There are many smartphones available and everyone has an opinion on their favorites. Two popular names would be Galaxy and iPhone – their latest versions the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Apple iPhone 5S.

Which one is best for you?  It depends! There is no correct answer, it is based on your own preferences.

The Galaxy S5 is larger (about 25% wider, 15% taller, and 10% thicker). This means a bigger screen which many people enjoy (5.1 inches, 1920×1080). It also means most have to stretch their fingers to hold it. It is a plastic case and not as premium as the iPhone. The camera takes 16 megapixel photos (vs 8 on the iPhone) but unfortunately it can take about 6 sections to be able to take your first photo from the lock screen (iPhone is about 2 seconds).  It is also water resistant (IP67 rating, 3 feet underwater for 30 minutes). The iPhone is definitely not water resistant. I recently overheard at the Apple store that they have a small piece of litmus paper in the iPhone headphone jack. They know if someone got it wet.

The iPhone 5S fits comfortably in your hand. It is about 25% lighter and a premium quality case. Apple takes design seriously. The 4 inch screen has a resolution of 1136×640. The iPhone takes better photos with a dual LED flash (more colorful and better balanced). Many people love the touch ID fingerprint biometric sensor. The Galaxy has it as well but it is swipe based whereas the iPhone you simply rest your finger.

The Galaxy S5 also has a heart rate monitor by holding your finger for about 10 seconds on the fingerprint sensor. It can also be used as a TV remote control with the infrared (IR) capabilities. It has a better battery life, roughly 33% longer lasting.

The iPhone is great at tracking motion using its M7 motion co-processor. Apps that are designed to use the M7 won’t drain the battery as fast.

For many people it comes down to cost or platform choice (Android vs iOS). If you are mostly in it for the screen size, Apple might have a 4.7 inch screen on their new iPhone 6. If you would like a lot more in-depth information, check out Gizmag full reviews of the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S.

48 Comments
  1. I don’t know man, but that 4K camera got me sold. I’ve always favored Android over IOS devices and I guess this new Galaxy S5 would be my next foray to smartphones.

  2. Iphone 5s is definitely the way to go for me. I’ve had galaxy before, but I just love the sleekness of the Iphone and they way the interface looks. To me galaxy phones just don’t compare to the build of the Iphone.

  3. I would have to choose the Galaxy S5. The hardware is insane and I always prefer and android platform. I love the flexibility that android allows me to have.

  4. They have the Galaxy 5 already? Wow I’m behind in smartphone technology… Anyways though, I think the Galaxy 5 is the smarter choice. Iphones break way too easily in my opinion. Drop it 1 foot and bam, shattered screen glass everywhere.

  5. I have used Iphone 5 and I was perfectly happy with it, until this guy came around. I have to switch to it now. I think I’m getting sucked into latest and greatest syndrome.

  6. Honestly, I think that the Galaxy stomps the Apple devices out of the water for hardware. The problem is however, is that Apple devices are all manufactured with quality in mind. Not once have I heard of a defective iPhone that all the devices didn’t suffer from. iOS definitely has a better app store for sure, the apps aren’t cluttered and everything is organized from the get-go. I would definitely buy the Galaxy device however. I prefer performance over visual aesthetics. The Galaxy series has always had the top notch performance that they’re known for, and the features are jam packed in there tight. I would definitely want a NFC enabled Galaxy device with compatibility with thousands of Bluetooth Sensors, Pedometers, Smart Watches, WiFi enabled devices, and more.

  7. Samsung win hands down on specifications of their phones, however, Iphones do have the advantage of having the more user-friendly interface and sleek look to them, where as Samsung have android and are for more advanced users in my opinion.

    Iphone will always outsell Samsung as there are so many brand-whores out there.

  8. I think that this really just depends on who you are. Android goes a lot further with customization and I think that there is something for everybody out there. This is including the Galaxy S5. If you don’t like TouchWiz, there are tons of custom ROMs out there that are very easy to install.

    The iPhone 5s is more of a clean professional look, and a lot easier to use. The software is very user friendly, but not very customizable. The best thing to do is to find a way to try out both and see which one you like better. They’re different phones and there has to be one you prefer. It’s always best to go with your gut instinct or you’ll regret it until you can get a new phone. Either way, they’re both great phones.

