Samsung Galaxy S5 and S5 Duos Review

Pros: High performing chipset with a high clock speed, with the S5 Duos providing up two SIMS to be used simultaneously. Large screen size of 5.1 inches radiates a 1080p resolution beautifully. Runs KitKat 4.4 out of the box with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and is IP67 certified. Expandable storage capability of up to 128 GB. Wide range of wireless connectivity options; an 802.11 ac adapter, 3G and 4G LTE modems. 16 MP rear and 2 MP front camera. Fingerprint scanner used to make PayPal payments included.
Cons: 2 GB RAM, while the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 possess 3 GB of RAM. 2,800 mAh battery is a small upgrade compared to the Galaxy S4’s 2,600 mAh battery. Tons of unnecessary applications use up internal storage, RAM and processing power. OIS (optical image stabilization) not been included in the device’s camera. Supports wireless charging, but only provides support through optional back cover. Heart-rate monitor is more of a gimmick and price is higher compared to its rivalling handsets. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S5 Duos are the company’s current flagship devices belonging to the Galaxy brand of smartphones. The only difference that we found separating the two devices in our review was that the Duos supports dual SIM functionality. While the device’s packaging is immaculate, we felt that the smartphone itself did not feel to be up to the mark thanks to its plastic exterior.

Design and Display

We found that the Galaxy S5’s rounded rectangle shape is a form factor that the company has adopted for its previous flagship devices too, including the ever popular large home button located at the lower central area of the bezel. The rear side of the handset possesses a cover that comprises up of several tiny punctured holes in order to deliver an aesthetic appeal to the device, as well as provide a nice grip to the device. The Galaxy S5’s 1080p resolution looks beautiful on the 5.1 inch screen size. The width of the phone was perfect to type on and we felt that there was ample space present between our thumbs.

Samsung Galaxy S5

As for the display, there are no visible jagged lines when we looked closely on the app icons, and after browsing around the phone’s gallery, the high resolution makes the images look even more embellished. As for the external buttons, the power one is on the top right with the volume buttons located underneath it, and a headset jack located on the top, which for us is the ideal configuration for a button setup. The charging port is located on the bottom of the phone, with a flap covering it in order to protect it against dust and water. When comparing numerous phones, having a charging output present on the top of phones gives us an extra 3-4 inches of room to use the phone while it is charging. While it is not necessarily a bad thing, a top charging port is always preferred.

Power and performance

Running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 SoC, the Galaxy S5 is able to deliver grease lightning performance and the 2 GB of RAM that works adjacent to it provides a smooth experience of the operating system. Apps start up nice and quick and so far, we experienced no delay when firing up the taxing gaming applications. However, one limitation that we did find was that Samsung’s stock launcher does not do the job right as it provides a slight amount of delay and lag while swiping across the home screen. Installing a 3rd party launcher such as Nova Launcher eliminated the issue for us completely. A large chunk of memory is being used up by pre-loaded applications, which is most likely the culprit for the initial sluggish movement of the phone. Removing them (by rooting the phone) improved performance for our device by a considerable margin.

Storage

The S5 comes in the 16 and 32 GB internal storage models. Unlike most devices, the commendable thing that Samsung has done is adding a microSD slot that supports up to 128 GB. The only drawback that we found from the microSD slot was that every time a card had to be inserted, we had to pop up the hood of the device. This ends up wasting time but seeing as how most companies do not bother adding a storage slot in its high end devices, there is no point complaining from our side.

Camera performance

Even though the S5’s camera does not possess an OIS unit, the 16 MP shooter is still able to capture impressive photos at a max image resolution of 5312 by 2988 pixels. We found that the camera has difficulty keeping up with the quality of images in low light environments but still give a satisfactory result. Recording 1080p videos at 60 FPS looks as beautiful as it is lightning fast, but recording 4K videos at a steady 30 FPS rate looks beyond stunning.

Build quality

Samsung’s intention of incorporating a plastic chassis to its smartphones has remained immutable. While the company does this in order to save costs by steering clear from the more expensive metallic chassis, it ends up making the device feeling extremely flimsy, at least to our hands. After the device is gripped firmly, it gave us the impression that the smartphone will crack if enough force is applied. The rear plastic of the phone is quite flexible but far from sturdy, which ultimately leads us to the conclusion that if the phone is dropped from a substantial height, it will end up damaging the impacted area to a very large degree.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with gear

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