iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy S4 : quick look

September 20, 2013
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When it comes to smartphone brands, Samsung and Apple are easily two of the most recognized names in the business. Now that the iPhone 5s has arrived, you might be curious to see how Apple’s latest and greatest will stack up against Samsung’s trusty Galaxy S4.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at how the Apple iPhone 5s compares to the Samsung Galaxy S4. In a hurry? The video is at the bottom.

Design and build quality

Ah, the plastic versus “premium” materials debate. It’s true, many folks feel that plastic just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you don’t like plastic, you’re in good company with the iPhone 5s (but not the 5c). The handset features an aluminum shell, chamfered edges, and a home button that is made of sapphire crystal.

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In the other corner, we have the Galaxy S4. While the handset may have a polycarbonate chassis, it is still quite a looker and is very durable.

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In terms of size and weight, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is obviously the bigger of the two, namely because its display is a whole inch larger. The Galaxy S4 is 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and weighs in at 130 grams. In contrast, the iPhone 5s comes in 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and is only 112 grams.

Display

The iPhone 5s features a 4-inch Retina display, with a resolution of 1136 x 640, rated at 326ppi. In comparison, the Galaxy S4 has a much larger 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, and a considerably higher pixel density of 441ppi.

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Camera

The Galaxy S4 brings with a it a 13MP camera with a f/2.2 aperture. There’s also a BSI, auto focus, digital image stabilization, and tons of special software features to help make your camera experience the best possible on the GS4.

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On the iPhone 5s you’ll find an 8MP camera with f/2.2 aperture. The camera also features 3X zoom, dual-LED flash and special iOS 7 features such as a new burst mode that takes 10 frames per second.

Battery

Let’s not beat around the bush here, the Galaxy S4’s removable 2,600 mAh kills the iPhone 5s in terms of battery life. The handset is rated for 17 hours of talk/3G, 15.4 days stand-by time and around 10 hours of browsing/Wi-Fi usage.

The iPhone 5s has a much smaller non-removable 1,570 mAh Li-Po battery that is rated for only 10 hours of talk/3G, 10.4 days standby and around 10 hours browsing/Wi-Fi.

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Specs

The Apple iPhone 5s is the world’s first 64-bit smartphone, featuring a 1.7GHz A7 64-bit dual-core CPU. Beyond that, the phone has a fingerprint scanner, 1GB RAM and 16/32/64GB storage options.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is no longer a spring chicken, but it still packs plenty of punch with its 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU and Adreno 320 GPU. There’s also 2GB RAM, 16/32GB internal storage and microSD support. There might not be a fingerprint scanner, but you do get NFC and a infrared blaster – two features you won’t find on the iPhone.

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Software

The iPhone 5s comes standard with iOS 7 and packs quite a few special features. The redesign also seems to look a bit like Android at first glance.

As for the Galaxy S4? We get Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. That means you get the full power of Android, as well as tons of special Samsung apps and features including Smart Pause, S Health, and air gestures.

Hands-on video

Wrap up

What it comes down to here is preference. Sammy fans aren’t going to care much for the iPhone 5s, and vice versa for Apple fans.

Our take? The iPhone 5s is a solid handset, though we wouldn’t go so far as to call it revolutionary or groundbreaking. If you don’t mind Apple’s locked down approach and the small display, it’s a pretty nice phone really.

For those of us that prefer the open nature of Android, the winner in this smartphone battle is pretty clear.

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