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heart rate monitor

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Layout, Parts & Functions

If you just got your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (#S7Edge), it’s better you take time familiarizing it’s layout and knowing its parts and their functions. Your device was elegantly designed by Samsung engineers with its buttons and other components placed in areas where users can easily and comfortably them.

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Edge-Parts-Functions

The first thing you’ll notice when you look at the front view of your device is the huge screen (glass) but did you know there are 10 parts visible when you look at it that way? There are also 9 parts when you look at the back view. Try to go over the list of the parts below…

Front View

  • LED Indicator – it will tell you whether your phone has a low battery or if you have unread notifications and/or messages. It may glow, blinks or pulsates depending on what it’s telling its owner.
  • Touchscreen – it displays information necessary to operate the phone and aside from that, it’s the primary tool used to execute touch commands.
  • Earpiece – lets you listen to voice calls and/or automated prompts
  • Front camera – allows you to record videos and snap pictures while facing the screen but the quality is much lower than that of the back camera. Other functions include taking selfies and video conferencing.
  • Edge Screen handle – one of Samsung’s newest features and is exclusive only to Edge models. It’s a part of a touchscreen that allows owners to add more functions according to their preferences.
  • Back key – more often, tapping this key will bring you to previous screen or menu, close a dialog box and options menu, or close apps.
  • Home key with Fingerprint sensor – aside from bringing you to the Home screen, it is also a fingerprint scanner that allows the owners to unlock their devices by just tapping it. Pressing and holding it will also bring up Google Search or Google Now.
  • Recent apps key – opens the screen that lists down some recently used applications.
  • Volume keys – it allows you to adjust the volume of your device up or down.
  • Proximity & light sensors – the proximity sensor is responsible in detecting objects that are near the screen. It’s most common function is to turn the display off when the owner puts the phone near his/her face during calls. The light sensor is responsible in automatically adjusting the screen brightness when auto-brightness is enabled.

Back View

  • Heart rate monitor – it measures your heart rate when you place your fingertip over it. It functions only with the S Health app.
  • Flash – helps illuminate subjects in low-light environments when the rear camera is used to take pictures. It can also serve as a flashlight with the help of other apps.
  • Rear camera – this is the primary camera of your phone, which allows you to take pictures of high quality as well as videos.
  • SIM card & microSD card tray – it holds both your SIM card and microSD card in place.
  • Headset jack – it has the standard 3.5mm jack that allows you to insert standard headsets or external speakers.
  • Micro USB port – also known as utility port or accessory port, which is used for charging and data syncing.
  • Microphone – used to transmit owner’s voice during phone calls and to record voice and ambient sounds when recording videos and other recordings.
  • Loud speaker – its main function is to play ringtones and other sounds. It is also where the voice of the caller is streamed when speakerphone is enabled.
  • Power/Lock key – it’s used to turn the phone and/or the screen on and off.

Now that you know the external or visible parts of your new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and their functions, it would be easier to operate your phone.

If you have problems or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us by filling up this questionnaire. You may also visit our troubleshooting page for the S7 Edge as we list down every issue we address each week.

Best Android-supporting fitness trackers you can stuff into a Christmas stocking

If you’ve been following our site closely of late, and decided to sit the Black Friday shopping craze out waiting for Christmas deals and bargains, you should already be able to put together a decent gift list for any gadget enthusiast.

fitness tracker

We’ve rounded up the best Android-compatible smartwatches around for your selecting pleasure, the best business-friendly tablets, as well as the smartphone big-battery champions and top rugged choices in both the handheld and slate sector.

The smartphones, tablets, budget phones and high-end handhelds we recommended for Black Friday remain excellent choices for Christmas too, and the low-cost and 4G LTE equation doesn’t have to be solved by breaking the bank, as we demonstrated here and here.

Still, there’s something missing. A buying guide for fitness nuts who merely want a device to support their hobby, nay raison d’etre. Forget fancy, stylish, smartphone-replacing smartwatches. These guys are all about stats, sleep tracking and health advice, and they couldn’t care less if their wearable piece lets them make or receive voice calls via the wrist.

fitness trackers

Stellar battery life means a week, not a day of continuous use for the target audience of today’s story, and a heart rate monitor is always going to be preferred over a punchy Snapdragon processor. Without further ado, our health enthusiastic friends, here are the seven best activity trackers for your money available today:

7. Garmin Vivofit – $75 without heart rate monitor; $120 with heart rate monitor

Time hasn’t been too kind to the aging Vivofit, which put simply can’t keep up with 2015 wearable standards. Sure, it’s still nice you can bundle the band with an external heart rate monitor, and the combo’s price is hardly prohibitive.

