After all the leaks, the iPhone 5S announcement was short on surprises. There were even the requisite subtle jabs at Android. Like it or not, the smartphone market has changed a lot in recent years. Android devices outsell Apple, and the company most responsible for driving Android sales forward is Samsung. This South Korean manufacturer is probably the only phone maker other than Apple that inspires an almost-cult-like following. The Galaxy S4 was released to almost universal acclaim earlier this year, and remains the top-selling flagship Android device. Did Apple successfully parry Samsung’s attack, or has Android pulled out ahead of the iPhone?
iPhone 5S vs. Galaxy S4: Dimensions, weight, and build quality
The iPhone 5S has hardly changed at all on the outside when compared to the iPhone 5. It is still an extremely thin and light phone at just 7.6mm thick and 112 grams. The 4-inch screen keeps the device small and easy to handle. It’s also a very premium-feeling device. Apple loves to talk about the precise way the components are fitted together and those striking chamfers, but it’s not just talk. The iPhone 5S is actually a lovely piece of technology.
The Galaxy S4 is definitely a high-end phone, but it doesn’t really feel like one. The GS4 is made of a slippery plastic housing that only gets slipperier the more you handle it. It has a much larger surface area with the 5-inch AMOLED screen. It’s not much thicker than the iPhone 5S, though — just 7.9mm. However, it weighs 130 grams. That’s light for a big phone, but still more hefty than the iPhone. Imagine how heavy it would be if it wasn’t made from plastic.
The iPhone 5S comes in gold, white, and space gray. Yes, just straight black seems to be missing. The Galaxy S4 is out in white and black on most carriers, but purple, blue, red, brown, and pink versions are on the way this year. Apple’s more understated approach to color choices seems more compelling.
iPhone 5S vs. Galaxy S4: Hardware specs
The iPhone 5S is packing a new Apple A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC). The company is famously tight-lipped about the details of its ARM chips, but the company claimed in its keynote that the A7 was “up to twice as fast” as the A6 (which is in the iPhone 5). That would be a serious performance gain, but leaked benchmarks point to a more modest (but still impressive) 31% performance boost.
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