Galaxy S5 vs Moto E speed test shows the benefit of a stock Android experience [VIDEO]


Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Motorola Moto E

There’s no denying the Samsung Galaxy S5 has the makings of an Android powerhouse. Featuring a beefed up Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM — all running on the lightest version of Android yet, (4.4.2 KitKat), the phone should breeze through everyday tasks with ease.

The Motorola Moto E on the other hand, was designed to be the most bare-bones smartphone money can buy. Dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor and barely 1GB of RAM, it’d be easy to assume that one of the sacrifices a user would have to make would be in performance. But there is one area where the Moto E truly shines, and in some cases, actually gives the E the upper hand from most other Androids on the market today — the fact that it offers a nearly stock Android experience.

If you didn’t think this would affect the phone’s performance which, in most cases should be found wanting, YouTuber Tom Rich decided to pit the 2 Android devices against each other in a performance speed test. Sounds pretty unevenly matched, but you may be surprised to find the Moto E holding its own. Check out the video below.

Now we’re not going to say this is definitive proof that the Moto E is faster than the Galaxy S5, there’s far too many variables involved. We will say this is pretty good evidence that perhaps Samsung has some work to do in optimizing their TouchWiz software for the Galaxy S5.

It’s one of the major issues I had with the phone and the reason why I’ll most likely be opting for the Google Play edition of the Galaxy S5. You know, whenever Samsung stops dragging their feet and makes it available for sale.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Samsung could remove TocuhWiz all together or make it uninstallable so their users can go back to stock Android. I had a Galaxy S4 and loved the hardware, TocuhWiz always sucked and now I’m using a Nexus 5 so that I can stick with stock, clean Android as I had with my Galaxy Nexus before the SGS4.

    1. Stock android is so clean and looks so much better

  2. Optimization optimization optimization! Its the reason the iPhone is actually faster than a lot of Android smart phones despite having a puny processor, you could have a 20 core processor But if you’re running way to much bloat it won’t make a difference

    1. This times 1,000.

      For instance, I have a Oppo Find 5 that runs and chugs like an old G1. It’s using the same exact quad-core Snapdragon S4 as found on the HTC Droid DNA yet and the DNA FLIES.

      It’s all about software. (Well, most of it anyway).

    2. iPhone isn’t faster than Nexus 5 with ART. That’s the only reason it was beating things like the S4. Every time you open an app in a Dalvik environment, the app is actually being installed prior to running, because before ART, Android was really just an emulator. ART solves that.

      1. Haven’t really messed with ART have been on Dalvik since I got the nexus, might have to take it for a spin

      2. I don’t think the iPhone is faster than the Nexus 5 with Dalvik. And I don’t think ART can help touchwiz. There’s too much bloat.

        1. Just replacing the launcher with Apex is fine for me. I don’t get missed presses, apps launch very quickly (camera is ready to go in about a second), and everything is pretty much butter. Samsung’s Gallery is super slow, but I use the GPE camera/gallery and use the stock gallery as default. Plus, that way, I keep the benefits of Samsung’s Camera and S-Share software, both of which destroy stock (or anything else the other OEM’s have tried).

      3. Dalvik apps compile once. Apps are not actually installed prior to each run. The Dalvik is a virtual machine, not an emulator. Most runtime reports show little to no speed improvement with ART.

        1. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xgnZbdO4NV0

          I’ll take the consistent 2 second faster load time of ART

          1. For that one app, and it wasn’t consistent, time the first trial. Besides, I never said that ART was bad. Only that your points were not at all accurate.

          2. ART doesn’t make apps load faster, but it seems to prioritize the UI. On my SGS2 with over 200 apps installed and lots of services started at boot using ART I can immediately start to use the phone after I unlock it.

            Using Dalvik, the phone transforms in a lagfest if I try to use it before it loads all the startup apps.

            And the UI is much responsive on ART.

            The pros are not in the raw speed, but on the user experience.

