HomeReviewsSamsung Galaxy S5 Review - High On Performance, Chary About Design

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review – High On Performance, Chary About Design

Ever since the launch of Samsung Galaxy S II way back in year 2011 we have eagerly looked out for Samsung to unveil their next flagship device. Come 2014 and with the launch of Galaxy S5 Samsung has matured a lot, in terms of software offerings as well as hardware. Whether this ‘maturity’ has been in the right direction is a different question altogether.

Fortunately I’ve had the Galaxy S5 in my possession for about three weeks now, sufficient enough to create an impression of the same. Read on the Samsung Galaxy S5 review.

Galaxy S5 Design

There were a lot of rumors with respect to Samsung finally altering their age old (in tech years) design language but unfortunately things haven’t changed much. Samsung has once again gone with their tried and tested design. This being said I believe it isn’t entirely a wrong decision considering the fact that it was the very same design that was accepted very well by average users (and probably still is).


For those who are looking for a change, Samsung Galaxy S5 doesn’t really offer much in terms of design except for its back cover (more on it later). Traditional button placement with an exception of “recent apps” button replacing the menu button. There is also an additional sensor located at the back for heart rate monitoring and fingerprint scanner merged with the home button.

Coming over to the best part about the design of S5 viz. the back panel. The back cover features a perforated more of a dimpled look. This rubberized, perforated finish makes the device easier to grip and leaves no possibility of fingerprints.

Display Quality

The Galaxy S5 sports a 5.1″ inch full HD Super AMOLED display. This is the same old piece of tech used in S series devices with rectification of white color reproduction. Overall the display (indoor, with brightness set at 60%) is engaging in the sense that the colors simply pop out of the screen and everything looks sharp courtesy 1080p resolution at offer.

And with the brightness mode set to Auto the outdoor visibility is great as well! Simply put this is the best display I have seen in a handled device.

User Interface (Software)

TouchWiz has matured over the last few years and this one is the most significant update till now. Overall the interface has become much faster, smoother and flatter. These changes can be associated with under the hood optimizations and presence of a much faster processor. Also worth mentioning are addition of useful new features including Download Booster, Kids Mode (accompanied with a Kids Store) and toolbox (quick app switcher).

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All in all the much criticized TouchWiz has gained a significant update in its latest iteration. It retains the usability factor (for most parts) and performs a lot better than before. One point I’d like to add here, there are portions of TouchWiz which reflect a sense of Tizen OS. Though I haven’t really tried Tizen OS (seen in videos only) but It feels like Samsung has tried to inculcate UI aspect of Tizen OS.

Galaxy S5 Performance

The Indian variant of the Galaxy S5 uses an Exynos 5 Octa 5422 processor with four 1.9 GHz Cortex A15 cores and four 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 cores along with 2 GB RAM and Android 4.4.2 powering the device. With the presence of all these cores I really don’t have to stress on the fact that how powerful this device is. Thus performance is not an issue on this variant or US/European models using Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8974AC 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, everything works like a charm!

One area I feel Galaxy S5 could have been even better is the Random Access Memory (RAM). No doubt 2 GB RAM is more than sufficient but I would have certainly preferred 3 GB RAM for better multitasking and to win over the competitors in numbers game 😉


This is something Samsung has invested time in which was evident during its launch event as well as some of the advertisements (of S5) floating around. Samsung Galaxy S5 carries a 16 MP ISOCELL camera (allows more light to hit the sensor for better pictures in low-light). For the less tech savvy what the use of this tech really means is that you’ll be able to capture better than ever images in low-light conditions. The rear camera allows you to shoot images with a maximum resolution of 5312×2988 and also to record videos in Ultra HD format 3840 x 2160.


Apart from the hardware, Samsung has also reinvented its camera app by shedding the less used (bloated) functions and streamlining the overall usage. Galaxy S5 also features some interesting options like real-time HDR and selective focus. The features and the camera app itself are pretty easy to use.

IP67 Certifications – Resistance From Water and Dust

The Galaxy S5 carries along with a IP67 certification for water and dust resistance. For the less informed readers IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and it is used to specify the extent to which an electronic device is protected from environmental damage. IP67 certificate implies that Galaxy S5 can survive being in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes as well as from dust blowing around.

Though a IP67 tag is certainly a good thing to have but I couldn’t figure out how S5 was protected with its 3.5mm audio jack completely exposed at the top (the charging/sync port has a flap).

Fingerprint Scanner

This particular security mechanism of Galaxy S5 has been one of its most touted features. The additional security in the form of a finger swipe allows you to unlock the screen, secure files, make PayPal payments and more.

Ever since the launch of Galaxy S5 the fingerprint scanner has got varying response, for some it has worked and for some it didn’t. I, for one, belong to the former group. I have to admit that the accuracy of fingerprint scanner isn’t 100% but it does work most of the time. As a user you must understand the caveats, it doesn’t (and won’t) work under very humid conditions (or under water) because of the simple fact that those tiny water molecules sitting on your finger tips, not visible to naked eye, creating a barrier between your fingerprint and fingerprint scanner.

Galaxy S5 Screenshot 5

Battery Overview

Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a removable battery with capacity of 2800 mAh. During my three weeks with S5 I didn’t have to connect the device to charger during the day, an overnight full charge easily lasted during the day. A more modest use of S5 with less of bluetooth music streaming, couple of minutes of YouTube video playback and performing the basic operation (for which a phone was initially used for) the S5 pushed through almost 2 days of usage without any hitch.

One important battery life (software) enhancement Samsung has used is the Ultra Power Saving Mode. In this mode certain aspects of the device are switched to black and white mode whilst allowing you to receive all notifications and calls.

Final Word

Samsung Galaxy S5 scores when it comes to display, software and the presence of additional sensors. However on the flip side the design hasn’t been changed much. Galaxy S5 is an improvement over its predecessor rather than an innovation and a worthy upgrade for those Samsung fan boys looks to upgrade their device. Those looking for a rather different approach in design and something more ‘interesting’ in their hand should look out for alternatives.

Samsung Galaxy S5 In Pictures

If you are planning to buy Galaxy S5 you can get to know about the best price deal available on online stores at PricePanda (for Indian buyers only).


  1. Yeah the charging flap can be a pain but they had to put it there for protection from water and dust. You get some, you lose some :p

  2. The s5 is amazing accept the charging flap it sucks it’s hard to get off and I already cracked mines idk wat Samsung was thinking


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