Samsung announced its much awaited flagship device yesterday, The Samsung Galaxy S5. In our initial news coverage of the same we stated that we had a mixed feeling about the device. With our initial hands on with Samsung Galaxy S5, we see a lot more positivity and potential, but the mix feeling remains.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Quick Specs

  • Display Size: 5.1 Inch Full HD Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 432 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: 2.45 GHz Quad Core MSM8974AC Snapdragon 800 processor with Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 578 MHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Software Version: Android 4.4 KitKat with new Touch Wiz Ui on top
  • Camera: 16 MP camera, LED flash, 4K Recording at 30 fps. 1080p at 60 fps
  • Secondary Camera: 2.0 MP, 1080p recording at 30 fps
  • Internal Storage:  16 GB, 32 GB
  • External Storage: MicroSD support up to 128 GB
  • Battery: 2800 mAh
  • Sensors: Finger print Sensor, Hear rate sensor, proximity, Compass, Barometer, Accelerometer
  • Connectivity:  HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, GLONASS, NFC, Micro USB 3.0

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands On [Video]

Design and Build

The design is quite uninspiring. In spite of all the top end hardware that it packs, the looks leave much to be desired. Samsung has provided with leather like dimpled plastic cover at the back, which didn’t appeal to us at first glance, but after the initial hands on it did feel good and solid in hand. The cover still is far from glamorous. The edges are made of an amalgam of glass fiber and plastic and can be easily confused for metal.

The phone is IP67 certified and that explains the flaps covering the ports. This also means that the phone is resistant to a depth of 1 m for 30 minutes (only after you properly close all those flaps). Good news is that the back cover and battery are still removable. The finger print scanner is coupled with the home button, but you will have to power up the phone before you can scan. This is something which contradicts the purpose of easy unlocking. We found the finger print scanner to be extremely accurate.

The heart rate monitor is present at the back and works accurately. However we didn’t find it much useful in practical scenario. If you like you could just scan your heart beat, but you would have to draw your Galaxy S5 out of your pocket each time. This functionality is best suited for Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

Display

The Display is not qHD. On paper it is the same 1080p screen which we saw on Galaxy S4, with a marginal bump in size. In practice however, the display was brighter and better. The Super AMOLED display provided with amazing colors and contrasts. We did expect the debut of 2k display with Galaxy S5, but that didn’t happen.

Camera and Internal Storage

The camera is a big pragmatic improvement in Galaxy S5. The Megapixel count is often misleading when talking about flagship camera’s and more than the Megapixel count (16 MP) we were impressed with the high speed focus, the crisp and detailed snaps, even under low light conditions. We didn’t extensively test the camera yet, but the brief testing was enough to admire it. Samsung is definitely doing something right with the camera.

Camera app is also loaded with features, the highlighted one being Selective focus, which worked fine. Of course you can always record 4K videos, but you will have to play them on a 4k TV to fully appreciate them.

The internal storage has never been a problem on Samsung Flagships. You get to choose from 16 GB and 32 GB internal storage variants and the storage can be further augmented by 128 GB using MicroSD support.

Battery, OS and Chipset

The battery is rated at 2800 mAh and Samsung claims the new battery saver mode to be a life saver, should you find yourself stuck in a low battery situation. The chipset is Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 801 processor with 4 cores clocked at 2.45 GHz. Samsung will also launch an Octa core variant of the same clocked at 2.1 GHz. The processor provides a significant GPU boost compared to Snapdragon 800 and is definitely the best out there.

The RAM capacity is 2 GB. Samsung refrained from a 3 GB RAM as seen on other high end devices like Note 3, LG G Pro 2 and Xperia Z2. Having said that, we don’t expect the performance to suffer with more than enough 2GB RAM on board. Especially with the much improved DDR3 memory interface on Snapdragon 801 compared to Snapdragon 800.

The interface is definitely a new one, though it’s still touch wiz. Samsung has reduced the bloatware and icons do look more attractive. The notification bar also looks neater and classier. We will have to dig deeper to fully understand and know how much more handier touch wiz experience will be. The base OS is Android Kit Kat.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Photo Gallery

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a powerful performance device. Samsung and other android rivals have often criticized Apple to lack innovation and we didn’t see much of it in Samsung’s flagship. The body design is quite conventional without Samsung following a bold approach. The finger print scanner is accurate but apples implementation is better. We have high hopes from the Snapdragon 801 chipset. We don’t mind the 2 GB RAM either. The camera is great and software is a huge improvement.

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