    3. Not only that but when you add a heavy skin like TouchWiz that bogs down the phone then it becomes an issue.

    4. HTC was in the same boat a few years back…they even admitted and said “sense” was too bloated. The deference is they actually did something about it. And today we have a smoother running “sense” (or skin)

      1. Right! Just look at how fast the m8 is and how smooth, its not just only because of the 801 but Also because sense 6 is very light

    5. While this is true, the iPhone still has insufficient RAM problems.

  3. I almost like stock. It has its benefits. But then I remember what I use my phone for the most. Browsing. Stock (either one) is awful. Boat browser isn’t bad, though, so I can move past that. Camera. Ouch. There’s just not an even comparable replacement out there for Samsung’s camera app. No third party or OEM camera out there gives you so much usability. Media Sharing. Again, sorry, but Android Beam is broke and sad. S share is so much better, it’s in a completely different class. Music and video are better handled with Play Music and MX, so no problems there. But that camera is a total deal breaker every time I consider the Play edition.

    1. I had Omnirom on my GN2 and it was 10fold better than that dang TW. Everything I had was better then the TW app that did the same.

      1. Sorry, but what was better? I came from the G1, and loved CM because it was more capable than stock. Then, I got the TMo Vibrant. CM wasn’t available for six months. By then, I couldn’t switch back because CM was too limited, especially in the camera department. I got the S3, and I re tried CM, AOKP, Paranoid… Nothing worked. So, try and give me specifics. I work better with examples than vapor comments.

        1. On Omnirom, my Muldtiwindow worked with every app. It had colornote and I liked it better then snote(ran faster, liked the widget better), my note2 started up faster, and had NO bloatware, my spen was useless except for the handwriting app I had. It’s not hard to beat out Samsung, they are too slow.

          1. I get you…I used a TW based ROM on my S3 back on 4.2 that had full multiwindow (although I found I don’t use that a whole lot…mostly just browser and e-mail, so I didn’t need it all). T-Mo is pretty good about bloatware, but I use Apex and hide any apps I don’t use. That takes care of launcher lag, and my phone starts in 45 seconds. That’s no record, but plenty fast for me. S-Note isn’t very useful on the S3 because we don’t have the pen, so I’ve always used something else anyway. Basically, what I love about Samsung phones are the customization & expansion capabilities coupled with a stellar camera/camera app and sharing capabilities. I don’t get missed presses, everything opens quickly (except Samsung’s Gallery…but I use the GPE Gallery for that), and I haven’t seen a Force Close in over a year.

  4. The Moto E also has a quarter of the pixels to push, which it turns out is pretty important. The fewer pixels you have the more times you can go over the same frame in the 1/60s window you have before you drop a frame and/or the lower power GPU you need.

    1. True for this case, but the HTC One is also much faster than the S5 so Samsung’s software is to blame.

    2. This is exactly why I’m horrified by the S5 Prime and G3 rumors. 2500 x 1400? Sounds like a huge, battery sucking, processor clogging mess

      1. but 500+ ppi!

        jk, I agree with you. I think it’s ridiculous too.

        1. “Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his PPI?”

    3. I would agree with you except for the fact that many phones with 1080p displays still offer better performance over the Galaxy S5. Nexus 5, LG G2, HTC One M8. They’re all quicker at performing every day tasks like what was shown in the video.

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t saying the S5 was good, just that when you’re comparing graphics performance you need to factor in screen size, because for 2D composition the GPU is doing literally 1/4 the work.

        1. Sure, but regardless of the resolution, if you pay 650 bucks for a S5 you should expect it to beat out a 130 dollar phone.

  5. S5 is garbage with its Touchwiz, thanks for confirming. Haha, let me leave this glass house.
    After seeing this it’s time to start recommending a few E’s AND G’s.

