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Can Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo topple Sony Xperia M5 as the true affordable flagship of India?

samsung-galaxy-s5-neo-indiaSony’s affordable flagship, the five-inch Xperia M5, may have met its match with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo — another ‘affordable flagship’ from the Korean company.

The Galaxy S5 Neo, which is reportedly being prepped to be released in India at a price of Rs 25,000-30,000 towards the end of this month, could give would-be Xperia M5 buyers second thoughts.

Even atRs 30,000 — the upper end of the indicated price range — the Galaxy Neo is a value for money offering when compared with Xperia M5, which is also a five-incher and is selling for Rs 34,000 in India right now.

Neo’s Advantages

One of the key advantages of the S5 Neo over the Xperia M5 is display quality. The Neo comes with a full-HD AMOLED panel, while the M5 has an LCD panel of the same resolution.

While the Samsung model may look slightly plain compared to the M5, it’s a different matter when looking at the two with the naked eye and with the screens switched on.

Other advantages of the Neo is a slightly bigger screen (5.1 inch vs 5.0 inch), a more updated operating system (Android 5.1 vs 5.0) and longer battery life. The phone offers a stated battery life of 15 hours on 3G, while the M5 offers only 12 hours. This is partly due to the bigger, 2.8 Ah battery compared to a 2.6 Ah one on the Sony model.

The Korean company has also made some appearance tweaks to the phone (compared with the original S5) keeping user feedback in mind (see picture from http://winfuture.de at the top.)

M5’s advantages

However, if you care more about photographic excellence compared to display colors, the M5 manages to outdo the Samsung model.

Sony’s cameras are reputed to be better than those of Samsung, and the M5 comes with a 21 MP shooter that can record 4K video, while the Samsung model will have a 16 MP camera which records up to full-HD video. In other words, there is no comparison in the camera department.

The Xperia has certain other advantages as well. For example, it comes with the tried-and-tested MT6795 Helio X10 processor, while the Samsung model comes with a slightly Exynos 7580, which is also found in the Galaxy J7 (priced at just Rs 14,999).

Though Antutu scores of both platforms are largely similar at around 35,000, the M5 does offer 3 GB of RAM instead of the 2 GB found on the S5 Neo.

In addition, the waterproofing on the Sony model is more robust. The M5 comes with IP68 certification, implying that the phone will work in water of up to to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. The Neo, on the other hand, has IP67 certification, implying water resistance in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Onboard storage memory in both phones is 16 GB, and both come with support for MicroSD cards, which sets them apart from certain Chinese models such as Meizu MX5 and OnePlus Two.

Flipkart Exclusive?

However, the Galaxy S5 Neo may yet have one more trump card up its sleeve — pricing. Going by market buzz, the Samsung could price the phone in the Rs 25,000 range if it makes it an online exclusive. At that price, the phone would also take on the OnePlus Two, which is priced at Rs 24,999 for a 32 GB model with no expandable memory.

The original Galaxy S5 was released February 2014 and came with no 3G — a factor which hampered its sales in India. The phone is available in today’s market at Rs 22,000.

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