Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE I9505

I9500 vs i9505.jpg

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is currently one of the best smartphones in the world. One would think that makes it easy to choose, however, the Samsung Galaxy S4 also comes in 3 different versions. Malaysia has two of these versions to choose from, the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505. Recently we only had access to the I9500 but soon vendors will be releasing the I9505 as well. Which one should you pick? Read on and find out.

Similarities and Differences

In terms of design both the I9505 and I9500 look exactly the same, so we won't compare about that. A quick tech specs comparison confirms that nearly everything is also the same except for the following:

  • The I9500 uses a 1.6GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor.
  • The I9500 has a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU.
  • The I9505 uses a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core Krait processor.
  • The I9505 has an Adreno 320 GPU.
  • The I9505 supports 4G LTE.

Which one is more powerful?

While both the I9505 and I9500 use more or less the same hardware, the different processors determine how powerful each smartphone is. In AnTuTu benchmarks the I9505 consistently get a score of 24000+ while the I9500 gets a score of 28000+. Obviously the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa powered I9500 is more powerful than the I9505. However, there is a noticeable downside to these figures.

Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 AnTuTu Benchmark.jpeg

The Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500's AnTuTu benchmark score

This is because even a smartphone with an AnTuTu benchmark score of 22000+ (like the HTC One) already provides super smooth performance for both games, general image editting and multimedia playback. Most users wouldn't even notice the difference except perhaps that the I9500 may seem a little zippier or just a bit faster than the I9505. The difference in power only becomes noticeable if you use your Samsung Galaxy S4 to do processor heavy stuff like massive number crunching or video editting.

The I9500's PowerVR SGX 544MP3 gives it a slight edge over the I9505's Adreno 320, because it has more cores and is a bit more powerful. There is a slight improvement in graphics performance and image reproduction with the I9500 as images look better saturated compared to the I9505, however, the difference is very small. You'd really need to look very close to notice it.

Which lasts longer?

When the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa first came out, many of us tech heads were excited because not only did it technically have 8 cores, but also because it claimed great performance with awesome power efficiency. The more powerful ARM A15 quad-core was supposed to have switched over to the more energy efficient A7 quad-core processor to help save energy when not doing performance intensive tasks.

Recent tests have shown that they still haven't optimized this properly just yet as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 powered I9505 beats the I9500 in battery life by 1 to 3 hours depending on the activity. Perhaps Samsung need to work on optimizing the switching more but for now, the Exynos 5 Octa powered I9500 is a lot less battery efficient than the I9505. In general, the I9500 will last about 12 hours (continuous usage) or so on a single charge, while the I9505 can go up to 18 to 20 hours.

Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 battery tests talk time.jpg

Other Features?

Obviously the LTE-enabled I9505 provides access to the much faster download and upload speeds of 4G LTE. While there is an Exynos 5 Octa powered Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE connectivity, this model is not available in Malaysia (although some independant sellers have brought it over from South Korea). Both the I9500 and the I9505 have the same features in terms of software, firmware and hardware though, so there is no point in comparing that here.

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Faster Performance vs LTE

Overall, the choice between the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 and Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 comes down to what you want or need in a smartphone. If you're going to get an LTE connection then the I9505 is the better choice. If you're running very processor intensive apps then the I9500 is the one for you. Personally, our choice would have to be the I9505 as it combines better power efficiency, longer battery life and LTE connectivity. Unfortunately it is coming out later than the I9500, but if you've been patient it should be worth the wait. The I9500 has potential though, if Samsung ever get around to optimizing their Exynos 5 Octa processor and releasing said firmware.