rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

May 02, 2014 13:27 IST

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

     Next

Next
Himanshu Juneja

Samsung's latest iteration in the Galaxy series is a pretty good device; it includes a number of features which makes it hold on to its own despite fierce competition from Sony Xperia Z2 and iPhone 5S.

The latest entrant in the market for Samsung's Galaxy series is without any surprises named as Samsung Galaxy S5. With the S5, it is heartwarming to see Samsung not go overboard with quantity as it did with Samsung galaxy S4.

Thankfully, this time the focus seems to be on quality.

But will this new flagship in the Galaxy series create the sensation it is expected to?

Let's take a closer look.

Specs:

  • Display: 5.1" Super AMOLED, Full HD @ 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • OS: Android 4.4.2
  • Processor: Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Memory: 16/32 GB, MicroSD upto 128 GB
  • Camera: 16 MP Primary, 2 MP secondary
  • Battery: 2800 mAh Li-Ion (Removable)

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Samsung Galaxy S5
Photographs: samsung.com

     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Design and build

Staying solid behind it's original design, Samsung has again put forth a stellar hardware inside the plastic body.

The phone does have a shiny bezel all around to lend more aesthetic appeal.

The Galaxy S5 has been designed keeping in mind the ergonomics right from the word go. The phone is designed for better grip by going in with a wide and chunkier back.

The back panel's perforated design too does its bit to allow a better grip on the phone.

Having said that, the back cover aesthetically won't really bring in any huge cheers to say the least. The cover design in fact has brought in fair share of criticism for lack of imagination.

Samsung has done well to make the handset water and dust resistant.

The right side of the phone carries the power key, and the volume rocker finds its place on the left side of the device.

At the top one finds the IR blaster and the 3.5mm headset socket.

The microUSB 3.0 port is located at the bottom and is duly covered with an extra snug fitting flap to keep them resistant from dust and water invasion.

Users can either use the standard microUSB cable or a USB 3.0 cable with the phone.

The home button comes with the finger print scanner and is easy to press. The slightly raised profile gets the job done even more easily.

The two capacitive buttons flanking the home button are the multitasking keys on the left and the back key on the right.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Display

Samsung has repeated something which it does best to bring out one of the best displays in the market today.

The Full HD, 5.1" Super AMOLED screen brings to life the images and videos in all their glory. The screen comes with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 (432 ppi density) and is vivid, sharp, boasts of deep blacks and brilliant colour reproduction.

The stunning display unit on this phone is probably the best in the business today, and it does all that without being too hungry for power. Samsung has done well to keep the power consumption in check.

The phone has been supplied with Adapt Display, a feature which adjusts the screen to remain easily readable while being outdoors.

Considering the results, the features, and the low power consumption, Samsung has done a more than decent job.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

OS and features

As per expectations, the phone carries Android 4.4.2 right out of the box.

There have been new changes made by Samsung on the Touchwiz front, many of which are pretty good.

What users will notice immediately is that the homescreen is behaves particularly speedier than what people have been used to.

The settings menu is now better organised. Notification area has received a lot of makeover. The lockscreen now comes with camera icon, weather and pedometer widgets, making some useful features available instantly.

The users will be greeted to Circular fonts, which will be a hit or a miss with different users. Samsung has got Flipboard integrated with this edition through 'My Magazine', though it seems executed without too much thinking to say the least.

A good chance that users may get confused with the navigation and features of this app, but once you get the hang of it, it is a pretty good feature to indulge in.

One feature which really did looked neat was the toolbox icon, which basically is a floating circle on the screen. It gives the user access to chosen five applications, and the user can then access them anywhere via the floating icon.

Another great feature is the Private Mode, which lets you hide any file on your phone.

There have been signs of lack of optimisation as well. Transition effect of stacked pages are surprisingly being a bit on slower side. Also the lag with the camera app on the whole hasn't gone unnoticed.

Considering the power the phone posses, this really shouldn't have been the case.