Garmin Vivofit

Then there’s the traditional watch-like battery, which will never get old and could well outlast the actual fitness tracker. It’s the replaceable kind, and Garmin says it can stay on for “more than a year.” Of course, some may prefer recharging the thing rather than paying extra to swap it once it’s dead.

Also, we hardcore Android geeks would really really reheally like it if Garmin stopped shoving its clunky Connect app down our throats. Not to mention at the end of the day, the Vivofit just doesn’t do very much for its $75 and up price. It’s basically a glorified pedometer, and as we’re about to show you, you can get one of those for a lot less.

6. Misfit Flash – available for $25 in black or red

This little guy is a third of Vivofit’s price, and all in all, it offers mostly the same functionality. Granted, heart rate monitoring is nowhere to be found here, neither standard, nor as a paid add-on, but much like the Vivofit, the Flash is a decent, unpretentious, tiny running companion.

Misfit Flash

It also helps you sleep better, and it’s splash-proof, so it’s safe to wear around the pool. Around it, not in the pool, got that? As far as Android support and app compatibility goes, we love Misfit lets you choose between a number of “connected partners”, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal included.

The minimalistic interface makes it a little difficult for the Flash to be used as a watch, but otherwise, the LED light assortment is a neat, ingenious way of keeping production costs low, yet not cut very many corners in terms of functionality.

5. Basis Peak – $200 on Amazon in black or white

The Peak means business, no question about it, and in many ways, it’s closer to a smartwatch than a basic fitness band. It’s got an LCD screen that’s not too fancy but not rudimentary either, displays notifications from synched Androids, and puts out vibrating alerts for stuff like incoming messages, calls or alarms.

Basis Peak

It’s also pretty impressive in the autonomy department, holding a charge for “up to four days”, and is completely water-resistant, not just splash-proof. It’s perfect for swims, as well as runs and whatever sporting activities you can think of, and it even passively measures your heart rate.

Why is it only #5 then? First and foremost, it’s far too expensive. Second, as it can’t decide whether it’s a smartwatch or fitness band, it looks like an ugly cross between the two. And third, the swipe-based interface is just a little awkward to use and get used to.

4. Fitbit Flex – $94 in slate; $95 in black; $100 in blue or tangerine; $130 in pink

It’s Amazon’s number one best seller in health and personal care products, but while we personally love, love, love the Flex, we can’t put it on our podium. It would be unfair to the three medalists we’ll dissect a little later, as it has started showing its age, similarly to Garmin’s Vivofit.

Fitbit Flex

The Flex’s biggest problem today is it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. A forte. A key selling point. The battery life is decent, at around five days, but not the best. Design-wise, the band is sleek and low-key, but perhaps a little too low-key.

There’s no heart rate monitor, the price is fairly steep, and the Android app showing those detailed statistics you all love so much… well, that’s pretty great, but not enough for more than a spot just under the podium.

3. Misfit Shine – starting at $77

Cheaper than ever before, the Shine is very similar to the Flash, but it’s obviously better-looking, more functional and productive. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters deep, and can be worn as a necklace or clip, not just as a watch.

Misfit Shine

The minimalistic interface is perhaps too rudimentary for almost 80 bucks, which is why the Shine has to settle for bronze.

2. Jawbone Up 24 – $70 in red; $100 in “onyx” or lemon lime

No display, no problem? Then you can’t do any better than the Up 24. This thing is uber-cheap, extremely easy to use and master, and highly reliable for anything from running to sleep tracking.

Jawbone Up 24

It also comes with perhaps the world’s best companion Android app, as well as Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal and Nest support. Sure, it’s basic, really, really basic, and uses indicator lights that make Misfit’s gizmos look light-years more advanced.

But because it doesn’t waste energy on a screen or complex LED light arrangement, it can outlast pretty much every other rechargeable fitness band out and about, with 7 days of real-life continuous use. A-mazing!

1. Garmin Vivosmart – $170 without heart rate monitor; $200 with heart rate monitor

It’s a matter of personal preference at the end of the day, and it’s perhaps not fair to compare the Vivosmart and Up 24 or Shine. But if you have the extra money, and want the extra functionality, the Vivosmart is hands down better. A lot better.