  9. Very informative post. As an owner of both iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, I have to say that I really like the Samsung a bit better. I know that iPhone is thought to be better, but I really like the Android apps (and variety of apps ) better. What Samsung lacks in features, it makes up for in respect of having some things that are not available with the iPhone. I do like my iPhone too, just not quite as much.

  10. The IPhone 5S is more simple user. Is it designed for a user who does not want to go through the process of configuring settings, changing how things work, working with the operating system, etc. The Galaxy 5S has a lot more settings. With it, you can edit the operating system, change the GUI, and manipulate data. It is much more powerful, but you will need to spend a lot of time configuring it.

  11. I’d pick the Samsung again, I like android better, free apps. I do agree that the design for the hardware is better for Apple, but if that kind of thing doesn’t bother you, go for the 5S.

  12. I’ve been more than happy with the quality of the S5. The larger screen allows me to read more efficiently and even watch movies with greater ease and comfort. I’m not saying that the iPhone doesn’t have its positives, of course. The smaller dimensions make it more portable and it’s significantly lighter as well, but the Galaxy series will always hold an important place in my heart. More importantly, they’ll hold an important place in my wallet.

  13. I personally prefer the Galaxy phones over the iPhones, just for the larger screen. I currently own a Galaxy S4, and it is IDEAL for video watching. I’m always watching YouTube and being able to have a large screen is just so nice. I do have to say that the size of the phone is definitely a little awkward at times, but if you watch a lot of videos, I think the Samsung Galaxy is definitely for you.

  14. iPhone is just the right size for me, I love the design and the build. And the super slow mo camera is amazing. Apart from that I had very bad experience with Android, so I just don’t want to go back to that.

  15. For it’s always gonna be Android over iOS. At the same time I’ve always hated the Galaxy series, ever since the third one. I can’t stand how bloated they are. For me it’s Nexus or something very close to stock or nothing. HTC has surprised me with the One though.

  16. Honestly, it always come down to the camera when people buy their phones. Apple has always excelled when it has come to features and design, but Samsung has definitely won the battle, especially due its system being based on Android which has high manipulation. I’m tired of Apple coming out with small screens! It’s time to step it up, Cook!

  17. I’m not really a fan of phones but I prefer Android for the most part. I’ve tried IOS before, it’s a great OS but I just don’t like how it’s too tightly sealed. As for the hardware, the Galaxy S5 is a beast and the 4K camera is also fantastic.

  18. I am a bit biased towards iOS and iPhones. But I do appreciate the concern people have for Android also. The quality of the Android OS is becoming more feature rich everyday. The design of S5 is decent but iPhone scores big on this one.

    Similarly, the specs are a big yes for S5 which hosts a bigger and better display, better battery etc.

  19. It is so amazing what can be done with phones now. Seriously a heart rate monitor? And, just to think about a remote. It makes a lot of sense people keep their phones beside them at all times. Why not double it as a remote?

  20. They are both power house phones, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. It really does boil down to the person and what they like. For me I like apple because it is simple to use, from top to bottom. The one thing I like most of the all is the music app that it comes preinstalled with, way much easier to use than a Samsung.

  21. I personally feel that both have excellent hardware, but my allegiance has always been with Android products. The ability for me to customize the software I run on my phone is the biggest deal breaker for me. Being a strong advocate for privacy and the FOSS community, having the option to chose what software I want is something I would take any day over being forced to use an operating system.

  22. I use to own a iPhone 4 and now I have the Samsung Galaxy S5. And I can tell you the Android os is light years better then the IOS. Not only that but I use the S5 for my blog. The camera on the S5 is amazing it takes professional quality pictures and it does 4k rez video.

    P.S. I would never buy anoother iPhone after owning my S5 for 1 month.

    Greg

  23. I know people have had problems in the past with apple products, but my iPhone 4S just keeps working. The support from Apple is great too, I had a power button issue on my phone (I think it was my fault, playing with the power button between commuting to the office) and I was able to back it up to the cloud, pick up a replacement handset and restore everything the same day. It all worked flawlessly. My girlfriend has had 3 Samsung Galaxy phones whilst I’m still using my 4S. I prefer iOS over android even though I am a big Linux fan.