  6. A lot of people don’t realize how slow Samsung phones and tablets are until they’re side by side with another device. I didn’t realize how slow my S4 was until I got the Moto X. Samsung needs to optimize touchwiz better or ditch it,

    1. Amen to that

    2. Yeah, my Galaxy Tab 2 ” runs like crap with TW. After I flashed CM, the thing flies and has awesome color calibration for such a cheap tablet. On tablets there is really no need for Samsung’s bloatware.

  7. I’m still loving what touch wiz brings to my phone and tablet

    1. You can be serious, I honestly hope you are being sarcastic

      1. I agree with him.

      2. There are certain things the touchwiz offers that I don’t want to loose and use often. Like multi window and Snote. Plus I’m a huge fan of the email app included and the planner app. I have used other email apps and have always found the one included from Samsung to be the most comfortable and for me easy to use. Also the full month calendar widget is great. I have not found one other that I have liked.

        There’s a lot of great things the touchwiz brings. I guess I’m one of the few that really use a lot of the Samsung apps.

        1. while i completely agree with you that there are a lot of things touchwiz does really well, have you tried the Android Pro Widgets calendar? I like it much better than the Samsung one.

          1. I actually have not. I’ll have to play with it and see if I can get it to work the way I want it to.
            Thanks for the tip.

        2. A lot of people use them, generally most users carry on happily enough and enjoy the experience and that’s why they keep selling so many devices.

          It’s the small minority that you see online.

          1. That small minority is rather large. If you hadn’t noticed most people buy Samsung for the specs then root them and throw CM or OR, or AOKP, or something of the sort on it

        3. Omnirom offers a better multiwindow app than Samsung, snote there are several notepad apps that are just as good, I use Gmail and the stock email app as well as the stick calender app I used both for my job and both worked better than anything Samsung had to offer

    2. Agreed I left a stock Android rom to go back to Touchwiz my Note 2 over it. Stock camera has NO features and a ridiculous UI.

  8. lol, then you look at features and find that stock Android lacks a lot!

    1. As far as features I doubt there is anything short of the spen that can’t be found in the store. Stock android is a billion x better than touchwiz

      1. Stock camera is crap, most devices that use stock (or close to stock) lack sdcard support, stock looks boring as hell, no other phone comes with an unlocked bootloader and so on…

        1. Sorry I just don’t see it, nothing on a smasung device is worth my money, except a GPE version. I couldn’t stand anything it had to offer on my old note 2, so I rooted and installed Omnirom I had everything that Samsung offered(cept the spen) the stick camera is better to me than the Samsung I had great customization, abd by the way guys sd cards are going by the wayside as are removable batteries. As far as screens go LG is light years ahead and so is Sony! HTC is moving up the ladder with its designs and build quality. Samsung is no longer the only dog on the block , they will face similar fate to Apple

      2. You won’t find a camera anywhere that touches Samsung’s. I’ve looked repeatedly. And there is no device to device sharing that works as well, either. Customizable notification widgets, awesome screen tech, an actually useful image processor, removable battery, expandable storage, water resistance, USB 3.0… You can’t get those in the play store. And you can’t get 60% of them in any other single phone except the Note series. The closest is Sony’s Z1 offerings, but they’re still missing a ton of features.

    2. Stock Android is nice but I choose to use Touchwiz roms over Google Edition and AOSP roms because some of the stock applications are not fit for purpose.

      They’ve barely been updated at all over the years, the camera app has but it barely has any features.

  9. I’m not here to defend TouchWiz because it does seem horribly un-optimized but this is hardly a controlled test. The G+ launches were both damn near instantaneous. When he launched the Camera apps you can see that he actually pressed the one on the Moto E slightly before the S5, which opened slightly before the S5, and when he launched the Gallery there was quite a bit more content that needed to be loaded into memory on the S5 (notice there were more pictures in the gallery) than on the Moto E.

    This is a horrible benchmark that makes the S5 seem worse than it actually is. TouchWiz offers some nice features at the expense of milliseconds of speed. It isn’t great but I’ll take it over Stock Android any day now. Being the kind of junkie that I am, I notice and miss Vanilla speed but there are some features I just can’t do without (Note 3 user, so I’m quite a bit biased).

