Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Article Index

Performance Summary And Conclusion

Performance Analysis:

Samsung's new Galaxy S5 rips through benchmarks, besting many of the top smartphones on the market today.  It competes with the HTC One M8 and the two are on par performance-wise since they're based on the same Snapdragon 801 SoC processor complex. Performance with the Samsung Galaxy S5 is, as expected, exceptional. Battery life is also fantastic as well, especially with the GS5's Ultra Power Saving mode as your ace in the hole, should a charger not be handy. But other, important areas of performance are strong with the Galaxy S5 as well, like the GS5's exceptionally responsive camera and it's ability to capture great stills and super high res video. 

In fact, in all the primary areas that matter, the Samsung Galaxy S5 excels. Its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is actually our favorite smartphone display to date. We like it a touch better than the HTC One M8 and the Google Nexus 5, with its wider viewing angles, slightly more saturated, vibrant color reproduction and exceptional brightness.  Though personal preference for some, we also like the fact that you get to make use of all that screen real estate with the Home, Back and Menu buttons all located on the bezel of the device.  From there, it's the additional features that Samsung built into the GS5 that really stand out.

The GS5's Ultra Power Saving mode is, without question, a big plus that virtually all users can appreciate and utilize.  S Health and the phone's heart rate monitor are perhaps a little gimmicky, though it's kind of a fun and interesting feature to have. The fitness tracker aspect of S Health is something folks might get into a bit at the gym or on a run as well. The GS5's fingerprint scanner puts Samsung on equal footing with the iPhone 5S in terms of security features. Though perhaps again, this feature might be less than interesting for some, it does work fairly well at this point and gives you the ability to secure the device beyond conventional pattern or passcode methods that can be more easily hacked. 

In addition, the Galaxy S5's camera electronics really deliver both quality stills and exception UHD video recording that actually push the boundaries of what traditionally has been expected from smartphone cameras.  Though the settings and control side of Samsung's camera app can seem limited in spots, in auto mode, where most people shoot from, the camera captures very high quality images and video.

And finally, all of these features are protected with IP67 rated dust and liquid resistance a la Samsung's previous generation Galaxy S4 Active, only Samsung delivered this feature in a much thinner, sleeker package than the GS4 A.

About the only shortcoming we found with the Galaxy S5, is its metallic, painted plastic trim ring around the edge of the device. It's not a huge drawback for us by any means but if Samsung took time to re-engineer their casing, the Galaxy S5 would have been darn near perfect in our opinion.

We've occasionally passed out Editor's Choice awards here when there are multiple devices in a category that we feel are worthy. In the case of Samsung's Galaxy S5, it goes without question on the team, that this device deserves this level of praise, as does HTC's One (M8).  Some people will find themselves drawn to the One's fantastic exterior design quality, while others will lean towards the GS5's beautiful S-AMOLED display and unique, powerful feature set.  Either way you really can't go wrong but the Samsung Galaxy S5, at $149 - $199 on contract with virtually all the majors carriers, should definitely be on your Android superphone short list.  It's a powerhouse device in every meaningful, noteworthy way.

  • Best Smartphone Display Yet
  • Lightning-Fast General Performance
  • Fantastic Camera Performance
  • 802.11ac And USB 3
  • Solid Battery Life
  • Interesting, Useful Features
  • IP67 Dust And Water Resistance
  • Slightly lower Overall Build Quality Vs. Top Competitors

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