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Samsung Galaxy S5 specs review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 specs review
With a 5.1" 1080p screen, 16 MP camera and 2 GB of RAM, the Galaxy S5 might not be the ultimate Android specs monster, yet it comes with plenty of new features, both in comparison with its predecessor, the S4, and when measured up to the other flagships. The heartbeat sensor and the Finger Scanner in that implementation, for instance, are unique for the Galaxy S5. 

Furthermore, the addition of a fast Snapdragon 801 chipset brings on LTE-A download speeds, and 4K video recording, to an already superb handset. Let's dive deeper into the specs list of Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Design


Samsung still used plastic for the chassis, but with a new perforated pattern for the back cover, that differs from the faux leather looks of its latest devices.Besides the typical Charcoal Black and Shimmery White, the Galaxy S5 now comes with two extra colors at launch - Electric Blue, and funky Copper Gold.

At 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, the Galaxy S5 sports a taller, wider body than the S4, with its 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm. The Finger Scanner might be the reason, requiring a thicker bottom bezel. At 145 grams, the S5 is also heavier than the Galaxy S4. Check out this size comparison below - it's almost as big as the Z2.

Samsung Galaxy S5
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Sony Xperia Z2
5.78 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches
146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
5.75 oz (163 g)

Sony Xperia Z2

LG G2
5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35 inches
138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

LG G2

Samsung Galaxy S4
5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.



Just like the Galaxy S4 Active, the phone, however, carries IP67 rating, which might have warranted the larger chassis. This means that it is completely sealed from dust, and will remain functional even after you dunk it in up to three feet (1m) of water, for as long as half an hour. 

Heart rate sensor and Finger Scanner


Besides the usual pedometer, diet and exercise recordings, that come with its S Health app, Samsung has now paired it with something really interesting - a built-in heart rate monitor, located next to the LED flash. Thos sensor probably works on the same principle that the optical one on the Gear 2 smartwatch does, and you can further customize the experience with an abundance of third party apps, that take advantage of the combined health and fitness trackers on the phone. 

The above mentioned swipe Finger Scanner is embedded in the home key, providing biometric authentication for unlocking the phone, or for secure mobile payments transactions.


Display


The S5 uses a 5.1" Super AMOLED display with 1080x1920 pixels of resolution, raking in a tad lower pixel density than its S4 predecessor, but still more than enough for each purpose you might throw at it. Those rumors for a Quad HD display didn't pan out, unless Samsung has other aces up its sleeve this year, between the S5 and the Note 4 announcements. The screen is capable of 500 nits of peak brightness, which is pretty extraordinary for an AMOLED display, and 2 nits of minimal brightness, which should come handy for the overall contrast, and for night usage.

Processor and memory


A quad-core Snapdragon 801 (Qualcomm's MSM8974-AC chipset), clocked at 2.5 GHz, is what's powering the Galaxy S5. That's the fastest Snapdragon you can currently get on a phone; it is clocked a bit higher than the 2.3 GHz MSM8974-AB processor in the Xperia Z2, which is also labeled Snapdragon 801.

This processor is just a step below Qualcomm's fastest Snapdragon 805, which, however, won't be in devices before the summer, so the S5 won't feel underpowered for the foreseeable future. The GPU is clocked from 450 MHz to 578 MHz in 8974AC, which boosts the graphics prowess quite a bit. In comparison with Snapdragon 800, the new 801 comes with 14% faster Krait 400 processor cores, 28% faster Adreno 330 graphics, and the whole reason for the 801 being - a 45% improvement in camera sensor processing speed. 

Just like last year's edition, the S5 is graced with 2 GB of RAM, unlike Sony's new flagship, for example, that comes with 3 GB. Samsung is shipping the S5 with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal memory, depending on the version, plus a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 64 GB more.

Connectivity


Samsung Galaxy S5 specs review
Snapdragon 801 intros hardware support for dual SIM/dual Active devices, so perhaps a dual SIM version of the Galaxy S5 won't be far behind. The new chipset supports fast 150 Mbps LTE-Advanced download speeds, and Samsung claims that the S5 will support up to 8 LTE Cat4 bands on all global carriers. There is also an innovative feature in the handset, called Download Booster, which speeds up downloads by combining the Wi-Fi/ac and LTE-Advanced connectivity. In addition, we get BT 4.0, NFC, and an IR blaster for remote control of your home electronics, while wired connectivity is taken care of by the USB 3.0 port at the bottom.

First phone with Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO


Of separate note is the Wi-Fi 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) setup, likely provided by Broadcom's new BCM4354 5G System-on-a-Chip (SoC). It's an alternative to the 1x1 MIMO chips used in smartphones, bringing the same multiple antenna capabilities found in tablets and home wireless networking devices, finally in phones.

Camera


Samsung Galaxy S5 specs review
A brand new, 16 MP camera sensor, is what Samsung used for the Galaxy S5, and a 2.1 MP frontal shooter. It claims that the camera unit now provides the fastest 0.3 seconds autofocus times of all handsets. That's a feat made possible by the dedicated image signal processor, and the combination of Contrast AF with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF). Since we have the same 1.1 micron pixels, the sensor has become slightly larger, at 1/2.5", to accommodate the increase in pixel count. The optics have remained unchanged from the S4, but the 16 MP shooter seems to capture in 16:9 wide format in its full resolution.

