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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Apple iPhone 5S – Specs Comparison

The day each and every Android aficionado in the world has dreaded for months, close to a year now actually, is here. Apple has at long last unveiled the iPhone 5 follow-up, or better yet follow-ups, once again driving the mobile tech universe to a frenzy.


High-end contenders – iPhone 5S, 5C or both?

Powered by the world’s first 64-bit mobile chip, packing a better rear-facing snapper, better front cam, upping the ante in GPU performance and also rocking a revolutionary fingerprint sensor, the iPhone 5S is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Or so they would like you to think.

As for the 5C, that fellow is even more groundbreaking… oh, hell, I can’t go on. I’m sorry, I want to be objective and present to you their side of the story as well as ours, but I just can’t. Sorry, Apple, but the iPhone 5C would not even be mid-range material anymore in the Android décor. And boy, is it pricey.


I mean, come on, I can find caboodles of Androids going for 400 bucks or even less that feature larger and crisper screens and that pack zippier processors and more RAM than the 5C. Not to mention more elegant outer designs.

So the iPhone 5C doesn’t, or shouldn’t count in the battle for smartphone supremacy. Which leaves Apple with the 5S only, which I will now pit against Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the oldie but goldie of the Android world.

Disclaimer: You’re on an Android-centric website and reading a post from a declared and unapologetic Android fan. While I’d like to think I’m a rational human being first and foremost, I’m fairly certain I’ll be accused of bias, so just so you know, I’m onto you.

Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone 5S – design and build quality

If there’s one thing even an old Android buff as myself can admire about Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 5S, it’s that for once they didn’t try to falsely claim the “next big thing” is in any way different from the old one in terms of design. They couldn’t, you say? Oh, you are so naïve.


That said, which of these two appeals to your sense of fashion depends on… well, your sense of fashion. On one hand, the 5S is clearly sturdier and more robust than the GS4, rocking a premium aluminum unibody, plus it’s thinner (7.6 vs. 7.9 mm) and lighter (112 vs. 130 grams).


But seeing as iPhone’s screen is a full inch smaller than S4’s, doesn’t it feel like Apple could have gone lower on the weight? Plus, you know, the thing is still so oddly tall while being much too narrow, which, at least as far as I’m concerned, is not an elegant look.

Winner: It’s a tie

Display smackdown

Call me biased, call me a fanboy or whatever, but there’s no contest here. The Galaxy S4 wins the size battle by a mile, the resolution duel, plus the cherry on top the ppi pixel density brawl. Sure, there may still be people that view portability as a major strong point, but the 4-inch 1,136 x 640 pix res panel on the iPhone 5S is unlikely to prove in any way satisfactory.


Winner: Galaxy S4

Processing speed and cameras

Here’s where things get tricky. As usual, Apple knows a thing or two about marketing buzz, which it uses in its advantage… again to rave and hail and puff about the “world’s first 64-bit processor” found inside a phone.


Which is impressive, don’t get me wrong, and likely much zippier than S4’s Snapdragon 600 chip… on paper. In reality though, things could be different, so I for one would like to hold off for benchmarks and reviews before declaring this battle Apple’s. Remember, though Cupertino is yet to announce anything about that, the iPhone 5S is likely to pack just 1 gig of RAM, which might well cripple the A7 chip’s performance.


As for cameras, at first glance Apple has lost the megapixel war against Samsung, keeping the rear snapper’s sensor at a modest 8 MP and the front one at 1.2 (vs. 13 and 2). But we should know better by now than looking just at these cold and often deceitful numbers. So one more time, let’s wait and see the reviews, hands-on previews and samples.

Verdict: Another tie (for now)

Software and battery life

Don’t want to start a whole thing or allow for the same old debate that’s going on for years to arise once again, so I’ll just say this – both GS4’s pre-loaded Android 4.2 with TouchWiz and the iOS 7 coming out the box with the iPhone 5S have their ups and downs.

iOS 7

One for instance has more neat little special features (or gimmicks), while the other is far easier to use and master even for novices. Both have access to outstanding app stores, both have their fatal flaws (like Apple’s Maps), but on the whole I’d choose Android any day of the week. Feel free to disagree, I’m even willing to listen to your reasoning, though it won’t make any difference. My mind is already set.

As for battery life, I’m afraid that’s another battle that we should wait before judging. The S4, as we all know, has tremendously optimized software that allows the somewhat mid-sized 2,600 mAh ticker to go on for ages between charges, but Apple also claims their battery can hold its own for a good 10 hours in 3G talk time continuous use. I for one don’t really buy that, but I’ll keep an open mind.


Winner: S4


Fingerprint sensor vs. microSD support, NFC and user removable battery. Hands down, that’s the easiest duel I’ve had to call all day. It’s point for the GS4, as fingerprint recognition technology is still young, not to mention useless for many.


Meanwhile, though the iPhone 5S is not yet up for grabs, I know very well how much it’ll cost and… I don’t like it. Or I do, but only because it makes Samsung’s flagship look even better. $300 for the on-contract 32 GB variant? $750 outright? Forget about it.

Verdict of Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5S (both partial and final): Samsung Galaxy S4 wins it

Images via [Gizmag]

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