At the mobile world congress, Samsung showcased their much awaited Samsung Galaxy S5. While it isn’t something very fresh, they loaded it with some new features. They have added a fingerprint scanner. We recently saw Apple put a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S and HTC do the same on HTC One max. They have integrated the fingerprint scanner in the physical home key. There is a new sensor to measure the heart rate. The sensor is placed near the camera flash.
There is no metal body or a 2K display as expected. They have also made some more changes to this device in terms of software as well. The TouchWiz UI has been refreshed. They have also added some new applications and made some changes to system functions as well. They have improved the camera on this device. They have increased the resolution and made some software tweaks as well. Let’s take a closer look at this device.
For their design, they used their very popular design technique. Copier we call it. It looks like the Galaxy S4 which in turn looked similar to the S3. The device has got a 5.1 inch display against the 5 inch display on S4. The dimensions have increased by a few mm to house the extra display size. The device is available in multiple colours: black, white, copper and bright blue. It was rumoured that Samsung is going to use metal in making the Galaxy S5 but sadly that didn’t happen. It was also being said that the physical home key will be dropped but that didn’t happen either. They have changed the pattern and feel of the back panel. Instead of the usual plastic feel back panel, they have gone for a soft rubberised back. The device is waterproof and dustproof but the back panel is removable.
The device has got an AMOLED display that measures 5.1 inches. It was supposed to be a 2K display according to the rumoured specs but it has the same 1080p resolution. Pixel density has dropped a bit due to the slight increase in size as compared to the Galaxy S4. The display appears to be brighter and crisp in contrast to what the numbers suggest. Being an AMOLED display, you get very well saturated colours and great contrast ratio.
The device runs Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with a quad core processor. The maximum clock speed at which the processor can run is 2.5 GHz. The graphics are processed by an Adreno 330 GPU. It can handle really high end graphics and supports a wide array of video codecs. While most high end devices now have got 3 GB of RAM, they have decided to stick to 2 GB and that is more than plenty. Even if you are running a lot of applications in parallel, you would not run of free memory. You can choose from 16 or 32 GB of storage options. There is a micro SD slot as well which supports up to 128 GB of storage.
For connectivity, it doesn’t miss out on anything. While Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC are pretty standard, they have gone for USB 3.0 on this device like the Note 3. This would make transfer of large amount of data easy. There have been two additions as we already said. The heart rate sensor is placed near the camera flash and the fingerprint sensor integrated into the home key. The job of putting the fingerprint sensor hasn’t been executed well because you first need to bring the device out of sleep by pressing the key and then scan it to unlock. It isn’t as smooth as iPhone. The scanner works fine though.
We never had many complaints against Samsung cameras. This device has got a 16 megapixel primary shooter. The best part about this camera is its phase detection autofocus. This feature is found in many high end cameras but it is the first time this technology has been incorporated in a mobile device. The camera focuses insanely fast as compared to the competition. The split autofocus feature allows you to focus quickly, just in 0.3 seconds. This means that even your random shots won’t be out of focus and it is less likely that you would miss a shot then.
The camera can record videos in 2160p at 30 fps. If you want to record slow motion videos, you can switch to 1080 for 60 fps video recording and to 720 p for video recording at 120 fps.
The device runs latest version of android at Kit Kat 4.4.2. The interface has been modified like on other Samsung devices. Thankfully they decided to work on the Touch Wiz UI and this time the improvements do show. It now feels flat or plain as compared to the previous version. The quick shortcut toggles are circular. They have made other changes around the device UI and it does show. The settings have been completely redesigned. They have added something called ‘My Magazine’. It allows you to login into multiple accounts and then display the information. There is an option in settings from where you can configure the gestures and motion controls.
They have changed the button layout that you are used to see on Samsung devices. While the common arrangement is in the order of menu key, home and back. Instead of the menu key, now they have placed recent apps. The order of keys might be troublesome from people who have been used to the back key on left.
While this device didn’t come with everything that we expected, it wasn’t a disappointment either. The camera on this device is pretty good and very fast. We won’t suggest this device to someone who has got some high end device already. It isn’t bringing much to the equation. The device is potent no doubt but it needs to be much more than that.