I got to spend some time with the Galaxy S5 today, which is on demo in Samsung stores even though the phone won’t be available for sale till tomorrow.
First impressions, the phone feels remarkably similar to the Galaxy S4. Samsung is going down the same route as Apple with evolutionary rather than revolutionary updates for every successive generation. Looking back, the Galaxy S4 felt quite similar to the Galaxy S III but the S5 feels even more similar to the S4.
I know, on paper, there are a lot of differences between the S5 and it’s predecessor but when you’re using the phone you don’t notice 90% of them, at least not until you’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the phone.
Of the few things I did notice, I found the design to be a considerable improvement. The soft touch back with the perforations looks as well as feels much better than the glossy plastic back on the previous phones. The display, although technically better, looks nearly identical. It’s not bad and looks pretty good in general but I’d still take a good LCD over this any day.
The software has a new design, which looks different although not necessarily better. The performance felt adequate although not really incredibly snappy at any point despite the amount of power available under the hood. The camera felt great and is one part of the phone that I liked the most and something I’d like to look at more closely in future.
I also tried the heartbeat sensor on the back. It works well, although there was no way to confirm its accuracy, but I still think it’s a gimmick that will find little use. The fingerprint sensor was inaccessible on the demo unit so I couldn’t try it out, although the implementation is terrible and I don’t think it would find much use either.
Overall, I think the Galaxy S5 is a good phone. But not a 50k good phone.