Save money on the Galaxy S5 by buying the Galaxy S4 instead


WhistleOut
02 May 2014

We know that many people would consider buying last year's smartphone a bad deal when there’s a newer, feature-packed and much-hyped version on the market.

But with carriers recently increasing handset pricing for customers on new two-year contracts, we’ve noticed a considerable difference in what you’ll pay for Samsung's new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, compared to the current pricing for the Galaxy S4 -- and it's across the board.

Samsung Galaxy S5
Prices from $63 per month
(with 1GB data or more)
Samsung Galaxy S4
Prices from $50 per month
(with 1GB data or more)


Optus

When comparing two phone models on the same plan, it is important to keep an eye on the Minimum Total Cost over 24 months.

To pick up the Galaxy S5 on Optus' $60 monthly plan, you’ll make handset payments of $19 per month over the course of 24 months – a total of $456 over your two-year contract.

However, with this month’s price changes, the Galaxy S4 – a device that is still only 12 months old – will now cost you $0 per month on all Optus plans of $60 per month or more.

Telstra

With Telstra the difference isn't quite as pronounced, with only an $8 difference each month and a $172 price increase for the newer model over the older Galaxy S4.

Vodafone

Vodafone's Samsung handset pricing exactly mirrors what we saw above from competitor Optus, with a huge $19 per month premium for a Galaxy S5 and nearly $500 extra over the course of the contract.

Virgin Mobile

For customers on Virgin Mobile’s $60 plan, picking the S4 will save you $13 monthly, or $312 overall, with the S4 also priced at $0 per month.

Saving money by going with an older device is a no-brainer if you're not one for keeping up with the latest tech trends. But is there any point buying a new Galaxy S4 when the new-and-improved S5 model is available?

If you’re looking at overall savings of $450 or more, it may be smart to compare the two models to see if that price difference is really worth the status of owning the latest product around.

Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy S4: is the S5 worth it?

The Galaxy S5 comes with some cool new features, but whether not any of these are really necessary depends on how you use your smartphone - for a more in-depth look at the S5, see our review.

Galaxy S5 Galaxy S4
  • Quad-core 2.3GHz processor
  • 2GB Ram
  • 5.1-inch Full-HD Super AMOLED display
  • 16MP camera
  • Pedometer
  • Water resistant
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Heart Rate monitor
  • Quad-core 1.9GHz processor
  • 2GB Ram
  • 5-inch Full-HD Super AMOLED display
  • 13MP camera
  • Pedometer
  • S-Health fitness app
  • Free 50GB Dropbox storage

The one new feature that we can’t argue against is that the Galaxy S5 is both dust-resistant and water-resistant (to a degree), qualities which can’t be said about the S4. If water or dust damage has been an issue for you with previous devices, it’s definitely a big plus for the S5.

The introduction of a fingerprint scanner is a nice security feature, but we found it too slow and glitchy to be the best option for locking your device. And while the inclusion of a heart-rate monitor might be appreciated by fitness fanatics, it’s probably not a tool that will be embraced by the masses as essential.

As far as performance goes, the S5’s specs are impressive on paper and it’s definitely a more powerful device than the S4. But overall, both devices are extremely well-performing, and the difference in speeds between the two is unlikely to be noticeable in everyday use.

While the Galaxy S5 boasts a brilliant display and an improved camera, both features on the S4 are also fantastic – although the S5 does include a better selection of camera filters and modes.

Conclusion

Generally, while the S5 is a top-level smartphone, we found it to be a small step forward overall for Samsung – definitely worth the purchase if you're happy to pay, but not that much different than its predecessor.

Especially when the difference in price is closer to $500, as it is with Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile. Telstra customers might feel more confident choosing a GS5 with only a $170 price difference -- though you will have noticed that Telstra's price is the most expensive overall.

Tech enthusiasts and people with bigger budgets will probably head straight to the Galaxy S5, and that’s completely understandable. But if you’re looking for a top-notch smartphone at a low-cost price and couldn’t care less about novelty features, you may want to consider giving the S4 a chance.


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