Samsung announced and unveiled the Galaxy S4 yesterday. As expected, it was an upgrade to the S III, and in many ways, similar to what Apple did with iPhone 4 and 4S long back.
Samsung has been directly competing with Apple and its smartphone products of late. Ever since the trade design litigations and the very public stripping of Samsung owing to its copy-cat strategies, the war between the two giants has actually escalated.
The Galaxy S IV is not poised to overtake the iPhone 5. It's designed to actually overtake anything that Apple produces after the iPhone 5 (notably, the rumored iPhone 5S). Interestingly, the strategy that Samsung chooses has always remained the same: put a ton of features into a single product.
Luckily for Samsung, that strategy always wins because people are lured by much as against few.
Here's a table of iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 Features Comparison
While it's easily clear that Samsung beats the iPhone 5 in most areas, the particular focus / concern is the processor and the battery.
Samsung has always produced smartphones that have larger capacity, RAM and storage. This time though, with two quad-core processors on the system, Galaxy S4 simply blows iPhone 5's processor out of the competing scale. Put simply, the processor should actually put iPhone to shame.
The two quad-cores make up the octa-core processor and this will be the powerhouse that makes features like eye-tracking and multitasking with heavy apps running simultaneously quite possible. This upgrade, I guess, would be something that will haunt most other competitors – notably Apple – for a very long time.
Thanks to the ugly and unimaginative large size, Samsung also boasts of a larger battery that should ably support the high-end specs.
A 13MP Camera
I want to give credit where it's due so I'll totally admit that Samsung's focus on camera has been outstanding. The 13MP sensor with a ton of built-in specs is definitely one of the most amazing things ever. While it might take a lot of time before Apple even thinks of a 13MP camera, history will credit Samsung as being one of the firsts to explore and implement highly powerful cameras into mainstream smartphones. (Nokia's 41MP camera isn't mainstream).
A lot of people compare S4 to an upgrade similar to the 4S (iPhone). However, what's interesting to note is that by upgrading the processors to such a fine level and adding a couple of technologically disruptive features, Samsung has guaranteed itself a technical upperhand right now in the world of smartphones.
The iPhone 5 becomes limited in its nature for people who want to do “more” (of course, at the risk of losing all focus, which is way too common on Android smartphones).
NFC: A Pain for Apple
One can only assume that either Apple's looking to leap-frog and do NFC right or it's a missed boat. Quite apparently, Samsung's focus and development on NFC has given it a strong head-start. Since most other competitors aren't even close to creating the right NFC protocols for their mobile phones, Samsung definitely leads this space right now. And if you're going to take that point for debate, I think Apple would certainly fall short no matter what the counterpoint is.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is reportedly going to cost around $579 (pre-tax). It is anticipated that the post-tax evaluation would still be lesser than what a 16GB iPhone 5 retails for. With carriers offering the S4, the prices would be comparable to the iPhone 5 on contract.
Popular consensus regarding the battery life of an iPhone when compared with popular Android models has been a point of debate for long. Apple advertises that the iPhone 5, with its 1440mAh battery, provides about 8 hours of time on LTE, talk-time or otherwise.
While this is true in most cases where the usage is optimal, this is outweighed completely by a whopping 2600 mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy S4. In the digital age, where smartphones need to be running almost all the time, people definitely need their smartphones to keep working.
Ultimately, the debate rests on the core philosophies of Apple and Samsung. The Korean giant – like almost every other company in the world – has an impeccable focus on providing a ton of features in a single device. In keeping with this, it has to have a powerhouse in the chips, which explains all the octa-core stuff.
Apple has almost always relied on providing few features that are refined to perfection. You don't find an iTunes, an iCloud or a Siri on Android smartphones of any kind and even though you'll be quick to point out alternatives, I'd like to say that the level of integration in an iPhone 5 is far more than you can imagine on an Android model.
So yeah, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is an overkill. It's thinner and lighter but it's not refined. In sharp contrast, the iPhone 5 is a refined product.
Check out the specs and tell us what you think.