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Samsung Galaxy S5 Review


The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the most anticipated Android phone of the year. It has rivals, but no other Android has managed to summon quite as much excitement as this one. The camera has evolved to give clearer, faster snaps. The fitness-tracking abilities of the S5 are enhanced over the Galaxy S4 by packing in a more powerful S Health app and a dedicated heart rate monitor on the rear. A fingerprint scanner adds to the most secure Galaxy phone ever made. Want to know the core specs before we dig deeper? The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen, up 0.1 inches from last year. It uses a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdargon 801 processor and has a 16-megapixel camera with an all-new Samsung-made sensor.

The spec sheet certainly doesn't let it down: a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 2800mAh (removable) battery, 16 / 32GB of memory (with up to 128GB extra through microSD), one of the world's most vibrant screens that's been extended to 5.1-inches and added biometrics. The GS5 is only a fraction larger than the Galaxy S4: it measures 5.59 inches tall by 2.85 inches wide by 0.32-inch deep, or 142mm by 72.5mm by 8.1mm; and it weighs 5.1 ounces, or 145 grams. Even though the extra hardware makes it a little taller and heavier than the Galaxy S4, I had no problem carting it around. Even outside my ridiculously heavy purse, which is usually home to at least two phones and a jumble of weighty items, the S5 stayed put in the back pocket of my skinny jeans, and stayed wedged in my hand during several-mile jogs. (Full disclosure: I may have also had a death grip on it.)

The GS5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, with Samsung's latest proprietary TouchWiz interface extending the OS with extra abilities. Samsung has peppered this updated version of TouchWiz with tweaks that freshen up its look and feel. What's different is mostly subtle, like a Google services folder loaded onto the home screen, and an onscreen menu button in nearly every window, like the app tray, for instance.