5 things the GS5 does better The Galaxy S5 has been my go-to device and my daily driver over the last month or so. I know that may seem like blasphemy since I write for iDownloadBlog, but I have a lot of reasons for doing so.

For starters, I wanted to become more familiar with the competition. I already had a good sense about Samsung’s offerings and Android in general, but nothing can replace hands-on usage and the balanced perspective that comes with that.

If I wanted to seriously be able to take an objective look at Apple and at Samsung, and at iOS and Android, then I would need to have a better understanding of competing devices. What better device to help develop such an understanding than what is arguably the iPhone’s biggest competitor, the Galaxy S5?

Since I’ve acquired one, I’ve mostly been enjoying my time with the GS5. In fact, I’ve traveled to South Korea, home of Samsung, which has made my perspective about the whole competition even more well-rounded. With all of this in mind, I wanted to compile a list of some of the things that I enjoy about the Samsung Galaxy S5. These are five things that I believe that the GS5 does better than Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s. Afterwards, I’ll do a reverse comparison, and tell you what I think the iPhone does better. Want to see which items made the cut? Check inside for the details.

1: Screen

Wow. That’s the first thing that one who’s been relegated to a 4″ device will likely utter once they first go hands-on with the Galaxy S5. The screen; it’s gorgeous.

GS5 Screen

Dat screen

While it might not be a better screen from a technical perspective, and it may not have the color accuracy that the iPhone 5s possesses, in most cases things like that will play second fiddle to size and what I like to call “pop.”

The GS5 is like those TV’s you see in Best Buy. Those demo TV units have contrast settings cranked all the way up so that the picture stands out. They aren’t very accurate, but they draw a lot of attention and look good in passing.

Having such a big, bright screen is great for browsing the web, playing games, and virtually everything else. The black levels are also insanely good, so playing around with the GS5 in the dark is a nice experience.

All of that said, you’ll probably run into problems when it comes to photo editing, or anything that requires accurate color and contrast. I also find that the screen is extremely hard to see in any kind of direct sunlight.

2: Speaker

I’m not a huge fan of the location of the speaker on the Galaxy S5, and I know it’s not the cream of the crop for sound as far as Android devices go, but the speaker is very loud.

GS5 Speaker 01

Weird placement, loud sound

It’s so loud that it can easily entertain a small outdoor party on the patio with no need for one of those little bluetooth speakers. When compared to the iPhone’s tiny speaker, it sounds downright loud.

3: S-View Cover

I have my complaints about Samsung’s S-View cover, but I like the direction that phones are going in this regard. I like having a case that provides additional functionality outside of just being a case.

GS5 S-View

The S-View cover is a limited, but pretty awesome accessory

The S-View cover allows you to see a portion of the Galaxy S5’s screen and interact with it in limited ways. For example, you can control music, view album art, weather, the time, step counters, and more, directly from the little window on the S-View case. This means that you can handle all of these tasks while keeping the case closed. In theory, this should save battery life, because the entire screen doesn’t have to be powered.

4: Shooting videos in 4k

You’ve probably noticed that some of our more recent videos have been shot in 4k resolution. This is because I’ve been shooting them with the Galaxy S5, which has 4k video shooting ability.

4k resolution—or Ultra HD as it is widely referred to as—is 4 times HD resolution, which makes the picture look extra crispy and clean. Even if you’re not viewing the video on a so-called Ultra HD monitor, you will still benefit from the extra lines of resolution when watching. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

5: Google Keyboard

After typing with the Google Keyboard on the Galaxy S5, typing on the iPhone 5s seems a bit broken to me. In my opinion, using swiping gestures on a touch screen keyboard is the definite future of typing on devices with this form factor.

Google Keyboard

Why are we still trying to emulate the key-depressing typing features of physical keyboards? It makes no sense. The iPhone needs the ability to switch keyboards, or at the very least, Apple needs to build its own swipe-able keyboard.

Conclusion

The good news for iPhone users is that most of the items on this list are fixable/doable. Apple will be dropping a larger iPhone this year, and perhaps its acquisition of Beats will place more emphasis on the actual sound output of upcoming devices. The S-View cover could essentially be overlapped by an upcoming iWatch, and one would have to assume that we will get 4k videos along with the rumored bump in screen resolution. Here’s hoping that Apple will step up to the plate and offer us some different keyboard options as well.

…But, of course, there’s lot of things that the iPhone 5s still does better than the Galaxy S5. Regardless of the specs that Samsung likes to inundate the public with, numbers only mean so much when it comes to real world usage.

