Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Google Nexus 5: Spec comparison

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy S5 smartphone which replaces the less-than-a-year-old Galaxy S4 with a larger and more powerful handset.

But how exactly has Samsung gone about improving on the Galaxy S4, and is the S5 a touch on Google's cracking handset, the Nexus 5?

Let's break down the spec differences and take a look.

Display

The most obvious change Samsung has made is to increase the size and resolution of the display.

In retrospect, speculation about the S5 toting a quad HD 2560 x 1440 screen always seemed a touch far-fetched, so we're not particularly surprised to see that Samsung has retained a full HD 1080p resolution instead. The AMOLED screen, however, is slightly larger than the 4.95in and 1920 x 1080 panel of the Nexus 5.

CPU, GPU and RAM

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. Last year's Nexus 5 carried a very respectable 2GB of RAM, with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 running at 2.3GHz. The Nexus 5's GPU is an Adreno 330.

The S5 offers a slight upgrade in this regard. Centre stage is its quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, which runs at a blistering 2.5GHz. This chip, paired with the same 2GB of RAM as the Nexus, means the phone shouldn't have any bother smoothly running any app you throw at it. One thing to note: it isn't 64-bit.

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. Google's Nexus 5 comes in at 137.8 x 69.2 x 8.6mm, meaning it's slightly smaller, but about half a millimetre thicker than the Galaxy S5. Samsung's new smartphone is heavier too, with the weight of the Galaxy S5 coming in at 145g compared to the Nexus 5, which weighs in at 130g.

Battery

More space in the slightly larger body means room for a larger battery, and that's exactly what Samsung has included. The Nexus 5 has a 2,300 mAh battery, but the Galaxy S5 enjoys an increase to 2,800mAh. That should get you 21 hours of talk time, according to Samsung. Compare that to the Nexus 5, which only managed around 17 hours talk time.

Cameras

The 8-megapixel main camera of the Nexus 5 has been dwarfed by the 16-megapixel whopper of the Galaxy S5.

However, the Nexus 5 adds Optical Image Stabilisation, which will ensure many more great images are captured by default and without much effort on the part of the user. The new Galaxy S5, on the other hand, touts as its best new feature its super-fast autofocus, which Samsung claims is the fastest on any smartphone at up to 0.3 seconds.

As for selfie fans, they'll be pleased to know that the S5 packs an impressive 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, compared to the 1.3-megapixel of the Nexus 5.

Ports and sensors

The ports and sensors on both phones are pretty much the same. The main differences are that the Nexus 5 gets dual microphones, ceramic power and volume buttons, whereas on the new S5 there's a microUSB 3.0 port for quick transfer speeds.

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.

Network connectivity

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 Nexus 5, Google decided to offer 16GB and 32GB models. Samsung's Galaxy S5 sports double 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 Nexus 5 comes in at £299 for the 16 GB version, and £339 for the 32 GB model. The S5 will likely hover a fair bit above this price point.

Overall, the Galaxy S5 looks to be a bit of a one-up to the Nexus 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. If you already own a Galaxy S4, then it's going to take every ounce of self-control not to give in and upgrade immediately.

More from MWC 2014

Make sure to check out our Tech News Weekly Podcast, MWC SPECIAL, for all the atmosphere, news and analysis from MWC 2014.

For more on Samsung's new smartphone, see our article on the Galaxy S5 launch, and our hands-on preview.

For all the latest news, photos and analysis from MWC 2014, check out our live coverage of the event.

If you're curious about how the Samsung Galaxy S5 fares against Sony's new arrival, the Xperia Z2, check out our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 spec comparison, and how the Xperia Z2 tablet fares against its rival, the iPad Air.

We've also got a comparison pitting the Galaxy S5 against Apple's flagship iPhone 5S, and its superseded predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Google Nexus 5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Display

Screen size 4.95in 5.1in
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Pixel density 445ppi 441ppi
Type IPS LCD AMOLED

Processor and battery

Family Snapdragon 800 Exynos 6 / Snapdragon 801
CPU Krait 400 Krait 400
Cores Quad-core Quad-core
Clock speed 2.3GHz 2.5GHz
GPU Adreno 330 Adreno 330
Battery 2,300mAh 2,800mAh
Claimed 3G talk time Up to 17h Up to 21h

Storage and memory

RAM 2GB 2GB
Internal storage 16GB /32GB 32GB / 64GB
microSD No Yes

Camera

Rear 8-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video 1080p @ 30fps 1080p
Front 1.3-megapixel 2.1-megapixel

Wireless

Standard 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
NFC Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Integrated wireless charging Yes Yes

Dimensions

Size 137.8 x 69.2 x 8.6mm 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm.
Weight 130g 145g
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat Android 4.4 KitKat
Price (SIM-free) £299 (16GB) / £339 (32GB) £549
Availability 8 November 2013 11th April 2014