iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 comparison review

The iPhone 6 has arrived and as usual Samsung is one of Apple's key rivals in the smartphone market. Here's our iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 comparison review. See also: The best smartphone you can buy in 2014.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Price UK

The iPhone 6 is now on sale starting at £539 for the 16GB model. It then costs £619 for the 64GB and £699 for the 128GB. See: Where to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the UK.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was a whopping £599 when it launched but that quickly lowered now it's been around for a few months you can pick it up for just over £400 from retailers like Amazon. That's a saving of more than £100 so read on to see whether it's worth paying extra for the iPhone 6. See also: iPhone 6 review.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Design

Buying an iPhone has always been largely about having one of the best designed products around and making a statement. That's no different with the iPhone 6 which retains that luxurious and premium desirability which Apple is so good at. However, we've seen nothing to suggest the device is any less delicate than before so will require a case unless you don't mind the phone getting ruined by wear and tear.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Read: The best iPhone 6 alternatives.

For Samsung, its use of plastic in flagship smartphones is something we've criticised for a long time and the S5 is just as plastic as previous models. The advantage is that the device doesn't feel so in need of protection. It is also dust- and waterproof which may be a big bonus for some users.

It's swings and roundabouts here but the iPhone 6 is certainly the more desirable and good looking in terms of design. It's also thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S5 at 6.9 mm and 129 g compared to 8.1 mm and 145 g. It's not a huge difference but might be useful when playing smartphone top trumps down the pub.

iPhone 6 colours

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Screen

The headline news with the iPhone 6 is a larger screen, as per the leaked information prior to the launch. It's got a 4.7in display which is up from 4in on the 5s and if that's not big enough, the iPhone 6 Plus has a phablet sized 5.5in screen.

The Galaxy S5 has a slightly larger screen than the iPhone 6 at 5.1in and it has a higher resolution too at Full HD 1080p meaning a pixel density of 432ppi. Apple has opted for an odd sounding 750 x 1334 resolution which means the 326 ppi of the iPhone 5s is retained.

Apple and Samsung use contrasting screen tech so the iPhone 6 uses a LED-backlit IPS LCD panel while the Galaxy S5 uses Super AMOLED. Both offer great viewing angles but the main difference is popping bright colours on the GS5 while the iPhone looks more natural.

Samsung Galaxy S5 screen

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Processor and memory

With the iPhone 6, Apple has introduced its new A8 chip which it claims has 25 percent more CPU power and 50 percent better efficiency than the A7. The new M8 co-processor can identify what type of activity you're doing, estimate distance and, with the introduction of a barometer, knows details on elevation change. Apple doesn't state the amount of RAM but we're hearing that it's 1 GB.

Inside the Galaxy S5 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor which is in many high-end Android smartphones. It's quad-core, clocked at 2.5 GHz and is accompanied by 2 GB of RAM. The phone also has the ability to track steps without the need for a separate device connected over Bluetooth.

While the processors and amount of RAM are different, benchmark results vary with the iPhone 6 winning most, particularly in graphics. However, we're talking about two top-end smartphones so this isn't really a good area with which to choose between then. You can expect smooth performance either way. See also: What's the fastest smartphone of 2014: processor, web and graphics performance comparison.

 

GeekBench 3

GFXBench T-Rex

GFXBench Manhattan

SunSpider

iPhone 6

2794

49fps

26fps

351ms

Galaxy S5

2869

28fps

12fps

824ms

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Storage

The amount of storage you need will depend on how you use your smartphone and is a good way of choosing between two smartphones. It's a little tricky here as although both phones offer 16 GB internal capacity as standard, the iPhone 6 is also available in 64 GB and a new 128 GB model.

You can get the Galaxy S5 in 32 GB although it will be harder to find than the regular one. The bigger bonus on this side of the fence is the inclusion of a microSD card slot for adding more storage (up to 128GB). It's something which Apple still refuses to put on its devices.

Samsung Galaxy S5 microSD card slot

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Other hardware

With the core hardware covered, let's look at additional features. With the iPhone 6, Apple has added a few things such as 11ac Wi-Fi and NFC although the latter will be used for ApplePay which is only available in the US until sometime next year. Read: iPhone 6 NFC chip is restricted to ApplePay.

With these additions, and the fact that both phones have a fingerprint scanner housed in the home button, the pair are closely matched. However, the Galaxy S5 has a couple of things which the iPhone 6 doesn't: a heart rate monitor and an IR blaster.

Technically the iPhone 6 has better 4G with more supported LTE bands so will be better for roaming.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Cameras

When it comes to photography it may surprise some that Apple has stuck with an 8Mp iSight camera on the iPhone 6, although it does now have phase detection autofocus, digital image stabilization and slo-mo video at 240fps. It has the usual features such as HDR and panorama but it limited to 1080p video at 60fps.

iPhone 6 camera

The Galaxy S5 can record video in 4K quality at 30fps and does 1080p at 60fps with digital image stabilisation and phase detection autofocus. It also does 120fps slow motion at 720p quality. It has a 16 Mp but the pixel size is smaller at 1.12 µm compared to the iPhone's 1.5 µm. Both have a dual-tone LED flash, too, so we'd say the 4K is the standout difference here.

If you're a selfie fan then the Galaxy S5 has a decent 2Mp camera which can shoot video at 1080p. The iPhone 6 has a lower 1.2Mp resolution Facetime HD camera which is limited to 720p video.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: Software

You probably don't need us to tell you that software is a massive difference in this comparison, but if you do, then it is. The iPhone 6 will come pre-loaded with iOS 8 although the mobile OS will roll out to older iPhones, too. Meanwhile the Samsung Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

Android and iOS are the two most popular mobile phone operating systems and both have a wealth of apps in their respective stores. We've got to a point where developers largely prioritise both equally. Both have notification bars, quick settings and multi-tasking albeit in different ways.

If you're not already loyal and invested in one then we suggest trying both out to see which you prefer.

Pre-order the iPhone 6 here,
iPhone 6 Gold
iPhone 6 Silver
iPhone 6 Grey

Pre-order the iPhone 6 Plus here,
iPhone 6 Gold
iPhone 6 Silver
iPhone 6 Grey

iPhone 6: Specs

  • Apple A8 processor
  • 16/64/128 GB storage
  • 1 GB RAM
  • iOS 8
  • 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 1.2 MP secondary camera
  • 750 x 1334 pixels, 4.7 inches LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
  • 129 g
  • Apple A8 processor
  • 16/64/128 GB storage
  • 1 GB RAM
  • iOS 8
  • 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 1.2 MP secondary camera
  • 750 x 1334 pixels, 4.7 inches LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
  • 129 g

OUR VERDICT

The iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 are two very different smartphones with iOS and Android remaining the big difference. Other than this there's the price, design, storage and additional features to consider.