  24. Without question Samsung really packed some interesting features in their latest Galaxy S5 phone. Apple is certainly playing catch up in this realm, but I’ve heard that iOS 8 will also include some health related tracking system.

    I know a big point of contention with Samsung lately is the infamous amount of “bloatware” or needless apps that are often gimmicky in nature. Hopefully they eased up on this with the S5 as they have some big competition from the HTC One M8, the future iPhone 6, LG G3, and of course the Sony Z2.

    I suppose we’ll also see what’s in store from the Google I/O coming up soon.

  25. I don’t care about the latest and greatest, I just care about what works best for my needs. The Galaxy is what suits my work habits the best (I use my phone for work purposes) so I’m sticking with that. I’ll upgrade to a 5 if I need to.

  26. I’ve always loved android over Android. So, id definitely go for Samsung’s Galaxy S5. The high-end hardware, bigger screen, water resistance, better battery life, android as its OS and make it a better phone than iPhone 5s. My cousin has a Galaxy s5 and its really great.
    I’d never think for a second time to go for Galaxy S5 over iPhone 5s.

  27. For me, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a complete waste of money. Sure it has a better camera than the iPhone, but it has so many unnecessary features (like a TV remote, heart beat detector, etc.) that it just complicates a product that doesn’t need to be complicated.

    I would hands-down prefer an iPhone 5s because of the addition of iOS 7 which makes the user interface so much more beautiful and interactive than the Android in the S5. Samsung needs to focus and put more time on the user experience and the design of its products like Apple does. Design should come before Tech.

  28. I was initially waiting for the Samsung Galaxy s5 release a while back, but I decided to go for the iphone. It is my first apple experience and I can say that I am very well pleased. The phone is just a phone and it does not require any “tweaking” to fit my needs. The apps are great and the feeling is just right. The only down side I experienced was the transfer from an android to apple. Most downloaded apps I loved were only exclusive to android.

  29. Samsung has caught up to Apple as far as phone technology goes. Both of these phones are to die for to me. I would probably end up going with Samsung simple because of how easily Iphones break and I’m always dropping my phone.

  30. Personally, I like the iPhone much better than the galaxy. If you ask my brother, he’d tell you the exact opposite. It really is just on a person’s personal preference. For me, I like the iPhone much better because it’s smaller and easier to use. I’ve also had an iPhone for a while now I don’t think I’d be able to switch to another smart phone that easy.

  31. In its current form, the iPhone is just way too small for me. I use an HTC One, and trying to use anyone else’s iPhone feels incredibly awkward to me. Not to mention how much more expensive the iPhone is, whereas my One costed $50 for 32 GB of memory.

  32. iPhone 5S is a better phone in my opinion and it will only get better with iOS 8. S5 is decent but its full of crappy Samsung bloatware that no one uses. If someone could tell me how would the HTC One M8 compare with these two phones?

  33. Even as an Android fan and a person who dislikes Apple, I would certainly not prefer a Samsung phone. As of recent, Samsung has a lot of issues in almost all of their phones, mostly being lag and interface related. I will probably prefer neither of them. I would actually suggest the HTC One M8. It is a great phone, looks good, the camera is brilliant, the interface is top-notch, the phone is smooth, the pricing is reasonable compared to both S5 and 5S. Nonetheless, I am waiting for Project Ara so that I can build the phone the way I wish and not go searching around if any manufacturer has tailored one to my needs.

  34. Android for me – I don’t like Apple’s business practices at all, as a comp sci student myself. Overpricing hardware by several hundred dollars just cause it carries an Apple logo just ain’t right, and it soured me to the whole iPhone platform deal. Plus, I will always appreciate Android’s open-platform…since I want to develop for it, eventually.

  35. The Galaxy series has always amazed me due to the fact that you can easily customize your phone to fit your personal preferences. They are very flexible, have many features, and are powerful computers for their size. The iPhone only beats it with its camera since it has a higher megapixel count. However, I think the new Galaxy is overall a better phone due to the many more features.