Its battery holds a single charge for five to seven days, yet you also get a nice OLED touch screen for email, text message, incoming calls, Twitter or Facebook notifications. It sounds like a smartwatch from that standpoint, and it’s part that, but it’s an activity tracker first and foremost.

garmin-vivosmart

And it does the job stupendously, with its optional heart rate monitor, mind-blowing slew of sensors, personalized stats and goals, sleep observing abilities and record-setting water resistance. The review scores the Vivosmart has been garnering recently speak volumes about the near-perfect execution of Garmin’s simple but inspired concept.

A wearable to tick all the essential boxes of a smartwatch, and leave every fitness tracker in the dust with the best activity-monitoring user experience. Nicely done, Garmin.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus – Specs comparison

Again with the new iPhone(s)? Isn’t The Droid Guy supposed to be an Android-centric website? Leave droid fans alone. Be honest, you were thinking or wondering one of these things before you even finished reading our headline.

iphone-6-plus-vs-galaxy-note-4

And we completely understand your frustration. For the past two weeks or so, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus rumor roundups, previews, hands-on explorations and finally reviews have inundated the tech-focused part of the interwebs.

Just one more reason to keep your online activity fixated on funny cat pics and (human) porn, huh? Not so fast. Because like it or not, iPhones make the Android scene better. And vice versa. Who do you think got Tim Cook to infuriate Steve Jobs from beyond the grave by embracing “phablets”?

iPhone 6 Plus

Anyhoo, the bottom line is it’s wholly necessary to give credit where credit is due, and dissect the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus along with everybody else until reaching the conclusion we can do better. Not to mention cheaper.

But above all, better. Enter Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, the definitive top-of-the-line 2014 jumbo-sized smartphone. A phablet worth waiting for. And here’s why:

Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus – design and build quality comparison

Call me rash, reckless, whatever, I’m calling it – it’s the last year Apple ever wins an aesthetics battle against a Samsung flagship. Come spring of 2015, it’s bye, bye, metallic iPhone domination. That’s because the Note 4 is clearly meant to transition users from the old, ill-advised plastic-reliant design direction to a new approach, revolving around aluminum and possibly, other premium materials.

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus

So yeah, the 6 Plus still looks a little more elegant and feels a little stronger than the GNote 4. Emphasis on little, as the half-metal/half-plastic Samsung spearhead is significantly shorter, at 153 mm (vs. 158). Outstanding engineering feat, given it also offers the larger usable screen real estate (5.7 vs. 5.5 inches).

And yes, the rear on the iPhone 6 Plus is decidedly sexy, but the bulging camera is a vexing blemish on an otherwise spotless chassis. Good for us.

Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus – display duel

Sure, iFans, the Quad HD screen resolution on the Note 4 is a gimmick. Unlike your “Retina” iPad panels, which are all about real-life, naked-eye-noticeable image and video reproduction quality. Keep telling yourselves that. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to constantly remind yourselves 1 gig of RAM is plenty for a 2014 high-end smartphone.

GalaxyNote4

At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is Note 4’s display boasts 515 ppi pixel density, and the iPhone 6 Plus 401. So much win!

Processing speed and RAM smackdown

Early benchmarks show the new iPhones heavily outperforming their main Android-running rivals. Apple-friendly benchmarks, that is, like SunSpider or Kraken. Meanwhile, 3DMark, for instance, puts both the 6 and 6 Plus behind the Galaxy S5 and Note 3 in overall performance.

No Quadrant scores, no Vellamo and, of course, no way to compare any of the existing results to what the Note 4 can pull off.

snapdragon-805

Either way, we know benchmarks aren’t worth very much, and in real life, the 6 Plus and Note 4 are both beastly slabs. Perhaps the zippiest in the world, alongside maybe the LG G3. As always, we expect Apple to have invested thousands of man hours and nearly limitless resources in carefully optimizing every little line of software code, whereas Samsung has Qualcomm’s fastest SoC and a whopping 3 gigs of RAM to take care of business.

Granted, the 64-bit architecture of Apple’s A8 chip is impossible to ignore, and bound to offer up the 6 Plus an important advantage. Then again, the scanty 1 GB RAM is even impossibler (not a real word, I know) to ignore, giving back the overall edge to the Note 4.

iPhone 6 Plus teardown

Final verdict: Samsung wins.

