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Blazing the Galaxy with the new Samsung S5

Manila Bulletin Tech News managed to purchased the Samsung Galaxy S5, two weeks before its official release in April 11, 2014. And as  promised, here’s our full review with Samsung’s newest flagship superphone.

The Galaxy S5 features the latest Android 4.4 Kitkat, 2.5GHz CPU, a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, and 2GB RAM. Its 5.1-inch screen has a 1980×1080 Super AMOLED coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and being a top-of-the-line device, it’s needless to point out the display is bright with vibrant colors and high touch sensitivity.

S5, Manila Bulletin

S5

So far, the Philippine market will ship the 16GB LTE configuration. It is NFC enabled, making file transfer a breeze. And since it’s micro-USB 3.0 is covered with an air tight flap, it will support wireless charging features.

We found the S5 to have an overall better build quality compared to the previous Galaxy S devices, the 3 and 4, and unlike the two, the 5 is bigger and takes a more rectangular shape, sporting an all metal chassis. Its front design has similarities to devices like the Note 3, while it’s back cover has a pleasant dotted design. It’s still made with plastic but we welcome this new approach with open arms.

The GS5 has four core features. Download Booster, waterproof, heart-rate monitor, and a fingerprint sensor.

Download Booster simultaneously activates two Internet connections for an increase downloading speed. This means a combination of Wi-Fi and LTE, or 3G and Wi-Fi. This also means if you’ve already got high-speed connections, put them together, and we’re looking at about 20-30Mbs or possibly more.

31SS5If you’re planning for a getaway in the seaside or in a resort, the Galaxy S5 features IP67, making it waterproof up to one meter for about thirty minutes. We’ve had no trouble with it while it’s submerged and we were able to send out text messages and make calls while it’s soaked down in the tub.

Meanwhile, the heart-rate sensor is located in the camera’s flash. All you have to do is place your finger on it, wait, and Samsung’s dedicated S health apps will let you know  how’s your heart going. We found this really cool and exciting for what other innovations this could pave way to.

We found the fingerprint scanner a cool feature for an added security layer. The scanner worked accurately and only took a short moment before giving you access to you phone. But you still got to unlock the phone first. For further security details, the scanner is PayPal certified.

The S5 features a 16MP rear camera and 2MP front, and is capable of simultaneous HD recording and snapping images. But the deal breaker here is the Selective Focus feature, which as the name suggests, let’s you adjust focus after taking a picture for a more sophisticated effect.

It also features real time HDR, which will show you what an image may look like given a high dynamic range. It also has the fastest autofocus among all the smartphones in the market today.

Kid Mode is no new feature as other devices have it, but with some of those devices kids manages to somehow get around it and mess in the main interface. The Galaxy S5 features a more sophisticated version of Kid Mode that makes it harder for the little ones to escape their crib.

Now, while other top end devices have about 3000 mAH battery life, the S5 features 2,800mAh. Pretty low you might say, but the Ultra Battery Saver feature will prolong that battery life by shutting down other functions that aren’t needed in the meantime. Also, it has a micro-USB 3.0 port and with its USB 3.0 cable, charging length is short.

Are we not lucky?

  • Jack

    But the deal breaker here is the Selective Focus feature — why would it be a deal breaker? Selective Focus is such a great feature!!!! I’m assuming you just don’t how how to use ‘deal breaker’ properly.

  • Jack Attack

    It’s water resistant not waterproof. There’s a difference.

    • etneroll

      “if you’re planning for a getaway in the seaside or in a resort, the Galaxy S5 features IP67, making it waterproof up to one meter for about thirty minutes.” this is where the water proof features comes in.

      • Jack Attack

        Yep, the certification is cool. Kudos to Samsung for using the word “water resistant” instead of “waterproof.” If a device’s waterproof feature has a limitation then it should be called water resistant.