2014 first smartphone face off:Apple iPhone 5s vs. Samsung Galaxy S4
2014 First Smartphone Face-Off: Apple
iPhone 5s vs. Samsung Galaxy S4
“We don’t pack in feature after feature.” Apple CEO Tim
Cook told the crowd during the launch event for the
iPhone 5s , that was obviously a dig at Samsung, who’s
Galaxy S4, crams the most features of any Smartphone
we’ve tested, including a TV remote and an array of
gestures. Certainly, the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 take
vastly different approaches, which makes it that much
tougher to decide what to buy. That’s where we come in.
Differentiating between the features
of both the Smart phones:
The iPhone 5s is all about enhancing an already great
phone, with improvements ranging from a faster A7
processor and a beefed-up camera to a new fingerprint
sensor. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 pushes the
envelope with some impressive specs of its own,
including a 5-inch 1080p display and a 13-MP camera.
Here’s how the two flagship Smartphone’s stack up in
Apple knows how to make more beautiful and solidly
built Smartphone’s than Samsung does, and that
doesn’t change with the iPhone 5s. The aluminum-andglass design feels just as premium as before, but it’s now
available in three color options: space gray, gold and
silver. Plus, the 5s is just as light (3.9 ounces) and thin
(0.3 inches) as before while packing a lot more power.
The gold version looks classy without being
ostentatious. The chamfered edges still look great and
have a premium vibe.
The Galaxy S4, on the other hand, is an uninspired
plastic slab. Yes, it’s light considering it has a larger 5inch display, but the S4 doesn’t have a top-tier look or
feel like the iPhone 5s. What we do like about the S4 is
that the back is removable, allowing you to access the
memory-card slot and replace the battery. Samsung
mixes a physical home button with capacitive keys
beneath the screen, which works but doesn’t feel
There’s something that feels dated about the iPhone 5s’
smaller 4-inch screen. At 1136 x 640 pixels, Apple’s
device has a much lower resolution than the S4′s 1920 x
1080p display. You really notice this resolution delta
when surfing the Web, viewing photos and watching
videos. For instance, when we paused on the same
scene in the “Thor 2″ trailer, we could make out a lot
more detail in the superhero’s outfit on the S4. And,
thanks to the Galaxy S4′s AMOLED technology, his red
cape popped a lot more.
On the other hand, the 5s
delivered warmer, more natural-looking colors. Natalie
Portman’s hands, as well as buildings in the
background, looked more true to life.
Interface and Software
The iPhone 5s gets a whole new look with iOS 7,
which gives the device some much-needed
enhancements. Our favorite new features include
improved multitasking and Control Center for
tweaking settings — such as Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode
and screen brightness — on the fly. A new
Notification Center gives you a Today view for info
you need to know now, as well as separate tabs for
all and Missed alerts.
Whereas in case of Galaxy S4 you won’t find any
carrier crapware or unwanted third-party apps
cluttering your home screens.
Apple didn’t bump up the resolution on its 8-MP iSight
camera, but the iPhone 5s still represents a significant
imaging upgrade. The sensor is 15
percent larger than the one on its predecessor, and
there are bigger pixels and an f/2.2 aperture, so users
should expect brighter and crisper images. Other
highlights include a continuous-burst mode and a dual
True Tone flash for more natural-looking photos.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has a higher
megapixel count of 13 MP, along with a host of unique
features. But let’s start with photo quality.
Apps and Content
Samsung is competing directly with iTunes by offering
its own Samsung Hub. From one place, you can buy
music, video, books and games with your Samsung
account. During our testing, both the Samsung Hub
and iTunes stores offered similar selections.
On the app front, the Google Play store stocks more
than 700,000 apps (some for tablets, but most for
phones), compared with more than 525,000 apps for the