Galaxy S5: Everything you need to know about Samsung's latest

The current smartphone king has released its latest flagship design, but what are you getting for your money?

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The Independent Tech

Although it's certainly become increasingly difficult for manufacturers to improve smartphones much further, Samsung have certainly given it their best shot with their new flagship device, the Galaxy S5.

Although the S5 may not offer a dramatic overhaul of previous products, it certainly has more features than most handsets out there. Whether they'll prove useful or not remains to be seen. Remember the S4's revolutionary ability to scroll webpages by tracking your gaze? People certainly rolled their eyes at that.

Regardless, if you're coming to the end of a phone contract and want to know whether to stay loyal to Samsung Galaxy or move to another brand, take a look below for a run-down of some of the new features and decide for yourself whether the S5 lives up to the hype.

What's good about it?

The S5 carries over the basic design of the S4 - which might be a plus point or a downer, depending on whether you like the tough plastic and aluminium styling. A more detailed look reveals that the back of the phone has been updated and now offers a more practical grip as opposed to the slippery, leather-like material previously used.

Like most phones in this price range the S5 is a powerful base, it's very powerful. The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Krait 2.5Ghz processor boosted by the 2GB of RAM. All of this should mean that the S5 runs Android KitKat, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, as smoothly as you'd like.

The screen of the S5 has actually been increased 5.1 inches, and offers Full HD resolution from an AMOLED display. While have been criticised for lacking a higher resolution screen many were hoping for, the colour reproduction - essential for watching movies on your phone - is impressive to say the least.

And for those who like to take the odd close up image with your phone camera, there's an three megapixel upgrade on the S4, taking it's total capability up to 16 megapixels - as good as any digital camera today.

The back of the S5 has been updated to give it a grippier feel.

New Features

Perhaps the most impressive aspect - and one to distinguish it from most handsets (well, barring the similarly-equipped iPhone 5S) - is the fingerprint reader. Located below the home button, it can authenticate PayPal payments that you make on the internet or be used to lock your phone.

It benefits from being dustproof - it is designed to survive the dustiest conditions - and to go with this, Samsung have made the S5 water-resistant (not waterproof) to contest with the likes of the Sony Xperia Z1, meaning it may be possible to save it if it happens to fall down the toilet or into the sink.

You can also search Google using only your voice thanks to the Android KitKat 4.4.2 version, which will obviously come in at handy at some point.

An integrated heart sensor situated below the flash on the camera works with the smartphone to track fitness using S Health 3, the new piece of software from Samsung which works as a pedometer. It's an impressive feature for those who prefer to use their phone as a way to measure their heart rate when exercising.



Of course, one of the major issues with the Galaxy range is the size of the screen, making it difficult to handle, and the increase in size of the screen is unlikely to make it easier for consumers to use their phone. Further to that, the lack of advancement in the screen technology is likely to frustrate those looking for a major technological upgrade.

The battery life is another cause for concern. While it's perhaps not nearly as bad as the iPhone, which mostly requires charging everyday if used frequently, the 28000mAh battery life is hardly mindblowing.

When can I buy it?

It will be available in April and is set to cost around about £550 - similar to the S4 when it was first released.