The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a phone to be reckoned with, that’s for sure – but how does it stack up with the competition? Remember, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny to own it, so does it have the power to match the best of the rest?
HTC One M8
The obvious threat to the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the HTC One M8 – critically, at least. The two are locked together in terms of specs, with both having the same Snapdragon 801 CPU, a microSD slot, 2GB of RAM, a Full HD screen and rocking Android 4.4.2.
However, there are a couple of key differences: the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a much more powerful camera, albeit one that doesn’t perform as well as you’d expect it to in day to day snapping.
The One M8 takes photos more snappily, and more in focus, but offers lower quality if you’re sharing to a larger screen.
HTC’s effort is packing a much, much nicer design though – it’s almost bewildering how the aluminium chassis can feel so nice in the hand and yet Samsung continues with the same boring plastic. Even the fact that it’s water-resistant doesn’t make up for the fact that I feel a little unimpressed each time I pick it up.
What does the iPhone 6 offer that its predecessors didn’t? Quite a lot, in fact. Better design. Faster processor. Better battery, larger screen, higher resolution – in short, answering a lot of the issues older iPhones had.
But is it better than the Samsung Galaxy S5? It depends what you’re looking for. The S5 is hardier, thanks to the IP67 rating, and with a larger and more impressive screen that greater for colour reproduction and sharpness.
However, it’s not got the build quality of the iPhone, and while the iOS vs Android debate will never be answered, has a simpler OS that doesn’t have the overbearing nature of TouchWiz (and we won’t get into the weird Magazine home screen). Other Android versions, such as those on the LG G3, are kinder and worth taking a look at.
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony’s been doing well in the smartphone world: from the Xperia Arc (admittedly from the +Ericsson era) to the current Xperia Z3, there’s been a strong upward trajectory.
The same Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU is on offer (despite being seen in the Z2 as well), a microSD slot pervades, and it’s also much more water- and dust-resistant. This is a lot better than the Z2 and while it’s rather irrelevant to 99% of users, it does give greater confidence in the hardiness of the phone.
Both can also record in 4K, which is still a mostly useless feature, and both have a large and vibrant screen. The design, once again, splits the two, with the industrial chassis of the Xperia Z3 covered in solid metal where Samsung’s opted for plastic.
The upgraded Z3 has a stronger battery and a brighter screen than its predecessor,and costs roughly the same as the S5 on contract, so it really depends on whether you like Sony’s thicker styling or not.
Samsung Galaxy S4
True to form, Samsung’s still selling its older model for another year at least – and it’s not a bad buy, especially as it’s being offered at some really low price points and packs the same Android 4.4.2 OS.
It’s almost a shame that it doesn’t have the same funky overlay as the Galaxy S5, as that would be a real win for the brand.
In terms of raw power and specs, it obviously falls behind in nearly every way compared to its bigger brother: no heart rate monitor, an older camera, smaller battery with higher screen power, a slower CPU and more of a dependence on air-waving gimmicks.
It does have a more compact chassis though, and shares a lot of the same strong DNA – so if you want to save money (and can get it on a 12 month deal or SIM free) you’ll have a decent phone for a year at least… after that the software updates might dry up, so be ready for that.