  36. For me I’m definitely going with the S5. The screen real estate is just too good to pass out, and the fact that the S5’s screen is so much larger for me sold. However, the main draw for me buying the S5 is that it runs Android, which has tons of customization capabilities which the user can do once rooted and even when non rooted. The iPhone really dosen’t have much to offer that could help me out from day to day use, so it really dosen’t appeal to me that much.

  37. What a hard choice. I actually think that the iPhone 5S has a screen that’s a bit too small. Hopefully the iPhone 6 will feature a much bigger and better screen.

  38. It all comes down to what feels better in your hand.

    I had a Samsung Galaxy. It never felt “snappy” enough. Every time the specs are upgraded, they pile on extra useless software to say “Hey Look, New Features!” and it negates the increase in specifications.

    I have an iPhone 5. While it does feel snappy, the app store is tightly controlled and the metal hurts to physically hold.

  39. It’s totally a preference thing. I could never see myself with an iPhone (or any Apple product for that matter)… It’s just not my thing. I like the customization and Linux core of Android. Although most others I’ve met like the simplicity of iOS. Android is doing a pretty good job at keeping up with the whole “minimalist” thing. Especially in 4.4.

  40. ‘they have a small piece of litmus paper in the iPhone headphone jack’ this is absolutely true yes. A simple but effective way to see if your iPhone has taken a swim.

    I have an iPhone, it just seems to be a smoother more user-friendly product. But it isn’t without it’s problems. iTunes is about as user-friendly as a solar power torch and pains me to use, and the screen is too small, there is no reason for it to be that small. I am sure they are resolving this with the iPhone 6.

  41. Apple and Samsung are always competing against one another and they practically have all of the same features. The only difference I see with the iPhone 5s is the finger scan security. Other than that I really see no difference with the features available on both phones. The only reason I would prefer a iPhone over a Samsung is because I like the App Store better than android and the fact that iPhones have a find my iPhone feature already built in.

  42. I remember what Steve Jobs once said “Nobody wan’t to buy a large phone” or something like that I don’t know exactly and yet here they are now, the iPhone 6 plus. I guess Samsung won this time.

  43. I have used both phones and they are both kings in their own worlds. The IPhone has a great quality to it, and the hardware is topnotch. While the Samsung is all about the software and a few more features than the IPhone. Over the years my preference has been towards the Samsung, but we will have to see what happens when Apple comes out with the Iphone 6.

  44. While the 5S does have a much nicer metal feel, I prefer to choose my phones based on practicality, not just good looks. The 5S achieves that “premium” feel. It is quite expensive, too much so for my taste, considering the value that is missing. The OS is simple, but not really innovating. However, Samsung has not been very innovating either. They have gone into an Apple-like mindset of cramming in features. Out of the two listed, I would choose the S5 for means of value for the price and usability, but personally I would choose a different Android phone.

    • I have to second this. Both companies are basically neck and neck, both of them competing for popularity, both ripping features and concepts off of each other, the list just goes on and on. I would have to go for the S5 if I got the chance because Android has the customizability that iOS doesn’t. Android is more open, so the possibilities are endless.

  45. I’ve tampered with iPhones before, including the iPhone 6 and while the design is nice, I’m just not impressed by the capabilities of the phone for the price tag that it has. I mean those phones have to be for those that are too lazy to discover amazing phone features and learn how to use them. There is nothing about the iPhone 6 that would make me jump out of my own way to get that Galaxy and other Android phones don’t already have and beyond.

    The Galaxy phone is just in a league of it’s own in the smartphone world. You have a massive Google Play app market to download from, you have the ability to customize your phone the way you want it, special features that show how techy your phone can get, water and dust resistance, fast processor, good camera and all that kind of stuff. Not just Galaxy phones, but Android phones in general have a large leverage over any iPhone you can name.

  46. In summary, any sane phone user would have to admit that the waterproof feature of Samsung 5S is a superior find. For iPhone 5 the option is to use a waterproof case, whose manufacturer may come from a faraway land. To make the choice brilliant, other than on their choices of operating system, both are quite stylish.

  47. I think the Galaxy S5 is the better choice of the two. It completely swamps the iPhone in terms of the innovations it’s made compared with its previous iterations. The camera is great too, and I’ve heard that the iPhone 5s has a number of bugs still to be ironed out.

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