The iPhone 5s has taken a back burner position in my life over the last month as I’ve been trying to get more familiar with Samsung’s offering and Android in general. But there are many times when I’ve been playing with the Galaxy S5 and I’ve thought to myself, you know what? I really miss my iPhone. With that in mind, here are five things that I appreciate even more about the iPhone 5s now, since I’ve been using the Galaxy S5…

5 things the iPhone 5s does better

1: The camera

The camera on the Galaxy S5 isn’t horrendous, but it’s noticeable inferior to the iPhone 5s’ camera, and that isn’t even debatable in my opinion. Regardless of the megapixel count, or any other silly numbers that Samsung likes to toss around, none of that matters when it comes to actually snapping photos.

Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s Low Light

Low Light Performance

The low-light shooting ability alone makes the iPhone 5s a superior product when it comes to taking photos, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

2: One-handed usage

You can use the iPhone 5s comfortably for almost everything with one hand.

iPhone 5s one hand usage

You can reach pretty much any UI element on screen with one hand

The Galaxy S5 isn’t the biggest of the biggest phones, but its’ pretty large, especially when side-by-side with the comparatively diminutive iPhone 5s. For that reason, I find myself having to massage the device with one hand in order to reach certain UI elements. Doing so causes hand-cramps, and makes the device more susceptible to dropping. I like the big screen, but I’m having a heck of a time trying to adjust to the form factor.

3: Stability

To me, this is where the GS5 fails the most. My time using it in Japan has been incredibly frustrating. Sometimes the screen will just go dark and won’t power on as if it’s completely dead. Sometimes the phone will act as if the S-View cover is still closed, and won’t let me to the Home screen. Sometimes it just lags really bad. This is very frustrating when you’re trying to use Google Maps to navigate through an unfamiliar city. I’ve wanted to toss the GS5 in the garbage on several occasions due to my frustration.

Galaxy S5 Black Screen

I encountered the black unresponsive screen all too often during my usage of the GS5

Despite its powerful processor and despite the amount of memory that the Galaxy S5 has, it’s still noticeably slower and sluggish when pit head to head against the iPhone 5s. Most of the blame can probably be placed on Samsung’s bloatware, but whatever the case may be, I encounter bugs, crashing, and overall sluggishness way more than I do on the iPhone 5s, and it’s not even close.

A phone with as much power as the Samsung Galaxy S5 shouldn’t be this slow and sluggish when doing normal day-to-day operations. The iPhone wins going away when it comes to its buttery smooth operating system and touch screen input.

4: Ease of use

The iPhone and iOS in general are known for being easy to use. A grandmother could pick one up and get the hang of it only after a few minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S5, on the other hand, is loaded, and I mean loaded with settings, apps, and various other features.

Samsung GS5 Easy mode

It’s pretty telling that the GS5 has a so-called “Easy mode”

If you like to tinker around with stuff and explore, the GS5 will keep you busy for a long time. But the amount of settings can be a definite downside as well, especially if the interface is laid out in a confusing way. A newcomer would have a much harder time adjusting to the settings and the learning curve on the GS5 when compared to Apple’s flagship, and I don’t think anyone would even consider arguing with me about that.

5: Battery life

The iPhone 5s, while not incredible when it comes to battery life, is fairly decent, even while jailbroken. I can use it for a full day on a single charge with all settings enabled and not really have to worry about it. The iPhone is also insanely fast when it comes to charging.

Ultra Power Saving GS5

The GS5 features a functionality-limiting grayscale-only ultra power saving mode

On the flip side, the Galaxy S5  can get me through an entire day only if I start micromanaging the enabled settings, and sometimes I’ve had to result to a power-saving mode just to make it through half a day, let alone a full day.

Conclusion

If you’ve been listening to me rant on our podcast, then you already know that I’m a pretty big fan of both the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5. The GS5 has been my go-to device for the last month, and I really enjoy using it, despite its shortcomings.

Five generations in, and I believe that Samsung has made up a lot of ground, but it still has a long way to go. The iPhone is such an insanely polished product, and all of its parts are just as strong individually as they are collectively.

If your main concern is about polish, ease of use, battery life, and taking photos, then there’s no question about it, the iPhone should be at the top of your list.

What do you think about the five points that I selected for each phone? Of course, I could have continued and selected other facets from both devices that I liked or disliked, but for the sake of time, I decided to keep it limited to five. What do you think? Is there something I forgot that you believe I should have included? Sound off down below in the comments, and stay tuned for our next episode of Let’s Talk iOS where I discuss this post with Sebastien and Cody.

  • Bambino

    Looks like we lost Jeff. Kidding but man he loves to talk about his GS5.

    • Sokrates

      Jeff, it seems that you’re considering other options as well. Even if Samsung phones were twice as good: Samsung is a CORRUPT company. They have no integrity whatsoever, no (moral) standards, no philosophy, no identity, no passion. That’s enough for me to stay away from this company. I couldn’t reconcile that with my conscience.

