Review: Samsung Galaxy S5

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S5

RecommendedChoosing a smart device to buy today is a lot more difficult than it used to be probably a year or so ago. Apart from the wide variety of choices available out there, ther are many other factors that come into play such as the design, specifications, battery life and price. When it comes to actually making the decision, you need to make sure you are spending your money wisely and are buying the phone with the best specifications.

Today we have the latest flagship from Samsung – the Galaxy S5 – for review. This one is an upgraded iteration of the wildly popular S4. The new S5 seems to have undergone a design overhaul – the cheap plastic feel is gone and you will now find a new matte finish, which, while still plastic, provides a much better overall look.

In addition, the Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a removable back cover, thus allowing you to insert an extended battery. Furthermore, the phone supports microSD cards of up to 128 GB of storage space. So you are no longer stuck with paltry internal storage capacities that most phones come with today, in order to keep ther overall profile thinner.

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Display-wise, Samsung’s new display used in the Galaxy S5 is simply put one of the best on the market. The 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display comes with a full HD resolution of 1920-by-1080 pixels and a PPI of 432. In addition, multiple display modes (such as the battery-saving black and white mode or the Super Bright Mode that makes sunlight viewing easy) ensure that the Galaxy S5 truly shines when it comes to visual quality.

While the phone itself is a bit larger than its predecessor, it’s by no means difficult to handle and operate, being a comfortable size in the hand. It’s nice and lightweight, while also being fairly well balanced. One-handed use did not pose a problem for us, although those with smaller paws may find things a bit trickier.

Samsung has also added to the phone’s durability with an IP67 water and dust resistance certification. This is supposed to handle being submersed in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes, however, some tests on the web have showed it to endure an hour or more.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 has upgraded the previous S4′s camera significantly. The 16 MP sensor provides for some great quality photos, all enhanced by the multiple features Samsung included. It’s a breeze to take quality shots with the Samsung Galaxy S5′s camera, and the 0.3 second auto-focus works wonderfully. Hardware-wise, Samsung delivers the best – a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 Snapdragon 801 CPU and 2 GB of RAM is packed under the hood. The phone comes in two storage capacity variations – 16GB and 32GB.

Though the Galaxy S5, like most new phones on the market, runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, Samsung’s new TouchWiz UI design offers an even better user experience. The company has also added some interesting Google Now and voice control features previously seen on Google’s Nexus devices, inaddition to new health related features.

Samsung Camera App

The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with the S Health app which allows access to the handset’s onboard pedometer and lets you monitor your heart rate through the fingerprint sensor, which sits next to the camera flash on the rear panel. You can also setup your profile on the app, which will then allow you to track your health over time. You can also set yourself goals and unlock achievements, such as a specific weight or a number of steps per day.

What’s more, S Health has also been designed to pair with Samsung’s wearable range – the Gear 2 and Gear Fit are both able to offer more accurate heart rate and pedometer readings which can be synced to the phone. You can also get notifications through the smartwatch devices.

Coming back to the display of the product, the 1080p resolution looks quite fantastic in terms of image clarity while being friendlier to the battery. Colour is vibrant and brightness is excellent; it handles use in direct sunlight quite well and viewing angles are seriously wide. Text is nice and sharp, whites have plenty of pop and, being a Super AMOLED, contrast is robust with deep blacks and dark tones.


Samsung’s camera UI is great, it’s nice and simple with clear icons, and menu controls which are easy to find and use. It’s also unobtrusive, with much of the screen giving way to the viewfinder and many controls being semi-transparent overlays on top of this. The picture quality is excellent – a noticeable improvement on its predecessor and plenty capable for a current flagship.

Call quality and reception quality was good. The S5 also offers an array of connectiity options such as 4G, Wi-Fi ac, NFC and a new connectivity mode that lets the S5 use your Wi-Fi and mobile internet connections simultaneously for faster download speeds.

All in all, this one’s a worthy successor to the Galaxy S4 and fills its shoes perfectly well. Though it might not be as pretty as the HTC One M8 or the Xperia Z2, it makes up for it by delivering on the user experience, featursets and excellent screen. Hence, the Samsung Galaxy S5 wins Review Central’s Recommended award.

Price: AED 2699 (Galaxy S5 LTE/16GB), AED 2899 (Galaxy S5 LTE/32GB), AED 2599 (Galaxy S5 3G/ 16GB)

OS: Android (4.4.2) TouchWiz UI
Weight: 145-gms
Rugged: Water, Dust resistant
IP certified: IP 67
Display size: 5.1-inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density: 432 ppi
Display technology: Super AMOLED
Camera: 16 megapixels
Flash: LED
System chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC
Processor: Quad core, 2500 MHz, Krait 400
Graphics processor: Adreno 330
System memory: 2048 MB RAM
Built-in storage: 16GB or 32 GB
Storage expansion: microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GB

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