The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a phone to be reckoned with, that's for sure - but how does it stack up with the competition? Remember, you're going to be paying a pretty penny to own it, so does it have the power to match the best of the rest?

HTC One M8

HTC One M8

The obvious threat to the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the HTC One M8 - critically, at least. The two are locked together in terms of specs, with both having the same Snapdragon 801 CPU, a microSD slot, 2GB of RAM, a Full HD screen and rocking Android 4.4.2.

However, there are a couple of key differences: the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a much more powerful camera, albeit one that doesn't perform as well as you'd expect it to in day-to-day snapping.

The One M8 takes photos more snappily, and more in focus, but offers lower quality if you're sharing to a larger screen.

HTC's effort is packing a much, much nicer design though - it's almost bewildering how the aluminum chassis can feel so nice in the hand and yet Samsung continues with the same boring plastic. Even the fact that it's water-resistant doesn't make up for the fact that I feel a little unimpressed each time I pick it up.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5S. Samsung's current nemesis, showing consumers that you don't need a Full HD 5-inch screen to be a world-beater - plus it's got a 64-bit chip as well.

OK, that spec's a little moot as it doesn't really add much at this point in time, but it is somewhere that Apple's a little more advanced. The color reproduction on both phones is excellent, and the price is pretty comparable.

Apple's interface is simpler and more stable, with little lag anywhere throughout the phone, and while the camera has a lower megapixel count, there's no doubt it still can take some stunning pictures.

But Samsung brings a lot more to the table, not least that water-resistant nature, a larger capacity and the ability to take better pictures overall - plus 4K video recording, if you're desperate to look for other improvements.

In reality, there's very little point comparing these two phones, as most users are still stuck in the Apple or Samsung camp and it doesn't matter how the specs measure up.

The iPhone is too small these days, in a world dominated by larger screens, and the cramped conditions don't add much in terms of innovation. It does have a slightly better fingerprint scanner though.

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony's been doing well in the smartphone world: from the Xperia Arc (admittedly from the +Ericsson era) to the current Xperia Z2, there's been a strong upward trajectory.

The same Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU is on offer, a microSD slot pervades, and it's also water-resistant. If you wanted to split hairs, the Z2 can last longer in the water, but the Galaxy S5 likes rolling around in the dust a little more, but both will survive a trip into the toilet with aplomb.

Both can also record in 4K, which is still a mostly useless feature, and both have a large and vibrant screen. The design, once again, splits the two, with the industrial chassis of the Xperia Z2 covered in solid metal where Samsung's opted for plastic.

But both have a strong battery, great screen and cost roughly the same on contract - so it really depends on whether you like Sony's thicker styling or not.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

True to form, Samsung's still selling its older model for another year at least - and it's not a bad buy, especially as it's being offered at some really low price-points and packs the same Android 4.4.2 OS.

It's almost a shame that it doesn't have the same funky overlay as the Galaxy S5, as that would be a real win for the brand.

In terms of raw power and specs, it obviously falls behind in nearly every way compared to its bigger brother: no heart rate monitor, an older camera, smaller battery with higher screen power, a slower CPU and more of a dependence on air-waving gimmicks.

It does have a more compact chassis though, and shares a lot of the same strong DNA - so if you want to save money (and can get it on a 12 month deal or SIM free) you'll have a decent phone for a year at least...after that the software updates might dry up, so be ready for that.



If you're looking for a straight specs beast, the LG G3 is it. It has a 2560 x 1440 display, giving it 538 PPI. That is the sharpest, highest resolution display you'll find on a mobile device right now. And it's all on a massive, but not too big 5.5-inch screen.

One has to wonder whether the display alone is enough of a reason to to pick the LG G3 over the Galaxy S5, but perhaps it's not that simple.

While the Galaxy S5 has a perfectly suitable display, excellent camera and useful software features, so does the G3.

The G3's camera is a 13MP monster with laser autofocus, and we don't mean that figuratively. There is, in fact, a laser emitted from a sensor on the back of the G3 that helps the camera focus faster and more accurately. The G3 is also capable of recording 1440p video at 30 FPS.

However, the Galaxy S5 does beat it in resolution with 16MP, but at that point, for a smartphone, the difference in pixel count is negligible.

Both the Galaxy S5 and G3 have replaceable batteries, so that's about a draw there. But in our experience, the Galaxy S5 edges out the G3 in terms of real-world battery life. Perhaps that's because the S5 has fewer pixels to push than the G3.

One solid feature that the Galaxy S5 has over the G3 is the fact that it's waterproof and dust resistant. We wish more smartphones had this feature, and it's not something to overlook when considering big factors between the two phones. Plenty of smartphones suffer water damage in their lifetime, but it's less of a consideration for the Galaxy S5.

When it comes to design, it's a matter of preference, but the G3 does look and feel more metallic than the plastic-heavy Galaxy S5. And although the G3 has a larger display, its bezel is so thin it might as well not exist. It's very comfortable to hold in the hand.

We weren't the biggest fans of the power and volume buttons on the LG G2 last year, but the G3 improved on that design with the size of those buttons and their contour. While we still prefer these buttons to be on the edges, we don't mind it on the back anymore.

The last big feature to consider is the UI for both of these phones. Both Samsung and LG have scaled back with their typically ugly UIs in favor of simpler design and feature sets. At this point, it's hard to say whether we prefer one over the other.

So, if you're in the market for a new flagship Android phone and the Galaxy S5 is on your menu, don't forget to check out the LG G3, either!