Review: iPhone 5S vs Galaxy 4S (Round Two!)

November 22, 2013
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The bout between Apple and Samsung goes on as Jon E. Bagg continues with his extensive review of the two smartest smartphones in town…

Okay, so we have three more things to look at, so let’s get on with it…

Special Features: Both phones feature ‘voice assistant’ software. Apple uses Siri, while Samsung uses S Voice. Each allows you to make calls, send messages, and search the Internet for information. Both carry a Cloud backup service for photos, apps and data, Apple with iCloud and Samsung’s simply labeled Auto Backup. Most of the chatchkes on both these phones are constantly being copycatted and litigated. Yet the real bread-and-butter stuff for an app-addled public is the content unique to each brand.  The biggest deal has to be over Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Owners will now be able to simply touch their fingers to the phone’s home button to unlock the screen. No more lock screen PINs or swipe patterns.  Touch ID can also be used to sign in and make iTunes and eBay purchases. Street thieves will fret!iPhones

Galaxy S4 deliberately does the opposite with ‘no touch’ screen control. Air Gestur users can answer calls and flip between talking and texting or Googling on the messaging screen by just waving a hand. The S4 also offers NFC (Near Field Communications) technology for sharing content with other Galaxy devices by just tapping them together.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 5s is obviously compatible with Apple’s FaceTime, the much heralded in-call video chat app. I would have to give a big shout of preference to Apple on this one simply over security issues. With Apple phones switching off instantaneously for thieves and turning on their GPS devices allowing easy location for the police, Samsung users risk becoming the hunted ones on the street.


Camera: The iPhone 5s camera is an improvement over the already fantastic iPhone 5. Though still an 8 MegaPixel lens, Apple’s bigger pixels mean better pictures. The sensor in the new camera is 15 percent larger, and clearer. The Galaxy S4 offers a more powerful 13 MegaPixel camera, which is also pretty powerful. Lens-wise, the S4’s front-facing 2 MegaPixel camera, capable of 1080p video capture, while the iPhone 5s’s front-facing camera, or FaceTime camera, is only a 1.2 MegaPixel lens. The Samsung, then, owns slightly more power in skilled hands, but the camera flash of the iPhone 5s has a new True Tone dual LED, with cool white and warm amber flashes that combine to get the best color and contrast, while the S4 packs a disappointing old-school standard single LED flash. As such, Apple’s camera is positively superior.

Battery: Apple is very secretive and never discloses the actual battery size of their devices. Go to their Website and you’ll get nothing but estimates on talk and standby times. They say the iPhone 5s should be good for 10 hours and 250 hours, respectively. The Galaxy S4, however, does have a hefty 2600 mAh, which can be replaced if the charge of the battery starts to slip over time. Beware, however, Samsung lists its talk time at 17 hours and its standby time at 300 hours.  My non-scientific research, however, says that, while Apple’s batteries tend to remain constant and consistent over time, Samsung’s quality and power tend to undergo a much more precipitous drop-off.

So, too close to call? We’ll leave it up the judges then. That’s you guys, by the way.

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