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Samsung Galaxy S5 expert review roundup 05/05/2014
Four tech experts put the new Samsung Galaxy S5 through its paces. We report on what stood out for them, good and bad.
Samsung Galaxy S5 expert review roundup

Everyone is talking about the new Samsung Galaxy S5. We’ve mentioned some of the features of the much anticipated new smartphone before, but if you’re looking for some serious review and comparison, let’s take a look at what some of the experts had to say.

CNet on the Galaxy S5

Although CNet Australia generally felt the Galaxy S5 isn’t too far removed from the Galaxy S4, this review notes lots of positives and few drawbacks, painting the S5 in a positive light compared with both its predecessor and rivals on most fronts.

The speed and processing power of the Quad-core 2.5 GHz processor certainly impresses and some other aspects of the SGS5 get special mention too. The S5 camera is said to take Samsung’s already high-end camera technology to another level with more pixels and Isocell processor that make it faster and better at creating crisp clear images, even in low light. And, they report, Auto Focus really is as fast as Samsung claims.

The fingerprint scanner and (world’s first smartphone) heart-rate monitor are touted as two of the major advantages over its major competitor the HTC One M8. Plus, they say, some improvements in the proprietary TouchWiz interface build on the S4 gestures and capabilities and make the phone nicer to use.

On the whole the Samsung Galaxy S5 wins out on camera and performance but can be bettered on build, graphics and speakers. You’d definitely upgrade if you had an S3.

Geek Squad on the Galaxy S5

The outstanding performance also shone through in the GeekSquad review. Other pros included Kids Mode and S-Health. The phone’s screen also impressed with an inference it could even be the best phone screen so far thanks to a dedicated Cinema Mode as well as the ability to adjust colour balance with the Adapt Display menu.

Once again the camera gets a mention for being easy to use and generally more than adequate for a smartphone camera. The ability to shoot 4K video was also considered a major advantage.

Although not a TouchWiz fan, the writer still found good things to say about the TouchWiz changes; ‘Everything’s a lot cleaner and less cluttered. It’s much easier to navigate around the phone and find what you want, and as a result, it’s much quicker to do things.’

Overall, the S5 gets major points for being fast and smooth. S-Health, combined with Galaxy Gear is tipped to make it the phone of choice for fitness fans.

GoodGear Guide on the Galaxy S5

‘The S5 leaves you feeling drunk with raw computing power’, says the GoodGear Guide but they weren’t as impressed with the design.

The Super AMOLED full HD touchscreen is highly praised for clarity, colour and brightness and TouchWiz gets a mixed review, described as ‘fractured’ because of certain elements harking back to the Galaxy S3 mixed in with brand new ones.

Once again, the processing speed doesn’t fail to impress as does the battery life which can handle extremely heavy usage and the Ultra Power-Saving’ mode which reduces the phone functions to calls, texts, browsing and the option to run three other applications which Samsung says can make 10% battery life spin out for 24 hours.

The Galaxy S5 is water resistant up to 1m for 30 minutes so the GoodGear Guide decided to take the phone to task on the claim. With the timer running for 30 minutes will the phone was immersed in water, the SGS5 took calls, vibrated and produced audio all the while (and afterwards) ‘without fault’.

GoodGear Guide sees the waterproofing as the clincher that will make the Galaxy S5 ‘the smartphone of choice for most tradesmen, labourers and extreme sporting enthusiasts.’

The Fingerprint scanner was said to be difficult to please and erratic and the Download Booster was also criticised for having too many restrictions. Overall, the GoodGear Guide gave the impression the S5 isn’t their favourite phone but the camera got a good rap.

What Hi-Fi on the Galaxy S5

According to What Hi-Fi ‘the S5 is fast, powerful and the slickest Galaxy phone yet: but…’ they go on to mention a few drawbacks.

Of course the Quad-core 2.5 GHz processor gets the thumbs up but the fingerprint scanner was criticised again for being difficult to get on with.

Picture quality is said to be better than the Galaxy S4 but perhaps not as good as other smartphone competitors in some areas. That said, little detail is provided on where the screen falls short and a lot of emphasis is placed on the features and quality you can expect from the GS5.

They were disappointed by the sound quality but the Galaxy S5 gets points for battery life.

The camera also pleased these guys. Not only the already mentioned Auto-Focus and ability to shoot 4K video but a host of other features that other reviewers had failed to mention such as:

  • Burst shots
  • Face detection
  • Image stabilisation
  • Sensitive focus,
  • HDR mode
  • And a host of editing effects.

With a view that the future of smartphones is evolution not revolution, the SGS5 was exactly in line with What Hi-Fi expectations.

Samsung Galaxy S5 verdict

Across the board, these experts agree the Samsung Galaxy S5 is one powerful smartphone with a great camera and loads of other features.

While there are a few drawbacks (mostly personal preferences),  if you’re a fitness fan or you’re not too good at keeping water and phones separate, the Samsung Galaxy S5 could absolutely be the best smartphone on the market.

Overall the S5 will do most anything you want to do and definitely holds its own against its competitors.

If you decide to get one, you’ll want to keep it safe and looking good and if you’d love one but you’d rather get it for free, read on!

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