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Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S5 and our quick thoughts

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Samsung-galaxy-S5-iPhone-unboxed

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When Samsung announced their new flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress, the toned down reaction and applause was probably something they did not anticipate. Now that the device is set for world wide release in the next few hours and having had the opportunity to unbox the device before launch, I am quite certain that perception are set to change. Samsung’s new flagship is a marvel in terms power, display and some really neat features that may just set a new benchmark to other mobile device manufactures.

Samsung-galaxy-S5

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The Galaxy S5 we reviewing was provided to us courtesy of Goldtech Electronics and they are already selling the device for $1200 – a price that will literally blow away many.

Key specs

Samsung Galaxy S5 spec

 Samsung Galaxy S5
Dimensions142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm (5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 in)
Weight145 g (5.11 oz)
Memory16/32 GB storage, 2 GB RAM, microSD, up to 128 GB
Camera16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
DisplaySuper AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.1 inches (~432 ppi pixel density), Corning Gorilla Glass 3
BatteryLi-Ion 2800 mAh battery, Up to 390 hours standby, 21 hours talk time
ColorsBlack, White, Blue, Gold
SimMicro-Sim
Finger print scannerYes
OSAndroid OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
CPUQuad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400, Adreno 330
Secondary CameraYes, 2 MP,1080p@30fps, dual video call
Camera FeaturesDual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR
Data speedsHSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL
Protection RatingIP67 certified - dust and water resistant, Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes

Design and built

This is probably the biggest drawback on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Visual appeal is no where near my thoughts on the iPhone 5S or even the Huawei Ascend P6. Slightly bigger than it’s predecessor and 23g heavier than the iPhone 5S, the S5 is relatively big and has some noticeable weight on it.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-design&build

The metal side casing around the phone is humpy giving it an almost rugged feel, something that the perforated back only adds to. I definitely felt that the phone is bold, masculine and lacks some elegance. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has an IP67 rating making it dust and water resistant. Maybe they had to compromise heavily on looks to achieve this.

Screen and display

The Samsung Galaxy S5’s display quality is something to marvel. The 5.1″ Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen some real quality to it. Colors and images come out crisp without any room for dullness. Responsiveness is also on point.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-display2

Video display is also quite brilliant. I would put it at par with what I experienced with we iPhone 5S in terms of picture quality, only that the S5 screen size gives videos some presence and gives life to the whole experience.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-video-display

Processor and memory

I cant offer a conclusive verdict on this aspect because this is not a comprehensive review. But from my several hours worth of interacting with the S5, there is nothing to say that the Quad-core 2.5 GHz processor is not impressive. The multi-tasking feature in particular was brilliant as I could seamlessly pile on different tasks on each other without the phone showing any signs of distress.

Camera

Now this is one area I truly found the Samsung Galaxy S5 impressive. Never mind the 16 Megapixel capacity (That’s been beaten already), its features like the dual mode, selective focus and virtual tour shot that will get smartphone camera and selfie enthusiasts excited. My favorite feature was the dual mode functionality which allows users to use the front and rear camera simultaneously for both photos and video. Unfortunately, the front side is mainly for selfies as that particular side of the shot will be framed as seen below.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-dualmode

The Selective Focus Feature also gives smartphone photographers an opportunity to do something that novice professional photographers often fail to do – give in focus subjects a shallow depth of field.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-selective-focus

 

Samsung-galaxy-S5-camera-features
Inside the Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera

Battery

Through the Ultra Power Saving feature, Samsung has also brought something new to battery power management for smartphones. Activating Ultra Power Saving mode will instantly turn your once genius Samsung Galaxy S5 into a dumb phone capable of only calling, browsing and texting. You can only add three, low on power apps like the calculator and chatting apps in this mode. The benefit is activating this mode will give you a lot of time on standby. I activated this feature with 22% of power left and it indicated that I could go for over 50 more hours in standby mode (receiving calls, texting and low quality browsing).

Samsung-galaxy-S5-Ultra-Power-Saving

The benefit is great but I felt a bit hard done in being unable to connect to wifi or do simple task like capturing screenshots whilst in Ultra Power Saving mode.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-Ultra-Power-Saving-browsing

Th battery itself is an Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery capable of 390 hours standby and 21 hours of talk time. It was hard to judge the it’s efficiency due to the limited time we had the device. Unlike the batteries on the iPhone 5S and the Huawei Ascen P6, the battery on the S5 can be detached from the device. I had hoped on progress on this front from Samsung.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-battery

Benchmarks

We managed just one benchmark in this unboxing. Unsurprisingly, the Antutu benchmark gave it it amazing score and says the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the best Android device on the market.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-benchmarks

Samsung-galaxy-S5-benchmark2

Apps and Features

Following after the iPhone 5S, the Galaxy S5 also has a finger print scanner. Setting it up was a bit demanding as I had to scan my finger print several times for recognition. The worst part is that there are no prompts to take you through the process and half the time I thought I was doing it wrong.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-fingerprint-scanner

However, once the scanner is set up, just one glide with your recognised finger over the marked bottom part of the screen and the home button will unlock the device like a breeze. I liked it.

