Samsung Galaxy S5: What they’re talking about



It’s Galaxy S5 week, and, naturally, the phone is the toast of the town. Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of your preorder? On the fence about purchasing the latest Samsung flagship? We’re sorting through the hype to see what has everyone talking as we approach the international release of one of the biggest devices in Android’s history.

Preorders give way to device availability

With the majority of US carriers offering a Galaxy S5 preorder, many customers already have their handset locked down. Those choosing to go with AT&T might even already have a tracking number to go along with it. For some the device could arrive as soon as today, ahead of the official April 11th carrier-wide availability.

Other carriers haven’t been as on the ball. Verizon waited a bit longer before beginning their preorder, but buyers should still expect to see their new Galaxy S5s ship by the end of the week (they can also snag a second GS5 free). The same goes for those ordering the phone through T-Mobile or Sprint.

Buyers hoping to purchase the handset direct from a carrier come Friday should expect to deal with a bit more in-store congestion than usual, but we have no reason to anticipate that anyone looking to pick up the GS5 on launch day will not leave with one in hand.

Reviews are rolling in

As the Galaxy S5 finds its way into the hands of tech experts and enthusiasts the reviews have started to roll in. The consensus so far seems to mirror the arguably tepid reaction to last year’s Galaxy S4: a solid Android device that ranks among the top in terms of hardware performance, if not slightly underwhelming.

Reviewers point to the iterative nature of the device, knocking off points for what amounts to a more or less incremental upgrade to the GS4. The build quality and design continue to be a sticking point for some. All, however, are quick to call the GS5 one of the best Android phones around.

Is it really waterproof?

Before you go taking that new Galaxy S5 into the shower, you might be interested in exploring whether the device is truly waterproof or merely water resistant. And how resistant is it?

The IP67 rating specifically states that a device with the rating should be able to withstand water damage for 30 minutes when submerged in up to 3 meters of water. Several brave souls have sought to test the nature of this standard, providing ample video evidence of the GS5’s durability in the face of splashes, submersion, and more.

Accessories, accessories, accessories

With the phone hitting shelves, Galaxy S5 accessories are soon to follow. Cases seem to be on the mind of many, and quite a few are wondering if Spigen will produce a version of their Slim Armor series for the latest Samsung handset.

Given its similar design and capabilities, there is a question as to whether some Galaxy S4 accessories will be backwards compatible with the GS5. While this obviously will not include cases, is there a chance other peripherals will carry over?

On the same note, will Samsung offer any accessory discounts for Galaxy S5 buyers as they did with the GS4? There has  been no mention so far, but it would not be surprising to see Samsung kick in some bonuses after the handset has been on the market for a few weeks.

Who is buying?

The big question: who is buying one? Maybe you, maybe some first time Android users, maybe some folks upgrading from the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S4.

Despite the anticipating surrounding the Galaxy S5, it seems quite a few, especially those with the GS4 or another newer Android handset, have no plans to trade up at the moment. Reasons range from the low resale price of used phones to the relatively small gap in performance and features between the GS5 and the phone it succeeds. Take that for what it’s worth.

Let us know if you plan to pick up the phone, if you already preorder, or perhaps if you already have one in hand. Follow the discussion further at the Samsung Galaxy S5 section of our very own Android Forums.

Kevin Krause
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  1. No 32 gig version from Verizon they need this… I am looking at why this is at the moment…

    1. I would not buy a smartphone with less than 32GB. Here in Europe it is unlikely that we will ever see a 32GB model – Samsung announce them at launch but they never appear. The 32 Gb HTC M8 is also very difficult to buy and the ‘developer’ version is unlikely to appear outside North America. Looking like my next phone will be one of the new breed – Oppo Find 7A and OnePlus ‘One’ are likely contenders.

      1. Just buy direct from HTC.

        1. Not possible in the UK – I tried!

          1. NOT water-resistant to 3 METRES. It’s water-resistant up to 1 METRE (3 FEET 3 INCHES). Please don’t sue Samsung or your cousin who told you otherwise.

    2. Doesn’t it have a Micro SD slot? Those can take it up to 128 gigs. I’ve got a 32 gig GNex, which it needs because it doesn’t have a Micro SD slot. I can see why this would be a show stopper for some, though.

      1. It does but 16 gig version with probably only 9 to 10 gigs free for consumer use, a person is very limited to what apps and games they can put on their devices

        1. Yeah, that’s why I see it can be a show stopper for some. My storage is for content. The apps I use don’t seem to be taking up all that much room. Of the total 32 gigs I have now, 28 is available for use, and I have 20.84 gigs still available. That’s with 5 gigs of music.

          So you can see why I don’t think it’s a problem for everyone. As long as I can actually put things into the Micro SD card as an option. You can’t install games on anything other than main storage?

