iPhone 5s full review

Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5S

Apple's new flagship smartphone is the iPhone 5S. So how does it stack up to Samsung's Galaxy S4? We take a look in our iPhone 5S vs Galaxy S4 comparison review.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 has been one of the most popular phones of the year but Apple will want to change that with the iPhone 5S. We've not tested the iPhone 5S properly yet so here we've compared the specs and highlighted the differences between these two flagship phones.

See also: iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 comparison review.

Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Design and build

As is traditional for an 'S' model, the iPhone 5S size, shape, design and weight as the iPhone 5 – although it's now available in silver, gold and space grey. This means it's still smaller, thinner and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S4. The S4 does have a larger screen, after all.

We prefer the aluminium build quality quality of the iPhone over the Galaxy S4 but it does mean that is more in need of a protective case. See below for the specifics.

See also: Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5 comparison review: What's the plastic iPhone 5C got?





Samsung Galaxy S4

70 x 134 mm



Apple iPhone 5S

59 x 124 mm



Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Screen

Apple hasn't upgraded the screen on the iPhone 5S compared to its predecessor. The Samsung's 5 in Full HD Super AMOLED still trumps the iPhone's 4 in Retina display for us.

Samsung has done well to squeeze all that real estate into a manageable smartphone. The extra size and pixels make a difference. It's only worth opting for the iPhone 5S, in this department, if a 5 in display is too big for you.




Pixel Density

Samsung Galaxy S4

5 in

1080 x 1920

441 ppi

Apple iPhone 5S

4 in

640 x 1136

326 ppi

iPhone 5S gold

Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Processor

The UK model of the Galaxy S4 comes with an impressive 1.9GHz quad-core processor, although we haven't found it to be totally lag-free.

Apple is touting the A7 processor as a major upgrade for the iPhone 5S. We've never found the iPhone to have any major performance issues but Apple says it's twice as fast as the previous model in both CPU and graphics performance. It's the first smartphone with a 64-bit chip inside which at the moment is more a marketing tool than anything else.

See also: What the first 64-bit iPhone chip means for you (hint: not much right now)

The iPhone 5S also has an M7 motion co-processor which handles specific tasks to make iPhone 5S even more power efficient.

Realistically, we'll have to wait until we spend some quality time with the iPhone 5S to see whether the performance is better than the Samsung Galaxy S4. Stay tuned for an update soon.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Storage

It's a mixed bag when it comes to storage. On paper both phones offer three storage options, but the 16 GB model Galaxy S4 is the only one widely available from Samsung. There's also the fact that the S4 comes will little more than half the advertised space available to the user which is less than ideal.

The iPhone 5S is easily avaialble in all three capacities but doesn't have a microSD card slot for expansion. The Galaxy S4 does have this feature and can take up to 64 GB cards.


Storage options

microSD slot

Samsung Galaxy S4

16/32/64 GB


Apple iPhone 5S

16/32/64 GB


Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Cameras

The main camera on the Galaxy S4 is, to date, the best we've seen on a smartphone (we're yet to give the Lumia 1020 the full review treatment). It's 13 Mp snapper takes superb photos and video and has plenty of different shooting modes, although some are gimmicky.

Although the iPhone 5S has the same 8 Mp iSight camera, as previously, it's still been upgraded. A larger active area on the sensor, larger pixels (1.5 microns) and a larger aperture (f/2.2) all lead to better photos. It also has new shooting modes such as slow motion, filters and a burst mode. Plus there's a new dual True Tone flash.

iPhone 5S camera

Better than the S4? We'll find out when we test the iPhone 5S properly.


Rear Camera

Front Camera

Video (Rear/front)

Samsung Galaxy S4

13 Mp

2 Mp


Apple iPhone 5S

8 Mp

1.2 Mp


Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Software

Software is an area where there a huge difference. Android vs iOS is a big debate and with iOS 7 comes a major overaul of Apple's mobile operating system. See also: iOS 7 release date, new features, which iPhones, iPods, iPads get it.

On the plus side, iOS 7 now comes with a much needed quick settings feature called Control Center. There are also other tweaks and improvements such as better multi-tasking and lock screen access to the notification centre.

Apple has the strong App Store store on its side but iOS has a distinct lack of customisability which is Android's major strong point.

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Touch ID

We've given Touch ID a section of its own here as it's a major and key feature of the iPhone 5S which the Samsung Galaxy S4 doesn't have. Built into the iPhone 5S' home button is a fingerprint scanner which can be used to unlock the iPhone instead of a passcode. It can also be used to authenticate your Apple ID.

Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4: Battery life

If you're hoping for a breakthrough in battery life then the iPhone 5S isn't it. Apple oddly says the phone offers 'equal or better' battery life than the iPhone 5. We found the Galaxy S4 gives better battery life than the iPhone 5 so it seems unlikely that the iPhone 5S will overtake it. We'll let you know once we've spent enough time with the iPhone 5S.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.


iPhone 5s: Specs

  • 4.0-inch (1360 x 640-pixel, 326 ppi) capacitive multitouch IPS display
  • 1.3 GHz Apple A7 dual-core 64-bit ARM SoC
  • M7 motion coprocessor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16, 32 or 64 GB NAND flash storage
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor Home button
  • 8Mp rear iSight camera, 1920 x 1080-pixel video, dual-LED flash
  • 1.2Mp front FaceTime HD webcam
  • A1457 UK model: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)
  • Lightning port
  • 3x microphones
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • mono speaker
  • EarPod earphones
  • USB Lightning cable
  • USB mains charger
  • 5.92 Wh lithium-polymer non-removable battery
  • 124 x 59 x 7.6 mm
  • 112 g