mm case of the 5S.

Price

Since most of the smartphones are sold with two-year agreements, we will be talking about the on contract prices of the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5S.

Like usual the cheapest iPhone 5S (the 16 GB model) will be available for $199 with a two-year agreement with a US carrier. The 16 GB Samsung Galaxy S4 has a similar price to the one of the iPhone 5S, being available for $199 at most of the US carriers.

Because there’s no way to differentiate the two devices, we’re calling the price round a tie.

Conclusions

The iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4 is now over and it is about the time to see which of the two flagship smartphones managed to score most points.

We’ve had a tied round, the Price, because both smartphones cost $199 on contract, while the iPhone 5S managed to snatch not less than three rounds, because it’s thinner and lighter than the GS4, it has a faster CPU, and because it’s one of the most beautiful smartphones on the market, winning the Dimensions, Processor, and Design rounds. That’s 3 points for the iPhone 5S.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has won six rounds: Display, Connectivity, Memory, Operating System, Camera, and Batter, courtesy of the 5-inch full HD screen, NFC and WiFi ac support, 3 GB of RAM and microSD card slot, TouchWiz’ features, 13 MP camera, and battery life. Galaxy S4 wins the battle with 6 points.

This is how the iPhone 5S vs Galaxy S4 battle ends in Android Geeks’ view. But maybe we were wrong and the battle should have ended differently, so we are inviting you to let us know in the comments section below.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Articles

  • Peter Huynh

    What the hell? This “Head to Head” Spec Comparison is just a way for you to try and promote the S4 and at the same time berate the iPhone 5.

    For example: Dimensions: Why would you compare the phones to their predecessor? Apple beat Samsung there hands down, but you chose to compare to the older models which makes it seem like the S4 would be a better choice.

    Now let’s go onto Display, “But why do we call it a smartphone if not because we use it for web browsing, watching videos, and gaming?” Are you kidding me? Who are you decide and judge how people use a smart phone. Your end conclusion didn’t even talk about the higher PPI or resolution from the S4 all you did was once again attack the iPhone 5 and all users who actually PREFER a compact yet still high resolution screen.

    I can go on and comment on each section but then I’d basically just be re-writing your terrible article for you. I came to this forum hoping to see an un-biased proper comparison. Instead all I see is a terribly veiled attempt from a Fanboy Android user hating Apple products.

  • Jimmy

    Lol Peter is obviously never user any other phone apart from his iphone which he sleeps with…

  • keanur79

    For processor & design rounds you can not assign a winner! Processor round needs a benchmark! In design round, you come up with a personal opinion! Therefore, for the time being, Apple only gets one point, the liter and thinner….

  • Lynn Strickland

    Samsung Galaxy S4 is a superior phone. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. Too many people are still on the Apple bandwagon because it’s still fashionable to have an i-phone. i-phones are great devices, no doubt, but the S4 is so good I don’t see how anyone can argue otherwise.

    • HeWhoGameZ

      I can argue against that as I have had the Galaxy S4 for 5 months and I’m eager to take it back. I spent some time with other phones and the iPhone 5S is almost better than the Galaxy S4 in every way. The screen PPI is a complete gimmick. After you can’t tell the pixels apart it starts to not matter. Mega pixels is also a gimmick. The Galaxy S4 does take fantastic pictures when there is enough light. But most situations the iPhone produces more accurate colors, better visibility in lowlight and sports a superior True tone flash (which is completely awesomesauce). Don’t forget to mention superior build quality with anodized aluminum and glass rather than 100% poly carbonate. The headphone jack is on the bottom (no brained). And the cable connector is reversible (once again. No brainer). That’s a bit of things I’ve got to say about the Galaxy S4. Reply back if you want another essay.

  • bob

    iphone 5e is the best phone on the market… believe me ive had iPhones for years and they rule-i will be buying the iPhone 5e as soon as they come out-ps samsung are looses

    • Notorious_PING

      you can’t even spell “LOSERS”, so your comment means nothing. thanks!