It’s hard to believe that we are on the 5th iteration of the Galaxy S series but here we are with the Galaxy S5. Samsung is looking to top the success of the previous 4 Galaxy S smartphones but the Galaxy S5 is more of a par for the course then a hole in one.
The Galaxy S5 packs the specs that most flagship phones carry with a 5.1 inch 1080p display, 16 megapixel camera, quad-core processor and 2 GB of ram. The design looks very similar to the Galaxy S4 from last year but with a slightly bigger screen, more rounded corners and the addition of water-resistant protection. Now this doesn’t make the phone fully water proof, it is WATER RESISTANT which means it can take a small splash and be ok but please keep it away from the ocean. I would have liked to have seen a newer design here but can’t blame Samsung for not changing much. The competitors out there like Apple with the iPhone have kept a consistent design and it has worked for them.
As far a daily performance. I did like using it but did feel that Samsung’s additions to this version of Touch Wiz is a bit too much for the hardware to handle. There are points where the software lags where it just simply shouldn’t especially with the power that is carrying. I think Samsung needs to take a look at what is most used feature wise in their phones and then tailor those to perfection while scaling back or removing the items that are not used as often.
Most of what you get software wise is the same as you in the versions of Touch Wiz before but now with a flatter UI and the addition of the Toolbox app which lets you have a list of apps to get access to quickly and Privacy mode which lets you put pictures and content in a special private location on your phone that you can only access. Good additions especially with the Privacy mode however the Toolbox app is a bit more redundant in functions.
I do have to talk about the two sensors that they have added to the Galaxy S5 and that’s the fingerprint sensor on the front and the heart rate sensor on the back. Both are cool but at the same time probably won’t be used much. I do like the heart rate sensor which was pretty accurate and works well. The Fingerprint sensor however I wasn’t the biggest fan of as there simply isn’t enough space on the front of the phone where it is location to use it proper. There were many times it wouldn’t read my fingerprint properly and there isn’t really a good one hand use for it. I do like the functionality they added to it to be able to sync with PayPal and other apps to take advantage of the security feature but I feel the hardware design got in the way.
With all that stuff into one phone I am amazed and how good the battery life is. It’s improved of the S4 and can take you through a full day on a single charge. In my use I was able to get about two working days out of it before needed to fully recharge the phone. Your mileage will vary depending on what you use but I can say it will last you through the day for most people. And just in case it doesn’t you do have Ultra Power Save mode which will shut down the phones features all the way to basic functionality. This can get you weeks of battery life in this mode but you will only use it when you’re down to your last 10% of battery life left and you’re nowhere near a charger.
The 16 megapixel camera on the S5 is one of the highlight of the phone. The quality is one of the best for Android smartphone and records in great 4K resolution. It comes packed with all the modes you would expect. Even a refocus app that lets you place around with focus after the shot. This can be a bit tricky to use sometimes but when it works it works well. While daylight and ample light performance is stellar. Low light photos leave something to be desired.