Given Samsung accounts for the vast majority of Android devices on the market, expectations were high for the fifth generation Galaxy S smartphone.
Like last year’s S4, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is packed full of technological advances designed to make the phone the centre of your life. From a fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button to the 16 megapixel camera, Samsung has tried to offer something for everyone.
Most of the time, it works. The camera is one of the best available on a smartphone, taking great snaps with a speedy autofocus. The fingerprint scanner is mostly responsive, unless you swipe your thumb sideways.
Lifestyle features like S Health have been given a significant boost via an integrated heart rate monitor on the back of the phone, but it feels like a gimmick, and the software still doesn’t compete with dedicated fitness apps.
No great leap
But the biggest drawback of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is that it doesn’t feel like a step forward. The phone feels cheap and plasticky when compared to the HTC One M8 or Sony Xperia Z2. And the Touchwiz software – while updated over last year’s version – is still a bit convoluted.
Samsung again arbitrarily locked the dock on the Australian phone despite it being customisable internationally, and while a more recent update changed that and you could work around this by downloading a new launcher or by rooting the device, for the early-adopting Galaxy S5 customer it was a huge disappointment.
Make no mistake – Samsung has created a very good phone here. The problem is that its main rivals are noticeably better.
Verdict: Samsung has packed the Galaxy S5 full of great features, but Touchwiz is still a massive disappointment.