As Samsung's 2014 flagship phone the Galaxy S5 is an evolutionary device that is great for current Samsung Galaxy S users with an available upgrade.
PROS :: Fantastic display // Daylight images are on par with other flagship phones // Waterproof casing and improved design // Good battery life
CONS :: Fingerprint scanner can be frustrating // Selective focus doesn't always work as promised // Heart rate monitor isn't completely accurate // TouchWiz UI looks better, but is still confusing
Summary :: The S5 is a solid upgrade over last year's model, with improvements to the hardware, software and camera. However, certain headline features like the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor are mediocre at best. Chances are, you'll be happy with the phone, but don't fork out the extra cash for an early upgrade.
The Good :: Samsung's Galaxy S5 excels at everything that matters -- Android 4.4 KitKat OS; a bright, beautiful display; blistering quad-core processor; and an excellent camera experience. In addition, Samsung's efforts to streamline its own custom interface and reduce pre-installed bloatware pay off.
The Bad :: The Galaxy S5 is a only small upgrade over the Galaxy S4. The fingerprint scanner can be confusing to use, and the heart-rate monitor is a niche feature at best. In some regions, the Galaxy S5 costs significantly more than rival top-rated handsets.
The Bottom Line :: Subtly improved and smartly refined, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a superior superphone that hits every mark but the sharpest design.
WIRED :: UNDERWATER INSTAGRAM BABY! Fingerprint sensor lets you unlock the phone flawlessly almost every time. Excellent camera took gorgeous shots, with a fast shutter and great focus. Removable back means you can pack an extra battery–but you probably won’t need it thanks to great battery performance.
TIRED :: Baffling interface and default set of applications. Flimsy dimpled plastic back feels like a cheap practice golf ball. Why do you keep giving me two apps when one will do?