Besides 4K video recording at 30fps, the processor also allows for a few extra camera tricks, too. Selective Focus allows users to tap on objects they want to look sharp, and the rest of the background gets blurred, achieving a shallow depth of field (DOF) effect without special lenses. Sony bragged with the same thing for the Z2, so we'd imagine that the new image processing capabilities in Snapdragon 801 are what makes 4K video recording and Selective Focus possible, rather than some homebrew ISPs from Samsung or Sony.

Samsung Galaxy S5 specs review
Samsung also touts that an advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography will be in store with the Galaxy S5, that lets you "reproduce natural light and color with striking intensity at any circumstances". HDR goes for both photos, and real-time video capture. The 16 MP shooter boasts f/2.2 aperture, and Samsung's new ISOCELL technology, which arguably means that each individual pixel is isolated. Thus, it can grab more photons from the light that pours into the sensor, compared to the diffusion that goes on with the BSI tech. Long story short, this means we should expect much better exposed and blur-free photos in low light, which is the hardest scenario for any camera to make decent photos in.

Battery


The 2800 mAh battery unit in the Galaxy S5 can thankfully be swapped out, in the best of Samsung's design traditions. It is rated for the respectable 21 hours of talk time on a charge, and 16 days of standby. Samsung bragged that the Galaxy S5 can endure up to 10 hours of web browsing, and up to 12 hours of HD video playback, which are impressive numbers indeed. There is a new Ultra Power Saving Mode, too, that makes the display show images in black and white, shutting down all processes and connections it deems unneccessary, which should make the phone last quite a long time more, in case you are running out of juice.



With the Finger Scanner biometry, and the heart rate sensor, Samsung arguably differentiated the Galaxy S5 better for the average user, than if it just slid in a gig of RAM more, or placed an even higher resolution camera sensor for the geeky crowd. Rather, there are subtle enhancement that matter, like the boosted peak brightness of the display, and the 4K video recording. There are notable specs omissions, though, like the lack of optical image stabilization for the camera, which the competition has. Do you think that those will affect the Galaxy S5 expected millions of sales volume, or has Samsung focused where it matters for the mass market?

35 Comments
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posted on 24 Feb 2014, 15:57 9

1. mobi_user (Posts: 105; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


It seems that mobile industry is running out of innovations. And trying to put something which will be used once in a while. Not sure how many people will keep on rubbing their finger on the back to check there heart rate.
don't think "some song" guys have seen the Hulk movie. The guy had pretty good heart rate watch with beeper.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:18 2

12. akki20892 (Posts: 3301; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Still same icons. No change.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:55 2

24. hellonerds (Posts: 138; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


This is not an iOS device. . This is android were customization is endless lol

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 17:20

28. mobi_user (Posts: 105; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


Yes Andriod offers lots of customization. But when you look at the flagship phone of a company which is working in endless environment, to be something different, something more in meaningful terms.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:30 3

16. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Would be nice to create a battery that can last 2 days with heavy use....but, people act like this is the worst phone in the history of Android - the overreactions to this phone's unveiling are a product of success and of media outlets such as phonearena...intelligence has been thrown out the window, as usual...

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 15:58 1

2. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 923; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


its not submerible,xperia still is a clear winner in terms of Water element.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:03 6

5. linkage2424 (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


IP67 means it IS submersible under 15cm-3m of water for up to 30 minutes.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 07:39

32. fireblade (Posts: 656; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


let's try it whether it can survive or not in the water

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 11:54

34. williamdroid (Posts: 125; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)


the Galaxy S5 is IP67-certified. The 6 means it's dust proof, while the 7 means it can be immersed in water (up to 1 meter) for 30 minutes. That's as waterproof as you can get on a smartphone nowadays.

Having said that, i like the Z2 better +1

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:02 3

3. linkage2424 (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


I'm still betting there will be some sort of premium/prime version announced. As I watched the announcement I kept thinking, "alright, when are they gonna say 'BUT WAIT!...check out the S5 Prime!'" I'm calling it right now. I could be wrong by all means, I'm just guessing too, but my instinct and (hopeful) anticipation tell me there's gotta be more.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:03 3

4. Mube007 (Posts: 88; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)


Where is the man who designs s5 ? i just want to cut his dirty hands.this phone is like hell shame on u samsung

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:11

7. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)


The people in the focus groups may be blind.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:06 3

6. ocilfa (Posts: 332; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


I thought this might tempt me from my GSIII, but this phone looks more like the Samsung Galaxy S III(S) 2.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:21

14. NoFanboy (Posts: 206; Member since: 18 Nov 2013)


What?

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 17:19

27. ocilfa (Posts: 332; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


A lot of people agreed that the GS4 was more like the GSIII(S), kind of like how the iphone's go, since it was just a small improvement. The GS5 isn't that big of a improvement from the 4.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 07:40

33. fireblade (Posts: 656; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


Buy Note 3, dude

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:11 4

8. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


I think instead of including something "new" they refined all of the issues people seem to have with their phones on a regular basis. Waterproof, making it faster all across the board, very very nice battery life, almost the same screen was fine before"a tad bit bigger",

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:31 1

17. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


they should had included a 3000mAH battery...

