Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4: What's the difference?

Samsung has released its new flagship Android smartphone and once again, it looks to have set the bar high.

Although it looks similar to previous generations, there are a number of key new features that strike it apart from its stablemates and the competition, but by how much? Is it worth considering a Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, now that it will be available for less? Or should you save up those extra pennies for when the Galaxy S5 hits the streets?

Here are some of the main differences between them to help you decide.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Screen

As it happens, this is not the best place to start as the Galaxy S5 screen is nigh-on identical to the one on last year's S4. The SGS5 has a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and the SGS4 a 5-inch equivalent with the same specs. It's just 0.1-inch in it.

Build

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is larger than the S4. Sitting between the Galaxy Note 3 and S4 in dimensions, regardless of the similar screen size.

It measures 142 x 72.5mm face-on while the S4 is 136.6 x 69.8mm. The S5 is also slightly thicker at 8.1mm to 7.9mm but that's so slight as not to be noticeable. The weight comparison is 145g to 130g with the SGS4 naturally being lighter.

In build quality, Samsung has chosen to press on with the plastic rear casing rather than a rumoured metal or even faux leather one. The big change here is that the SGS5 has IP67 proofing, so can be submerged in water down to one metre in depth and is totally resistant to dust.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Sensors

Easy one this. The Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint sensor under the home button on the front of the phone, the SGS4 doesn't.

Up to three fingerprints can be registered and unlike similar technologies found elsewhere, you unlock the phone using a swipe motion rather than tap.

Some apps, such as PayPal, can use the sensor to validate payments, etc.

Another new sensor to be added to the SGS5 is one to measure heart rate for fitness application use. While the SGS4 was a leap forward for the company's S Health software, the new S Health 3.0 uses the in-built Galaxy S5 sensor that sits on the back of the phone and can accurately check your current status.

Camera

A big jump in sensor ability could be attractive. The Galaxy S5 has a 16-megapixel rear camera in preference to the Galaxy S4's 13-megapixel snapper. It also has a dramatically improved auto focus time of just 0.3 seconds.

A few new camera features are one board too, including Selective Focus, that allows you to shoot an item in the foreground and then refocus to another point after the shot has been taken.

The SGS5 is also capable of 4K video recording (3840 x 2160), while most versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are not.

Processor

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in a variety of guises for different regions, but the most common for the UK and US has a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. The Galaxy S5 swaps that for a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor - Qualcomm's latest.

Certain processes will be significantly faster therefore - for example, the camera module. Qualcomm says that graphics capabilities are also greatly enhanced on the new chipset.

READ: Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon processor to power the flagship phones of 2014

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S5, which is available now,  doesn't reinvent the wheel for the Korean company, but just about everything bar the screen has been tweaked and prodded to provide a better user experience and performance.

Its slightly larger size might put some off, especially as you're not getting extra screen real estate in return, but standout features, such as the Download Booster than ensures large files zip down as if they're butter coated, are enough to raise this not just above its former iteration, but above much of the competition too.



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