Samsung Galaxy S5
The S5 is a solid upgrade over last year's model, with improvements to the hardware, software and camera. However, certain headline features like the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor are mediocre at best. Chances are, you'll be happy with the phone, but don't fork out the extra cash for an early upgrade.
- Fantastic display
- Daylight images are on par with other flagship phones
- Waterproof casing and improved design
- Good battery life
- Fingerprint scanner can be frustrating
- Selective focus doesn't always work as promised
- Heart rate monitor isn't completely accurate
- TouchWiz UI looks better, but is still confusing
- Critic Reviews (31)
- User Reviews (27)
- 85AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE31 ReviewsWired50Samsung Galaxy S5 Dazed and ConfusedAfter using it for about two weeks, I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing most of the time. But, honestly, the biggest challenge has been reconciling the frequently poor user experience with the phone’s legitimately great hardware.Engadget80Samsung Galaxy S5 review: a solid improvement, butChances are, you'll be happy with the phone, but don't fork out the extra cash for an early upgrade.Laptop Magazine90Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewThe Samsung Galaxy S5 is an excellent Android phone that combines a near-perfect display, powerful camera and unique fitness features in a water-resistant design.ZDNetNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 first take: Can it trump the newThe weight feels good for a device with a 5.1-inch display. I'm not a fan of the silver plastic frame and think this is definitely one area where Samsung could add some metal and significantly improve the quality feel of the device.Wired90Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewIt has an enhanced screen, processor and camera plus an improved OS, not to mention fripperies like the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor. But these are all incremental changes that allow it to keep pace with the competition rather than firmly ahead of it.The Wall Street Journal80Samsung Galaxy S5 Review: Watertight Yet Still NotSmartphone technology may be reaching a plateau where core elements like the processor, screen and sensors no longer matter as much as the software that helps you use them. And that is an area where Samsung still trails.AnandTech80Samsung Galaxy S 5 ReviewSamsung got it almost perfect with the GS5. With a metal body, a rear facing camera with larger pixels (perhaps with some tweaks to camera output processing), a better NAND controller, and stereo front facing speakers, the GS5 would probably be perfect.CNET90High five: Samsung's best phone gets betterSubtly improved and smartly refined, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a superior superphone that hits every mark but the sharpest design.PC Mag90Samsung Galaxy S5 (T-Mobile)As Samsung continues to refine its flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S5 is better than ever. It's the most powerful phone you can buy, and is a lock for our Editors' Choice on T-Mobile.Laptop MagazineNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 Hands-on: Killer Camera, Built-iAlthough this Android phone offers a host of new capabilities, it looks as though Samsung listened to critics who said the S4 was bloated with novelty features. The S5 once again pushes the boundaries of what you think a smartphone can do but in a more practical and refined way.CNETNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 has tepid design, but plenty ofIt may not be the most exciting new smartphone there is, but from what I've seen so far, the Galaxy S5 earns keeps Samsung's legacy of high-end Samsung smartphones strong.EngadgetNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 previewThe design philosophy behind this version of the Galaxy S involves a modern, glam look, and it even shows in the user interface. It's still very much a TouchWiz device, but it has a much different appearance than previous versions.AnandTechNot RatedSamsung Announces Galaxy S5: Initial Thoughtshe addition of new features and consistent improvements to performance without compromise relative to the previous generation is definitely something to be applauded, and with review units, hopefully it will be possible to see how the GS5 stacks up against the competition.RecodeNot RatedFirst Look: Samsung Goes â€œBack to Basicsâ€ WithThere will certainly be those disappointed by the lack of any groundbreaking features, but I also think it’s okay to focus on improving existing features to enhance the functionality and usability of the device.TechHive80Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Improved phone still a sIt has all of the bells and whistles a typical smartphone user would want, but some of the new features miss the mark, and the interface could still use some work.SlashGear70Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewViewed alongside, the Galaxy S4 still feels a solid handset, and we can’t help but think you’d have to be particularly keen on a specific S5 feature for it to be worth switching out.Time80Galaxy S5 Review: At Last, Samsung Decides That LeThe Galaxy S5’s emphasis on everyday benefits and its streamlined software shows that Samsung has been listening to its critics, and learning.Mashable80Samsung Galaxy S5 Is the Upgrade You Can SkipThe Samsung Galaxy S5 is a well-performing smartphone, but its standout features ultimately don't add up to much.Pocket-Lint90Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewYes it might be a handset playing it safe, but there's a huge amount