Samsung Galaxy S5 Joins Galaxy Lineup

Samsung Galaxy S5

Checking out the Samsung Galaxy S5 reviews recently, one will notice Samsung hasn’t been resting on their laurels one bit. It’s not necessarily a game changer. It’s not really even revolutionary like some other products have been. But it is a big evolutionary step forward for the Korean electronics firm. They’ve improved many of the features and functions of earlier models and added some that users have been asking about for a couple of years.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone

The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch AMOLED (active matrix organic LED) display that sports a full 1920×1080 resolution with 432 pixels per inch. This means that you won’t need a microscope or even a magnifying glass to see what your phone is displaying. It also means that when you look at pictures or watch videos on the phone, you’ll see all the detail that the creators of the video or images wanted you to.

The case of the phone measures 5.6 inches tall by 2.9 inches wide and .32 inch thick. No, it’s probably not going to fit in most cell phone holsters on your belt. The rim (called the surround) between the front and back is a chrome-plated plastic that feels like metal. Samsung went away from trying to make the back look like metal or leather with this one and gave it a dimpled rubberized plastic battery cover that the reviewers all said felt much better in their hands than previous models.

I have a Galaxy S4, so that’s saying quite a bit, because mine feels natural in my hand. The rubberized coating also makes it easier to hold onto. If you don’t like it, there are already replacements on the aftermarket to bling it out. The case is available in either topaz blue, black, white, or bronze colors.

With almost every new phone, we see an evolutionary step up in processor capability. The Galaxy S5 is no exception. The S4 came with twin processors; one being a quad-core, 1.6 GHz quad-core and the other being a 1.2 GHz quad-core. This arrangement is known as an octocore chipset and it ran at 1.2 GHz. The S5 more than doubles that with a new Snapdragon 800 quad core processor running at 2.5 GHz. Apps open much quicker with it than before.

Samsung Makes Notable Improvements

One of the main concerns that users have had about phones for almost the last decade is the quality of the camera. That’s why over the last year we’ve seen phone like the LG G2 and the Nokia Lumia series, both of which come with cameras that approach the quality and functionality of dedicated cameras. I also own the Nokia Lumia 720 and absolutely love the camera in it to the point that I usually leave my camcorder at home when I go out to take pictures.

Samsung upgraded the camera from previous models to a 16-megapixel optical sensor in the S5. I saw some pictures that Samsung reps displayed during the recent unveiling at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona and a secondary unveiling in New York. They were almost as good as what my almost professional quality, 25-megapixel camera can take. They were quite a bit better than the pictures my S4 takes, but not quite up to what my Nokia does.

Pretty Impressive New Features

If you’re into health and fitness, you’re going to love this. As a fitness buff, you know that in order to remain in shape, or even get into shape, you need to exercise and hit a target heart rate, but doing so required you to wear a piece of jewelry, or awkwardly exercise while holding one wrist to check your pulse.

Not anymore.

Samsung engineers put a heart rate monitor right into the phone, next to the flash and camera sensor on the back of the phone. Want to know if you’ve hit your target heart rate? Simply press your finger over the monitor. Bam! The phone lets you know how you’re doing. The phone comes preloaded with a fitness tracker and pedometer.

But that’s not all! Not too long ago I got my grubby paws on an Apple Iphone 5s to check out and discovered that embedded in the Home button is a fingerprint scanner. The 5s uses the scanner as a security measure for access to the phone. Samsung added one in the S5, also to the home key, but upped the ante. If you have Paypal, you can use the scanner and register your fingerprint with them to use as a biometric security algorithm to add a layer of security to your Paypal account. Want to pay for something using your Paypal account? Simply launch the app and swipe your finger.

Other Great Features

Android users across the globe complain about battery life; or more correctly, we complain about the lack of it. If you’re one of them, I would recommend holding off until the mid-April launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 because Samsung has made some big strides in boosting battery life. The company says you can talk for up to 21 hours (two full weeks of standby) with this one. That’s about how long mine lasts in standby mode.

Computers and laptops all come with USB 3.0 ports that support much higher data transfer rates and now, so does the Galaxy S5. It’s located on the bottom of the phone and doubles as the charge port. The phone also supports a micro-SD card with a density of up to 64 GB.

Estimates are that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will cost around $650 US or about £599, without a plan. We like it — and we think you’ll like it as well.

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson