Samsung Galaxy S5 Review – One of the biggest and best selling brands in the Android world, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the few smartphones that has become a household name alongside Apple’s iPhone.
While critics have called the phone’s fingerprint scanner an imitation of the iPhone 5s’ own Touch ID, it’s much less gimmicky and packed with more functionality, such as being able to use it for secure log-ins and paying online through PayPal. Between this new tech and the device’s commitment to its S Health apps, which enable you to track your fitness and biometrics, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has given itself a unique edge over Android premium phones.
Though it rarely trumps them, the Galaxy S5 can at least stand shoulder to shoulder with the other flagship phones in this group test on more conventional key features. It has a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen for vivid images, Snapdragon 801 processor for speed and 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy S5’s camera isn’t the most powerful in this round up at 16-MP, but it can shoot in 0.3 seconds and allows for preview HDR and post-shot focusing. Disappointingly, despite a metal siding, the Galaxy S5 is mostly made out of plastic with a polycarbonate screen and rear coated with a rubbery, soft touch material.
This gives the S5 a weight advantage, just 145g, but compared to the HTC One’s metal chassis or Xperia Z2’s glass panels, it looks and feels cheap. With so many unique features, the Galaxy S5 often stands in a class of its own. However, though these look great in adverts and TV spots, it is not pushing the boundaries in terms of fundamental design.
At 5.1 inches, the Galaxy S5 screen is the second largest display in this group test. The screen is also Full HD Super AMOLED so is incredibly sharp and vivid. It is one of the brightest screens available, but can easily be darkened for bedtime reading.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 felt fast when we used it, without any lag. It has a Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, higher than either the HTC or Sony handsets, however our tests suggest this didn’t significantly boost speed.
A good range of features, both in terms of hardware and software. The fingerprint scanner is unique to this generation of Android devices, and its range of S Health apps are also very thorough. It can also lock photos and data for added privacy.
Fractionally cheaper than the Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8, but not enough that you’ll appreciate the benefit. However, it is such a popular phone that there are a wide range of contracts available, some of which are quite competitive.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Specifications
- Operating system Android 4.4.2
- Processor Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.7GHz dual-core
- Memory 2GB RAM, 16GB storage
- Dimensions 129.4 x 65.3 x 10.4mm
- Weight 130g
- Display size 4.7-inch
- Display resolution 1280 x 720 pixels