Apart from these, the phone does tend to get a bit hot with the CPU intensive tasks like playing graphic heavy games.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Other features which deserve special mentions are:

Fingerprint Scanner

The phone allows a user to register 3 fingerprints for the task. One can choose to either let the thumb slide sideways, or the finger be swiped downwards to unlock the phone.

However, the accuracy on this is really not well taken care of. About 4-5 attempts were recorded for fresh users to learn the trick here.

Seems like Samsung accommodated this keeping in mind the trend than a genuine need.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Download Booster

This has to be truly one of the better innovations of late.

If enabled, this feature will run the download mechanism in a sort of hybrid form, combining the service provider's internet with the Wi-fi connection to provide super speeds and get the downloads done at pretty impressive rates.

The only catch is the file size should be more than 30MB.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

S Health

The heart rate monitor which is found right next to the camera flash at the back. This is a nice addition for the conscious people.

Although it doesn't give highly accurate results to clear the medical norms, it is still good enough to be considered as an indicator and take decisions at a layman's level.

Definitely a useful feature.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Pedometer

More of a miss than hit with this one. The tracking isn't accurate and one can easily head to the playstore and grab other alternatives.

No doubt Samsung has tried to add more quality content on this iteration than just stacking the software section up.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Camera

Samsung has supplied a powerful sensor for this unit. The Isocell 5.1MP camera is capable of taking some fantastic photographs.

From the days of Galaxy S4, Samsung has reduced the complicated details and presented a more friendlier set of option to the user.

The HDR mode is a good feature present onboard, allowing users to preview the results of the different effects on the final image, before the image has actually been taken. This is bound to produce better results and save upon time.

Samsung has been claiming a lot quicker auto focus with this unit and one can see why. The camera takes a maximum of 0.3 seconds to set up, which is fast indeed.

However, the camera app takes its sweet time to show up, be it after the conventional icon being pressed or be it the case where the user has swiped the camera icon right from the lock screen.

This is surely not anything to boast about, especially if you are trying to take those 'blink and you miss' shots.

If that isn't enough of a concern, the camera takes about 2-3 seconds to be fully ready for you to start clicking away.

Samsung definitely should have taken more care with these speeds.

Selective focus is yet another interesting feature which should entice users.

Basically, users can take photographs with backgrounds blurred out and keeping the focus on the main subject. This brings out some impressive results and makes even the novice users pro camera users.

While this is a cool feature to have, few of the times it missed the trick, where the camera app just couldn't keep the main focus on the intended object.

A few more trials did the job, but this bug really shouldn't have surfaced.

To sum it up, Samsung has put in good features to keep the users busy and happy, but one needs to devote little time with the Samsung Galaxy S5's camera to bring out the best.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Battery

The 2800 mAh battery performs stunningly well. Even with real heavy usage, the phone easily lasts a day. A battery giving talk time of more than 20 hours is definitely more than impressive.

Add to that, the two power saving modes (Normal and Ultra), and people should be able to see how neatly Samsung has covered this area.

Out of the Normal and Ultra power saving modes, the latter is particularly interesting.

It basically reduces the functioning of the phone to its bare bones.

The screen goes black and white, and the user is allowed to use only six apps of choice.

Samsung has ensured that the user won't get any background notification unless the screen has been turned on. Clearly, they have tried to make sure that data access is limited to save more power.

A thoughtful and neat implementation.

Kindly click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     Next

Samsung Galaxy S5 takes on iPhone 5S head on

Prev     More
Prev

More

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a pretty good device; it includes a number of features which makes the device hold on to its own despite fierce competition.

Among its rivals, there is the HTC M8, delivering the strongest competition (better optimsed camera, better construction material, but less quality on pics, lesser battery etc).

The familiar rivalry with the iPhone 5S continues (better ergonomics but less features and no water/dust proofing), and of course the Sony Xperia Z2 follows closely but both have different build profiles.

However, Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S5 with 3 good factors and made sure they got the basics right: the magnificent screen, very capable camera, and superb battery back up.

All these apart from the other features thrown in, Samsung S5 has delivered the goods.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: samsung.com

Prev     More