      • Steve Jobs

        I couldn’t have put it better, Sokrates.
        Keen for tomorrow, folks!

      • Beat Modz

        Really?

      • agreed on everything you said, you missed another one: Personality.
        They lack that as well.

      • Sokrates

        True!

      • Jerry

        Perfectly said. It’s exactly what I tell everyone when that topic is brought up. They are just pure copy cats

      • therealjjohnson

        All that is well and good (and debatable) but what about people who are looking for a phone they like? That’s way too much to think about. Just think if you had to research each and every company before you bought anything? Clearly there are millions of people who like their phones (I am not one of them) but to think Samsung is “corrupt” and not APPLE is a bit disingenuous do you think?

      • zxcv

        LOL apple isn’t much better! Dirty tax dodgers

      • Michael Lemos

        You my friend are an idiot, that company basically supports all of South Korea, and unlike apple, actually creates an abundance of jobs for their homeland where apple just offshores everything they make. But they do design in America, so that is something. If you think apple has all the things you say Samsung doesn’t then you are wrong Socrates*

  • Eric M

    You have to respect a person that truly loves tech enough to look at both sides without bias. I also respect the fact that he sees the areas of improvement for both devices. I conducted your experiment for myself as well and in the end the reasons you gave were what made me go back to my 5S. I did enjoy the screen size and swipe texting is the bomb but thats about it.

    • Yeah, those are probably my two favorite features as well.

      • Sean Cua

        Why did you not go with the HTC One?

      • The M8, despite its good design and lack of plastic, felt too big and bulky to me. I also wanted to test out a Samsung product seeing as they are the biggest “foe” so to speak.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        You should try it out I’m looking at Mabey trying a android phone and would like to see your opinion on it.

      • Andrew Roth

        Get a Moto X from Republic Wireless. I’ve tried several phones and several services in the past two months and that’s the best of them. Plans start at just $5 a month.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        Thanks for the recomendation. I probably will wait till the next moto x secseser comes out.

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        C’mon!! Why Samsung? There’s One plus One, oppo find 7,Z2, all better than Samsung. The screen may be gorgeous but the colors are ugly!!( compare colors using candy crush on an IPS vs AMOLED). once I tried to do a browsing speed test on my iPhone 5 bloated with JB tweaks vs the S4, and surprisingly i5 won every time!! Not an apple fan boy.

      • TDD140

        I’ve done the same thing (with an iPhone 5C though) and my iPhone ran way better than the S4 as well, until I restarted the S4 and did the tests from scratch.

      • MathedPotato

        This makes sense, considering they aren’t even the same generation of phone. One is 5th gen, the other is still 4th.

      • DogeCoin

        Will you be reviewing the ubuntu phone(s)/Tablet(s) when they come out? I have high hopes for them, given that it’s GNU/Linux (Android has the Linux kernel, but not GNU, Google and others create their own replacement for GNU, which is where androids problems start). While I don’t want to advertise or just list off specs, Ubuntu tablets/phones aren’t running a mobile OS, their running a desktop OS with a mobile frount end (think of it like having MacOSX on a phone but with a IOS GUI). Meaning….. Yes there’s web apps, yes there is apps, but there is also programes, like actual desktop grade programes. Imagine attaching your iphone to an external monitor and you have Mac osx. The Ubuntu edge (more or less the “flag ship” ubuntu phone) is 64 bit, so yeaa for 64 bit phones.

      • 空白

        Me too dude, those look awesome!! I’m a huge fan of Ubuntu. But you can’t deny there’s a compatibility and learning curve still existent. It’s tough for people who aren’t techy from Winblows to Linux.

      • DogeCoin

        I’d recommend them to use mate or KDE, the windows users would be scared to death by gnome3 and unity 😉

      • Andrew Roth

        You should email Republic Wireless and ask to review the service and the Moto X. They sent me one including free service. I’ve had it for about two months now but I do have to send it back soon. Camera is great, sound is great, it’s lightweight, the screen is great, basically everything you said for both sides of this article.

    • regkilla

      The iPhone 5s is just better than any Android for me. Just hope the iPhone 6 has a quad core and 2 GB of RAM.

      • Abhinav Chaudhary

        “Hope” is what you need? Lol

  • Diogo Pires

    Jeff, what fits you the most?

    • Good question. I honestly don’t think I’ve figured it out much yet, but WWDC should shed a lot of light on things.

      • Diogo Pires

        I hope that too. But I have the feeling that after the Apple Special event in september with the unveiling of iPhone 6, It will be a no-brainer for you. After all, you’re comparing a 2013 device with a very recent 2014 smartphone. Great post by the way!

