It’s flagship season here at Android Authority, and following our in-depth look at the HTC One (M8) and the Sony Xperia Z2, it’s now time khổng lồ dive inlớn Samsung’s lachạy thử high-end điện thoại thông minh offering! As is the case with every Samsung launch, the Galaxy S5 is one of the most eagerly-anticipated điện thoại thông minh releases of the year, but initial impressions were mixed at best. Those who were hoping for a drastic break from the past were left disappointed. Others felt that the combination of familiar thiết kế with some new elements works, in fact, lớn Samsung’s advantage. And, with so many compelling alternatives on the table, choosing the best Android điện thoại thông minh is harder than ever. What does, & does not, work in its favor is what we find out in this comprehensive sầu Reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S5!

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Design

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Incremental updates have sầu been a trkết thúc with other flagship releases this year, and that’s also the case with the Samsung Galaxy S5, with a return of many elements you may rethành viên from previous iterations of the điện thoại thông minh. There are some subtle differences, but the kiến thiết tweaks are ultimately not that significant.

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The first thing you’ll likely notice is the familiar shape of the smartphone, with its rounded corners that keep together a pretty flat profile overall. Depending on your perspective on the Galaxy S series, this form factor will either feel pleasantly familiar or too played out.

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Samsung’s signature button layout returns as well, but there’s a welcome change here. This time around you get the physical home button, a capacitive sầu baông chồng button, & a brand new capacitive sầu recent apps button, which has replaced the menu button found in other Samsung smartphones. The change should provide a more consistent experience, especially for users coming from stoông xã Android or other OEMs. You’ll also notice that the bezels around the display of the Galaxy S5 are a little larger than on its predecessor. Some may lament this change, but there is definitely a purpose behind the move sầu. Samsung made this change to improve the durability of the phone, making it harder for the screen khổng lồ break when the phone falls on its sides. A few early drop tests seem to suggest that this measure of caution is working, though we still advise using a quality case (Best cases for the Galaxy S5). The wider bezels supposedly help with the phone’s water và dust resistance as well.

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Coming around to sides, you’ll find Samsung’s typical button layout with the volume rocker on the left & the power button on the right side. The ridges on the sides of the phone are more pregnant than on the Galaxy lưu ý 3 before it, but I can’t say that affects handling. For all intents và purposes, the sides are still flat, & so the handling largely remains the same. The microUSB charging port at the bottom is covered with a small plastic flap, another compromise required to lớn ensure water protection. The tai nghe jachồng & IR blaster found at the top are uncovered, but still capable of withstanding the elements.

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And finally, we turn to lớn the baông xã, which is easily one of the most discussed aspects of the phone, and the only major departure from an otherwise familiar design language. The first thing to lớn know is that the cover requires a bit more effort khổng lồ snap into place, in order lớn make sure that no water can make it past the sealing gasket on the inside. But it’s the design, not the functionality of the back of the Galaxy S5 that’s likely lớn garner mixed reactions. Personally, I’m not a huge bạn of the dimpled finish, especially when I compare it with the pleasant faux leather texture Samsung used on the Note 3.

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Looks are an important factor, but handling is just as crucial for the experience a phone ultimately offers. In this regard, Samsung definitely deserves some credit. The Galaxy S5, despite featuring a slightly larger 5.1-inch display, is only marginally bigger than its predecessor, & remains very easy lớn handle. If you liked how the Galaxy S4 felt in your h&, you will feel right at home page on the S5 as well. Of course, no amount of good design can change the fact that the Galaxy S5 comes with a large display, so if big phones aren’t your thing, you need look elsewhere. With that said, at least for me, the S5 is probably the best handling devices in its class. While the Galaxy S5’s looks may be lacking in some areas, at the very least, it should get points for ease of use, good functionality, and a gentle learning curve.

