At Samsung's Unpacked event in February, we got some early hands-on time with the Galaxy S5 and what impressed us then is what impresses us now, now that we've had a few weeks to live and work with the device in house. The first thing that stands out is its beautiful 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display. Then you're treated to the snappy, fluid responsiveness of its beefy Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor. But, as we've come to find out with HTC's One (M8), there's a lot more to a smartphone than just a pretty screen and a screaming-fast mobile processor under the hood. It's a damn good start though.
In practical use, the definition of a "superphone" would be a well-balanced combination of high quality industrial design, functionality and a feature set that's backed-up with top-end horsepower and solid battery life. It's not easy to hit all those targets in one device and not make at least a couple of compromises somewhere along the way.
So does the Samsung Galaxy S5 live up to the build-up? Better still, is it merely just equal to the sum of its parts or are we talking true Android greatness here? Let's have a look.
|Display:||5.1" FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)|
|Processor:||2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 with Adreno 330 Graphics
|OS:||Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)|
|Camera:||16MP (rear), 2.0MP (front)|
|Video:||UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization, Video Codec : H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
Video Formats: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
|Audio:||Audio Codec : MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/ AAC+/ eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
Audio Format: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
|Camera Features:||HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More|
|Additional Features:||IP67 Dust- and water-resistant
Ultra Power Saving Mode
S Health 3.0
|Google Mobile Services:||Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube|
|Connectivity:||WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2x2),
Bluetooth: 4.0 BLE / ANT+
|Sensors:||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart Rate sensor
Internal Memory: 16/32GB
microSD slot up to 128GB
|Dimensions:||142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g|
Standby time: 390 hrs / Talk time: 21
$149 - $199 on contract with all major carriers
Just quickly scan of the Galaxy S5's spec list and you're treated to a veritable laundry list of the latest technologies. First, Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 801 with Adreno 330 graphics is the processor on board the GS5 and it in and of itself is a sizable upgrade over the Snapdragon 600 found in the previous generation Galaxy S4. However, the list goes on from there, and the upgrades are substantial almost on every front. The highlights are a larger 5.1-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, (which is probably my favorite enhancement on board the GS5), a new higher resolution 16MP camera (capable of shooting 4K UHD video), the latest 802.11ac MIMO WiFi technology, USB 3, and a larger 2800mAh battery.