      • Jeffrey

        Please let us know what your decision is when you have figured it out, I’m very excited!:)

    • BoardDWorld

      iPhone 6, & Jeff will be Samsung what? But the Keyboard in iOS I just don’t understand how it’s never really grown along with the rest of the system. I mean 3B on Beats but they can’t spend a bit buying out Swype…

  • Zac Bishop

    I think Jeff should do a review on the HTC One (M8). I switched to android about a month ago from a iPhone 5 to the One. I recommend this phone over the Galaxy S5 mainly because of the bloatware that Samsung and the carriers put on the phone and by putting all of these unwanted features slows down the phone and kill the battery life. But the double tap to wake feature and yhe BoomSound speakers are one of my favorite features of the One. The One is also root-able (sort of like jailbreaking but different in a lot of places). I like that Jeff is willing to switch to the competitors product unlike most android and/or iOS lovers. Thank you Jeff for doing what most other people will not do.

  • onesimpleclickk

    It is going to be interesting to see how Apple deals with the larger screen.
    There is going to have to be some UI changes with iOS because it is currently optimized for one-handed use. They are going to have to allow more horizontal icons on the screen as well because the screen would look rather empty, and they can’t just make all of the icons bigger to fit. iOS already needs some serious tweaks to take advantage of the bigger screen on a new phone, as it already has that problem with the iPad’s & their larger screeens.

    • Rak S

      Good point, hadn’t thought about that. I guess they’ve already introduced gestures to help with this but I guess there will be even more in future.

  • Eikast

    Jeff, ditch the S5 and get the htc one m8. Samsung is a joke and is purely marketed phone with a bunch of useless gimmicks. Their skin of Android is horrendous. Htc sense 6 is the real deal. Second root, unlock the bootloader and get s off for that htc one m8. Install greenify (requires root) and you’re set to go.

    • CAS

      I like the htc M8 but it feels to big and slippery for me :-/

    • TDD140

      Or just root the S5 and throw on CyanogenMod 🙂

      • Eikast

        Thanks to Samsung, AT&T and Verizon, the S5 for both carriers are extremely locked down.

      • Talk about locked bootloaders!

      • TDD140

        Oh gosh, I hate those so much!

    • Lagax

      True. I’ve always liked to compare Samsung with Beats(haha).

  • CAS

    I don’t care about the screen in a smartphone, I don’t care about pixels or resolution, I don’t need a smart cover, I love the fact that I can take my iphone and it’s good to go, the only thing I enjoy in an android phone is using firefox, so even if apple don’t launches a bigger screen phone I will be happy, but I agree with the keyboard, apple needs to open the keyboard to developers.

    • Lagax

      Keyboard, UI and actually even any other inconsistency is bad for consumers, marketing, battery, etc.

    • highNiggaPie

  • Rak S

    I wish someone would build a good swipe keyboard jailbreak tweak. There is one already but it works poorly. Really think that could be a great tweak if implemented properly.

    • CAS

      Have you tried jormy keyboard? It is called “nin”

      • Dan

        it’s not super stable and it prevents you from using voice dictation (unless there’s a way I haven’t been able to see)

      • Rak S

        No… I’ll look it up. Any good?

        Thanks.

      • CAS

        Look for the post here in idb it is in his repo, pretty good on the iphone 5/5s

  • Prathik Nair

    Pretty much sick and tired of hearing Jeff talk about the GS5 on every podcast since the end of April.

    • TDD140

      Bitter

  • Decio Arruda

    My prediction is that your experience will be like this:
    You’re going to Japan or whatever, or France or Great Britain and you see that the technology there is advanced and good and, even if not better, it is new. So you spend 6 months travelling and you’re overwhelmed by new things but, once you’ve seen the vast majority of it, you come back home. Once home, you see how much better it is and how much more comfortable you are in it. For you it just seems fitting and the right place.
    I think the GS5 is your trip and the iPhone is your home ;D

    (Disclaimer: I am not trying to say technology or others things are better here in the USA when compared to Japan and/or Europe. Don’t get all national wars on me. I’m European and I’d be lying if I said I thought America’s more technologically advanced when it comes to everyday lives.

    • Lagax

      We (Europeans) don’t have one successful tech company, have we? 😀 We once had Nokia being successful here, but now they moved and aren’t really successful.

      Well, we make great cars 😉

      • Sikozu

        Erm please. In an article about smartphones you say that Europeans don’t have one successful tech company?!?!

        Arm is British, with 98% of all mobile phones sold using at least one ARM based processor. 37 billion ARM processors have been produced as of 2013.

      • Lagax

        I thought Qualcomm was the company selling most phone processors….

        Anyway, you’re right, ARM is a big one.

