Samsung Galaxy S5 Review: Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands-On - Dialaphone

    We Liked

  • Large display
  • Great UI
  • We Disliked

  • Form factor may be too large for some
  • Rating

  • 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5

Samsung has unveiled a new leader for its incredibly successful Galaxy range of smartphones. The Galaxy S5 is bigger and more powerful than its predecessor, moving everything up a gear in terms of performance. We had a short amount of time with an early model, to get a feel for how it shapes up.

Design and build

While instantly recognisable as a Galaxy device, the S5 moves the classic styling on a little. The biggest change is in the back plate, with a dimpled effect having been added to its finish. The metal edging seen on the Galaxy S4 is still here but overall the handset bears some hallmarks of the Galaxy Note series.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Front

Further testament to this is the 5.1-inch display, only 0.2-inches smaller than the original Galaxy Note. The Full HD Super AMOLED display is 432ppi, making it a crisp, clear and very powerful offering that is right up at the highest end of the smartphone world.


Android KitKat is in place, with a revamped version of Samsung’s user interface laid over the top. There are certainly similarities that that seen on the Galaxy S4, but parts of the Korean firm’s UI have seen a significant overhaul.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Front Straight

Where the settings menu in many handsets consists of a long list of options, Samsung has replaced this with coloured icons, making it look more like an Android app menu and adding an extra touch of style. Those icons make another appearance in the notifications bar, and we like their flat, minimalist appearance a lot.


A 16 megapixel camera is mounted to the back of the Galaxy S5, making this a serious proposition that will offer stiff competition to the likes of Sony and Nokia. Samsung has claimed that the device has the world’s fastest autofocus and it certainly proved impressive when we tested it.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Back Camera

We look forward to spending more time testing the camera under a variety of conditions and finding out exactly how it performs.


Samsung has created a high-end smartphone that sits at the very top of the mobile world, pushing the technology that is available to its users even further. With a revamped UI and large display the handset offers an impressive visual experience and our first impressions of the camera promise great things.

We’ll be reviewing Samsung’s device in full soon, but in the meantime you can rest assured that the company has once again created a powerful leading handset that is right at the very top of its game.

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