End User phones

Samsung Galaxy S5 feature list examined

sgs5They are getting excited, the easily excitable. Supposedly the Samsung Galaxy S5 is being launched tonight at MWC2014 (see previous post for acronym explanation).  The Telegraph 1 is calling it one of the most anticipated phone launches of the year and goes on to fuel the rumour mill with a description of expected features. The Telegraph is one of the many sites that gets excited but there again they seem to pander far more successfully to the desires of Joe Public than does this blog – they have quite a few more visitors.

In the interest of trying to get excited I’ve looked at the expected features to see which ones I like.

16Megapixel camera. The camera is one of the features I use the most. A better camera is one of the few things I could say would be good to have. Even though it will probably drive the need for more storage space on my NAS box (check out my personal storage trend here).

Bigger screen – no thanks. The SGS4 screen is as big as I can cope with.

Apps activated by hand gestures – nope. Not gonna work for me. The gesture stuff doesn’t work particularly well on the SGS4. I stopped bothering.

Android 4.4 – KitKat. Not had one in years. This version is meant to have tiles that look very much like the Windows Phone experience on my (little used) Nokia Lumia 920. Makes me suspicious that.

Increased Durability.  Needs to be. My SGS4 is chipped all over the place and has a cracked screen. The problems with USB ports on the Samsung Galaxy phones are amongst the most popular (durable one might say) on this blog.

Fingerprint scanner. Does anyone have experience of the iPhone fingerprint scanner? It sounds like another app that doesn’t add much to me. It it made it quicker to unlock the phone that would probably be ok with me.

Metal Case. Goes with durability presumablement2.

Really apart from the hardware one has to ask oneself what is it that Samsung brings to the party. I have used the “find my phone” app3 but that feature is not unique to Samsung. Most of the Samsung provided apps I don’t use.

I’ll list them. S Voice, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, Samsung Link, Samsung Wallet, S Health, S Translator. Don’t use em. I’m sure there are more.

The Samsung backup stuff I think conflicts with my Google contacts and I end up with duplicates. This could be because I have multiple Google accounts so not so sure on this one. I did like it the way when upgrading to a new phone the system know which apps I had on my phone but I think this was the Play Store and not Samsung.

Samsung, like all the other players in this game, want me to use them for everything. It ain’t gonna happen. They will almost certainly sell a lot of phones though. That’s what happens when you throw a lot of money at it (though not always – witness Microsoft & Nokia Lumia.

At this point I’m going to stop. You probably want to hear something nice rather than constant whinging.  Well it turned out nice outside. I think I’ll pop out for a walk:)

1 I have to open the Telegraph in an incognito window – I quickly use up my monthly quota of free article reads with the Alex cartoon and the sport. The camera is rumoured to shoot 4K video at 30fps and 1080 at 60fps. I don’t need 4K video yet. I have nothing to play it on. Suppose it future-proofs the thing. In 5 years time when I get a 4K TV I’ll be able to look back at all the old vids and see them in a clarity like never before.
2 Notice I slipped into a bit of French there. Just comes out…:)
3 It was under my pillow doh!

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “Samsung Galaxy S5 feature list examined”

More megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean a better camera though. I think megapixel wars are primarily a marketing thing, unless for some reason you really need to display larger than life versions of your photos. I used to have a FujiFilm point and shoot that was around 4MP but the image quality was really good – excellent colour reproduction, very few artifacts, very little visible compression. When that eventually broke and I bought a new point-and-shoot of the same make, the images it produced were noticeably worse despite being 8MP – poor colour reproduction, massive compression, etc.

I agree about big screens – I want something that will fit in my pocket when not in use and I can hold up to my face without looking ridiculous. I have a tablet if I want to use a bigger screen.

I have the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint sensor, and before I got it I thought it would be a bit gimmicky, but it actually works very well (unless my fingers are wet) and having to type in a code seems like a chore now. It’s one of those things I think Apple got just right.

Totally agree with the S Apps and the Samsung back up – I only have one google account and I seem to constantly be getting rid of duplicate contacts. The S4 is really good, and the battery life is excellent – I manage at least a day and a half on mine. The S5 could be perfect if they let you remove all the bloatware without rooting it.

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