In most measurable ways, Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 smartphone has it all over the iPhone 5.

  • The 5-inch 1080p screen on the S4 is pure eye candy. It has far better resolution, pixel density and raw size when compared with the iPhone 5. The one way in which the iPhone hits back is by offering color realism (as opposed to the artificial vibrancy that the S4’s super AMOLED screen has). To many people, though, color realism doesn’t impress as much as popping colors do.
  • While many phones have dual cameras, they don’t shoot out of both at the same time. The iPhone has apps that give you the illusion of dual shooting by switching between the two. It isn’t really a dual-shooting camera, though. The Samsung Galaxy S4 2013 doesn’t merely simulate this. It actually does full-time dual shooting. With this, you can shoot a scene before you and capture your own reaction to it too at the same time – both simultaneously visible on a split screen.
  • Computers allow true multitasking. You can have a number of programs open at the same time and use them next to one another. While Android and iOS do both allow users to run multiple apps at the same time, neither platform has allowed applications to run side-by-side. All this changes with the S4. It really allows you to give over a part of your screen to playing a movie, for instance, while you work on a webpage on the rest of the screen. The iPhone doesn’t at all let you put several applications on your screen at the same time.

  • Multitasking isn’t just about whether the platform allows it. It’s also about how well the device is able to handle the strain of two full-blown applications simultaneously. While the iPhone (new iphone 5) is a powerful device, it still shows up the limitations of making do with a mobile processor. Rapidly switching between applications can make it stutter. In this area, the Galaxy S4 is impossible to overwhelm – no matter how much one throws at it.
  • Apple simply doesn’t go into some areas of technology, for some reason. For instance, its phones don’t do Wi-Fi Direct or NFC (Near Field Communication), for some reason. The communications standards found on many Samsung phones (even some mid-range ones) make it absurdly easy to transfer files between two phones placed next to each other. You can do even more with NFC. If you have a song playing on your S4 and you want everyone else to hear it, you just have to touch a stereo system that’s NFC enabled with the phone. Right away, the stereo can start playing the song out loud – no buttons to push.
  • Easy communicating isn’t the only thing that Apple won’t do. Its phones don’t allow memory cards for storage expansion (those would make it hard for Apple to sell phones with extra overpriced memory built in), they don’t allow user replaceable batteries (they would have to give up their expensive battery replacement fees, then) and many customization options require jailbreaking.

The last point – that the iPhone restricts user freedom, is an important one. Even routine tasks – like customizing the user experience with a ring tone – can require a long process involving multiple steps on the iPhone. On an Android phone like the S4, you simply need to load a tune and point the phone at it. At one time, the iPhone platform did offer a far better user experience than a fragmented and poorly done Android. It also had far better stock of apps. Android has caught up since. Right now, the iPhone is better in some areas. It is a better designed operating system for purposes like music making. The iPhone is also hardier than Samsung’s model (SquareTrade, the aftermarket warranty company, gives the iPhone a 20% better score), but even here, the S4 fights back with a new and rugged Active S4 model. Apple does plan bigger and newer phones soon, and iOS 7 promises to lead in new directions. Until then, it does look like the S4 (galaxy s4 or samsung galaxy s4 mini) is the better phone for your money.