Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is definitely more streamlined than its predecessor. It has more robust tech specs and offers a rich assortment of features, including a fingerprint scanner and water resistance.
However, it’s taking some criticism for having a casing constructed of poor materials, which gives it a cheaper look and feel.
Samsung Galaxy S5 versus Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a more solid phone than the Galaxy S4, that’s for sure, and looks more well-packaged because of it’s wider back and the grippier, pock-marked battery cover.
Galaxy S5 is more akin to the product of a Galaxy Note 3 and the S4, with the metal-effect band around the outside. The rear of the phone, especially because of its white color makes it look outdated and as if made for the ‘medical’ reps!
“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.”
Samsung Galaxy S5’s Tech Specs
- The Galaxy S5 comes in charcoal black or shimmery white.
- It has a 5.1-inch full HD Super Amoled touchscreen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 System on a Chip, a 16-MP rear camera, a 2-MP front-facing camera, and it runs Android KitKat 4.4.2.
- A 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 2800mAh (removable) battery, 16 / 32GB of memory (with up to 128GB extra through microSD)
- It is water-resistant and dustproof as per the IP67 rating.
- The usual autofocus, GPS and other sensors, video, editing, Bluetooth and WiFi support, Google applications and NFC are available, as is support for wireless protocols.
- The Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate monitor, and it supports Samsung’s Air Gestures and Air View. It can be linked with the Samsung Gear smartwatch.
- Enterprise-ready features include support for corporate email, calendars and contacts; mobile device management; on-device encryption; a virtual private network; and Knox for security. The S5 also is Microsoft Office-compatible.
- The camera, display, SoC and battery are considerably better than in the S4, AnandTech reported. Power efficiency and power consumption also have been improved.
- The battery is larger, the screen bigger and brighter, the processor quicker and the design altered.
Pricing of the S5 is all over the place. It’s available at a base price of about US$200 with a two-year contract, and $600 to $700 without; various discounts are on offer.
Mixed Reactions to the S5
Some reports compared it unfavorably to the HTC One M8 and the 6-month-old iPhone 5S. Others said it offers only marginal improvements over the flailing S4, and some criticized it as bland.
“The S5 is less of a redesign than a refinement of its 2013 S4,” Carl Howe, a research vice president at the Yankee Group, told TechNewsWorld.
“Given that the S4 has fallen a bit short of Samsung’s sales goal to surpass the iPhone, I don’t think the [S5] will do so either,” he added.
“The S4 had a lot of really crazy features and not a lot of people used it,” remarked Ramon Llamas, an IDC research manager. The S5 “took out some of that bloatware … you’ll find it a lot easier to use.”
The S5 “is a powerful sub-brand and the only rival to the iPhone to date,” pointed out Nick Spencer, a senior practice director at ABI Research. “So I do expect it to sell tens of millions of units.”
The S5 has nine sensors, Spencer continued, but “the materials are quite poor for a premium device … even worse than the S4.”
Samsung Galaxy S5 review Video