Samsung Galaxy S5 gets reviewed

Samsung Galaxy S5 gets reviewed

The big new Android flagship phone of the year has just been released, and our sibling site, Android Central, has just posted their enormous Samsung Galaxy S5 review to tell you everything you need to know about it. Alex Dobie concludes:

All said, the Galaxy S5 inherits its predecessor's badge as a great all-rounder. GS5 buyers will be getting a solid high-end smartphone that's overflowing with software tricks both useful and superfluous. A handset more than competent in most areas, but not quite exceptional as a whole; a phone which never really disappoints, but at the same time rarely exceeds the sum of its parts.

A phone that's better, but not quite the best.

It's a tough market and only getting tougher. The iPhone 6 will no doubt be increasing the pressure on Samsung come September and if the Galaxy S5 isn't impressing now, how will it hold up 6 months from now?

Go check out the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review and then let me know — is it enough to tempt you for now, or are you holding out for the iPhone 6 this fall?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 94 comments. Add yours.

escapedrift says:

I thought since it has a 5+ inch screen, its automatically better than anything iOS along with the SD card and removable battery?

imandroid says:

+1

Keep trying to decide if i should by one or wait.

George_27 says:

Don't buy the s5 the finger print can be used by third parties but isn't safe from hacks. The iPhone 5s's Touch ID components where built separately from the mother board and is more safe also the iPhone 5s doesn't need a swipe just a touch from any direction instead of one direction. And where I live the iPhone is cheaper than the s5 for the first time + the design on the back of the galaxy looks like a plaster.

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escapedrift says:

You should wait since it's more than an iPhone right now which you know are too expensive and not worth it. Wait till it drops to in price to it's real worth, since I'm sure you don't like paying full price especially when it's more than the iPhone cost which is outrageous to most android users.

Nicholas Kathrein says:

If you want the best camera in an Android phone you should get the S5. No one on the Android side of things will have a better one this year. I'd seriously say that getting a Google Edition S5 would be a great phone! No bloatware and updates you can count on. If you want a great all around phone like the Iphone then the New Moto X will be out probably in july or aug. I think that will be the overall phone to beet but it you take off Samsung's software and put standard Android a water resistant, great spec phone as the S5 would be really really good.

jayzero76 says:

Better camera for sure the 1+ is way better

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snookasnoo says:

Heh. Yeah. Was totally predictable that their fingering reader would be garbage though.

jeddo45 says:

If your going to get an android phone coming from iOS, don't get a Samsung. Get a Google Play edition phone (HTC ONE) or a nexus. Those are your best options.

Nexus 5... enough said

eahinrichsen says:

Eh, I don't know about that. I like my Nexus 5 well enough, but coming from an iPhone, the N5's battery life and camera would be pretty disappointing.

I'd recommend an M8 for anyone thinking about moving to Android from iOS.

raddbj03 says:

M8 camera would take awhile to adjust to. I would personally recommend the s5.

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Gazoobee says:

I read your comment as wicked sarcasm and smiled ... then I realised you were serious! ZOMG!

It's like, if you wanted to make fun of the Android people, you would put these *exact* words in their mouth. The fact that you apparently don't see it, just makes your comment all the more precious.

Thanks for the entertainment. :-)

Joelist says:

The big weaknesses of the S5 are that it is still flimsy and cheap feeling and that it runs Android.

Do you like privacy? Then stay far away from Android. Do you want Google reading your emails, knowing what websites you go to, reading your text messages and so on? Go Android. And before Google defenders try to say "everyone does it", no they don't. Google's latest terms of service flat out admit they do it and you give them permission when using their services. Apple does not do it, Blackberry does not do it, MS does not do it.

richard451 says:

Apple most certainly reads all the emails as they filter out messages without user approval or knowledge. I have a difficult time thinking Microsoft and blackberry are any different.

snookasnoo says:

Apple doesn't. Google does because their business model is to filch your data by whatever surreptitious means they can think of and sell it to advertisers who are their actual customers. You are the product.
Apples business model is to provide the best hardware and software they can to their customers which is us not ad agencies.
The Android comments on an iPhone web site could be found in Android forum echo chambers with all the uniformed and insecure Android users constantly bashing Apple. An attitude that the staff of Android Central not only condone but engage in themselves.

richard451 says:

If you are the product, then Google must treat you better than anyone else since you are what keep them in business. Think about it.

p.s. you are delusional if you think Apple doesn't scan every email. They state it in the terms of service.

Taz89 says:

Let him believe what he wants.. Apple are the people that look out for customers.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Gazoobee says:

This is idiotic logic.

When people say "you are the product with Google" they mean that you are the product in the same way as the pig in the slaughterhouse. The idea that they will treat you better because "you are the product" is just asinine.

Dev from tipb says:

You may wish to read Apple's privacy policy.

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George_27 says:

Who gives a damn about your shitty email? Why would Apple or google waist there time? It would be the NSA and your emails would be filtered, specified and THEN read by a person if found to be "needed".

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verpeiler089 says:

You're pretty good at lying to yourself. Or you really believe that black and white view you seem to have about Google and Apple...that's even worse.

