But how exactly has Samsung gone about improving on the Galaxy S4, and how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the other recent addition to the pantheon of elite smartphones – Sony’s waterproof Xperia Z2?
Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key specs and differences between the phones.
The most obvious change Samsung has made in its new Galaxy S5 smartphone is to increase the size and resolution of the display – but Samsung hasn’t gone quite as far as Sony, leaving the Galaxy S5 a slim 0.1in smaller than the Xperia Z2.
Looking back, the abundant recent rumours about the S5 toting a quad HD 2560 x 1440 screen might have been a touch far-fetched, so we’re not particularly surprised to see that Samsung has retained a full HD 1080p resolution instead, and Sony has done the same. However, the slightly larger screen on the Xperia leaves the S5 just a tad sharper at 441ppi compared to 423.64ppi on the Xperia.
In just a few months, a lot changes in the processor world, and this is reflected by the chip Samsung has decided to place at the heart of the Galaxy S5. Both Sony and Samsung have opted for the new Snapdragon 801.
However, while the S5 carries a very respectable 2GB of RAM, with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 running at 2.3GHz, the Xperia Z2 has a powerful 3GB under the hood, making it just that little bit crisper when running those heavyweight apps.
Size and weight
The Galaxy S5 is the bigger of the two phones at 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm because of that larger display, but it’s not that much bigger. Sony’s Xperia Z2 comes in at 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm, meaning it’s slightly larger, and also imperceptibly thicker than the Galaxy S5. Sony’s new smartphone is heavier too, with the weight of the Galaxy S5 coming in at 145g compared to the Xperia Z2, which weighs in at a hefty 158g, possibly thanks to the waterproofing layer and the larger battery.
More space in the slightly larger body means room for a larger battery, and that’s exactly what Samsung has included. The Galaxy S5 has a 2,800 mAh battery, but the Xperia Z2 enjoys an increase to 3,200mAh.
That should get you an average 12 hours of talk time on both phones, according to Samsung and Sony – though what exactly is sapping the extra battery juice from Sony’s Xperia, we don’t know.
The impressive 16-megapixel main camera of the Galaxy S5 has been dwarfed by the 20.7-megapixel whopper of the Xperia Z2.
As for selfie fans, they’ll be pleased to know that both the S5 and the Z2 pack impressive 2.1-megapixel and 2.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Xperia Z2 comes out on top by a tenth of a megapixel, but who’s going to notice that?
Ports and sensors
The ports and sensors on both phones are pretty much the same.
The main feature in this field is that Samsung has fitted the S5 with a fingerprint scanner which serves three main purposes. First, it can swiftly unlock the phone, which works much like the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5S. The second function is instant online mobile payments via PayPal integration, and the third is to protect important documents.
On the connectivity front, both models feature 4G LTE (supporting the speedy Category 4), and 802.11ac, but the S5 packs fifth generation 2X2 MiMo, plus a feature called Download Booster which uses both Wi-Fi and 4G simultaneously to download files more speedily.
Memory and price
With the Xperia Z2, Sony offers only the 16GB model, whereas Samsung’s Galaxy S5 sports double and quadruple this capacity, with 32 GB and 64 GB versions available. The S5 also offers the option of adding up to 64GB extra via microSD.
As for pricing, Samsung isn’t saying just yet, but we’ll keep you updated as news comes out. The Sony Xperia’s price comes in at £599. The S5 will likely hover around the same price point.
Overall, the Xperia S5 looks to be a bit of a one-up to the Galaxy range of phones, while disappointing in several key areas. If you haven’t got a Samsung Galaxy or an Android phone already, then the S5 is a tempting proposition based on what else is available right now – but the Xperia also packs a punch, with higher RAM, and of course the all-important waterproofing.
For more on the Xperia Z2, check out our article on its release.
For all the latest news, photos and analysis from MWC 2014, check out our live coverage of the event.
|Sony Xperia Z2||Samsung Galaxy S5|
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,080 pixels||1,920 x 1,080 pixels|
Processor and battery
|Family||Snapdragon 801||Exynos 6 / Snapdragon 801|
|CPU||Krait 400||Krait 400|
|Clock speed||2.3 GHz||2.5GHz|
|GPU||Adreno 330||Adreno 330|
|Claimed 3G talk time||Avg 12h||Avg 12h|
Storage and memory
|Internal storage||16GB||32GB / 64GB|
|Standard||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Wi-Fi||WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac||WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac|
|Integrated wireless charging||Yes||Yes|
|Size||146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm||142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm|
|Operating System||Android 4.4 KitKat||Android 4.4 KitKat|
|Availability||March 2014||11th April 2014|