of scope for the S5 to deliver beyond its current worth with ever-advancing apps. As it stands, with what we've got right now, this is still one excellent smartphone.Android Authority90Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewThe good news is the Galaxy S5 is an honest phone, and if you are swayed by its charms now, you’ll likely have a good time using it for a long time.Pocket-LintNot RatedHands-on: Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewCombined with the Gear 2 or Gear Fit the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a complete life tracker and complete life managment device - we can't wait to get our review sample to really push its apparently near-boundless limits.The GuardianNot RatedGalaxy S5: Samsung bets on fitness and fingerprintThe S5 has some of the features, but has a much simplified menu system, making it easier to change settings than previous Galaxy models.SlashGearNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 hands-on: 16MP and fingerprint sAll in all, it's a solid update from the Galaxy S4. It may not be the first device with a fingerprint scanner, but we still won't argue with the convenience it adds, and the improvement in build quality is welcome.IGN80SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 REVIEWThe Galaxy S5 does a lot of things right. And of those, many are the things consumers care about most — battery life, camera quality, screen fidelity, and a water-tight shell.What Hi-Fi80Samsung Galaxy S5The Samsung Galaxy range is hugely successful and we’ve no doubt the Galaxy S5 will continue the tradition.The Verge80Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewMake no mistake: this is a very good phone. And Samsung did nearly all the important things well ... Yet I can't help but hope that one day we all decide "good enough" isn't good enough anymore.Digital Spy90Samsung Galaxy S5 review: "Definitely a step in thThe Galaxy S5 is everything you expected it to be, an outstanding Android phone held back just a tad by its below average design. Perhaps next time Samsung will finally go all metal. If they do, then that's the end of the Android competition.TechRadar90Samsung goes for evolution over revolution... agaiSamsung has done enough with the Galaxy S5 to still be one of the top smartphones of 2014, and I would still recommend it as a solid, if unspectacular, smartphone that ticks the boxes it needs to and very little more.The Telegraph80Samsung Galaxy S5 review: almost brilliantAs a standard smartphone it’s impressive, and even the design grew on me. It’s not streets ahead of the Nexus 5 or the HTC One, and it is unlikely to drag too many iPhone users to the Android fold. As a camera it’s good, but Nokia and others do even better.phoneArena90Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewSamsung is staying true to its winning formula with the Galaxy S5, but the company has made some welcome, much-needed refinements, mostly involving getting rid of redundancies and focusing on what really matters, and that is the quality of the user experience.ChipChickNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 is a Glam iPhone Killer [Hands oDesign-wise, the S5 hasn’t changed much. It’s still plastic, still has the same basic shape – again, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.T3Not RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 review: Hands onThe Samsung Galaxy S5 design is exceedingly iterative, bordering on the conservative. It feels solid in the hand, more so than –say- the S3, and there’s no creaking when flexed.TechRadarNot RatedHands on: Samsung Galaxy S5 review... you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a boring phone. It very much isn't - it's got lots of elements that users can dig into - but if you were hoping for something that provides a bar for the rest of the competition to aspire to, you'll be left wanting.The VergeNot RatedSamsungâ€™s Galaxy S5 is here with more power, morThings are faster, nicer feeling, and easier to use, but it’s still a Samsung smartphone through and through, and will likely be just as successful if not more so than its predecessor.Android CentralNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and initial reviewOur main takeaway from our brief time with the Galaxy S5 so far is that Samsung is has been listening to customers and critics alike, and has finally gotten around to addressing many of our gripes with its build quality, software and UI.HotHardware90Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewYou really can't go wrong but the Samsung Galaxy S5, at $149 - $199 on contract with virtually all the majors carriers, should definitely be on your Android superphone short list. It's a powerhouse device in every meaningful, noteworthy way.V380Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewThe Galaxy S5's top-end components and portfolio of security services make it one of the most enterprise-friendly Android smartphones ever made.The Inquirer90Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewThe Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great phone, and while it is not a huge re-imagining of the firm's flagship model, the tweaks and additions that Samsung has made make a huge difference.TrustedReviews90Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewThe Samsung Galaxy S5 fits happily into the role of Galaxy S4 successor. It's a phone with some significant improvements over that model. It lacks the style of its nearest rivals, but it more than delivers on every other point and has a truly oustanding screen.Business Insider90REVIEW: Samsung's New Galaxy S5 Phone Is One Of ThBetween the camera, that