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Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4: is it worth upgrading?

Loie Favre

When Samsung finally presented the Galaxy S5 on Monday, the entire tech world was quick to classify the new ‘flagship’ as boring, lacking innovation and offering barely anything new in comparison to its predecessor, the Galaxy S4. That’s why we’ve taken a closer look today and compared the two Samsung smartphones to see if it is worth upgrading.

galaxy s4 s5 comparison
© Samsung Mobile/AndroidPIT


Both the Galaxy S4 and its successor the Galaxy S5 are made of polycarbonate plastic and hardly differ optically. The Galaxy S5 is slightly less curved and has a matte and rubberized plastic on the back with a texture strongly reminiscent of a Band-Aid. The S4 has that glossy plastic look that Samsung has used to adorn many other predecessors. This material can also be found on the Galaxy S5’s frame and reminds me of the chrome hubcaps found on lowriders.

s4 s5 back
Samsung bade farewell to the glossy plastic look and went for a Band-Aid one instead. © Samsung Mobile/AndroidPIT

Dimensions and weight

The Galaxy S5 is clearly bigger and also heavier than the S4, even though the display size is only 0.1 of an inch bigger. The water resistance of the Galaxy S5 is to blame, certified with IP67, which allows it to be dunked under water for a short period of time. It’s also dust-proof.

  Galaxy S5 Galaxy S4
Dimensions 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
Weight 145 g 130 g
galaxy s4 rahmen
The chrome frame is back on the S5. © AndroidPIT

Tech Specs

The S5 houses the best in hardware that you can get right now. It differs however from the Galaxy Note 3 in that it only has 2GB RAM, the exact same as the Galaxy S4.

  Galaxy S5 Galaxy S4
System Android 4.4.2 Android 4.4.2
Display 5,1 Zoll, Super AMOLED, 1.920 x 1.080 Pixel, 432 ppi 5 Zoll, Super AMOLDED, 1.920 x 1.080 Pixel, 441 ppi
Processor Snapdragon 801, quad-core, 2.5 gigahertz Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.9 gigahertz
RAM 2 gigabyte 2 gigabyte
Internal storage 16 / 32 gigabyte + microSD 16 / 32 gigabyte + microSD
Battery 2,800 mAh 2,600 mAh
Camera 16 megapixel / 2.1 megapixel 13 megapixel / 2.1 megapixel
Connectivity LTE Cat 4, HSPA+, Bluetoth 4.0 LE, IrDA, NFC, USB 3.0 LTE Cat 3, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, IrDA, NFC, USB 2.0
Dimensions 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
Weight 145 grams 130 grams
Extras Fingerprint sensor, real-time HDR, heart-rate monitor, waterproof IP67  
galaxy s5 watermark 9
Next to the LED flash on the S5, you will find the heart-rate sensor. © AndroidPIT


Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs on the Galaxy S5 and thanks to the recent updates to the Galaxy S4, they both have the same version of Android. There are however quite a few differences, since Samsung reworked TouchWiz on the Galaxy S5, giving aspects of the user interface a flatter look. There are also some new software extras like a download booster and power saving mode.

galaxy s5 watermark 22
Samsung reworked part of the TouchWiz interface, giving it a much flatter look. © AndroidPIT

Bottom Line

Galaxy S4 owners don’t really have any reason to upgrade to the S5. The hardware on the predecessor is still updated and Samsung ensures that past flagships get the most recent version of Android with frequent updates. The rubberized Galaxy S5 is a welcome change, however this can easily be achieved by buying yourself a case with a similar look and feel if that is what floats your boat. The fingerprint scanner and heart-rate sensor on the Galaxy S5 are nice features, but you could easily live without it.

Those who own the Galaxy S4 could easily wait out this Galaxy S generation and instead go for the Galaxy S6 which will hopefully offer more than this lukewarm arrival. We asked ourselves the same question when the Galaxy S4 was presented, whether it was worth upgrading from the Galaxy S3.

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  • sims4sims Mar 4, 2014 Link

    The new S4 doesn't look that much impressive. I'm looking forward to the new Xperia Z2.

  • Boze Dujic Mar 1, 2014 Link

    Boy s4 is beautiful now the s5 has to been realised. Lool

  • choetech Feb 28, 2014 Link

    It's very worse future for Samsung Galaxy phone.

  • Kirk Desilva Feb 28, 2014 Link

    I put my S3 in the microwave after first seeing the S5 and now have to upgrade because my S3 won't turn on anymore. I guess I should have waited until it was available and not got so excited.

  • Mark R. Feb 27, 2014 Link

    should be called the S3 mkIII

  • Robert Flores Jr Feb 27, 2014 Link

    of course I would upgrade my s3 runs horrible and slow I'm glad I didn't get the s4 it was the s5 I was waiting for the whole time

  • Glostermeteor Feb 27, 2014 Link

    It seems to me it only makes sense to upgrade when the manufacturer stops releasing software updates. I have an S3 and since its looking likely that it will receive an update to 4.4.2 why would I buy a new phone? Phones nowadays are boxes which touchscreens, its the software that gives the functionality unless it requires a sensor of some sort

  • Sean Stockemer Feb 27, 2014 Link

    to me, it's not even worth the update from my S3. At this rate, I'll upgrade for the S7 or maybe 8. :-\