      • Decio Arruda

        I was referring more to how we have integrated technology, but if it is any council to you most of the underlying bases for high end production of movies and entertainment is mostly produced by europeans and then bought by american companies.
        I lived in Portugal up until 4 years ago and in there there is this internet’tv provider called MEO. It was awesome, fast and reliable internet with true Fiber Optic speeds, also, Vodafone and TMN (Former Portuguese Communications Carrier) were extremely reliable and offered almost no breakdowns in calls.
        Then I moved here and both Time Warder (Or what ever the name is) and Comcast are WAY behind MEO and they’re more expensive. As in $60 more every month for worse TV.
        When I’m comparing the both I’m just saying that Europe, imo, is more mature when it comes to integration with technology.
        BTW, I live in a pretty good place in Massachusetts and it is not my area alone that sucks at this.

      • @dongiuj

        Well, Italy and Germany make good cars. Can’t say much for any other European cars. Oh and maybe a couple of British cars.

      • epdm2be

        You mean those British cars that got bought by the Germans 😉

      • @dongiuj

        TVR too?

      • epdm2be

        “Well, we make great cars ;)”
        forget the cars… it’s great BEER!

  • oralarts

    Very interesting post, Jeff. How is the scrolling performance on the GS5? I’ve always found Android devices to lag and stutter when scrolling.

    • mynamesuxlol

      Also wondering.
      Any scrolling I’ve experienced on android felt unnatural. It could scroll up and down very quickly, or various speeds depending on your input, but it never felt smooth and linear. Like, using a moderate flick to scroll looks like it guesses a random scroll speed that is not very linear to the speed you’re scrolling the page. It goes on too far or not enough. The sometimes touch input lag is also noticeable in this situation as the scrolling stops ever so slightly after you touch it

      • Scrolling is decent. Better than devices in the past, still nothing beats scrolling in iOS.

      • BoardDWorld

        I’m being quite serious when I ask this, is iDB getting funding from Samsung now?

        Did you purchase the GS5 or was it given for review?

      • BoardDWorld

        A little disappointed not getting a reply.

        So what’s worse, a hooker or the bloke that stops and says get in…

      • Jeffrey

        Ofcourse they don’t get money from samsung-_- No way in hell. Jeff bought it himself to see what the hype is all about.

      • BoardDWorld

        It was a fair question which was left without reply. Did he state anywhere that’s he’s getting so bored of his iPhone he lashed out lavishly and spent his hard earned income on a samsung device?

        An honest question to a recipient that doesn’t wish to disclose an honest reply is virtually always met with “no comment”.

        P.S. I have been reading Jeff’s posts for years and this one just feels dirty. Saddening really…

      • Jeffrey

        Well he did say in the first Lets Talk iOS that he bought it out of curiosity. Also, Jeff gets tons and tons of comments throughout the day, unlike us commenters. Jeff may have overlooked it or just not commented because if he had to comment to everyone he would spend hours a day commenting. Don’t think Jeff ignored you because he knew you were right. Jeff has the right to buy a Samsung to see what the hype is all about. You don’t even know Jeff personally so how would you know if he bought it because he wanted or not?

    • Christopher

      I used a friend’s “new”(a few months old, not even half a year) Samsung and it gave a half-second delay every time i tried to scroll anywhere(facebook, web pages, home pages, app pages of the device). It was horrible, and when the screen finally moved after the delay, it would be extremely blurry and choppy like it didn’t have enough fps.

      • Christopher

        And hint: its not a career-good-enough phone(that was way worse, another different friend)

  • Great list! Only disagree with the Battery Life aspect; multiple other reviews speak the opposite. Here’s a graphical representation from a review:

    • But in real world testing, using the device to its potential, all of that is thrown out the window if you ask me.

      • 空白

        That’s how I feel too. That’s also my biggest gripe at the moment with the iPhone. I have an i5 and if I used my phone to it’s full potential,(which I can’t because I’d only last about 5 hrs. with most of the best features of iOS turned off), I’d get prob. 3 hrs. at most with moderate usage. Honestly I’m kinda ‘turn down for what?’ about the battery life.

        Awesome article by the way! You should do a destruction video when the i6 drops.

      • TDD140

        I use my iPhone to it’s full potential with all of the goodies still on (LTE, even in low coverage areas; wifi; Bluetooth sometimes; brightness at 75%) while playing graphic intensive and online-only games and I can get through a day no problem, even with a jailbreak and tweaks. I guess milage really does vary for different people

      • 空白

        I think it’s a problem with my device. And I’m out of warranty. I don’t wanna lose my JB just to go to the Apple store and tell me they can’t find anything wrong. I had the battery checked before the iOS 7 JB dropped. They said I was good, but I beg to differ. I just don’t feel like paying the $250 replacement fee with the i6 around the corner.

      • Yehya Mansour

        Root the S5, slap a ROM on it and enjoy the real beast

  • Elvin Topalov

    I really appreciate the unbiased comparison between the devices, Jeff. That’s hard to find now a days.

