- Gareth Beavis , TechRadar
Powerful, competent and with a whole new UI, it's a shame that Samsung hasn't progressed further with the look of its new challenger.
- Lucas Lau , Lowyat
The Samsung Galaxy S5 represents Samsung’s most thought-about phone in a world where Samsung are overthinkers.
- Bright display with excellent contrast, bright light legibility and color accuracy
- 16MP rear-facing camera takes sharp and crisp bright light photos
- Excellent battery life
- IP67 rating
- Slow startup on certain apps like the camera and settings
- Uninspired plastic design
- Poor auto-brightness
Samsung continues their reign over the Android smartphone market with their flagship phone – the Galaxy S5. While Samsung doesn't stray too far from its recognizable plastic design, they did add a dimpled back texture to address concerns over the slipperiness of the earlier model. The texture, as Stuff.TV points out, "…make this the grippiest Galaxy yet."
When compared to its predecessor – the S4 – the S5 is only slightly heavier at 145 grams and a hair taller at 14.2 cm (5.6 inches). It is also far sturdier as it's rated IP67, making it water and dust-resistant so long as the microUSB flap is in place.
While critics were left wanting with Samsung's rather lackluster design, the 5.1" Super AMOLED display more than made up for it. The display offers the same 1080p resolution as the S4; however experts note that it has been tweaked to offer brighter and more accurate tones without the oversaturation problem of previous Samsung smartphones. According to Android Central, Samsung has also overcome the issue of daylight visibility stating that, "the Galaxy S5 is the first AMOLED phone we've used that matches the LCD-based competition for legibility in direct sunlight." Despite this breakthrough, they go on to mention that the phone has a poor auto-brightness feature, especially when used indoors.
The back of the phone houses a 16 megapixel camera with an LED flash. While the camera doesn't boast the same quality as the Nokia Lumia 1020, it features an HDR mode for crisper and more true-to-life photos as well as a new Selective Focus mode that choose the focal object and blurs out the background. The camera also has a very fast autofocus that can resolve the sharpness of an image in 0.3 seconds. Despite the speed of its autofocus, TechRadar found the actual app startup to be rather slow mentioning, "…it can take a few seconds to boot up the camera…The camera then takes another three seconds to even be ready to start firing…" In general, critics didn't have issues with the image quality in bright light; however they did notice that low light images were prone to noise and graininess.
Inside, the S5 boasts all the bells and whistles with a 2.5GHz quad core processor, 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of internal storage. Although critics did not notice lag in the traditional sense they did notice that certain tasks took longer than expected to start up like simply powering on the screen or opening up the settings app. Pocket Lint goes into further detail stating, "It feels like it's been designed to be slightly sedate. And we think it needs speeding up. When you open a game like Real Racing 3…it plays wonderfully, but once back in the home screens we want more pace." While the performance didn't impress critics, they were happy with the 2800mAh battery citing 9 hours of mixed usage.
For the most part critics describe the Samsung Galaxy S5 as a great phone but not awe inspiring. Trusted Reviews says, "It lacks the style of its nearest rivals, but it more than delivers on every other point…" Business Spectator adds, "the Galaxy S5 is a mixed bag…the S5 sports a brilliant display…But crucially, Samsung has failed to realize that people care about how the phone looks and feels in the hand - areas where the competition…really deliver for the same price."
Reviews (8.5/10 Avg. rating)
Impressive spec sheet
Gorgeous on the inside, ugly on the outside
The Galaxy S5 never quite lived up to expectations, but it was still a top-end phone in 2014, and a decent mid-ranger now. It’s the kind of phone where every software angle is covered. Some choices may not be for everyone, like design, interface, the heart rate monitor and finger scanner, but the holy trinity of camera, battery and screen are done very well.
If you're not a Samsung fan it's unlikely the S5 is going to win you over, and if you are a Samsung fan then you've probably already got a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge and are only reading this article out of casual curiosity.... Full review
Probably the worst-looking Android flagship
A jack-of-all-trades smartphone
The Samsung Galaxy S5 does a lot of things well. Its Super AMOLED display offers stunning visuals, while its Snapdragon 801 CPU delivers strong performance. Features such as S Health continue to grow, becoming more useful, despite a gimmicky heartbeat monitor. And let's not forget the more than 9 hours of battery life that can be extended even further.
The iPhone 6 has a more elegant design and a higher-quality camera, but if you prefer Android, the Galaxy S5 is a great device for work, play and everything in between. Its compelling features make it one of the best smartphones on... Full review
Simply a better all-around package
Before using this phone, I assumed people were buying Samsung Galaxy devices as zombies due to clever marketing. However, it soon became clear that Samsung's massive market share is well deserved. The screen on the S5 is vibrant and enjoyable and all of the company's enhancements to Android are beneficial. In other words, TouchWiz is great -- detractors are just simply wrong.
Sure, the HTC One has a better build quality and the LG G3 has a better screen. While both of those devices are great, the Galaxy S5 is simply a better all-around package. The fingerprint unlocking on the S5... Full review
Easily the best Galaxy S device we’ve seen thus far
Fast as always, lots of features
The Galaxy S5 was a highly hyped device in that it was supposed to be Samsung’s re-birth of sorts, ushering in a new era of hardware design. But that didn’t happen. Instead we got another Galaxy S3 with some improved internal components. Don’t get us a wrong. The S5 is a great phone and one you should definitely look at. It’s packed to the gills with features (some good, most eh) and checks all of the right check boxes on the spec list. But at the end of the day it simply feels long in the tooth, old, uninspiring, boring… the list goes on.
All that... Full review
Flagship smartphone doesn't match up to rivals
A safe bet with a side of dull
In all, we walk away from our short stint with the Galaxy S5 feeling somewhat unmoved, as if we’d been using a Galaxy S 4 all along, only after installing a new backplate and software update.
Having used many of its closest competitors’ devices, it seems other companies are putting far more effort into their top tier products while Samsung continues to try to leverage its monotonous, mundane hardware with dozens of features few will ever use off the sales floor.
Is the Galaxy S5 a fantastic buy? Absolutely... Full review
A well refined piece of hardware
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC at the heart of the device is the most powerful ARM chipset going around, clocking in at around twice as fast as the Galaxy S4’s Snapdragon 600. There’s no shortage of power in the S5, while energy efficiency has improved to give a respectable gain in battery life, thanks to display and SoC-side refinements.
Speaking of the display, we really have a winner on our hands here. Samsung still hasn’t managed to nail the color accuracy of their Super AMOLED panels, but the vibrancy, balance and overall quality of the S5’s display has... Full review
Great phone, too many decisions
It works fast, great display, amazing rear camera.
Manuals / User Guides
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