Last week, we took an in-depth look at Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 smartphone to see how it compared with the HTC One (M8). While the competition was certainly intense, in the end we called HTC’s new flagship phone the best Android smartphone in the world. In terms of sales, however, the M8 will never compete with the Galaxy S5. Even HTC knows that. Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s is the only smartphone that sits at the top of the food chain alongside the Galaxy S5 when it comes to sales, and The New York Times recently pitted these two leading smartphones against each other to see which one should be called the best smartphone in the world.
Interestingly, the newspaper found that the competition wasn’t even close.
“Although it offers no spectacular advances over the previous version, Samsung seems to have done just enough with the S5 to stay ahead of every other Android phone maker,” NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote. “The only plausible competition comes in the form of the HTC One, which, as my colleague Molly Wood wrote, is prettier than the S5 but not as functional. The upshot of all these reviews is that if you’re looking for the best Android phone, Samsung’s is the one to buy.”
He continued, “But that’s not the whole story. While there are probably some people who go out to shop for the best Android phone, I suspect that most people want to know which phone is best of all, whatever operating system it runs. In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Apple’s six-month-old flagship device and the champion to beat?”
The answer, Manjoo says, is “not very well.”
According to The New York Times, the brand new Galaxy S5 really doesn’t compete on any level with the iPhone 5s, which is nearly seven months old at this point.
“By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind,” Manjoo wrote. “If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone 5S.”
Manjoo says the Galaxy S5’s three biggest advantages over the iPhone 5s are slightly longer battery life, water-resistance and the phone’s larger display. The first two are minor advantages according to Manjoo, and the display size discrepancy will reportedly disappear later this year when Apple launches a larger iPhone 6 and an iPhone phablet.
The columnist concludes that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the best smartphone with a large screen that money can buy right now, and that will continue to be the case for the next few months. But Manjoo says that once Apple launches its larger iPhones, “Samsung’s smartphone ascendance may look a bit uncertain.”