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Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Tue Apr 08 2014, 12:05

Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S5 perhaps shows the biggest improvements on its predecessor when it comes to its photo-taking capabilities, with a 16MP camera capable of shooting 4K video.

When used in decent lighting, we found that the Samsung Galaxy S5's rear-facing camera captures images full of detail with accurate colours. It's also one of the fastest smartphone cameras we have used, with the autofocus firing into action almost immediately. Video capture is impressive too, thanks to the Galaxy S5's ability to capture 4K footage, which produces smooth and crisp video.

Samsung Galaxy S5 16MP camera sample

Taken on the Samsung Galaxy S5

The 16MP camera did show signs of struggling indoors though, and while it still manages to outperform most smartphone cameras on the market, we did notice noise and graininess creeping into images.

Samsung's camera software has also been greatly improved. Selective Focus is perhaps our favourite addition, offering near focus, far focus and pan focus after you've taken the shot. We found the HDR mode great too, with the setting offering up well-balanced images, even when taken in poor lighting.

Battery and storage
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2,800mAh battery, with the firm claiming 21 hours of constant talk time.

Without switching on the phone's battery-saving options, we found ourselves easily breezing through a day of average to heavy usage, so those who use their smartphone more sporadically likely will get two days out of the handset.

We have yet to put the Galaxy S5's battery fully through its paces, but will update this review when we have.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be made available in 16GB and 32GB storage versions. There's the option to expand that via microSD card, with the handset able to support up to an additional 128GB of storage.

In Short
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great phone, and while it is not a huge re-imagining of the firm's flagship model, the tweaks and additions that Samsung has made make a huge difference.

Samsung Galaxy S5 main

While the design still lacks the premium feel of other smartphones and Touchwiz does still feel a little overbearing in places, the Galaxy S5 makes up for this in other areas - be it with the vibrant HD 1080p display, 16MP camera or the additions of a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, which make the phone an obvious choice for the interested in fitness.

Overall, the Galaxy S5 sees Samsung proving it is back in the game, and it should have rivals worried. µ

The Good
Fantastic screen, smooth performance, latest version of Android, Touchwiz is huge improvement, great camera, good battery life, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor are worthwhile additions.

The Bad
Touchwiz can feel overbearing in places, lacks a premium feel.

The Ugly
Nothing.

Bartender's score
9/10

beer9

 

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