Is the Samsung Galaxy S5 the Leader It’s Meant to Be?


With Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) latest Galaxy S phone hitting the market, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be sweating over its greatest competitor having another high-power device around to draw customers away around the globe. No doubt Samsung expects to do just that and more with the Galaxy S5.

According to Mashable, the Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a Smart Switch app, which makes it easier for users to import all of their contacts, calendar details, and email. On top of that, it can collect those from iCloud for iPhone users making the switch, and will even find Android apps to replace similar iOS apps. There’s no doubt Samsung has some intentions of making converts of a number of users.

For people who have shied away from Samsung devices because of the amount of bloatware that can be included in its devices, the Galaxy S5 has taken a notable change of direction in that regard. Time noted the significantly reduced number Samsung apps and widgets that came pre-installed on the new smartphone — though they will remain available as a free download. Samsung has also stepped away from the stylized faux leather back panel to replace it with a dimpled plastic panel, which many may find less tacky and more techy.

Beyond those steps toward minimalism, Samsung repeats its usual shtick of creating smartphone that takes another long stride forward in terms of performance, stretching that gap in hardware even wider between its flagship smartphones and Apple’s. It’s got the specs to prove it, but not everything is as good in practice as it is in theory.

The Galaxy S5 has fewer options for built-in internal storage than the iPhone 5S, but has a microSD slot that can accommodate a 128GB card, according to GSMArena. It has Gorilla Glass on the screen, much like the iPhone 5s, though no oleophobic coating. In terms of connectivity, it offers many higher speed wireless connections and features a download booster that combines a data connection with a Wi-Fi connection, plus it has Near-Field Communication, infrared, and USB 3.0.

In terms of visual quality, the Galaxy S5 boasts both a bigger screen than the iPhone 5S and even its own predecessor at 5.1 inches while also having a significantly higher pixel density at 432 pixels per inch. Then there’s the camera, which shoots with a 16-megapixel sensor, autofocus as fast as a third of a second, and an HDR feature that lets users preview the image before it’s been shot. On top of that, Mashable suggested that the camera can shoot 4K video, though GSMArena only indicates 1080p video at 30 frames per second — still, not too shabby.

Inside it has a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz per core — crushing the iPhone 5S’s 1.3GHz dual-core processor. For graphics, the Galaxy S5 has an Adreno 330 offering quality performance. It also features 2GB of RAM, twice that in the iPhone 5S.

Unfortunately for the new device, benchmarks on various devices from Anandtech show the Samsung Galaxy S5 actually falling behind either the iPhone 5S or the latest HTC One model in many categories — a bad omen for Samsung, which has a reputation for releasing the most powerful flagship smartphones around. Although, some consider removing the TouchWiz user interface — no simple task — a way to significantly boost the performance of the device. For those hesitant to make a switch, it may be worth a wait until phones start including the next in Qualcomm’s line of Snapdragon processors with the Snapdragon 810 and 808 SoCs.

Though it’s not all about tech specs. The new Galaxy S5 will also feature waterproofing up to one meter for thirty minutes, as well as a heart-beat sensor, and an ultra power-saving mode that can stretch the last 10 percent of battery life out for several hours, reports Time. It also has a fingerprint scanner, but many have claimed that it is less beneficial than it sounds due to frequent scanning mishaps. Fortunately for Apple, the Galaxy S5′s tech specs alone may not help it beat out the iPhone 5S.

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