brilliant 5.1-inch display, and the smoother software, the Galaxy S5 is one of the best phones you can buy.Stuff100Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewBig, bold and stuffed with tech, the Galaxy S5 is a bona fide superphone with some very stiff competition.Expert Reviews100Samsung Galaxy S5 reviewPowerful, with a fantastic camera and incredible battery life. Factor in the Gear wearables and the Galaxy S5 becomes the most comprehensive smartphone package around.The Next Web90Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Incremental is the new cSamsung’s taken last year’s hit phone and made it even better. Incremental is the new cool, because it means that the best phones get even better as time goes on.TrustedReviewsNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a phone that looks and feels like another top-end S-series phone. It offers loads of new features, and some much-needed improvements to the Samsung interface.Android CommunityNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 hands-onHaving spent some hands-on time with the new phone, we're left quietly confident, however: Samsung has brought over the build quality of the Note 3 and legitimately useful features like WiFi/LTE bonding, a heart rate sensor, and more to refine its now 5.1-inch smartphone.Techno BuffaloNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5 Hands-On â€“ The Best Galaxy Yet... we’re already confident that this is the best Galaxy device yet. In fact, it’s so compelling that we think Samsung is going to attract more fans than ever this time around.Photography Blog80Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewIn summary the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a solid upgrade of last year's S4, rather than a massive leap forwards, but it adds just enough new features to again prove worthy of our Recommended award.PocketNow90Samsung Galaxy S5 review: good, but not glamWhile it’s not so “glam” as Samsung likes to advertise, this smartphone is indeed a step in the right direction – a bigger step than last year’s model.NDTV GadgetsNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S5: First impressionsOne area where Samsung phones still fall short is in their construction. Although the removable plastic back makes it possible to replace the battery, it comes across as cheap next to the iPhone's glass back and the HTC One's metal body.
- 83AVERAGE USER SCORE27 ReviewsEngadget Reader90June 15, 2015Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader60April 7, 2015Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A forgettable product. It isn't bad, exactly, but also doesn't do anything particularly well. - EngadgetEngadget Reader90February 22, 2015Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader90December 28, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A great phone if you like a glorified S3, let's say the S3's Big Brother.Engadget Reader90December 15, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader100August 23, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A gadget unicorn - EngadgetEngadget Reader100August 22, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Perfect 5 inches HD super AMOLED display.. battery life, I love touch wiz, camera in-built features etc.Engadget Reader90August 17, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I had used this phone for a few days only, but I still went through most of the features of this phone. Although it doesn't really give me that much surprise, It is still a powerful phone. I do like this phone, but I probably gonna get the iPhone 6 when it comes out. Another thing i haven't mention about this phone is the finger print sensor, It is working pretty well, but it is not as sensitive as iPhone's unless you do it vertically. I do recommend this phone if you like samsung's features and UI.Engadget Reader80August 16, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!This is the second samsung mobile device I have ever bought. First samsung I had was the original Galaxy tab 10.1, not good at all, laggy, crashed a lot, etc.. I was disappointed. Switched to iPad and never wanted to look back. For smartphone, however, I find iOS is too restrictive (no bluetooth sharing to non-iOS devices, everything has to go through iTunes, etc.. which is not a problem for me on tablet) so I stick with Android. Few reasons I bought the Galaxy S5 over the competitors for me was the S-AMOLED screen (I have always amazed by it since previous Galaxy S iterations, probably not that amazed anymore though since LCD is catching up in terms of image quality), the 16MP ISOCELL camera (I am aware megapixel is not equal to image quality, but 4MP HTC camera just doesn't do the job well if you download it to your PC or try to crop the image, you lost that much image detail). Fingerprint sensors is convenient way to unlock the phone, sometimes pattern or passcode can be guessed, but not fingerprint. I don't use the heart rate sensors or pedometer that often, so I consider that feature a gimmick.The plastic bezel looks so cheap on the S5, but then again I always use a case for my phone. I did not get to feel my HTC one M7's aluminum body that often. I went without a case for a while and then dropped the phone, luckily to carpet floor and no damage. So at the end of the day, choose cases with premium feel and the phone would feel premium also. Overall the S5 feels snappy even with much-hated touchwiz. I will use custom launcher anyway so touchwiz is not really an issue for me. This is a big step up from the last Samsung mobile device I owned, and might have just restored my faith in Samsung again.Engadget Reader80August 12, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - EngadgetEngadget Reader60August 11, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A forgettable product. It isn't bad, exactly, but also doesn't do anything particularly well. - EngadgetEngadget Reader10August 4, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I would never again buy/use/own/pay for a Samsung device, horrid.... just horrid...... can't find anything, can't use it, it's all over the shop..... I switched to a windows phone, what a pleasure...... It's all there on the front screen, everything I need... in clear view.Engadget Reader90July 25, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader90July 15, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader90July 9, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!After ugrading from the iPhone 5s I've been using the Samsung Galaxy S5 for almost 2 months now. Everything from top to bottom is spot-on!. The display is fanstastic, the camera scores a 10/10 in terms of quality. You really get what you've paid for!. But, one thing has me questioning, apps load very slowly. The camera app especially. The interface also tends to lag at times unlike the iphone 5s which is much more responsive compared to the Galaxy S5.Engadget Reader100July 8, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A gadget unicorn - EngadgetEngadget Reader90July 1, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I have been using this device for over two months now and i am pretty content with it. I have had a note 1, an s3, & an s4 in the past. As a matter of fact, this is the best galaxy i have ever bought. It feels sturdier than the previous iterations. The display is crisp and bright, surely the best display on a mobile device(haven't laid my hands on the g3 though). The bloatware is almost gone and the device feels smoother than before(i am using the exynos version), in fact the device feels as fast as my nexus 5. Playing games on such a crisp and bright display is always fun. Battery life is good and the s-view cover is way better than the previous iterations. I preferred s5 to htc one m8 just because it has a better resale and brand value but after spending a couple of months with the device i realize that i made the right decision in the first place.Engadget Reader90June 28, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I took a quick trip to Vegas and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to review the Galaxy S5. Read on to find out what I learned about Samsungâ€™s latest flagship smartphone.Up until recently some of us have been leaving behind our laptops when they go on vacation. Instead, weâ€™ve been going with just a smartphone and/or maybe a tablet. Not me though. As much as I love using my smartphone, nothing beats a full fledged personal computer in case I need to do some real work. Thereâ€™s nothing worse to be away from home and not have your laptop within arms reach. So I packed the usual, and even brought my Surface Pro 2 thinking I was going to need it. But I was wrong! I only used the Surface Pro 2 for around 20 minutes of actual on-screen time during the whole trip. I know this because I didnâ€™t have to charge it during the trip and still had more than 80% of battery life when I got back home. For the majority of my trip I used the Galaxy S5. And thatâ€™s saying a lot for someone like me. Nowadays, laptops are reserved for actual â€œworkâ€ activities. When I see a laptop it reminds me of work. Which is why I think didnâ€™t bother to use it. A smartphone is the best way to communicate, ingest information, and consume media while on the go. The Galaxy S5 was able to provide all of that for me and then some.Read my full review @ tekno-swag.com -> http://goo.gl/AJVv0iBülent100June 13, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A gadget unicorn - EngadgetEngadget Reader100June 10, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I feel like all of the negativity surrounding this device are completely a result of the plastic/leather combo physical form attributes. THIS IS A GREAT DEVICE! It takes spectacular pictures. The battery lasts all day (and even more than a day if take advantage of certain software features). I can see everything on the display in every type of environment. The phone is lightning fast (once you disable touchwiz and install an actual launcher). So, if you are the kind of person who loves Android and wants a beefy, feature packed phone to enjoy Androidy goodness. This is a great option for you! If you focus on form factor and only form factor of a device, look elsewhere for a phone with less features than this because that is all that is available. For me, who put a case on it immediately because I have toddlers that use my device, this phone is amazing.Engadget Reader80May 29, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Its my first time to buy smartphone and so far s5 is great. One thing i dont like is the design but its fine...it is quite expensive here in the Philippines around US$ 800-900.Engadget Reader30May 28, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I didnt like this phone at all so I returned it. The new features dont justify an upgrade. this phone was a step back instead of forward.Engadget Reader90May 14, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Pros: Was very easy to upgrade from Samsung Galaxy Nexus to this phone. My previous apps immediately started to repopulate after activation, as well as all my pics from google. Problem is those apps combined with the Samsung bloatware all configured in a way to maximally destroy the battery life resulted in much lower battery life than I