Samsung Galaxy S5 has been the talk of the town since it was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2014. The flagship device from Samsung is an immediate successor to Galaxy S4 launched at the same time period last year. As with the case with every big launch from Samsung, the device was highly anticipated and launched in 150 countries of the world on 11th of April 2014. In terms of initial impressions, there were mixed reviews but some of those who were eagerly awaiting the device were disappointed while other felt new design elements have worked in favor of the company. We have prepared a gist of what changed and what remained unaltered.

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Design

At the first glance, one can hardly notice any subtle changes to the phone in comparison to the last year Galaxy S4. You will find the familiar shape with rounded corners and an overall flat profile. Samsung’s signature button layout is similar while addition of recent apps button found in Nexus range of devices replaces the traditional menu button at the left. This could be a welcome change for the people migrating from stock Android devices. The bezels are now slightly larger that could prove lifesaving in case the phone falls down. Also these large edges could supposedly help the device from dust and water. The picture is different when we move our eyes towards the back of the device where we will find new dimpled texture design unlike the glossy finishing in the previous generations models. In terms of handling, Samsung always get credit for creating large displays that comes easy on hands. This time also Samsung gets the pat on its back.

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Display

No doubt Samsung creates excellent displays but a little would be noticed in this version with a .1 inch increment but the 1080p display is yet vibrant and crispy that features the same Super AMOLED technology returning 432ppi. Viewing angles are fantastic as ever and every type of media you watch, it provides rich viewing experience. So whether it is playing 1080p videos or playing graphics intense games, it remains a value for money device. But the smartphone despite transforming in the latest generation model, still lags in the race of sharpest displays.

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Hardware and Performance

A brief description of each will clear the reasons for upgrading to this phone:

  • Galaxy S5 power department is tweaked with the latest Quadcore Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5Ghz from previous Snapdragon 600. RAM amount remains the same i.e. 2GB.
  • Powerful Adreno 330 GPU is par with HTC’s latest flagship One M8 and Sony’s top-notch Xperia Z2.
  • Cameras are all good in S-series of devices and this time it has been upgraded to 16MP ISOCELL shooter from the 13MP in Galaxy S4. The camera boasts of high quality photo shoot with improved user interface and features like Live-HDR and Selective Focus. Videos can be recorded up to 2160p which is offered only in Sony Xperia Z2 for now.
  • USB 3.0 should be an added advantage in comparison to other devices in the range although it was way back introduced in Galaxy Note 3 phablet.
  • Internal storage comes with a little disappointment where latest flagship devices offering at least 32 GB while GS5 comes with 16/32 versions. But contrary to this, the phone now supports up to 128 gigs of storage.
  • Battery life of 2,800 mAh might not appease many of the heavy users at the end. For the average user the phone does provide longevity and the new ultra power saving mode gives the dying battery a healthy amount of life.
  • Sound quality remains the same and the speakers are mounted on the back of the device while it could have been made better by placing at the front seen in latest devices like HTC One M8.
  • The phone now comes with full protection from water and dust holding IP67 rating. This means that the phone can be completely immersed in the water for about 30 minutes and to a depth of 1 meter.

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What’s unique in this costly phone?

Let’s see what this phone has to offer at the price of $700:

  • Finger scanner and the heart rate monitor are the two biggest additions in this new device. The fingerprint scanner adds another level of security but on the whole the feature was criticized for being too tiresome to operate.
  • Coming to the heart rate monitor located beneath the rear camera, it is a onetime rate monitor and may not be accurate at times. Especially it would be an ineffectual feature if you are a fitness nut.
  • The new TouchWiz UI does bring some amount of smile at the software end. Samsung smartphones are often criticized for lagginess but this time the company has provided butter smooth TouchWiz interface where multitasking is child’s play. Swiping to the left brings up the new Magazine user interface. Although it’s just a news aggregator and might not appease some people fond of Flipboard but does provide a shortcut to your social media feeds and several organized categories.
  • The recent apps button is something a decent change in the layout where you can experience the stock-like multitasking.
  • Another decent change can be found when we pull down the notification bar. Here you will find ease of access with circular icons and a long list of toggles with separate Windows PC styled categories.
  • All the other bells and whistles remain intact.

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Competition

Galaxy S5 competes with HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 which were recently launched in the market. Besides these, there is upcoming LG G3 that would be pitted against this flagship device from the Korean manufacturer.

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Verdict

Overall it seems that Samsung has once again laid emphasis on evolution rather than revolution with unnecessary features like heart rate monitor and inconsistent finger print scanner. Majority of the people have considered this smartphone an unworthy successor to the previous one. But honestly speaking, with lack of freshness, the Galaxy S5 is still one of the best smartphones out in the market with excellent display and camera and also Samsung does provides  solid updates to Galaxy S-series of smartphones. There are valid reasons to upgrade to this latest phone and after all it is completely a matter of personal preference. So are you getting Samsung Galaxy S5?