Samsung-galaxy-S5-fingerprint-scanner2

The Samsung Galaxy S5 also has a Kids Mode feature which like the Ultra Power Saving mode, turns it into a device with just a fraction of it’s true potential. Only this time the device will become a kid’s toy with childish icon (now words) on apps. I did not do much in this mode as I did not know the characters and it was quite difficult to exit this mode (no word, just childish icons and all).

Scene inside the Kids Mode
Scenes inside the Kids Mode

Verdict

The only thing stopping me from owning a Samsung Galaxy S5 is the price. The features, apps and sheer quality makes it the next generation smartphone in my opinion. The camera is outstanding and it will be a while before I get over cool features it has on offer. I’d be more happy if the device was at least an inch smaller. I prefer compact smartphones and I sincerely hope the iPhone 6 won’t have more real estate.

The $1200 price tag is for the rich and eager early adopters and I hear several, not just Sir Wicknell, are already S5ing in Zimbabwe. Hopefully, as more retailers start stocking this beauty (maybe beast) the price will fall and maybe more can afford it.

 The Samsung Galaxy S5 unboxed here was provided to Techzim courtesy of Goldtech Electronics, a leading retailer of consumer electronics in Zimbabwe.

The iPhone 5S in this review was provided courtesy of Mr. Muhammad Zubar Omar, an Apple dealer based in Harare. You can contact him on +263 775  550 786, +263 739 759 321 or allthingsapplezw@gmail.com. – See more at: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2014/01/iphone-5s-review-at-800-its-a/#sthash.fz0ADkNC.dpuf
The iPhone 5S in this review was provided courtesy of Mr. Muhammad Zubar Omar, an Apple dealer based in Harare. You can contact him on +263 775  550 786, +263 739 759 321 or allthingsapplezw@gmail.com. – See more at: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2014/01/iphone-5s-review-at-800-its-a/#sthash.fz0ADkNC.dpuf
The iPhone 5S in this review was provided courtesy of Mr. Muhammad Zubar Omar, an Apple dealer based in Harare. You can contact him on +263 775  550 786, +263 739 759 321 or allthingsapplezw@gmail.com. – See more at: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2014/01/iphone-5s-review-at-800-its-a/#sthash.fz0ADkNC.dpuf


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11 thoughts on “Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S5 and our quick thoughts

  1. Unlike the batteries on the iPhone 5S and the Huawei Ascen P6, the battery on the S5 can be detached from the device. I had hoped on progress on this front from Samsung.

    i don’t follow, whats wrong with a detachable battery? Batteries have a tendency of discharging too quickly after some time, at which point replacing becomes the only option.

    1. Valid point Chandida. I have never come across a replacement iPhone Batteries and most tabs have inaccessible batteries.Maybe since devices have shorter life cycles, the point of battery discharge can be the point of disposal?

    2. I keep a spare battery with my S4 Mini. Best accessory ever: nothing quite beats the feeling of going from 10% battery charge to 100% in 30 seconds flat
      It completely does away with the need to be constantly wired to a power outlet, carrying around clunky external ‘juice’ packs, or having to restrict myself to ‘whatsapp only’ mode when I travel.
      Aesthetics in design is nice, practicality for me, much better

  2. A video would have been aweseome though. I have seen many video reviews of the phone but a Zimbabwean version would have been awesome, considering that many are not on unlimited data plans etc. Anyway thanks. Howevever, for 1200 I will wait a while maybe end of year when the price falls or i can chance with a broken screen up for a quick sale.

    1. If you seriously want it, you can buy it $250 cheaper in Increadible Connection or Hifi Corporation in SA

  3. The article was very informative, please Tendai Mupaso can you do a comparison between S5 and S4 or iPhone 5s

  4. great job on reviews guys, but i think you should also make videos of these reviews and put them on youtube. keep up the good work!

  5. WANT IT WANT IT WANT IT!! Love that it comes in Blue as well – makes a nice change from black or white. However, I will wait a while until it is a more reasonable price!

  6. WOW – That site looks awesome – been looking high and low for an online retailer as good as this. How long they take to deliver, and what payment options have you used?

  7. again, Techzim should really consider doing videos for this stuff and all that other mobile wallet jazz. Your move TZ.

  8. Makuda kundijairira manje. I don’t do Android! I’m rocking my diamond encrusted iPhone 5s.

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