Display

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Like the previous generations, the Galaxy S5 features a beautiful Super AMOLED display, with a 0.1-inch bump in kích cỡ compared with the S4. You get pretty much everything you may want in a display from this 1080p screen with a px mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa of 432 ppi, including crispness, color vibrancy, contrast, brightness, & viewing angles. The highly vibrant colors suit well the UI design of TouchWiz, as colors basically pop out, almost feeling like a punch in the face. This kind of vibrancy is certainly eye-catching, but you can tone it down if you prefer more accurate colors using the Cinema mode from the available display presets. Viewing angles are as good as ever, & even at very steep angles colors remain vivid. Pretty much any và all truyền thông that you’re going to watch on this display shines through, so you’ll definitely enjoy yourself while playing games lượt thích Plants vs Zombies 2.

Also worth mentioning is the screen’s ability to lớn register touches from your fingers even if you’re wearing gloves, along with its capacity to lớn recognize a hovering finger, to take advantage of its Air View capabilities. Samsung did not make a big khuyễn mãi giảm giá of air gestures this time, but the ability to lớn pReviews files or read a quiông xã message without touching the screen is still a nice little feature of TouchWiz.

Performance

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In line with what is expected from a proper flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5 features the best processing package that is currently available. You get a quad-core Qualcomilimet SnapLong 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, slightly faster than what is found in competing smartphones, backed by the Adreno 330 GPU & 2GB of RAM. We often see comments regarding stutter and lag on Samsung Galaxy devices, & while this might have been a real issue in the past, I rarely faced it when I used the Galaxy S5. Part of the credit definitely goes to lớn the updated and seemingly optimized version of TouchWiz; the only real delays I spotted were in the My Magazine area, when the tiện ích was refreshing online nội dung.Multitasking is a breeze as well, with no stutters found in the new recent apps screen, but I could have sầu done without the smooth yet lengthy fade transition between apps. Another staple feature of Samsung devices, Multi Window, is entirely lag-free as well. Especially with the slew of tools available in the new version of TouchWiz, getting anything done on this device shouldn’t be a problem, & thankfully, the phone is powerful enough lớn handle everything.

Hardware

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I’ve sầu already mentioned an important new feature of the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is its IP67 rating for protection against dust & water. This rating means that the phone is almost completely protected from dust, & can be immersed in water lớn a depth of 1 meter and for as long as 30 minutes, without any negative sầu effect on response or performance. When turning on the phone or taking it off charging, you get reminders lớn secure the baông xã cover và the microUSB charging port respectively. Once that’s done, you’re all phối. After a few splashes, the phone remained very responsive, & I didn’t even have trouble with water registering presses on the screen, an issue that has come up occasionally with other devices.

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Under the back cover are two features that have played a big role in Samsung’s ongoing market leadership — the removable battery và the microSD thẻ slot. The IR blaster on the top allows you khổng lồ control your TV or phối top boxes, via an phầm mềm that also helps you find the best content on TV. You also get a slew of sensors within the phone that help with various functions, such as the S Health Pedometer or the Air Gestures that make a return in the Galaxy S5.

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Call chất lượng on the T-sản phẩm điện thoại network yielded no problems, with no dropped calls and no complaints from either over with regards to lớn sound unique. Speaking of sound unique, the speakers of the Galaxy S5 are once again relegated to lớn the baông xã of the device, and largely offer the same experience as before. It is possible to mess with some settings khổng lồ achieve better sound, but the speakers of the Galaxy S5 just don’t cut it against the competition, especially smartphones that feature front-facing units, like the Điện thoại HTC One (M8).


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The biggest additions when it comes lớn hardware are the Heart Rate Monitor và the Finger Scanner. The Heart Rate Monitor does improve sầu the functionality of the S Health ứng dụng, but unless you’re only looking for a snapshot of your heart rate from time to time, the single readings made possible by this sensor won’t prove sầu very useful khổng lồ anyone truly passionate about fitness. You can find out more about the Heart Rate Monitor in the feature focus video clip below.

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The fingerprint scanner does add another level of security khổng lồ the device. But I found it to be a little more bothersome than anything, especially considering the time it takes to lớn get inlớn the phone, even with the finger scanner working as intended. The scanner’s usefulness will definitely go up a notch once it features more functionality than just unlocking your phone, but until then, using there’s not much khổng lồ talk about. You can check out the Finger Scanner in action in another feature focus Clip below.