was hoping for with only moderate phone use. I had to reconfigure multiple settings and delete unused apps just to get the battery life close to where I wanted it. Out of the box, this phone needs lots of work to be optimized, quite unlike an Apple experience.Water resistance is a great move forward. Thank you Samsung. This feature I will gravitate to more in the future.Camera appears great, although I haven't fully tested it.Pedometer appears accurate compared to my Fitbit Force.Ultra Power Savings Mode is awesome, and no Verizon did not disable it as I have read in other reviews.Does so many things, it may need to be reeled in a little bit.Cons: Battery life still an issue due to very confusing initial configuration and unnecessary app placement. The beginner would not be able to optimize this phone for months. And as they accumulated apps, the experience would be poor.Charge port cap should be easier to open and manipulate.Finger print scanner fussy, but getting better. I think it is my finger swiping learning curve that is improving.UPDATE:(5/17/14): After a few disappointing days with weak battery performance, I reconfigured a few settings, deleted a couple unnecessary apps, and started using power saving mode more, but I was still only barely making it to bed at 11 pm with less than 20% battery in one day with moderate phone use. A performance glitch motivated me to do a forced power down. As I did, I realized a new option was available that I never had with my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, that being restart. I did a restart, and thereafter the battery life I was expecting emerged. Went to bed last night at 11 pm after a full day with over 60% battery, and woke up with 53% left. I easily could have gone 1 1/2 days on one charge. Moral of the story, after your apps from previous phone and settings transfer after activation, do a clean up of unnecessary apps and then restart the phone. Good luck!!Engadget Reader90May 5, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!This is the first time i bought a samsung phone.I am happy with the buildquality, it does not feel cheap like previous versions did and the back of the phone is comfortable to hold.It has many good preinstalled apps but allso many useless ones.. for example you have the google music player and the samsung music player google photos and samsung photos, WHY?! The fingerprint sensor works really good you can register 3 diffrent fingerst and it works most of the time. you have to swipe the finger, i personally like this more than the one on the iphone, its more secure too.the display is grat the camera is great and has nice features but is allso missing some.with the bult in picture editor you cant really do anything.. had way better ones on previous phonesIts watherproof, i tested it.The speakers are loud - but not all that good.. they have a nice feature thoug; when turned on the phone's vibration acts as a subwoofer wich improves the experience of it.(not the sound)It has many usefull stuff on there but just the same amount of useless stuff.Engadget Reader100April 22, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Its better than HTC...Engadget Reader70April 15, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - EngadgetEngadget Reader80April 14, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The Galaxy S5 is my first Samsung phone. I've had peers using Galaxy phones around me for years. I've always scoffed at the shoddy build quality and boasted that there were better phones out there. Yet, here I am. I own one now. I've used numerous Android phones, but I've only ever own Nexus devices up to this point. My previous phone, the Nexus 5, left me wanting something more. It was a great phone but I was still hungry, and when I saw nearly everybody around me embracing the phone and purchasing their own, it immediately lost it's charm. Yes, it was shallow of me, but it ended up pushing me towards the Galaxy S5 and I am not even tempted to look back.The phone handles well, even with the cheap build. TouchWiz is clean and can be really snappy. But at times is lags and struggles to let the 2.5Ghz processor do it's job. In fact, the S5's biggest enemy is it's own maker. Samsung has a weird perspective and feels that they have to revolutionize to stand out. Scrolling through the settings can take forever as you are overloaded with way too many utterly useless "features." The fingerprint sensor leaves a lot to be desired. It works about 70% of the time and you have to develop a certain muscle memory to find consistent success. You can only save 3 finger prints, as opposed to Touch ID's 5, but you get used to it. You can rely on it, but I chose not to. The real star of the updated TouchWiz is S Health. It came as a shock to me. I thought it would be an app that I would think nothing of, but the more I use it, the more it surprises me. Every aspect of the app feels thought of and not some child with daddy issues. The Heartbeat Sensor is nifty, but really only useful for health nuts. The pedometer has had me wanting to walk more, and I have even found myself shaking my leg to rack up more steps. Samsung got a lot right with the S5, and what it got wrong doesn't result in a deal breaker. They refined the most used aspects of the phone but all of their extra effort seems to drag the phone down. Until Samsung realizes that they should be striving for perfection, and not radical innovation, and until they stop force feeding gesture control down your throat, just so they can put a huge list of features on the box we will keep getting phones like the Galaxy S5, and the huddled masses will continue to buy up what they put out.