The Galaxy S5 was one of 2014's best handsets when it hit the market in April. Featuring a reworked design and radically improved internal components compared with its predecessor, Samsung's Galaxy S5 came come close to achieving V3's hallowed five-star ranking.
A few months on, though, the Galaxy S5 has met one of its biggest challengers yet, in the shape of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus is the first phablet from Apple and comes with, on paper at least, an equally impressive portfolio of software and hardware features.
Design and build
Visually, the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S5 are about as different as you can get. On the one hand this is because the iPhone 6 Plus is noticeably larger than the 142x73x8.1mm, 145g Galaxy S5, measuring a staggering 158x78x7.1mm and weighing 172g.
Seasoned phablet veterans are likely to still find the iPhone 6 Plus comfortable to use, but we found that the bigger size makes it cumbersome compared with the Galaxy S5.
This will be particularly true for regular Apple customers who, prior to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, would have used the smaller 4in Apple handsets.
However, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly unwieldy, it feels significantly better made than the Galaxy S5. This is primarily because the iPhone 6 Plus chassis is built of metal.
By comparison the Galaxy S5 features a removable perforated polycarbonate backplate. Comparing the two, we found the Galaxy S5's sides far more prone to chipping and scratching than the iPhone 5S.
The disparity in durability is surprising as Samsung marketed the Galaxy S5 as a robust device and designed it to meet IP67 certification standards. The certification means the Galaxy S5 is the only one of the two to be water resistant.
Display technology is one area in which we've consistently struggled to pick a clear winner when comparing Apple and Samsung handsets. This is because their respective IPS-based Retina display and Super Amoled technologies both have strengths and weaknesses.
Amoled technology lets displays produce deeper and richer blacks by electrically charging each individual pixel to generate colours. The flip side is that the screen has a shorter shelf life and can produce more heat than IPS displays, as preferred by Apple.
By comparison IPS displays offer more realistic whites and colours by organising liquid crystals on a fixed plate that's charged at a consistent rate.
Comparing the iPhone 6 Plus to the Galaxy S5 we found that, despite our past troubles picking between the two handsets, the Apple phone is the winner.
Colours on the iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5in, 1920x1080 pixel, 401ppi, Retina HD display looked more natural than those on the Galaxy S5 with its 5.1in, 1920x1080, 432ppi, Super Amoled touchscreen, which had a tendency to over-saturate them.
The iPhone 6's extra screen real estate also made the Apple handset more pleasant for productivity purposes, making it easier to type an email or edit a document than on the Galaxy S5.
Winner: iPhone 6 Plus
Next: Operating system and security