Samsung Galaxy S5, the first of the 2014′s flagship smartphones announced at the Mobile World Congress, has made its way to India. Prices for the same start at about Rs 51,000, but that’s almost a Rs 10,000 premium over the Galaxy S4′s introductory price last year. Let’s have a look, if apart from inflation, there’s anything else that justifies the higher price tag of the Galaxy S5.
Design: It’s not necessarily a bad thing to flaunt the look the whole family adorns, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 does so with pride. Yes, it’s distinguished but the overall look hasn’t changed much. The inclusion of a perforated back cover makes it look different front the rear, and up front, the slightly less tapered corners help the Galaxy S5 build its own identity.
Display: The Galaxy S5 gets a 5.1-inch fullHD (1920×1080 pixels) display, which is just a 0.1-inch bigger than the Galaxy S4′s display of equal resolution. That actually puts the Galaxy S5 to a little disadvantage as the latter gets a higher pixel density of 441ppi (compared to Galaxy S5′s 432ppi).
Hardware: Being separated by a year, an upgrade in hardware is expected. But if you expected Samsung to bring the new 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 SoC in the Galaxy S5, you’d be disappointed. The phone instead gets Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa 5422 SoC with a set of 1.9GHz A15 quad-core and a 1.3GHz A7 quad-core processors. The Galaxy S4 uses an Exynos 5 Octa 5410, which is an amalgamation of a quad-core 1.6GHz A15 and a quad-core 1.2GHz A7 processors. The clock speeds have increased, but the phone still uses 2GB of RAM.
The fact that in the Galaxy S5 both quad-core processors can be used simultaneously, gives the phone an edge over the Galaxy S4, wherein only one of the processors was used, depending on the task.
Camera: The Galaxy S5 has made some huge leaps in the imaging department, or at least it believes so. The phone uses a 16-megapixel primary camera, which shoots 4k video, boasts phase-detect autofocus, and comes with the ability to ‘refocus’ photos after clicking them. The Galaxy S4, in comparison, can click 13-megapixel stills but loses out on the additional features.
Battery: The battery in the Galaxy S5 is rated at 2,800mAh, which is larger than the Galaxy S4′s 2,600mAh unit. That, along with the fact that Samsung’s new TouchWiz UI will be less taxing on the resources should give the Galaxy S5 a better battery backup than the Galaxy S4.
Software: Both phones run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but the new flagship, the Galaxy S5, gets an improved TouchWiz UI. In comparison to Galaxy S4′s TouchWiz, the new UI is flatter, and comes with less bloatware. That should ideally make the Galaxy S5 faster of the too!
Extra features: While the Samsung Galaxy S4 boasted humidity and temperature sensors when launched, the Galaxy S5 takes it a level ahead by introducing a heartbeat monitor, fingerprint recognition, and most importantly, dust and water resistance.
So, there we have two flagships from Samsung, separated by a year, appreciable looks, and a price difference of close to Rs 22,000. With the Galaxy S4 being available at about Rs 29k, the price gap between the two looks so huge that it might be questionable if an upgrade from the Galaxy S4 is worth considering. Neither is the 4G support available, nor is the Snapdragon 801 processor, so why would you like to spend close to half a lakh on a phone that doesn’t offer much in return. In isolation, the Galaxy S5 looks like a decent phone, but a phone worth spending that much? We have our reservations.