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 17:18

26. wesley. (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Yes, or more. Sony Z2 and LG G2 still look better to me with their 5.2" screens, bigger batteries and OIS cameras. Other than that of course the S5 is a really good upgrade, but putting it against its direct competition, it isn't class leading.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:11 8

9. toink (unregistered)


The S5 makes the S4 look good. lol.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 17:16 2

25. magnanimus (Posts: 260; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


This makes so much sense.

S4 is compact.
S4 with the S800 is almost on par with this.
S4 allows hovering with your finger which i personally like (acts like a mouse in the broswer).
S4 has more ppi.
And S4 doesnt have this ugly design with ginormous bezels. (dont like glossy plastic, add decals).

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:17 2

10. uchihakurtz (Posts: 231; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


The lack of OIS is major disappointment for me, recording 1080p without it is shaky like hell, imagine recording 4K in that. Compare this to LG and Nokia, the S5 is just a bit win in megapixels count.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:18

11. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1673; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


It's whack..... DOA!!!

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:20 5

13. phone5 (Posts: 6; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


In my opinion there can't be anything more better in a smartphone than what Samsung has provided. IT is a good all round phone and I will definitely buy one. App developers will certainly take advantage of the additional sensors making the use of the phone more useful.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:32 3

18. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


See, finally, a person with a voice of reason on phonearena with a semblance of intelligence....these companies could work on a better battery...

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:23

15. NoFanboy (Posts: 206; Member since: 18 Nov 2013)


The s5 seems like it's going backwards. Just look at the s4 and s5 side by side. On that note, where's the HTC One?

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:33

19. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The HTC 1-2?

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:34 2

20. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Cause y'all judge the book by the cover, the S5 will be the most underrated flagship. It has the fastest SoC available (beefier than the 2.3GHz SD801 on the Z2), faster RAM, theoretically much faster flash storage, 16MP ISOCELL sensor with fast lens and advanced ISP, and some cool features like the heart rate thing that comes handy for sports. HDR video in 4k and stuff lake that makes it a pretty incredible device.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:52 1

22. linkage2424 (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


Agreed. People look at the numbers too much... bigger number doesn't mean better. I read about the ISOCELL tech - it's pretty cool, it'll bring some noticeable improvement to images taken with the S5. I was very happy with the S4 camera, and I'm betting this camera will top it. I also liked the screen size on the S4. 0.1" won't be much different in reality. Yeah, it doesn't have OIS but it has a digital version, so recording HD and even 4k video along with snapping 16mp pictures will end up fine. Digital image stabilization is *still* image stabilization. The .3 second focus? That's a huge improvement. So is the processor, literally will be the best of any smartphone, for a short while. Cpu speed is where a big number *does* count.
I'll probably end up getting this. Still holding on hope that there will be a premium version announced as well, though.

Edit: Forgot to mention, two of the features, after thinking about it, I really am looking forward to. The ultra power saving mode and the big one, IP67. I've always wished there was a way to save as much battery as possible for those occasions I'm about to run out while waiting for a call or something while not having a charger with me. It happens. Additionally, I live in the northwest - rain central. I always worry about using my phones in the rain! It'll be nice to have the peace of mind that water won't hurt it.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 05:10

31. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


Sure, now go back in time a year and half and read most comments of the Android lovers who said everything is about the numbers.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 17:45 1

29. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


I think the biggest reason why so many people bashing S5 is because there is so... many hype and over expectation about S5. Like QHD display, thin bezels in waterproof body, new and more premium design.
I think even with lower clockspeed Z2 will be able to outperform S5 in real life performance especialy when it comes to multitasking thanks to lighter Sony UI and 3GB of ram.

I really want to know real life performance of samsung so called ISOCELL sensor because they claims it will be better than conventional BSI sensor and i also want to know are ISOCELL sensor is good enough to beat Sony Exmore RS one of the most advance BSI sensor.

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:47

21. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)


and this is the phone everyone has been waiting for? aside from being able to record video in 4k its not the impressive...they should have upgraded the ram to atleast 3gigs would have been kinda nice with the faster processor i think....finger print scanner is just another stupid idea to keep u from accessing ur own phone....the heart rate scanner really? whats that for, so u can find out how close to a heart attack u are when the phone locks up or u cant get past a level on a game? im glad i got the s4 for free!

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 16:55

23. Diego! (Posts: 503; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)


PhoneArena, I have one question. There won't be any Exynos international version after all? Only Qualcomm powered Galaxy S5?

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 22:10

30. Finest (Posts: 76; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)


Ill go for theZ2 over this. Bit disappointed just a bunch of gimmick features japan had this fingerprint scanner since 2012 specially Fujitsu phones.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 21:50

35. ChafedBanana (Posts: 357; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


I was hoping so badly for optic image stabilization. Why didn't Samchung bring it? Why?!?!?!?

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