    1. The Motorola camera has no options at all, while TW has a full featured camera. This test was obviously biased too.

  10. That’s just embarrassing

  11. The S5 has to be one of weirdest phones ever regarding performance evaluations. I’ve seen everything from the software is so bloated it makes the phone unusable. All the way to the S5 scoring higher marks in overall software than the HTC M8. I believe Rob Jackson from this very site gave the the S5 the edge in software, as well as other respected tech sites. Maybe some people perceive lag differently. Maybe it’s a quality control issue where Touchwiz bogs down some phones more than others. It definitely feels like the issues are exaggerated. Oh well, I have the opportunity to JuMp on TMobile. I passed on the S5. The HTC M8 too. I’m waiting for the undisputed king of smartphones the next iteration of the Note series.

  12. I thought it was interesting that he mentioned near the end of the video real benchmark / game tests that the S5 would have blown the Moto E away, but in everyday use the TouchWiz is only slightly slower. Prersonally I’m fine with the performance since I only use it mainly to make phone calls, take photos and play games. I hardly use it to browser internet since phones are still way too slow compared to PC’s… Even peacekeeper has the proof just how far behind mobile devices actually are in web browser performance.

    1. Only Samsung phones are too slow compared to PCs… ;-) You should be surfing on a Nexus or a Moto.

      1. You are nuts. I browse on my phone when I have to, but I can always get to the content I want faster on a laptop. Look up processor architecture to see the difference in horsepower between a Snapdragon and an i5.

        1. Not to mention that the GPU on a PC its loads faster which probably makes the greatest difference in a browser.

      2. I’ve used a friends Nexus 5 and it doesn’t even hit 900 on peacekeeper test which by the way isn’t that much faster then my phone. I score almost 7000 on my PC which is a huge difference.

        Besides those phones aren’t available on my service provider only HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Sony & Apple and I didn’t want another HTC again because their updates came out very slow over the past two years in my country.

  13. Touchwiz could be more optimized for sure. But this test was really bad. Transitions isn’t considered lagg they are by nature a delay. If Moto is using Art it explains starting times, since Samsung still stuck on dalvik – come on Samsung we want Art support without rooting now!

    1. Where was it mentioned that the Moto E is running ART runtime not DALVIK?
      ART is still experimental/beta, I would be very surprised if it was set up as the stock runtime compiler by Motorola.

      1. Motorola is not using ART by default yet, I have the Droid Ultra and my friend has the Moto X. Both on stock 4.4.2 and neither used ART by default.

  14. Samsung are heading in the wrong direction. Horrible styling and their own cludgy mess of a UI. The S5 was their first stumble, this could be the year Apple and the other Android manufacturers capitalise on their mistakes…

  15. Samsung should push optimisation like crazy after the release of this video.. It’s pretty incredible to imagine the what sort of beast the S5 could have been – were those said optimisations made..

  16. Comparing Samsung applications to stock apps is like comparing Apples to Oranges

    If you want to do a real speed test download and install the same applications available from the Play Store and test them, better still download more demanding applications and watch the Galaxy S5 rape the Moto E when it comes to load times and raw performance.

    They can definitely optimize touchwiz more but your not giving users all the information they need here. Who is this guy? Why should I trust him to do this kind of comparison to begin with as there is a lot of things you can enable and disable on both devices that affect the results and the Galaxy S5 clearly isn’t a clean install.

    You and others post so much Anti Samsung BS here you don’t really have much credibility left, your regulars will lap it up though as they always do.

    1. So, about the fact that he uses Google+ which comes from Google Play?

      Oh and you can tell the Moto E isn’t a clean install either, still though when you have an OS that takes up almost 8 GB of space versus Motorolas version of Android that only uses a gigabyte or maybe even a little less you are going to see speed improvements.

      Stop being a Samsung fanboy since you can’t see what’s right in front of your eyes. This has been the case for years now, and even the HTC One M8 runs a little bit better because of their scaled back UI.