Software, battery life and storage

Our love for all things Android is no big secret, and neither is our bias in favor of Google’s mobile OS. But even the most rabid droid fan has to admit iOS 8 looks pretty good. Clean as a whistle, very minimalistic and a wee bit more customizable than before.

iOS 8 vs KitKat

That said, pretty much everything iOS 8 can do, Android 4.4 KitKat does better. And the next version, L, likely on its way to the Note 4 by the end of the year, should further increase the smoothness gap. Multitasking, personality, versatility, even ease of use, L has it all, at least on paper.

Which brings us to the autonomy bout. Impossible to call at the moment, it’ll probably be a very evenly matched contest. Yes, the Note 4 does pack the larger cell (3,220 vs. 2,915 mAh), but it also comes with the bigger, higher-res, more power-demanding screen in tow. And possibly, the less frugal processor too.

Galaxy Note 4 back

Moving on, the storage battle would be close too… were it not for Cupertino’s aversion for external microSD card slots. Which once again makes Android look good. Really good.

Cameras, sensors and others

Don’t you even start. We don’t want to hear it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Apple is the very best in the biz at optimizing software for better battery life, smoother performance and superior camera capabilities. But there’s only so much that can do for a mediocre 8 MP sensor-toting rear snapper.

For crying out loud, the main cam on the Note 4 sports twice the megapixel count, plus every single add-on the iPhone 6 Plus brings to the table: optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash. And let’s not forget 2K video recording, which the iPhone can’t do.

samsung-galaxy-note-4-camera

As for selfie nuts, they’d better not give the 6 Plus a second thought, what with its sub-par 1.2 MP front shooter. The Note 4? It’s all about self-portraits, rocking a generous 3.7 MP sensor on the front and 1,080p video shooting support.

And now, for the grand finale. Both contenders tick the fingerprint scanner box, but only one the heart rate monitor category. And guess which one comes with a bundled S Pen and stylus support? How about a UV sensor?

Galaxy Note 4 UV sensor

Meanwhile, Apple is going on and on and on about NFC inclusion, a feature that’s been around in the Android universe for years. Including on mid-rangers.

Pricing and availability

If there’s one battle Apple wins without great resistance, it’s the availability fight. Good thing that’s something to build a successful war campaign on, not an atomic bomb. And clearly, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t have enough weapons to survive the war, let alone win it.

iPhone 6 line

Go ahead, buy your fancy, uber-hyped, underwhelming iPhones today, iSheep iFans, because we’ll have the last laugh come mid-October, when Note 4s start shipping. Prices? $300 with AT&T and Verizon contracts, available now on pre-order through Amazon, ditto on Sprint, and $700 or so outright.

Remember, the iPhone 6 Plus also goes for $300 and up, only their $300 variant sports half of Samsung’s $300 Note 3’s internal storage – 16 GB. Oh, look, the 6 Plus is down for the count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, you’re done!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3 – Specs comparison

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally come. Samsung has thrown its hat in the high-end phablet ring once again, and LG is in trouble. Not that Sammy wasn’t well-represented already in the jumbo-sized smartphone supremacy battle.

Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3

Unsurprisingly, its Galaxy Note 3 aged more than gracefully, likely keeping the G3 threat at bay thanks to a well-oiled advertising machine that chugs along unperturbed by a reported dip in overall Galaxy sales.

But it’s perhaps the same dip that convinced the makers of the mostly underwhelming GS5 they needed to bring their aesthetical A game to the “Unpacking” of the Galaxy Note 4 in addition to the traditional software and hardware improvements.

Which they certainly did, albeit haters are still gonna hate, fueled by Samsung’s questionable mix of premium aluminum and chintzy plastic on Note 4’s construction and the limited use of the curved side display on the Note Edge.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Regardless, this semi-aluminum beaut has more than enough pizazz to give the LG G3 a run for its money, and hopefully, make Apple’s hotly anticipated “iPhablet” intro feel redundant and utterly useless. For now, let’s explore in great detail all the ways the Galaxy Note 4 is superior to the G3:

Design and build quality duel – a no contest

Bet you were just about ready to lose hope of ever hearing this: Samsung’s flagship is one of the best-looking, awesomest built mobile devices around. HTC’s One M8 may be the only rival capable of holding a candle to it, but the all-metal bad boy doesn’t have the screen real estate, resolution or raw power to otherwise go for Note 4’s jugular.