    • hkgsulphate

      and on an Apple fansite

  • Fuk Yuu Too

    Actually 4k resolution is 9 times the resolution of 720p.

    • epdm2be

      I always thought that 720p was “HD Ready”

  • ins0mniac1

    4K = four x the resolution of 1080p, not 720p:

    1920×1080 = 2,073,600 pixels

    3840×2160 (4K) = 8,294,400 pixels

    2,073,600 x 4 = 8,294,400.

    • eXoguti093

      I’m guessing Jeff meant FHD instead of HD

  • jake kneller

    You know I found this very interesting when I my self decide to put down the iPhone and try something new until the iPhone 6 comes out because nothing sucks more than getting a new phone and finding everything new in just an hour iOS is great I would recommend iOS ti anyone over android but I can say android is loaded with features iOS doesn’t have I judt don’t want to be board with my new iPhone 6 when it comes out

    • Anonomous.TECH.man

      You should check out the htc one m8, nexus 5, or the new lg g3 but if your a longtime iphone user and just wanna screw around with android the nexus 5 is your cheapest option. Though you might like the quality of the htc one m8.

  • jgr627

    Lately it has felt like it’s called LetsTalkSamsung but I do understand you have a job to do and it’s nice to see what the competion is up to but last time I checked no matter what a droid can do apple can do it better…..where r droids quality apps like this gorgeous easy to use music dj app called djay?

    • Zac Bishop

      Us android users get our quality apps like this DJ Mixer app from the Google Play Store

      • TDD140

        Nice comeback! I’m an apple fanboy, but I know what Android can do as well

      • Zac Bishop

        Thanks 🙂

      • BoardDWorld

        Got to love the More Apps & E Shop messing up the interface…

      • jgr627

        Does that app have access to spotfiy? There is no way ur app can beat my djay app on iOS

  • Jamessmooth

    Jeff, I can’t tell you how much I agree with you on the swype keyboard. It’s fantastic. When I made the switch from iPhone to GS3, this was one of my favorite features. I hope that when the screen size of the iPhone 6 increases, apple will implement something similar to this.
    I returned the S3 after 3 weeks, FYI. My reasons? Ease of use mainly, and scrolling, interestingly enough. It was so clunky feeling, and my time spent with the GS5 hasn’t seemed to change either of these.

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      I have swipe on my jailbreak. The nin keyboard is great, and it’s two handed swipe which is great

  • Rigs101

    You made me want to get a gs5

  • Mhmd Bassam Nasyr

    Jeff :/
    (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

  • weztimonial

    I cant live without the swipe back 🙁 so..

  • Alberto Espinal

    Comparing an Iphone thats older to a new device is just not right, wait til Iphone 6 comes out and then we talk! Apple ecosystem is so much confortable than android, for ex: iMessages, iCloud, AppStore, iTunes, Software Updates, Resale Value, etc.. Its just hard to move away from that, not just phone features that nobody sees but you!

    • J. Rockwell

      “Comparing an iPhone thats older to a new device is just not right. Wait til Iphone 6 comes out and then we talk!

      Then you would be Comparing a new iPhone to a older GS5. It goes both ways……I do agree that iMessages, Apps, Resale Value are head and shoulders above. I completely disagree with iCloud and iTunes though. I think both are pretty bad, and could be so much better.

      • Alberto Espinal

        J. But you know what I mean just the ecosystem it’s just so much more comfortable, the build quality, etc.

      • J. Rockwell

        Absolutely. Especially build quality, which is huge to me. I do think Samsung has slightly closed the gap. Apple needs to really step up to the plate with the iPhone 6.

      • oralarts

        Predictably cheap plastic and faux leather are no match for the aluminum, unibody chassis.

      • Alberto Espinal

        True

      • RarestName

        Also, it has been this way for quite some time. People compared the iPhone 4S to the Galaxy S III, the iPhone 5 to the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5s to the Galaxy S5.

    • oralarts

      Actually, the 64 bit A7 of the 5s handily outperforms the GS5 in most benchmarks. You should give Anandtech’s comprehensive review of the GS5 a look. Samsung has yet to ship a phone with a 64 bit processor.

      Hey, but Apple doesn’t innovate anymore:)

      • Alberto Espinal

        Its really hard to innovate these days, everything is pretty much out there, buy when Steve Jobs was alive even e screen resolution was an innovation, just think of something on top of your head that could be innovative? Pretty much nothing. Cheers!!