          1. i know, agree with what you are saying, im just simply against samsung 16gig version of phones because they go charge 199 with contract for a 16 gig version but htc charge 199 for a 32 gig version, and if you love those good graphic games and heavy apps then you really really limit yourself to what you download that is why i would never go below 32gig varient of any phone and i dont wanna pay 299 plus contract for a 32gig sammy

          2. The amount of music people put on their phones

            is too damn high

          3. Google Music All-Access, can’t live without it :D

        2. I’m curious to know why you can’t switch the apps and games over to the SD card?

          1. man unless im behind the times, i thought you coulndt put games and apps on the sd card

  2. Nah, happy with my M8 stock.

  3. I will be buying it, hopefully when the 32g version becomes available if I can wait that long.

  4. I’m upgrading from SG3 this weekend. Sprint Spark is now in my market so will be interesting to see how that works.

    BTW, sorry for off topic but I got Google Fiber in KC last weekend. Am working on a review here with speedtests and traceroutes to the coasts. It screams..


    1. dat… speed…

  5. I find the standard being the extreme user who gets the latest phone every year, to be an unrealistic target for a mass market phone. Most of us out there are two year upgraders, and the incremental upgrades from last year are leaps and bounds above what we’ve had for the last two years. What out there is better than the S5? Most of the arguments against it are to wait for the next thing, or bending over backwards for what amounts to superficial features.

    One thing I know: as a mainstream high end phone, the S5 will have more accessories available for it than an M8. Those are the two phones of the moment for the next month at least. There will be a larger industry of mods for the S5. Based on the videos I’ve seen, it’s also about the most durable mainstream phone out there.

    1. The M8 really underperformed imo. It’s the same exact software with themes and a few gestures. The camera is not as good as one would think. I would get the S5 since it’s waterproof, which is better than two front speakers. I have a Note 3, so no S5 for me.

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhwvXTVQoPM

        Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

        1. Saw that video weeks ago. I still choose the S5 since Samsung hase better features and cameras.

          1. Can you hase better spelling?

        2. Lol, nice. Now put it in the washing machine for 20 mins then drive it over with a car. How’s it looking? hehe

      2. the gs5 has the same software too, primary difference is waterproof. Such a thing can be said about every phone that’s released this spring. “incremental upgrade” over its predecessor (much like what they say about the 5/5s’) but there is plenty of extra oomph under the hood and battery.

        1. Well, you know, just waterproofing. Oh, wait, also Isocell, 4k video recording, heartbeat sensor, fingerprint scanner, tougher build quality, best screen technology ever tested on a mobile device, USB 3.0….What else do people even want?

          1. I personally don’t think the s5 under performed, i was just saying, using his logic above you could dismiss new additions to any phone. (heart beat sensor is stupid, finger print scanner is poorly implemented, camera is barely better, 4k recording is useless for 99% of people, usb 3.0 still doesnt charge as fast as a wall adapter, yadadada whatever it is those guys are saying) There will always be the naysayers but that doesn’t mean the features implemented arent useful for many. I’m considering a gs5 personally because i know its a beast i just really don’t like the way it looks, physically and UI wise. I was considering the M8 but i would have really liked water proofing / larger battery. I’m waiting on the z2 review.

          2. Have you considered the GP version? Also, I haven’t heard many professional reviewers complain about the fingerprint scanner, and it does more than just unlock the phone. The charger is faster than a 2.0, period, whether from a wall or a laptop. Lastly, I really think the act of putting phones in a case (always use protection) changes a lot of perceptions. Metal phones are sharp edged slabs get grounded a little, and this phone feels better than ever (its native slimness means less bulk in a case. Just my 2 cents worth.

          3. i would but i don’t buy $600 phones in lump sums. Most id spend at one time is $400 (selling my old phone for ~$200, and paying the difference in cash). Hey i’m not personally knocking the gs5 for those features, more new stuff the better in my book. I was just saying you always hear someone complaining about something, no matter how rational it might not be.

            I hate cases. Nothing is better than handling a phone raw. I have a nexus 4 with a case now, but i hate it, and i only have it because ii’m paranoid about the glass and hearing all the horror stories (especially from Chris). But prior to that I had two HTC phones (Evo 4g and LTE) and I didnt need a case and they both dropped dozens of times and remained pretty polished and 100% functioning and crack free. I actually don’t have a problem with samsung’s back (i even liked the faux leather back), i have more issues with the front and that isnt covered by a case. I dont like the home button/capacitive button combo.

  6. Getting mine Thursday :D

  7. One M8 CRUSHES the S5 imo. I’m too much of a nexus lover to care though. I’d consider an m8 Google play edition if it wasn’t like $700 but the price is just stupid.

    1. i think the race is a little closer than people think

    2. Despite what all the htc shills say it seems users have voted with their pocket – while Samsung’s mobile division posted a $6 billion profit for q1 (out of a total $8 billion for the company) htc managed to eke out a miserable $63 million loss.

      Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against htc, but when people blabber on as if the latter is some sort of genuine rival to the former it just makes me laugh.