Galaxy Note 4 LG G3 back

Meanwhile, the G3 isn’t ugly, not in the least, and the microscopic bezels, wasp waist and rear physical buttons partly keep its chances of ultimately prevailing alive. Only no matter how you spin it, metal beats plastic. Even metal frames in a combination with a faux leather (read plastic) back cover.

Galaxy Note 4 vs. LG G3 – display showdown

Gimmick or no gimmick, Quad HD display resolution is about to become the norm for upper tier Androids. And yes, we have reason to believe Sony will itself go down the same route as early as H1 2015.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-4-vs-LG-G3

Back to our spec wars, it’s tough to pick a winner here, as both heavyweights sport amazing 2,560 x 1,440 pixel counts. Since the G3 is 0.2 inches smaller, its ppi is slightly greater, at 534 (vs. 515). But Samsung uses Super AMOLED technology in lieu of LCD, and besides, a bigger panel is an upside for many.

Verdict: draw

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Blame it on release timing, but the LG G3 can’t possibly keep up with the GNote 4 in power-demanding tasks despite packing the beefiest CPU at the time of its debut. In the meantime, Snapdragon 801’s sequel, the higher clocked S805, became available, and Sammy took full advantage.

64-bit

That said, it’s a smidge disappointing the Qualcomm-based 32-bit Note 4 version, which US carriers among others will be scoring, isn’t ready for the next step in mobile computing. The Exynos flavor, however, is, thanks to a brand spanking new 5433 unit built on 64-bit architecture and rocking eight cores, four at 1.9 GHz and four at 1.3. Let Android L come.

Moving on, the G3 and Note 4 are deadlocked in RAM and storage, each offering 3 gigs of random-access memory, 16 and 32 GB space options and external microSD expansion possibilities. Wait, come to think of it, LG narrowly edges this one out, as it can accommodate up to 128 gigs of external storage, double Note 4’s maximum capacity.

Software and battery life face-off

4.4 KitKat is a necessity, nay, a guarantee on high-enders and even Android mid-rangers nowadays, so naturally, there’s nothing to separate our two title contenders there. Unfortunately for LG, their skin applied on top of the stock Google-powered mobile OS is really a featherweight next to TouchWiz.

Galaxy-Note-4-Battery

And yes, it’s a little less intrusive, but to hell with purism, as Sammy’s add-ons and optimizations so obviously improve the user experience. Fast charging, S Pen-dedicated apps, fitness and health tracking functions, camera effects, presets, detection systems and so on and so forth, they’re all part of the great Galaxy Note adventure.

Ultra Power Saving Mode above all. Speaking of, Note 4’s juicer might not be heavily larger than G3’s, at 3,220 mAh (vs. 3,000), but we fully expect it to deliver better autonomy. It’s yet another department where Samsung excels these days.

Cameras, sensors and accessories

Although still incapable of competing in the same league as Nokia’s PureView snappers, or Sony’s G Lens imaging monsters, Note 4’s rear-facing camera is a major upgrade over Note 3 or S5’s counterparts. And not just in the number of megapixels.

Don’t get me wrong, 16 MP is a lot, but what makes this cam exquisite is the optical image stabilization system (finally!), the ISO control, HDR mode and all the other modes, scenes and effects. Also, 4K video recording.

samsung-galaxy-note-4-vs-lg-g3-cameras

G3’s main shooter is itself adorned with OIS, however at 13 megapixels, it’s really no rival for Note 4’s 16 MP bad boy. Ditto as far as selfie-friendly front cams are concerned, with Samsung trumping LG 3.7 to 2.1 MP.

And the best is yet to come. From the GNote 4, that is, which stands out from the crowd, G3 included, not only with S Pen support, but also Gear VR compatibility, a built-in heart rate monitor and fingerprint recognition sensor.

Samsung Gear VR

No fancy monitors or scanners on the LG G3, and no virtual reality transforming capabilities, which once and for all seal the fate of this not-so-evenly-matched duel. The Note 4 is the best, so scr…, um, forget the rest.

Availability and pricing

This may seem weird after the 1,000 words spilled to make the G3 look like a pushover opposite today’s (and tomorrow’s) phablet champion, but I’d still recommend LG’s spearhead to a number of mobile tech consumers.

Namely, those who can’t afford or don’t want to cough up $300 with two-year contracts, or $800 outright for the Note 4. Also, those unwilling to wait a few weeks, maybe a month or two. More importantly, those who aren’t fixated on always owning the very best of the best gizmos.