      1. I couldn’t see any difference between the two when he was using Google+. looked the same to me.

        For most light applications that should be the case.

        1. There was a difference in frame rate. Lets say S5 was 40FPS but the Moto E was 50FPS. The difference isnt noticeable by most people.

          1. There is no way you can differentiate 40-50fps from watching a youtube video.

          2. True, you can’t notice the FPS from a video. However, I can vouch for the fact that the S5 is a bit laggy compared to a stock android device. I’ve had Nexus devices and Google Play variants up until I got my S5. I love the phone, but touchwhiz has got to go. There are noticeable little stutters and delays when switching apps or simply scrolling down in apps like google plus, instagram, facebook, etc. This was not the case with my S4 Google Play edition. Thankfully we’ll have the choice to flash a play edition rom once the S5 hits the Google Play store.

          3. What you refer to as lag is a delay when launching Samsung’s applications, It’s been like that for a while, only Samsung know why it’s been implemented this way.

            If you download a 3rd party dialler or messenger app for example they launch instantly compared to Samsung’s apps, so users have a choice of Samsung’s feature rich applications which load a little slower vs the stock apps which are basic in comparison, or 3rd party app of their choice.

            I’m not defending the delay, it shouldn’t be there but it’s minor.

            This is coming from somebody who has regularly uses AOSP and Google Edition roms on a Galaxy S4 and I still choose to use touchwiz roms as the interface itself, changing homescreens, app draw and notification bar is very smooth and some of the Samsung apps have no good alternatives.

          4. It would be impossible to tell frame rates from this video (which has a consistent frame rate).

            Nice try, though.

    2. lol your S5 blows and now you mad

      1. I don’t own a Galaxy S5.

        Stop trolling.

  17. I agree with him as well. I flashed a stock Android rom on my Note 2. I loved the speed and improved battery life but I ended up going back to Touchwiz. I missed their camera app features with its filters and built in photo editor. Its not as fast as stock Android but has a ton of features I missed. I also missed the Touchwiz messaging app which is more customizable compared to stock as well as the Touchwiz keyboard which had a number row at the top for the size of the Note 2.

    1. When it comes to Applications from Samsung most of those things are portable (most likely already ported) or there is another app just as capable. CameraZoomX for example.

      1. Camera Zoom FX sucks compared to Samsung’s camera… I wanted to like it, but it lacked too many features and stuttered on others.

  18. Moto E > GS5, with the exception of IP67 I prefer the Moto E.

    1. And camera quality, and expandable storage, and removable battery, and USB 3.0, and flash, and FFC, and S Share, and customizable notification widgets, and probably 3-4 upgrades, and…

  19. You guys should do a comparison of the HighEnd Phones running CM compared to running them are stock.

    1. Why? Very few users will ever change the ROM.

  20. I have a S4 and moto G ..moto g runs around my S4 its a shame how bad touchwiz is . Samsung should give option to go vanilla stock android for people who dislike touchwiz like me

    1. Samsung makes good phones with awful software, I owned an S1, S2 and S4 and I always ran a third party AOSP based rom or something like that.
      A GPE Samsung device or GPE rom is your best bet for your S4, I ran it and it worked great.
      The only thing I missed with the GPE rom was samsung’s camera app, the rest of their software needs to be killed off.
      One of the big reasons I left samsung’s phones is because of the bootloader lock that they had on my AT&T S4, I was able to work around it but it was a kludge.

  21. According to me Moto E is not the right phone to compare with Galaxy S5. Although Moto X
    might give some sort of competition to this Samsung’s flagship device. Well, I have
    Galaxy S5 from last one month and quite impressed with its specs. I like its 2800mAh battery that allows me to explore more apps and features without worry about battery status. It is little annoying to remove the flap of charging port
    but wireless charger with receiver is a nice alternative to get rid of this issue. In short, I have no regret of switching from iOS to Android with this masterpiece from Samsung.

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