      1. HTC shill? LOL! Well in case you didn’t understand I don’t own nor do I plan to own either. I haven’t owned any previous generation of either the S or the HTC one. I’m speaking from an unbiased uninterested position and in my opinion the S series doesn’t hold a candle to the one series. The fact that consumers make this SEEM irrelevant by their purchasing choices speaks more to me about the education or stupidity of the consumer then the concrete facts of the devices in question.

        1. Well, let’s compare, then contrast them. Both have eye-rending PPI’s, headphone ports, quad core processors, qi charging, NFC, latest version of Android, FFC’s, SD Cards, and IR blasters. HTC offers aluminum (most don’t care because they put their phones in cases), front facing speakers (again, some like, some don’t), and a physically bigger camera (which captures more light in lower light situations). Samsung offers a removable battery, waterproofing, a camera with quadruple the MP’s, greater color accuracy, and 4k video capability, USB 3.0 (to HTC’s 2.0), fingerprint scanner, heartbeat sensor, and the best screen technology ever tested. The HTC One M8 is a great flagship phone. The Galaxy S5 is the greatest smartphone ever invented to date.

          1. I agree with your last sentence lol. Until the Note 4 comes out.

          2. Schooled, Ian!

    3. I think the One is a great looking and performing phone. But lets be real here… It does not crush the S5. I’m a total phone geek and almost everything is better on the S5 or is not even available on the one.

    4. One does not simply decide One device is better than another.

  8. Im getiing the HTC One M8…. but for anyone getting the GS5 I would suggest they wait and see if the rumors of the Premium version is true

    1. HTC is just a hype. Change the metal casing with plastic and surely the hype will be gone just like that. I don’t even think HTC’s design is good. The two speakers occupying substantially the front of the phone, ah that must be a speaker phone. All others about HTC, they aren’t good enough. Talking about build quality, no question which phone is the clear winner. Just a simple test, drop it, run it over by a car, soak it in the pool or even wash it in a washing machine. Of course, isn’t it obvious that the phone that survives has the better build quality. Well, that’s SGS5!

      1. if you’re gonna base it on droptests then… here u go– the M8 reigns supreme


        I dont plan on running over or putting my phone in the washing machine tho


        1. Um, the S5 screen survived these guys running it over with an SUV, plus a drop from at least 8ft on its face. So, here’s what I take away from this…IT’S ALL BASED ON LUCK. Until they put the phones in vaccum tubes, and drop them from exactly the same orientation, this isn’t scientific.

        2. You’re missing his point. GS5 is better, more durable and doesn’t look like it was jabbed full of holes at the top and bottom. It also doesn’t look like a 5-year-old used a permanent marker to colour in the HTC bezel.

      2. The S5 has a 24 bit DAC the Wolfson wm5110, so better quality through headphones then the HTC One m8 most likely. Also has the best display of any smartphone, according to Displaymate. Audio Quality through headphones and Display are the most important aspects of a phone to me.

    2. Yup, the rumors are, “Samsung Galaxy S5 model with Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and a 5.2″ QHD (1440×2560) screen is coming out soon. You will have better Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.”

  9. OK, what more do people want? Nothing is perfect, and I’ll start off with Samsung’s 4 design flaws…First, the headphone jack should be on the bottom. When it’s there, you can put it in your pocket with headphones in and going straight out, and when you take it out, it’ll be naturally oriented correctly in your hand. Speaker should be on the bottom. Not the front (way too ugly). On the bottom, it’ll naturally reflect off of a surface when leaning, or is easy to shoot the sound out front naturally as you hold it. Three, home button. OK, actually, I hate software keys, but some people love ’em. Four, plastic build. Again, I prefer it (as I’ll put it in a case anyway), but some people want metal. THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT! Super-high PPI? Check. Awesome audio hardware? Yup. Enhanced security? Double check. IR Blaster? Heartbeat Monitor? Fingerprint Scanner? Check, check, check. Expandable storage and removable battery? Yep. One of the best cameras ever made? Heck ya. Best mobile display ever tested? Believe it. Latest version of Android? Check. Qi charging available? Yes. Also, it’s a fair amount more durable than last year’s iteration. I mean, who else offers this much awesome in one package, and people call it meh?

    1. um.. no one?

    2. Also worth mentioning is the screen’s ability to register touches from your fingers even if you’re wearing gloves, along with its capacity to recognize a hovering finger, to take advantage of its Air View capabilities. Samsung did not make a big deal of air gestures this time, but the ability to preview files or read a quick message without touching the screen is still a nice little feature of TouchWiz.

  10. I preordered the S5 and bought a beautiful Spigen Slim Armor case to wrap around it. This will be my third smartphone (and third Android). I originally had the HTC Aria, and I am currently using the Galaxy S2.
    I agree that the S5 is not the right for people that own the S4 or any other recently released phone. But seeing how my S2 is from 2011, the S5 will be a huge upgrade for me. I can’t wait for Friday!!!

  11. Please stop saying waterproof… everyone keeps saying it… samsung has said… water resistance. .. big difference

  12. From everything I’ve read about to the two handsets, I’m leaning toward the HTC One.

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