LG G3

Fit the description? Then know the G3 starts at $79.99 on Amazon with Verizon pacts, $99.99 on Sprint or AT&T, and goes for as little as $525, yes, $525 in a factory unlocked variant. Happy shopping to you, and happy… waiting to future owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Either way, you’re blessed.

Samsung to bring its bio metric sensors to low end smartphones?

Samsung Galaxy S5 Heart Rate Sensor

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is known for its powerful display and the wide range of software features that it comes with. But one of the highlights of the smartphone which the company heavily endorsed is the fingerprint scanner on the front and more importantly the heart rate monitor below the camera sensor. One of Samsung’s senior VP Rhee In-jong has now mentioned in a forum that these sensors could be added with its midrange offerings as well.

We haven’t seen Samsung utilize these sensors in other devices apart from the Galaxy S5 as of yet, but that could change soon. These features could certainly appeal to the midrange audience given that a large number of Samsung’s mobile revenues come from midrange devices.

It is yet to be seen whether Samsung will adopt this feature in tablets, which could make more sense as well considering that the company’s tablet sales are on the rise as well. It is being said that the company is looking to add other sensors such as an iris scanner, which has long been rumored, although it seems like we might have to wait a bit for this one.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Via: Sammy Hub

HTC One (M8) vs Samsung Galaxy S5 – Specs Comparison

It’s weird, we expected both HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4’s sequels to knock our socks off, enthrall and amaze with major upgrades like Quad HD display resolutions, bonkers 4 GB RAM modules, OIS cameras and significantly boosted Snapdragon 805 processors, but at the end of the day the One (M8) and Galaxy S5… just didn’t.

HTC-One-M8-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S5

In a sense, you can say the two evolved at essentially the same pace, proving once again the mobile market as a whole is oversaturated and in dire need of an upgrade cycle relaxation.

There’s really no point in everyone bringing to light two, let alone three new so-called flagship devices each year, as long as the S5 is literally and figuratively a lightweight Note 3, and the M8 barely edges out the 12-month-old M7.

htc-one-vs-galaxy-s5

However, if you choose to disregard the fact they’re genuinely not a big deal, or simply the timing is right for a change (as in, you still rock an OG Galaxy S3 or something), here’s how the HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5 match up in a direct, winner-takes-all specs battle:

Design and build quality comparison

Look, I appreciate HTC and Samsung’s desire to keep things fresh, but a change of tune is not always good. And sometimes, it’s completely unnecessary. Take the Ones. Was the first-gen a beaut? You bet. Was there still room for better? Always.

htc-one-m8

Did HTC do that? We can argue and bicker all day, yet in the end we’ll reach the same conclusion: the M8 is a bigger “Metalhead” than its predecessor, but it’s not as beautiful. It’s likely more durable, but somehow also cheaper-looking.

The Galaxy S5? For the record, I have no beef with plastic per se. It’s just that Samsung may want to try something different one of these days. As in, truly different, not add stripped patterns to a glossy, chintzy rear cover and call it aesthetical innovation.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

Back to our duel, the M8 clearly wins in robustness and elegance, but loses the numbers race, as it’s chunkier, thicker, taller and heavier. Slightly narrower as well, though it’s too little too late.

Verdict: It’s a tie

HTC One (M8) vs Samsung Galaxy S5 – display face-off

Unlike in the design section, neither HTC, nor Samsung took any sort of gamble with their screens. They walked the beaten path, with a 5-inch Super LCD3 unit and 5.1-inch Super AMOLED respectively. Both carrying Full HD, aka 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution. And virtually identical ppis: 441 and 432.

HTC One M8 display

Does this mean the resolution war is over? Not so fast. It probably just means Quad HD was too risky and superfluous… at the moment. As for which of the two Full HD panels at hand is better, the answer is none. They’re really equally as gorgeous. Ask around, everyone will tell you the same.

Verdict: Another tie

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

“Play it safe” seems to have been the motto of the entire manufacturing process behind the S5 and M8, from display resolution to RAM, cameras, software and battery. Processors? Guess Snapdragon 801 was a safe bet as well, though it was also the smart, sensible choice all along.

htc-one-m8-vs-galaxy-s5

Check that, there was almost no choice. Sure, the S5 packs the 2.5 GHz clock monster as standard, whereas the M8 only offers the beast in Asia, “settling” for a 2.3 GHz model everywhere else. But congratulations, if you can tell the difference between a phone with a 2.5 GHz S801 inside and one powered by a 2.3 GHz, you’re delusional.

