The holiday season is always the best time to buy something special for you or a loved one.  With the release of the two most awaited smart phones, there’s no doubt that you are seriously thinking about getting one. Hence, you are probably in a quandary as to which one to go for. Should you go for the Galaxy S4 or the Apple iphone 5s?

John V. takes a look at all the “dreamy specs” of both the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5. This should help you decide.

Design: Go Galactic Or Iconic?

John V. starts off his comparative review with the Design of both smart phones.

“… the iPhone 5s employs the same design as its predecessor … so it has this iconic iPhone look. If you think about the high end flagship smart phone, it’s the iPhone 5s that exudes all the qualities that you would want to find in the device.”

Here are some facts on the Design:

IPhone 5s 7.6mm, aluminium rear
Samsung Galaxy S4 7.7mm, plastic rear

A More Pleasing Design

But that’s just the start. Let’s take a look at what John V. has to say about the Display of each phone.

“They have their pleasing elements but overall we going to give it to the Galaxy S4 just because of the larger display, high resolution, and then of course, that showroom wow-factor with its saturated colors.”

Here are some facts on the Display:

Physical Size

IPhone 5s 4.0 inches
Samsung Galaxy S4 5.0 inches

Resolution

IPhone 5s 640 x1136 pixels
Samsung Galaxy S4 1080 x 1920 pixels

Pixel Density  

IPhone 5s 326 ppi
Samsung Galaxy S4 441 ppi

Technology  

IPhone 5s IPS LCD
Samsung Galaxy S4 Super AMOLED

Features    

IPhone 5s Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Oleophobic coating
Samsung Galaxy S4 Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass

Choosing The Better Camera

According to www.R-Fate.com, the camera on the Galaxy S4 is described as “beefier” than that of the camera on the iPhone 5s.

“On the Galaxy S4, it’s a beefier 13 megapixels auto focus camera with an LED flash and it features also 1080p high definition video recording quality an F2.2 lens and a back-illuminated sensor.”

Nothing Beats A Cooler Interface

In terms of interface, iPhone gets thumbs up.

“… we’re gonna give the iPhone 5s for having the more visually pleasing user-interface … there’s just a lot more cool animations and visual effects that give a lot of eye candy to the new iOS7 experience.”

Personally, that shouldn’t be surprising. After all, Apple’s sister company is Pixar Animation Studios.

iphone5s

The iPhone 5S has some cool new features that will make every gadget lover want it. (Photo courtesy of bgr.com)

The iPhone 5S is one of the most sought after mobile phones in the market today. However, compared to some of the top models from other mobile phone manufacturers such as the Xperia Z1, Galaxy S4, or HTC One, the new iPhone 5S looks rather small. Apple obviously thought that their strategy is good enough because the iPhone 5S design and shape remained identical to last year’s iPhone 5. From the looks of it, this might probably change next year since there are rumors circulating that imply Apple is working on designing devices with curved 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens.

With the new iPhone 5S, Apple decided to put more emphasis on improving what is hidden under the hood, and that is primarily related to the fingerprint sensor, 64-bit processor, and camera. Obviously, these small changes are enough for people to eagerly buy the 5S as sales speak for themselves. In the first three days of sales in September 2013, Apple sold over 9 million new iPhones 5S’s and 5C’s.

Touch ID Home Button

The new TouchID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S is certainly one of the features that is most talked about, and it works extremely well. The sensor is located right below the Home button, and it allows you to register five different fingerprints which can be used to unlock the device or to make ​​a purchase on the App Store. Setup is extremely simple, and once you have saved the entire fingerprint, the your finger will be able to unlock the device even if it isn’t perfectly laid straight. This is probably the coolest feature that came out with the new 5S, and it will surely intrigue many iPhone users.

Nothing Much New With the Design

In terms of design, the iPhone 5S offers nothing new. The dimensions of 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and 112 grams of weight are identical with the previous iPhone 5. The only visible difference is in the design of the new Home button which no longer has a square icon, but instead comes with a fingerprint sensor. There is also a change in the appearance of the flash on the back of the device.

In terms of colors, one of the biggest obvious differences is the wide availability of various new colors. By far, the most popular iPhone 5S color seems to be gold, which has proven to be extremely desirable among many customers.

The screen basically remains the same as its predecessor, with the exact same Retina display, resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels and display density of 326 dots per inch.

A More Dynamic Camera

The new 5S seem to have kept the same camera resolution as the 2 year old 4S model. However, if you compare night photos in the gallery, there seems to be some enhanced features to the camera. The sensor is now 15 % higher, and with the aperture of ƒ/2.2, this device receives much more light. The new True Tone flash has white and yellow LEDs that work fine to adjust the intensity and color temperature for better pictures in lower light.