  • @dongiuj

    Sounds like you’ve had a bad experience with certain features. I have no problems with navigation on my GalaxyS3 using google maps in Japan. Also, for a phone that is 2 years old, my GS3 shows minimal lag. It shows just as much lag as my iPhone 5. Also that photo comparison of a 100yen coin….GS5 taken further away and different light than the 5S….poor comparison. No doubt, I think, overall, the 5S is, in some ways, a lot better. Unfortunately you seem to be having some bad problems that other people don’t have, just like with the iPhone that many people reported problems but other people say they don’t.
    If the iPhone had widgets (without jailbreaking) I would never of bought and android and I would never think about getting another one again. Performance wise, for me, these phones are the same but “gimmick” wise android wins hands down.

    • RarestName

      If it has minimal lag, then why is my Moto G snappier that the S III?

      • @dongiuj

        I going to assume that you read my comment properly. So whose S3 are you talking about? Mine or a person you know?

      • RarestName

        Obviously not yours. But every S III that I had to work with does have some sort of questionable lag. It’s a huge difference as compared to the S4. Are they doing something wrong? They always switch off the features that they don’t use, and it seems that they reboot their phone frequently for maximum speed.

      • @dongiuj

        I don’t know, man. My phone does, only recently, have some lag but seriously no worse than my iPhone 5 since I upgraded to ios7+. It also has never crashed while using apps which my iphone5 has does a massive amount of times since updating to ios7+
        I don’t speak for everyone. Been lucky with my GS3 and unlucky with my iP5 maybe like Jeff Benjamin with his S5 perhaps.

      • Christopher

        if you don’t do jailbreak… update to 7.1 it fixes all the crashes

      • @dongiuj

        Like I’ve been saying, some things work for some people but NOT for everyone. In my case, it didn’t work. It’s like some people have never heard of the word “maybe/possibly/could/might” etc etc.

  • n0ahcruz3

    U make me want to buy the S5 jeff. But im waitinh for 2 devices this year(iP6) and (Note4) and then i decide which one to get as my daily driver and my moto G will be my back up

  • @sexyhamthing

    ease of use is bullshit… that one giant ass button = Home
    that button that says apps = apps…

    its like walking because driving is a little more difficult… when gas and walking gas are the same price and offer the same emmissions

    • Although, the average joe still has to be more conscious about what apps they’re downloading. Apps on the Android store could ramp up your monthly bill without you noticing; that’s what happened to my friend’s nexus 4 in the past 2 months. In my case, wouldn’t really change my habits of usage; Android is as easy to use as a jailbroken iPhone.

  • sNick

    Jeff, why didn’t you say anything about TouchID and Samsungs fail of fingerprint scanner?

    • A fail? Just ’cause it’s different doesn’t mean it’s a fail. Using it with one hand is as easy as swiping your thumb sideways and it has more applications…

      • felixtaf

        Well, you have swipe your finger 90 degree to the home button in S5. Otherwise it wont detect your fingerprint. Saw this in many reviews.
        But ut has more applications than 5s.

      • sNick

        Sorry i couldn’t use the fingerprint sensor of the SGS5 on my own, but in many tests they mentioned that his accuracy at using it sideways goes to null.

        And hurray to WWDC 2014 TouchID will be available to third party apps in iOS 8. 🙂

        All in all Apple had done this feature right and in the perfect way.

  • Yehya Mansour

    I totally respect this and I made the same thing 6 months ago, however I didn’t come back to my iPhone 5, and I’m still carrying around my Note 3! The Screen is gorgeous, the speaker is amazing and the S-View Cover is really helpful, I get to customize everything out of the box and because I love to tinker every detail I rooted my phone and now I’m running an S5 inspired ROM and I have to say it makes me love this device even more.

    I’m facing the issue you faced with the screen going dark and unresponsive In addition to acting like the S-View cover is still closed. But after research I found that these are some of the consequences on the S-View cover, you are probably bending the cover in way that the front hits the back and hence the chip on the back thinks the cover is closed and therefore locks the phone.

    I still love Apple and I’m ready to switch whenever the right iPhone comes out, I recently bough the HTC M8 but I’m keeping it sealed till I see what iOS 8 will offer this Monday. If Apple fails to impress I will keep my M8 otherwise I will sell my phone and get an iPad Air.

  • David Gitman

    I still prefer iPhone .:D I think people should use a phone by their taste and not which one is better

  • Rowan09

    Great review. I have a Note 2 as well just to see how the competition is doing and it’s not bad. I tried swype and I agree Apple should allow others to add to the keyboard, but I really got use to the iPhone keyboard, I can even type without looking. As you stated when it to comes to having many features it’s Samsung hands down. I also experience the black screen issue as well with the Note 2. My big issue with Android is the PlayStore and that’s it really. The camera on the Note 2 and S5 with higher pixels does not look at good as the 5s, I would definitely agree with you.