RAM? Let’s not even go there. The fact of the matter is our two contenders are deadlocked from that standpoint, with 2 gigs each, which is all you need at the moment for smooth multitasking.

htc-one-m8-camera

The camera clash is a rather complex and delicate affair, albeit when it comes right down to it, it’s simple. Care more about photos taken with rear-facing snappers on phones than selfies? Pick the S5. In love with your own reflection and duckface? It’s the M8 for you.

Want all the numbers? Here they are – 16 MP primary camera with autofocus, LED flash, Dual Shot, HDR and 4K video recording and modest 2 MP secondary unit on the GS5, dual rear cameras with 4 UltraPixel and 2 MP sensors, as well as 5 MP front shooter with HDR for the One (M8).

Winner: Galaxy S5 by a whisker

Software and battery

Here’s where things get truly interesting. And complicated. Despite running the same Android version (4.4 KitKat) underneath all the tweaks and skins, the S5 and M8 are anything but two peas in a pod software-wise.

HTC BlinkFeed

Now, TouchWiz and Sense used to be universally hated until not long ago, shifting their fortunes of late with neat little add-ons and functions like Air gestures, S Health, S-Voice, BlinkFeed and Zoe. They still need work here and there, but they’re definitely on the rise.

Which one’s better, you ask? It depends. Samsung’s TouchWiz is a wee bit more intrusive, yet also smoother and packed with the most unique, useful special features. Sense 6 is in many ways a more cohesive experience, it’s subtler, plus right now, the M8 is the only one of these two handhelds to be offered in an optional Google Play edition, with “pure” KitKat on board.

Galaxy S5 battery

Battery? Oh, I wouldn’t be caught dead calling that bout yet. On paper, the S5 has the upper hand, with the slightly larger juicer (2,800 vs 2,600 mAh), and the “ultra power saving” mode. But have you seen M8’s early astounding battery test results? Mind equals blown.

Verdict: Another tie

Audio, sensors, storage and others

The “others” part of our comparison, once trivial and unimportant, may well tip the balance in this particular case, both because the overall duel is so evenly matched and on account of “other” features becoming key selling points.

HTC M8 music

Let’s see, HTC has BoomSound and not much else, while Samsung retaliates with water and dust protection, fingerprint recognition technology and a built-in heart rate monitor. The storage options are essentially the same across the board (16, 32 GB built-in, up to 128 external), pricing is tied, and so is connectivity, with Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 everywhere.

Soooo, it comes down to whether you reckon fingerprint and heart rate sensors are gimmicks or not. And if you’d rather listen to bitching music on your smartphone, or be able to take it for a swim. It’s a toughie, eh?

Galaxy S5 fingerprint

Whichever you pick as the ultimate winner though, don’t forget to pit it against Sony’s Xperia Z2 as well before making a purchase. And remember, a host of Android top dogs might be yet to come.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G2 – Specs Comparison

As Samsung Galaxy S5’s commercial rollout draws near, it’s probably wise to get all the battles out of the way and see how the “next big thing” sizes up against its rivals beforehand. It’s the only way to make sure you’ll embark on a journey of informed buying decisions when the time comes to upgrade.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-vs-LG-G2

Or rather, if the time comes, as we’re comparing and contrasting the GS5 and a mobile veteran today. LG’s G2 is by no means ancient, but technically, it’s part of the 2013 wave of high-end smartphones. Late 2013, yet the 5.2 incher will be roughly seven months old when the S5 hits store shelves.

So, can the LG G2 hold off the fresh threat? Is the Nexus 5 cousin aging poorly or gracefully? Meanwhile, can the Galaxy S5 put one in the win column after yielding to Sony’s Xperia Z2 in our previous specs comparison? Don’t go anywhere, and you’ll find out.

Galaxy S5 vs LG G2 – design battle

You have to either be blind or an irrational fanboy to not realize the S5 is hardly an artistic achievement on Samsung’s part. It’s like they put everything into making the Galaxy Note 3 as sleek, compact and sexy as possible, and then got tired and whipped something up for the GS5 the week before its intro.

