Do we have a good one for you today – the newest Samsung Galaxy S6 goes up against last year's Samsung Galaxy S5. I know many of you are saying that this is not a fair comparison – but ANYTHING is up for grabs when it comes to comparing – after all we are comparing the specifications to see where the two devices differ. This can come in handy for a current Galaxy S5 user debating whether or not they want to upgrade or a potential Galaxy S6 buyer that just wants to see how much Samsung improved their flagship from last year.
These two devices do share some of Samsung's lineage – they both come with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display, both are nearly the same size, although the S6 is slightly narrower, they both offer a 32GB model and they both use a 16MP main camera sensor. They both have the usual suspects – Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC capable, IR Blaster and a microUSB v2.0 for charging and data transfer. They also support some type of wireless charging, quick charging, fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor and active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone.
Please take a look at the detailed specifications comparison found below – expand it by clicking on the "View Full Comparison" at the bottom and you will get a real sense of how these two devices match up against one another. After that, we will look at each individual device, talk about it, and weigh out some of the pros and cons in an effort to pick a winner for this comparison.
Samsung Galaxy S6
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 is a complete rebuild – a solid metal frame and Gorilla Glass 4 adorn the display and the back of the device. It is solid, well-built and premium looking from any angle, as well as comfortable to hold in your hand. Samsung was challenged and from its reception, they hit that 'home run' they so desperately needed.
It sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI) compared to FHD display with 432 PPI on the Galaxy S5. Samsung no longer is using a Qualcomm processor this time around and chose to go with their own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. It is packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM, up from 2GB of DDR3 RAM used in the S5, and it comes with Samsung's new, faster, flash memory offering 32GB/64GB/128GB models with no room for expansion – a first for Samsung's Galaxy S series.
The camera is part carry over from the Galaxy Note 4 and part improvements – 16MP Sony sensor, autofocus, LED Flash, F1.9 aperture, ISOCELL technology and OIS. The increase in aperture and OIS are huge steps up from an already great camera in the Galaxy S5. The speed was also dramatically increased – taking less than a second to open and be ready to shoot. The front-facing camera (FFC) increased from 2MP to 5MP with an added F1.9 aperture for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The 2550mAh battery is smaller than the 2800mAh in the S5, but it should easily get you through the entire day – the new Samsung non-removable battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and then added built-in wireless charging for the first time.
The Galaxy S6 has a large speaker on the bottom of the device and comes in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Blue Topaz. It will be running Android 5.0 Lollipop, and should be released worldwide on April 10. Pricing on a two-year contract is not yet known, but T-Mobile is listing it as $699 full-price.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is not something that Samsung officials want to discuss – when released in 2014, they expected 'business as usual' with record sales that would surpass the older Galaxy S4. As we all know, this was not the case, and Samsung's reputation and financial picture both suffered because of sluggish sales. Improved in almost every area, it still looked like its previous model and used plastic everywhere – the public and critics were not very kind to it, even though most sites that reviewed it gave it high marks.
It sports a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 432 PPI, compared to the Quad HD and 577 PPI on the Galaxy S6. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core processor clocked at 2.5GHz in the US and an Exynos 5 octa-core in other countries. It packs 2GB of RAM for your multitasking needs and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, although, unlike the Galaxy S6, there is room for a microSD card for 128GB of expansion. A larger battery – 2800mAh versus 2550mAh – supplies power, although the Galaxy S6 has more charging options as well as quicker solutions.
The camera area really differs from the Galaxy S6 – both is a Sony 16MP sensor, but the aperture is much better on the S6 as well as employing OIS. They both have autofocus and a LED flash. The FFC camera is only 2MP compared to the 5MP on the Galaxy S6. The software and options are also improved on the S6, giving it a clear lead over the Galaxy S5.
As far as extras over the Galaxy S6, it does have an IP67 rating for water resistance, removable battery, available internal memory expansion and a larger battery. It is receiving its Android 5.0 Lollipop and is available on all major US carriers for $199 on a two year contract or $500 for the 16GB model off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
It should come as no surprise I chose the new Samsung Galaxy S6 over the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 is a solid device and good performer – one of the best smartphones of 2014 – but this is 2015 and the new Galaxy S6 is just too much for its older sibling to handle.
The Galaxy S6 is much better built, in as far as material usage for a real premium look and feel. It has a better display, much faster processor, more RAM, faster RAM, faster internal flash memory, better speaker and better placement on the bottom of the device, a better fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay, wireless charging built-in and able to handle every 'standard,' and better cameras.
If money is an issue, then the Galaxy S5, as prices continue to fall, would be a great buy and you would be very happy with your smartphone, but the Galaxy S6 simply takes Samsung's 'S' series to the next level. True, Samsung has removed the microSD card slot, but added a 64GB and 128GB model and more and more people are turning to the cloud for their data storage. They also did away with a removable battery; however, with wireless charging in the picture and the ability to get up to four hours service with a 10 minute charge, makes that also a moot point.
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