Samsung Galaxy S5: all you need to know

Ladies and gentlemen, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has officially arrived, and while it might not have been able to meet the sky-high expectations, it's treated us to a ton of new features. 

Here, we have summed up all that you absolutely need to know about the new Samsung flagship, along with specs and links for further reading.

The new design and new features

Samsung introduces a brand new design paradigm with the S5 - one that still uses plastic as the basis material, but flaunts a perforated rear pattern, that is quite different than the "stitched leather" looks of the Note 3. Besides the Charcoal Black and Shimmery White, the Galaxy S5 will arrive with two extra colors at launch - Electric Blue, and the aforementioned Copper Gold that you can see in the pictures.

The Galaxy S5 uses a 5.1" 1080x1920-pixel Super AMOLED display and while the resolution has not changed from the S4, Samsung has improved the display making it go brighter at peak brightness (great for outdoor use) and dimmer at the lowest levels (great for night-time viewing). 

The newly-coined quad-core Snapdragon 801 (Qualcomm's MSM8974-AC chipset), clocked at 2.5 GHz, is what's powering the Galaxy S5. 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.

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.

Rugged and sporty with a heart-rate monitor

The Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified, rugged, which 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.

The other big new feature is the swipe Finger Scanner embedded in the home key. It provides biometric authentication for unlocking the phone, or for secure mobile payments transactions. On its back, right below the camera the Galaxy S5 features a heart rate monitor.

New camera: bokeh and improved HDR

The camera unit now provides the fastest 0.3 seconds autofocus times of all handsets - a feat made possible by the dedicated image signal processors in the Snapdragon 801 chipset. 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.

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.

Samsung also touts that an advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode that goes for both photos and real-time video capture. The 16MP shooter also boasts f/2.2 aperture, and Samsung's new ISOCELL technology, which should bring better exposed and blur-free photos in low light.

Samsung Galaxy S5: release date, carriers and price

The Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is set for April 11 across an impressive 150 countries worldwide. Price is not yet announced, but if we had to guess we’d say $199 on contract and around $600 full retail. Below, you'd find a list of the carriers and retailers where the S5 will be available.

  • T-Mobile
  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • MetroPCS

Pending confirmation:
  • Verizon 
  • U.S. Cellular

  • Best Buy
  • Sam's Club
  • Radioshack
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Costco

Samsung Galaxy S5 against the world: comparisons

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    2.1 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    Samsung TouchWiz UI



46. bobmarley807

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

S5 would never outsell any iphone

45. bobmarley807

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

And it's a overpriced piece of plastic crap

44. bobmarley807

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

S5 is stupid who the hell would want a 5.1 inch screen who the hell would want a 1080p super gayoled when u can't tell the difference between 1080 and 720 + the iphone 5S has better fingerprint scanner doesn't lag and is 64bit

42. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

The plastic Samsung uses is less expensive, more durable and rugged, and much lighter than glass or metal. You can bend these covers over without damaging them. This makes for lighter phone. When the user then adds a case, which a great many people do, the look of the back cover then becomes irrelevant, while the weight remains much lower than it would have been with glass or metal. The ability to remove the cover is a big deal, allowing battery replacement, along with the capability of replacing the cover with an after-market model. Finally, the plastic material provides less interference with signal than metal, allowing greater design flexibility for the internals of the phone. I loved the uni-body design of the Lumia 1020, but I missed the removeable cover, and it was hefty. The iPhone felt good and heavy (and thus high quality) in my hand, but that's a disadvantage with a proper-sized screen. The unexpected heaviness of the og droid was cool as well, but in a 5"+ design, that would have worn thin pretty quickly. The plastic back is a trade-off, but so is the design of the Z1 and the 5S. I understand that it doesn't appeal to everyone. It would be a boring world if we all like the same things. But it appeals to plenty, so this dismissive and sometimes snobbish drumbeat of how cheap it feels wears thin after a while. The impulse to assume we're smart and the rest of the world is a bunch of idiot sheap is powerful, but there is wisdom in numbers. The assumption should be that, when we the enthusiasts disagree with the masses, the freakishness is probably on us rather than on them.

41. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

Seems to me that we're running out of differences between phones. Heart rate monitor? Really? You can buy one for any phone in the play store. Specs seem good, and the soft touch back is a step up from the S4, but what is really so new? Technology marches on and every year the phones get a little faster and more powerful, but there's nothing compelling about it that makes me want to buy it. In normal use, does anyone think this is any different than the S4?

40. LevelingTheDebate

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 04, 2014

After seeing all the imperfect phone designs come out I'm glad I still kept my iPhone 5. Jailbroken and better than most of these half-designed gimmick phones. Oppo and Apple are the company's I will stick with.

38. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

What I think is that the S5 would cost around 500$ mark and the Galaxy F line would be the new High end series!

32. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

As long as I haven't got it in my hands, I will not say anything. Maybe in real-life this S5 isn't so bad as I thought.

31. 21babydoll12 unregistered

Interested to see z2 and s5 in a IPxx test. S5 is rated dust tight (6) while the z2 beats it with higher water rate (8). Although I must say, if the back cover of the s5 is removable im curious to see how it can rate so high as 6. Most fluke meters are extremely rugged and they only rate 5/6/7 and this is with a rubbery full body and limited access panels.

30. shimshim

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 04, 2012

Whoa perforated soft back ! That is some ground breaking radical innovation ! put up a billboard across US for it.

47. bobmarley807

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

No it isn't it's cheap plastic crAp

28. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

The Electric Blue colour is an exact copy of 2013 HTC One's Vivid Blue!

27. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

Lol the back cover looks like a plaster......especially the gold one.

23. voxmarc

Posts: 339; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

the back cover finish reminds me of the original Nexus 7 back cover.....ahhhhh

21. jpunieves

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

1. i think IP58 of Z2 is much better than IP67 of GS5. 2. i hate over saturated colors 3. heartbeat monitor and fingerprint scanner? really? i'd rather have an extra 1GB RAM than this. 4. touch wiz... zzzzzzz will wait for LG G2/ HTC One replacements. oh well... hoping for Lumia 1520 prices to go down after these hype on 'flagship android' phones =) itching on an upgrade for my nokia E6 :p

18. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

You know you've failed on your next gen phone when I can look at my 2 year old S3 and don't feel the need to upgrade to this...

14. Adrian38

Posts: 142; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Does there really have to be like 20 articles about the S5? Like, seriously...

20. HASHTAG unregistered

Just wait until Apple announces the new iPhone. Lol.

22. jpunieves

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

1. how many articles will this make 2. articles of new iphone against other flagship phones around 20 i guess?

10. naqeb007

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

is there anyone notice that samsung did not announce the new exynos infinity ???? weird !!!!!

9. naqeb007

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

hey everyone, this is my first comment for me in phonearena.

24. nutcase

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

me, either :P

6. HASHTAG unregistered

You people are such whiners. PhoneArena is like this every year for the Galaxy and iPhone series. Simply don't click on the link if you don't want to read more about it.

16. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

Not to mention the never ending repetition of the same. exact. comments.

19. yudi.nemesis unregistered

I think most people who read the article about the S5, want to get more information about the S5. But when they realize what they read is just the same information they become sick. I used to do the same thing and asked why that PA pay more attention to the samsung product. But eventually I understand that all of this is just one of the greatest samsung strategy "aggresive marketing".

5. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

Please enough with the S5 articles. Its getting really ridiculous! We know you wants hits on site but come on.

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

no different than with iphone, but you make a valid point...

4. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

This tell Samsung is a very rich company now.

3. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

^ lolol I was just going to say the same thing

2. smallworld

Posts: 527; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Why so much articles ?

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