And finally when it comes lớn the battery life, the 2,800 mAh unit of the Galaxy S5 may not seem a big upgrade, but proves khổng lồ be more than capable. When I filmed the feature focus videos above sầu và the camera shootout you’ll see below, I used the phone quite heavily. Several solid hours of taking massive sầu amounts of pictures, playing Google Play Music throughout drives to lớn & from location, và the phone calls in between, left me with around 1/2 battery life after 7 hours. As the work got done, usage waned, and with long standby times, I was able to get to the late hours of the night without the remaining battery percentage dropping to below double digits. So, the average user will get longevity from this phone, while powers users may find themselves reaching for the power cord just in time for bed. The ultra power saving mode may be your saving grace however, as you are able to lớn strip the phone UI to lớn its monochromatic bare bones, và just the key apps & settings, in exchange of greatly increased longevity.

Camera

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One of the biggest additions to the Galaxy S5 is the new ISOCELL camera, an optic package that brings a 16 megapixels sensor fitted with a new giải pháp công nghệ that isolates each px from neighboring ones for higher quality photos. Moving on from the technical jargon, the chất lượng of the camera speaks for itself, as you can see in the sample images and the camera shootout feature focus video clip below.


First, let’s talk about the phầm mềm, which is always a big part of the equation when taking pics with a smartphone camera. The thực đơn adopts the circle motif of the updated TouchWiz look, while dialing bachồng on some of the features of the Galaxy S4 và adding new ones. It’s a pretty simple application to lớn use at first glance, with Auto lớn Mode more than enough khổng lồ help you get where you need khổng lồ go. But opening the Settings menu shows you a long scrolling thực đơn with all the options you can play with. You can really tweak the experience of the camera to lớn your liking, with the ability lớn tap lớn take shots, use face detection, & more. As far as modes go, many of the ones that originally came with the Galaxy S4 are no longer built-in. You get a short menu of modes in the selector and then a links to the Samsung App Store lớn tải về more. But you vày get two particularly new ones this time, Selective sầu Focus và Live-HDR.

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Live HDR gives you the option lớn see through the viewfinder the effect HDR would have on your shot, and is very useful if you’re not sure how HDR would affect the scene. When used right, this option can really help you enhance a photo that would otherwise turn out unusable. Selective sầu Focus is Samsung’s way of adding some style khổng lồ your photos. With the mode on, you can focus on your main subject và then the camera will take multiple photos và process them together. The processing takes a little, but if done right, you can play around with the resulting image by choosing to lớn focus the foreground, background, or entire shot. When the feature works as it should, the results are quite good, but it can be hit or miss. When the software is unable khổng lồ draw a perfect line between subjects, it’s definitely noticeable, as a portion of the picture will be blurred because it wasn’t processed properly.

Image samples


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That being said, I found myself quite frustrated over the effect not working in instances where I knew that the foreground should be distinguishable from the rest, especially if I didn’t hold the phone perfectly still while taking the multiple shots. Nonetheless, it’s a good start for an effect that adds another element of style to your smartphone photography.

ISOCELL seems lớn vì the trichồng as far as quality is concerned, resulting in photos that feature great color saturation and good detail. Details are captured quite well, with a number of photos showing good sharpness even after zooming in, but this isn’t the case for every image. Lowering the overall lighting conditions will exacerbate the issue, which isn’t particularly surprising, but the camera does get some decent shots even in those less than ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá conditions. With a slew of features and settings at its disposal, the ISOCELL camera proves lớn be a worthy companion for anyone who wants khổng lồ get a little bit extra out of their camera experience compared lớn other devices.

Software

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When it comes to lớn the software, the updated version of TouchWiz is not, once again, the drastic change that many would have sầu hoped for, but it does refine some elements và introduces a few new features lớn what is otherwise the standard formula. At first glance, TouchWiz seems very familiar with its highly saturated color scheme and flashy icons. The homescreens are largely the same, with the phầm mềm drawer retaining its horizontal paginated layout.

