Smartphone War: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Apple iPhone 5
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Smartphone War: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Apple iPhone 5


Editor's Note: Check out our recent two part series comparing the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One – Part 1 and Part 2.

When it comes to the mobile market, there seems to be an eternal competition between Apple and Samsung. Ever since the original Galaxy S smartphone emerged, the two companies have been relentless in their pursuit of becoming the most successful smartphone manufacturer. This year will be no different, and although Samsung benefits from having recently unveiled the Galaxy S4, Apple's iPhone 5 still is one of the most sought-after devices.

Rumors suggest that the company headquartered in Cupertino is working on both an iPhone 5 refresh (the iPhone 5S), as well as a next-gen iPhone 6. Nonetheless, until these rumors become a reality, the iPhone 5 remains Apple's flagship phone. As such, it's only natural to see how it fares against its archenemy – the Samsung Galaxy S4. In part one of The Diplomat's iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 miniseries, the focus will be on these two smartphones' hardware specs. Does the iPhone 5 manage to keep up?


A smartphone's display is obviously one of its most important characteristics, mainly because it not only serves as a screen, but also as an input method. When you compare the iPhone 5 with the Samsung Galaxy S4 you can easily notice a huge difference in the design philosophies employed by the two manufacturers.

The iPhone 5 offers a 4.0-inch LED-backlit ISP LCD panel featuring a resolution of 640 x 1136. If you do the math, this results in a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S4 delivers a pretty large 5.0-inch Super AMOLED display with a full HD resolution (1080 x 1920) and a pixel density of 441 ppi. In a way, the SGS4 offers more of a "Retina Display" than its competitor.

While both screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, Samsung's flagship is a couple of steps ahead simply because it benefits from the latest iteration (Gorilla Glass 3). The SGS4 also boasts a display that can be operated while wearing gloves.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy S4 seems to be the clear winner. Nevertheless, Apple's displays are renowned for their accuracy in color reproduction. The Super AMOLED panel delivered by Samsung produces more vibrant and lively colors, but as pleasing to the eye as this may be, the color representation is not necessarily the most accurate.

CPU, RAM and Storage

Despite the fact that, on paper, the iPhone 5 is somewhat disappointing in terms of CPU and RAM, it didn't stop the smartphone from going toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S3 in benchmarks.

Apple's current flagship boasts an A6 dual-core CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz and 1 GB of RAM. Despite this apparent lack of processing power, the handset came in between the Snapdragon and Exynos-powered Galaxy S3 variants in terms of benchmark scores. Whether it is because of the operating system or the hardware architecture itself, the iPhone 5 delivers better results than the sum of its parts.

However, iPhone 5's hardware will not be enough to take on the Galaxy S4, as GeekBench 2 scores have recently suggested. Boasting a quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU clocked at 1.9 GHz (in LTE enabled markets) and 2 GB of RAM, the SGS4 managed to yield 3163 points. That's almost double the score delivered by Apple's finest.

Storage wise, both smartphones come with 16/32/64 GB, but the Galaxy S4 takes it one step further by having a microSD card slot. This can be used to expand the storage by up to an additional 64 GB.


It is a well-known fact that iPhones, in general, shine in terms of camera quality, and the iPhone 5 is no exception. Samsung on the other hand delivered a decent camera on its previous high-end smartphones, but nothing ground breaking.

Whether or not the situation will be any different this year remains to be seen, as the best way to compare two cameras is to thoroughly test them in the field, in various conditions.

On paper however, the Galaxy S4 seems to have the upper hand. Its 13 MP sensor wins the "pixel war" against the iPhone's 8 MP shooter, but there's more to it than the amount of megapixels. The Galaxy S4 also features optical image stabilization (versus the iPhone's digital image stabilization), dual-video recording capabilities and a handful of other useful camera software features such as the Erase mode.

Part two of the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 miniseries will examine the software-side of these two gadgets. So far, however, the Galaxy S4 seems to have the upper hand in terms of hardware. This doesn't necessarily come as a surprise since the SGS4 is a much newer smartphone after all.

What is your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues.

August 6, 2013 at 13:58

I’ve come to love Apple products from my experience with iPhone3GS. These products, although not always sporting the latest technology to break out in the market, are made to maximise the user experience to be pleasant. Since I’ve known the iOS and the Mac OS I never want to go back to PC and well in the phones right now Androids. These have bugs only a techie person has the patience to solve. We just want our phones to function, connect to networks simply by a touch of a screen and the phone does the rest. iPhones and Mac OS though is not fit for some people who doesnt even need its features such as excellent photo capturing, easy emailing etc. if they can be happy with an Android so let them be. Then they need to have their batteries changed after 18 months or they need to have their phone re formatted because they erased their data. Some android…

Susan Martin(
May 10, 2013 at 14:20

I think there is no unternate of Iphone launched by Apple because apple cost ishogh but technical point of view he is super..

Susan Martin
May 9, 2013 at 14:32

Apple is apple, there is no comparision between other phones and Apple in maket in any sense.

May 7, 2013 at 19:07

I feel you dude same phone same problem. S4 is out? No problem will still buy iPhone5 this thursday *lesson learned already … 

May 7, 2013 at 19:03

same problem with mine :)

May 7, 2013 at 19:02

agree with you. S3 user here. My problem with my phone now is it's very laggy, battery drain so fast (swith on the power saving already). I also have an iphone4s and guess what,, when it comes to online video streaming ( ex youtube) my iphone4s  beats the s3 (super laggy s3) so though the S4 is out now I still want and will definitely buy ip5 this thursday lol *lesson learned with android:)

May 6, 2013 at 18:29

Apple strikes the best balance between all features a phone should offer. Add to that is how much it sets you in a class of your own when you say "I use an i-phone." You most probably wont be asked: "what model?" Thats the sort of class i-phone places you. Samsung is a million ways from offering that.

May 5, 2013 at 07:59

take your TV wherever you go in case there are stuffs you wanna watch on a larger screen! LMAO

April 30, 2013 at 04:51

Had Iphone 5 for 6 days…..crap! Switching to sg4 arrives in 2days! Can’t wait!

April 20, 2013 at 12:49

Technically (not tecnically)

April 20, 2013 at 12:46

I've gone to Samsung. I've had nothing but problems with my iPhones and I'm not crazy about Apple support. I love swype and all the customization which comes android phones. I would still recommend iPhones for older people who may be tecnically challenged or for those who are new to smartphones. They're easy to use but for those who really like to get in under the hood, I love the GS3 and plan to update to the GS4. Maybe we can call them iAndroids.

April 14, 2013 at 23:25

I’ve had apple iPhone for several years now, as well as several other family members & friends. We ALL have problems with our phones functioning, lagging, not working correctly… I’m changing to sgs4 in 2 months!! Can’t wait!

April 12, 2013 at 06:17

Hey you can get the iphone6 large screen hd large memory picture quality and camera quality.

April 12, 2013 at 06:14

Apple is the best forget about the rest you have to know that iphone has big memory.You can even watch television on it and besides that it water proof and some have solar charging system.thank you now bring on your galaxy s4 contact me on 0774 934 022/+26377 4934 022……

April 6, 2013 at 16:26

Oh BTW, Adobe, the maker of Flash also dropped mobile support for this buggy software. Go figure. apple was right on the nose again.


Doesn't anyone read anymore?





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