The video-camera has a new cool feature that enables shooting slow-motion videos in 720p resolution, which looks extremely well, and many users found this to be a very exciting and fun new feature. Depending on your knowledge, you could get some really interesting shots.

Faster Performance

This is the first phone with 64-bit A7 processor (dual-core at 1.3 GHz). Moving through the iOS 7 menus on the 4S can sometimes be a bit slow, but 5S fixes that. Everything runs very fast and smoothly. Opening the applications, returning to the previous menus, playing games, or using apps transitions very smoothly with no hitches.

The main difference between the current 32-bit and new 64-bit processors in the iPhone 5S is the amount of information that can be processed any time as 64-bit processors support more than 4 GB of memory. By switching iPhone to a 64-bit architecture, Apple opens up various possibilities in the future such as the merger of iOS and Mac OS system wherein we might be able to run the same applications on any device such as the mobile phone, laptop, or desktop computer.

Apps load and work without a hitch with the iPhone 5S. Some of the cool apps which we tried worked really well. Specifically, we tried using the Carbonite online backup app, which worked smoothly. Incidentally, if you are interested in getting Carbonite, this site features the latest coupon offer on Carbonite (if you want to backup all your home computer files) or business promotion offer for Carbonite (which you can use for unlimited number of business computers).

The iPhone 5S brings several important and exciting upgrades, but at a relatively high price (without a contract). The question that you have to ask yourself is whether the upgrade features warrant that you replace your old phone or simply wait for the next iteration of the iPhone next year.

The Google Glass, also known as the Project Glass, is another innovative undertaking of Google Inc. With a mission to develop and produce a ubiquitous computer for the mass market, Google has launched this one-of-a-kind, hands-free device that is wearable.

Still in the developmental stage, Marques Brownlee explains that the Explorer Edition of the Google Glass “is not the final version of the product”. He adds”

“There will be an evolution of software and hardware before an actual consumer edition is created.”

In the meantime, the Google Glass is a “limited edition, early version for people willing to go out and explore and give feedback for Google about the glass”. This was launched through the Glass Explorer Program where people signed up to join. While some developers and journalists purchased their own Google Glass Explorer Edition at around $1,500, some people got theirs for free.

Ironically, the Google Glass has no glass. Mearques Brownlee describes it well.

“Aesthetically, it’s a pretty interesting device because it sits on your face like a regular pair of glasses but there are no actual lenses. There’s no glass in Google Glass except for this prism here.”

Marques Brownlee points out to a tiny, rectangular prism on the top right side of the glass. This describes how all the information on the Google Glass is processed only on the right side. Unlike a typical eye glass where there lenses on both sides, the Google Glass has an asymmetrical design,

“The other thing about it that’s different is it’s asymmetrical. So typically when you’re wearing glasses there’s the same thing on both sides, with Glass all the smart phone components and all the things in Google Glass that make it as it is are all on your right-hand side.”

How The Google Glass Works

The Google Glass cannot work by itself. It needs wifi or bluetooth to be connected to a smart phone or a device.

“While Glass does have mostly smartphone inside, what it doesn’t have is a cellular radio which means it cannot connect to data by itself. So what it does do is connect to either wifi or bluetooth tethering to your smartphone and connect to the My Glass app on your android or iOs device.”

The View From Google Glass

Viewing images and videos from the prism of the Google Glass is like viewing on a 25-inch screen eight feet away. Marques Brownlee stresses that the Google Glass is not high-definition display.

“It’s obviously not an HD display in fact it’s around 640 x 360.”

Then he emphasizes the main function of the small square prism “that is fixed on the upper right side of your vision”.

“… the idea here is that this is all you look at when you interface with Google Glass.”

What The Google Glass Can Do For You

The Google Glass Explorer Edition can do six things. These are the following:

  • Take a picture
  • Record a video
  • Get directions
  • Send a message
  • Call someone
  • Google Search

While it does seem to have limited features, the most important to consider is that the Google Glass is the first of its kind, This is a new form of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp).

“Glass which is a wearable tech on your face is a totally different form factor. So think of this like a sort-of-like android phone with no apps on it.”

Navigating The Google Glass

There are two ways to navigate the Google Glass. One way is to activate it by voice recognition by simply stating, “Okay, Glass”. The second way is to tap and swipe the track pad.

“First of all, all these things are going to be done with an interaction with the track pad on the side of the glass.”

These simple interactions are the following swipes and taps on the track pad:

  • Swipe forward
  • Swipe backward
  • Swipe down
  • Slight Tap

The Bottom Line

While the Google Glass seems to have very simple functions, the most important thing to consider is that it is an Explorer Version. More things will definitely be added as the the product is developed. Hopefully as the product is developed and introduced in the market, it will also come with an affordable price tag.