  • iPhone > Android

    • Dan

      in your opinion, I do prefer iOS but that doesn’t make it better

  • Yujin

    a coworker of mine got the S4 and she felt soooo pissed by the issues she had she actually smashed it against the wall in her apartment….sometimes the little things that we take for grated are really big things….cant wait for iPhone 6’s 4.7 screen its quad core M8 chip, a superb updated camera, iOS 8, and all the goodies apple may have waiting..sure it may not come tomorrow, but hopefully Tim unveils something great other than software.

    • Dan

      if she truly smashed her phone, she needs medication

  • Vipal Desai

    This is an awesome post! I have to give you props for taking both sides of the coin! I could not agree with you more. I respect the Samsung for its unnecessary abilities. Its a great mark of what technology can do. However, I kept my iPhone because it is everything I need and it always works. I love the philosophy of the iPhone. I am not a fan of the bigger screens, but lets see what the come out with.

  • Mgggb

    While not the most unbiased review I’ve ever read, I think most of it came unintentionally; especially for a blog that’s generally exclusive to apple news. I think that comparison posts like this could do a lot to boost readership. I definitely enjoyed reading this and would love to see more phone reviews!

  • Frank

    A well thought out article that doesn’t pander to negativity. I could actually relate, and agree, with most of what was written.

  • MagicDrumSticks

    Why not give the Nexus 5 a shot? Considering that it’s the flagship Google phone with incredible speed, stability and ease of use, I would pick that device anyway over a Samsung device.

  • Beat Modz

    You definitely need to change that horrible launcher to Nova Prime. And you’ll get a better feeling to the phone, Jeff. Great comparison btw. That is why I have both phone also 🙂

  • Beat Modz

    Hell yeah love the screen size too

  • Danny switcher

    Where ever I am & what ever I am doing I use my iPhone 4G with both hands even when I am playing flappy bird I hold the phone with both hands and use my two thumbs tapping and so when messaging and except that when I am holding it up and talking to someone & etcetera I don’t care about ease of use I just need it to be perfect I asked my friend and he was an S G note 2 user after he got an iphone 5s as a gift in his 2014 birthday (how are you with your new device) he said (man I really miss that gorgeous huge 5.5″ screen) I held my iPhone and wrote this bullsh*t with my both hands.

  • Dante Arellano

    Yea I’ll chance all my apple stuff cux samesung is better ?!?!??

  • mickey

    Jeff, what are your thoughts on the supposed iphone 6 size that is nearly the size of an s5 (closer to the s4) but with a 4.7″ screen? Too much bezel compared to these new and upcoming droid flagships?

  • A regurgitation? I’m not one to take myself too seriously, but frankly, I’m offended that you would think that and/or imply that.

    Number 1, I respect RP, but I don’t read it, so I didn’t see this to begin with. Number 2, this post has been marinating in my head for at least a month. Number 3, that isn’t even a post from RP, all they did was reblog a video from another blog.

    Our content was a). original. b). personal—I’ve actually done these tests and comparisons myself. and c). genuine. I think that anyone that has followed me and/or listened to our podcast can vouch for that with no reservations.

    To say I regurgitated anything from anyone is a straight up lie.

    • diggitydang

      I think that @straightshoota is completely wrong. I watched the comparison video and the only similarity I could see is doing a comparison video between the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5… Ya know, the two major flagship phones!?!? You didn’t even have the same (only one or two) similar features you selected… And you did a comparison on both sides (they just did one side). I don’t think you should put any stock into his comment at all… To me, if you regurgitated RP, you regurgitated the millions of other videos that compare the two phones too… And they regurgitated each other… That comment just doesn’t make sense.

      Keep up the great work.

  • Coldry

    He clearly had a faulty model. I’ve had my S5 for a couple of weeks now and I’ve not experienced any sluggish performance or crashing! My battery life outlasts all my friends (Using the 5S of course) and as for the camera, it’s clear he took the demo pic on here closer with the iPhone so the lighting is all different.

  • One look at the Status Bar makes me wanna run away

  • disqus_rcikS7fUoL

    The GS5 should be compared to the iPhone 6 as the 5s should be compared to the GS4. The 5S and GS5 are not direct competitors.

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  • Jururnuh

    How could you fail to talk about the terrible support for Japanese on the S5? I’m going to try to return mine because I can’t do my job–bilingual HR–on this phone. It’s ridiculous how bad the American version is; doesn’t even properly display kanji, not to speak of the predictive text.

  • The Google keyboard was a rip off of Swype that I had on my Android phone from 3 years ago. It’s nothing new

  • Didn’t have to read the “things” that Apple fanboys think whatever iphoneX is better at…it’s been the same since 2010

  • airjer

    My biggest question Jeff would be have you experimented with rooting/custom ROMs to seen if it minimized any of your complaints on the s5?

  • Larry Sedberry

    Want to draw on Galaxy5. How?