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Swiping to the left, however, will open up Samsung’s take on the second homescreen experience, My Magazine. While it’s supposed khổng lồ be a news aggregator, it does piggy baông xã on Flipboard, but even then, not lớn the extent that you might like. Even casual users of Flipboard, which by itself is a very powerful và stylish news application, will not be happy to know that any subscriptions they may have phối up don’t filter into My Magazine. Instead, the app pulls from a curated danh sách of categories and your social media feeds. More freedom of choice would have definitely helped My Magazine provide the experience it was hoping to lớn, but ultimately the ứng dụng largely serves like a shortcut lớn Flipboard.

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The more obvious change is the inclusion of the new recent apps button & screen, which as the name suggests, opens up a các mục of your recent apps. It’s a welcome change, especially for anyone used to lớn a more stock-lượt thích multitasking experience.

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Other changes can be found when you pull down the notification thực đơn. The power widget is now populated with circular icons, và comes with the now standard long danh sách of toggles for all the available features. Many of them will be familiar, but one that is worth mentioning is Toolbox, a small floating button much like Facebook’s Chat Heads, that provides a quiông chồng shortcut to up lớn five different favorite applications. Another neat feature is the download booster, that allows TouchWiz lớn use Wi-Fi in conjunction with your sản phẩm điện thoại data connection to lớn download files that are larger than 30 MB. This feature works extremely well, but don’t get carried away as you may find yourself running out of Mobile data very quickly.

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All of these features are found in a completely revamped settings thực đơn that has taken on that circle motif as well. All options are elegantly categorized in pulldowns, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. After that, many of the features you may be familiar with return, like the gestures you may or may not use, Multi Window, và an S Health app that has been updated mainly to lớn accommodate the Heart Rate Monitor.


What is most striking about the lathử nghiệm version of TouchWiz is that it’s actually quite smooth, considering that lagginess has been one of the biggest points of contention with previous editions. The played out sound effects can get annoying very fast, but the updated version features enough subtle changes lớn make it feel fresh. It won’t be long before the familiarity sets in again, but at the very least, TouchWiz has now become snappy và pretty reliable.

Specifications

Display5.1-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (19đôi mươi x 1080), 432 ppi
Processor2.5GHz Snaprồng 801
RAM2GB
Storage16GB/32GB
Battery2800 mAh
Cameras16 MP rear LED flash with ISOCELL và 4K recording (limited to 5min), 2.1 MP.. front
Networks3G, LTE Cat. 3 2X2 MIMO
ConnectivityGPS, GLONASS, microUSB, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Công nghệ Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Dimensions142 x 72.5 x 8.1 milimet, 145 grams
ColorsBlaông chồng White, Blue, Gold
Waterproof and dust resistantRated IP67 - USB port covered with plastic flap
SoftwareAndroid 4.4

Gallery


Pricing và Final Thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available from all of the major US carriers soon, at premium prices for their 2-year contracts, which is usually $199. The unlocked version of the phone can be expected to be cthua lớn the $700 mark. And so, there you have it, an in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy S5. Looking at many of the comments following the launch of this điện thoại thông minh, some people felt like it wasn’t a worthy successor lớn the Galaxy S4. In a lot of ways, this impression may be somewhat accurate. While there were additions such as the heart rate monitor or the fingerprint scanner, they don’t feel ultimately useful to me, & the novelty will likely fade quite fast. It also might not be the best looking phone out there, and some may consider the GS5 too similar lớn its predecessor. But for every finger scanner, there is an ISOCELL camera. For every kiến thiết choice you may not lượt thích, there is new IPhường certification. And for every point lost for lack of freshness, there are points for familiarity. Half of you will lượt thích this phone và the other half will not, & that’s the unfortunate reality of the Galaxy S5 at this point. The good news is the Galaxy S5 is an honest phone, & if you are swayed by its charms now, you’ll likely have sầu a good time using it for a long time. For everyone else, I would still encourage you khổng lồ give this phone a shot without completely writing it off, & you might just end up liking what you see. Buy the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 from Amazon Buy the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 from Amazon