Luckily for them, the G2 isn’t the most beautiful handheld in the world either, losing precious points with a fairly chintzy, glossy, slippery plastic finish. On the bright side, despite offering extra screen real estate, LG’s top dog is lighter than Samsung’s (143 vs 145 grams), shorter (138.5 vs 142 mm), and narrower (70.9 vs 72.5 mm). Mother of bezels!

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-Band-aid

Furthermore, whether you find G2’s rear physical buttons useful or irritating, they clearly help clean out the front, as well as give off a distinguished vibe to the back cover. S5’s posterior? It’s no fingerprint magnet, a lot easier to grip, hold and maneuver, plus matte. But it’s so ugly. So, so ugly.

Verdict: LG G2 wins by a whisker

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G2 – display comparison

Oh noes, neither of these two sports Quad HD, aka 2K resolution. And I’m perfectly fine with that. Honestly, yeah, I was pretty excited the first time I heard about a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 pixels possibly being crammed into petite slabs of silicon.

LG-G2

But then it hit me. I can barely see the difference between 720p and 1,080p. Moving on from Full HD right now would thus be foolish, especially as it could greatly impact battery life. So stop complaining, y’all, and enjoy GS5’s stunning 5.1-inch Super AMOLED panel with 432 ppi pixel density, as well as G2’s vibrant 5.2-inch True HD-IPS+ LCD screen rocking 424 ppi.

Verdict: It’s a perfect tie

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

I know you’re going to call me biased against Samsung, but isn’t it a little disappointing the GS5 barely trumps the G2 in the processing speed and RAM departments despite being the much fresher device? I mean, the Koreans had at least six months of extra development time, and all they did is “upgrade” the quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip to an 801.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

True, they essentially had no choice but to go for the 801, with the 805 not yet ready to ship out. Then again, 2 GB RAM?!? Just as much as the G2 and 33 percent less than the GNote 3? That’s ludicrous.

As for cameras, this is one tough duel to judge. One more time, it seems like Samsung didn’t quite push its limits, settling for good enough: a 16 MP rear snapper with LED flash, HDR, digital image stabilization and 4K video recording and a 2 MP secondary shooter.

lg-g2-chicken

LG G2’s front cam is basically identical, whereas the primary photographic equipment touts a humbler 13 MP sensor, no 4K capture abilities, but adds optical image stabilization in the mix. All in all, I’d rather wait for reviews and thorough camera comparisons before jumping to hasty conclusions.

Verdict: Galaxy S5 (barely) takes the raw performance battle; camera duel – undecided

Software and battery life

Technically, LG’s G2 is one step behind the GS5 software-wise, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, not 4.4 KitKat. But with updating efforts recently cranked up, the 5.2 incher should soon recover all lost ground worldwide.

Which still won’t be enough for an honorable tie here, as Optimus UI has nothing on TouchWiz UI. The latter brings to the table neat functions and add-ons such as S Health, Smart stay, Smart pause, S-Voice and an overall cleaner, more intuitive interface, while the former is somehow both invasive and light on handy features.

Galaxy S5 software

Battery life? It’s a delicate, touchy subject, as the smaller of the two phones packs the slightly lighter juicer (2,800 vs 3,000 mAh), however compensates with, well, a smaller display and Ultra Power Saving Mode. S5’s battery is also user removable, which is always a good thing, though at the end of the day I expect the autonomy results to be extremely close.

Verdict: Galaxy S5 wins

Connectivity, ports, storage and others

Let’s start with “others”, shall we? Because it’s Samsung’s only shot to edge out LG. Gimmicky or not, the S5 comes with fingerprint recognition and a heart rate sensor. Plus, water and dust protection, which is anything but gimmicky. In fact, it may well be S5’s number one selling point.

galaxy-s5 heart rate sensor

Any “other” LG G2 features worth attention? Maybe the Dolby sound system. As far as storage goes, both devices offer versions with 16 and 32 gigs built-in, but the G2 lacks expansion options. Then there’s the connectivity bout, where the S5 also prevails, thanks to microUSB 3.0 and LTE Cat. 4 speeds.

Verdict: GS5 crushes the G2

Wrap up

It wasn’t easy, but Samsung’s top dog ultimately bested LG’s spearhead. However, the million-dollar question is this: are smoother software, an ever so slightly zippier CPU, the fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor and water shield enough to warrant an upgrade? Otherwise put, isn’t the GS5 too close to the G2? It’s your call, so voice your opinions below.