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OnePlus One vs. Samsung Galaxy S5

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April 28, 2014

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the OnePlus One and Samsung Galaxy S5

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the OnePlus One and Samsung Galaxy S5

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Last week we took a look at how the new OnePlus One compares to another high-end budget phone, the Nexus 5. But what happens when we put it next to the Galaxy S5, a phone that's both high-end and high-priced? Read on, as Gizmag compares the two phones' features and specs.

Size

The OnePlus One is 8 percent longer, 4 percent wider, and 10 percent thicker than the Gala...

I use the term "phone" loosely when describing the OnePlus One, because this sucker is clearly a phablet. It's 8 percent longer, 4 percent wider, and 10 percent thicker than the Galaxy S5. I'd say the One is past that threshold where some smartphone shoppers are going to find it a little too big.

Weight

The One is 12 percent heavier

The OnePlus One is also 12 percent heavier than the Galaxy S5. Though when you take the One's bigger surface area into account, the GS5 is actually a little denser.

Build

You don't see magesium chassis in mobile devices very often

OnePlus took an unconventional route in giving the One a magnesium finish. You'll also be able to buy replacement backs in even less conventional materials like bamboo, kevlar, and denim.

Samsung has been thinking a little out of the box lately as well, giving the Galaxy S5 a faux leather backing. This gives it a slightly soft-touch feel in hand.

Colors

Color options

These are the standard color options for each phone. At least at launch, OnePlus is tying the white model to the entry-level 16 GB One and the black model to the (US$50 more expensive) 64 GB edition.

Display (size)

The Galaxy S5 gives you 86 percent as much screen area as the OnePlus One

If you can live with the One's enormous size, then the tradeoff is a 16 percent bigger screen.

Navigation keys

The One lets you choose between using capacitive (below screen) or virtual onscreen naviga...

The GS5 has a physical home button and capacitive back and recent apps keys below its screen, so you get to use its full screen for your apps and content. OnePlus, meanwhile, took customization to a new extreme by letting you choose between using its below-screen capacitive keys or virtual onscreen keys.

Display (resolution and pixel density)

Both handsets have 1080p displays

Both phones have sharp 1080p displays. The GS5's screen is one of the best in the business, and I don't imagine the One's will give you anything to worry about either.

Fingerprint sensor

The Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner

The Galaxy S5 has a swipe-style fingerprint scanner in its home button. You can use your print to unlock your otherwise passcode-protected phone.

Wake with voice

Like the Moto X, you can do hands-free Google Now searches on the One even when your phone...

OnePlus was obviously paying attention to the Moto X when it added this feature. You can train the One to recognize your voice, and jump into a Google Now search even when it's asleep.

The GS5 has KitKat's hands-free Google Now voice control built-in, but it only works when your phone is on and you're on your home screen.

Heart rate monitor

The GS5 also has a heart rate monitor on its backside

As many a Samsung commercial is going to remind you over the next few months, the GS5 has a heart rate sensor on board. It sits next to its flash, right below its rear camera.

Tap-on display

Like the LG G2, the One has a tap-on display

Taking a page from LG's book, the OnePlus lets you turn on its screen by double-tapping on the sleeping display.

Water resistance

The Galaxy S5 has IP67 water resistance

If I had to pick one killer feature for the GS5, it would be its water resistance. It can sit in 1 meter (3.3 ft) of water for 30 minutes, and keep on ticking. We've seen this in other phones, but the Galaxy S5 is easily the highest-profile handset to shield itself from the elements.

Processor

Both phones run the zippy Snapdragon 801 processor

Each handset has the speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor inside. In both cases, performance is going to be top-notch.

RAM

The OnePlus is one of the few smartphones with 3 GB of RAM

The OnePlus One joins the Galaxy Note 3 as one of the few phones that can brag of having 3 GB of RAM. The GS5 has a more standard 2 GB.

Storage

Storage tiers

Here's yet another unconventional move by OnePlus. Phone manufacturers almost always offer a 32 GB tier right above the base 16 GB, but OnePlus skips that and jumps straight to 64 GB. Best of all, that leap only costs you an extra $50.

Cameras (megapixels)

Camera resolutions

The Galaxy S5's rear camera wins on resolution, and we found it to be pretty damn good in experience too. My biggest beef with the GS5's camera is that it's surprisingly slow to launch – especially for such a speedy phone. We haven't yet put the One's camera through the paces.

Dual LED flash

The OnePlus One has a dual LED flash

The One has a dual LED flash, which can help add a little more color and balance to those (often washed-out) flash photos. With that said, from using the GS5 for the last few weeks, I think Samsung might have thrown in some automatic software-based processing that meets a similar end.

Slow motion video

Both let you record video in slow motion

Both phones let you shoot video in slow motion, if you're into that sort of thing.

Software platform

Both phones run Android 4.4 KitKat at their core

The One and GS5 both run Android 4.4 KitKat, packed with Google services, but that's where the similarities end. The One runs a variant of the modding community's darling, Cyanogenmod (this build is CM 11s). Like every mobile device from Samsung, the GS5 runs the love-it-or-hate-it TouchWiz UI.

Infrared (IR blaster)

The GS5's infrared blaster lets you use your phone as a remote control for your TV

It doesn't look like OnePlus put an IR blaster in the One. The infrared in the GS5 lets you use your phone as a remote control for your TV and cable or satellite box.

NFC

Both handsets have NFC chips

Like just about every other high-end Android phone from the last few years, both phones have NFC chips inside.

Battery

Battery capacities for both phones

Based on our testing, the Galaxy S5's battery life will be hard to beat. But the One does hold a little more juice, for whatever that's worth.

Ultra Power Saving Mode

The GS5 has an awesome feature called Ultra Power Saving Mode

If your battery life does get low, then the GS5 has an innovative feature that lets you stretch the remaining juice out pretty far. Ultra Power Saving Mode turns your screen black & white and severely limits background processes, to give you an estimated extra 24 hours out of just 10 percent remaining battery life.

Release date

Release dates for both phones

The Galaxy S5 launched earlier this month, while the One will make its way to customers sometime in the next three months.

Starting price (off-contract)

The OnePlus looks to be a terrific value, starting at just $300 off-contract

Which phone has the better blend of specs and features? Well, you could make a fair argument for either one. But pricing is where the One really stands out. Its $300 full retail starting price puts it in a league of its own. Of course many US customers buy their smartphones subsidized with a two-year agreement, but, at only $100 more off-contract than the GS5 typically costs on-contract, you can't deny that the One is shaping up to be one hell of an overall value.

For more on the Galaxy S5, you can hit up our full review. And for more on the OnePlus One, you can check out our comparison of it to the Nexus 5.

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About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
3 Comments

These things will sell like hot cakes. I'll be getting a 64gig one. Just fantastic value. Great to see them finally ready to go! Disruptive price that - it will generate significant discussion about and among the other major players.

Hogey74
29th April, 2014 @ 10:01 am PDT

I went from the GS2 to the GS4 and the difference was really good - but only in the phone sense.

I will NOT be going to the GS5 now that I have realised the desire for Samsung to install a heap of garbage that I didn't ask for and do not want.

Sure, I *could* reinstall a clean version of Android without all of the garbage, but I shouldn't have to....

Matthew Giles
29th April, 2014 @ 07:16 pm PDT

why is it that the reviews are all missing the USB OTG feature of OnePlus One?

pdmenon
30th April, 2014 @ 10:19 am PDT
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