Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Fab Five

GSMArena team, 08 April 2014.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: Samsung, Android

Synthetic benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset (MSM8974AC). Some clarification is due since not all 801 chipsets are created equal. The MSM8974 is the base Snapdragon 800 chipset, while MSM8974AB overclocks the GPU and gets the Snapdragon 801 badge.

The MSM8974AC goes a step further and clocks the CPU higher too. Also worth pointing out, on the KitKat software, Samsung has removed the benchmark detection and overclocking, so if the Galaxy S5 doesn't trounce the Galaxy Note 3 it's because it's showing real performance.

Surprisingly, Benchmark Pi isn't showing much difference between the Galaxy S4 and S5. We'll chalk this off to the benchmark being old as Linpack and Geekbench 3 show a definite improvement. Geekbench in particular puts the Galaxy S5 on top, while Linpack places it within a percent of Snapdragon 800 devices (some of which may have been engaged in benchmark-specific overclocking).

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • LG G Flex
    99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    99
  • LG G2
    99
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    104
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    115
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    115
  • HTC One (M8)
    121
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    128
  • HTC One Max
    131
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • LG G Pro 2
    141
  • LG Nexus 5
    146
  • HTC One
    151
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    166
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    183

Linpack

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex
    1102
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    1081
  • LG G2
    1054
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1034
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1010
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    1004
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    992
  • HTC One (M8)
    992
  • LG G Pro 2
    818
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    413
  • LG Nexus 5
    393

Geekbench 3

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3011
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    2968
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    2937
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2670
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2638
  • LG G Pro 2
    2585
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    2561
  • LG Nexus 5
    2453
  • HTC One (M8)
    2367
  • LG G Flex
    2254
  • LG G2
    2243
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    2172
  • HTC One
    1972
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1869

We also traditionally put the reviewed phones through the Basemark OS II. Rightware distributes anti-cheat versions of their popular Basemark OS II (for general performance) and Basemark X (for 3D performance) tests. We've run both version and we found Samsung Galaxy S5 scores equally, which means the company isn't using any tricks to boost the benchmarks' overall performance.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Oppo Find 7
    1212
  • OnePlus One
    1196
  • LG G3 16GB (2GB RAM, int'l)
    1151
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    1082
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1080
  • Oppo Find 7a
    1057

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Oppo Find 7
    2606
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2580
  • HTC One (M8)
    2428
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    2415
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    2253
  • OnePlus One
    2213
  • LG G3 16GB (2GB RAM, int'l)
    2137

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Oppo Find 7
    10391
  • Oppo Find 7a
    10256
  • OnePlus One
    10234
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    10063
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    10044
  • LG G3 16GB (2GB RAM, int'l)
    9937
  • HTC One (M8)
    9860

Compound benchmarks - Quadrant and AnTuTu 4 - show more confidence in Galaxy S5. Quadrant gives Samsung's new flagship a huge advantage over the S800 competition, and virtually on par with the HTC One (M8).

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    25044
  • HTC One (M8)
    25035
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    21618
  • LG G Flex
    20521
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    20388
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    20052
  • LG G Pro 2
    20010
  • LG G2
    19815
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    18177
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    11404
  • LG Nexus 5
    8844
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    7153

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    37009
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    36018
  • LG G Flex
    35831
  • LG G2
    35444
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    34527
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    32162
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    31109
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    30850
  • LG G Pro 2
    29603
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    29185
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    27613
  • HTC One
    26389
  • LG Nexus 5
    25097

When it comes to offscreen benchmarks, the High clock speed of the new Adreno 330 easily pushes it on top, but screen resolution has to be taken into account.

GFX Benchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    28.4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    27.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    26.3
  • LG Nexus 5
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    23
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    23
  • LG G Pro 2
    22.9
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    22
  • LG G Flex
    22
  • LG G2
    22
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    15
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    6.4

GFX Benchmark 3.0 Manhattan (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    11.8
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    9.9
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    9
  • LG G Pro 2
    8.7
  • LG Nexus 5
    8.5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.9

Lower resolution phones (720p or so) like the Xperia Z1 Compact and iPhone 5s climb on top, but as far as 1080p devices go, the Galaxy S5 is only matched by the HTC One (M8) on the GFXBench suite. Epic Citadel places it a bit lower though it's within a couple of percent.

GFX Benchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p on-screen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    37
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    34
  • LG G Flex
    33
  • HTC One (M8)
    30.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    28.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    26.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    25
  • LG G Pro 2
    24.1
  • LG Nexus 5
    24
  • LG G2
    23.1

GFX Benchmark 3.0 Manhattan (1080p on-screen)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    11.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    10
  • LG G Pro 2
    9.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
    5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    4.7

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    59
  • LG G Flex
    56
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    54.8
  • LG G Pro 2
    54.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    54
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    53.7
  • LG Nexus 5
    49.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    49
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    37.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    32

Samsung tweaked the stock Android browser, which clearly shows in the web benchmarks. The Samsung Galaxy S5 trades blows with the Apple iPhone 5s. Apple's iDevices have long set the standard in web performance, but screen resolution plays a role in BrowserMark 2 as the Galaxy S5 renders pages at over twice the resolution.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    379
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    403
  • LG G Pro 2
    535.5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    567.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    587
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    750
  • HTC One (M8)
    780
  • LG Nexus 5
    827
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    845
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    855
  • LG G2
    908
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1046
  • HTC One
    1174

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3549
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3529
  • HTC One (M8)
    3213
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3172
  • LG G Pro 2
    3048
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3041
  • LG Nexus 5
    2745
  • LG G2
    2718
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    2600
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2419
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2398
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2314
  • HTC One
    2262

So, is the new chipset worth it over the Galaxy S4 chipset? The Galaxy S5 is indeed faster than its predecessor in all relevant areas. Gaming performance is the headlining change here - the new phone offers significant advantages over the old one, which will enable more advanced games.

Overall performance has received a boost too, but you might not notice it in general usage where most apps are lightweight and fairly passive (say, a messenger). Still, if you have two heavier apps, the Galaxy S5 will run them side by side with Multi Window without breaking a sweat.

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