Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The best and worst smartphone you can buy

Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5


  • Fantastic screen
  • Great camera
  • Waterproof (IP67)
  • Biometrics


  • TouchWiz
  • Big

Bottom Line

Samsung's new flagship just bristles with features. Some are undeniably innovative and useful - like the waterproofing and the camera - but the entire smartphone is let down by one of the heaviest, ugliest and most annoying Android overlays yet.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 929.00 (AUD)

Super fast, 12 days of battery

Samsung has been a lot more generous with the rest of the Galaxy S5’s hardware. It has a Snapdragon 801 chipset with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, the aforementioned 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB of internal memory. Peeling off the removable back cover will reveal a microSD card slot compatible with a 128GBs of expandable memory.

Ultra power saving mode has the potential to save someone's life

The result of all this hardware is a smartphone free from any sign of lag. The Galaxy S5 is quick at all things, running several applications without problem, and it does so in spite of its heavy TouchWiz overlay. Using this smartphone leaves you feeling drunk with raw computing power.

The 2800 milliamp-hour battery will capably deliver little over a day of battery life under heavy usage, which for us includes Wi-Fi/4G downloads, YouTube streaming, internet browsing, music playback, some photos, plenty of texting and a couple of hours worth of phone calls. We also had connected over Bluetooth throughout the review process.

Samsung claims the Galaxy S5 will last for 24 hours from just 10 per cent of charge when in ultra power saving mode.
Samsung claims the Galaxy S5 will last for 24 hours from just 10 per cent of charge when in ultra power saving mode.

Samsung has managed to squeeze a substantial amount of extra life from the battery by including the more efficient ‘Ultra Power Saving’ mode. Entering this mode disables superfluous features — to the extent the screen reverts to black and white — in exchange for roughly 12 days of battery life on a full charge. Phone calls, texting and browsing are enabled in this mode, with the option of enabling three other applications. Ultra Power Saving mode seriously has the potential to save a person’s life.

Water proof, Dust resistant

Differentiating the Galaxy S5 from its predecessors is its resistance to dust and water. The smartphone is IP67 certified, which means it is protected from the ingress of dust and can take a metre of fresh water for thirty minutes.

The Galaxy S5 will follow you unquestionably into gruelling conditions

Read more: How to install Android 4.4 KitKat launcher on the Samsung Galaxy S5

Good Gear Guide worked up the courage to dunk our Galaxy S5 in water for thirty minutes. Smartphones — nay electronics — are not meant to take water. As infants we’re taught the basic survival rule that is: electricity and water DO NOT mix.

The Galaxy’s timer ticked down from thirty minutes, all the while keeping the display active and taking phone calls. The speaker produced audio and the rocker vibrated without fault.

We pulled the smartphone out after 32 minutes and it continued to work flawlessly. The finger scanner recognised our thumb, the screen understood our selections, and the rest of it continued to operate as if it had never come into contact with water at all.

Waterproofing the Galaxy S5 will make it the smartphone of choice for most tradesmen, labourers and extreme sporting enthusiasts. The perk gives the smartphone a tonne of character, elevating it from ordinary looking smartphone to the best friend that will follow you unquestionably into bleak and gruelling conditions.

Tiny droplets of water seeped into the back case, but did not pass the waterproofing, which safeguarded the major components.
Tiny droplets of water seeped into the back case, but did not pass the waterproofing, which safeguarded the major components.

Click over for the camera, unique features and the verdict

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Read more on these topics: Apple, Android, htc, samsung, TouchWiz, One, galaxy, iphone 5s, galaxy s, ip67, KitKat, 4.4, S5, M8
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