Illustrator Joe says:

At least you know what you are getting into with Google they are transparent about it. I would rather know than not. The question is what isn't Apple telling you?

snookasnoo says:

So you came here to shill for Android? At least I got a good laugh out of your belief that Google is transparent. Let me know when they start allowing contributions to source or provide source before it's released. Like actual open source projects do. Even better when they provide ALL the source and also allow usage of Android without Google services. because they have and will sue you for not doing that.

Illustrator Joe says:

Good job only addressing half of my comment. I don't think any of the 3 major players are completely transparent, why would they be? But don't complain about things that are in Googles terms of service. You know exactly what you are getting into in that regard. What makes me laugh is you presume Apple is transparent.

ಠ益ಠ

George_27 says:

It'll be in the terms of services so why don't you read it? : ) And why would Apple read gmail mail? Most people have a iCloud or Gmail account and they're not going to waist there time. It's in the code it's not outsourced.

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Nicholas Kathrein says:

"The big weaknesses of the S5 are that it is still flimsy and cheap feeling and that it runs Android."
Sounds like you never held one. It's water resistant and the plastic is good because most people put phones in cases which negate the body of the phone. The plastic is lighter and takes hits without denting and breaks around the places a 5S does. As far as running Android that's it's biggest strength! It's biggest weakness is it runs Touch Wiz UI (a modded version of Android.)

"Do you like privacy? Then stay far away from Android."
Your so right. I can't tell you how much I'm harassed by robots who read my mail. They call me wanting to talk to me. They say "whats up?" I see you got an email from Amazon and your delivery will be Wednesday. Then those damn robots popup on Google now telling me "hey, I hate to be up in your bizness but you really should leave now if you want to get to work by 8 am. Traffic is a bit* this morning." Potty mouths! They even bother me with sports scores letting me know how my team is doing. The nerve of these robots. I mean Skynet is real and happening right now. It's partially my fault because sometimes I'll ask a question like " what's the closest pizza restaurant?" Then i'll say "navigate to rosati's pizza" and the robots give a map and tell me turn by turn directions. I think i'm sending them mixed messages. Yesterday they told me my favorite tv show started in 30 min and the channel it was on. How do they know? Tell me how? I would have missed the show because I lost track of time play Battle Field 4. Maybe I'm even playing against the robots who are all up in my bizness. Damn you Google and you Google robots who read my mail, calendar, browser history, reminders, and using my gps data against me. If only I used an iPhone. You wouldn't be able to bother me. When I would try to use Seri I get a message stating the network wasn't available and my moment of weakness would pass making me not want to use it since it only works sometimes. Seri wouldn't bother me with notifications that my packed was delivered today or stupid airplane tickets popping up when I arrive at the gate for my flight. Or give me temp here and the temp of where I am landing. It wouldn't give me the directions to my hotel or my reservation. I see why everyone wants an iPhone. It just does what I want. It's simple. Anyone have an iPhone 4 I could have. I heard it's use-able finally on io7 now that 6 months later an update came out that fixed the sloppy code.

PS. iOS7 is a very good OS Now. It was 1/2 done when they released it over 6 months ago. Shame on you Apple. I thought you were the ones that I could trust not to release beta software. What happened?

Rancid88 says:

Can you define "reading" if privacy is your concern you shouldn't get a smart phone at all as a matter of fact any phone can produce a geocache through cell towers so all together you shouldn't have a phone, email address as well since it doesn't matter who the host is you aren't in control of the server side actions being takin, and while we are concerned with privacy we should cancel all subscriptions to any ISP because the know first hand everything you search for on your computer and tablets and any other device that can connect to their services same applies to the cell phone carries from a data perspective, now the fact that Google does this and warns you in their EULA is to me far more than what say your ISP Is presenting you in clear writing.... Another differing factor is that Google in exchange for your information provides you with free services that certain curation scripts need to have access to for measuring things out like spam or yes pointing ads at you, bug again define reading.... Because this train of thought seems like a stretch....

RRRamon says:

It boggles the mind... How can something like this appeal to more people than the HTC One M8 or the Xperia Z1? Do people that buy Android phones have no taste or appreciate good industrial design?

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demontooth says:

I just like a removal battery.

LandRovers says:

Removable battery?! I thought that was a bad thing!

kataran says:

It is pretty cool when you drop a removal battery phone and it pops out while everyone around you stops what there doing and gawks at you while you scramble to put the smartphone puzzle back together. Lol that type of comedy never gets old

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raddbj03 says:

Removable batteries serve a purpose to some people. The recharge rate on my 5s feels much much faster than on my note 2. So having a spare battery option is always nice especially for travel. Also, utilizing widgets drains your battery pretty fast. It's great to have a bunch of information at a single glance of your phone, but it comes at a price. Being able to throw another battery in is a great option for some people.

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Nicholas Kathrein says:

Your right. When you shatter your screen and all the shards fly all over no one gawks at you. They just pretend like it never happened.

George_27 says:

What's the deference? Buy a Mophie Juice Pack! And for external storage buy the Space Pack. And people say you can't have an extra battery or storage for iPhone

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Nicholas Kathrein says:

If your doing all that I might as well have a plastic phone. Not to mention how thick your phone now is. Talk about a waste of money. Build a beautiful product that can be considered Jewelry and wrap in a turd. Awesome!

Chris Kerrigan says:

Difference*

Anyway, a huge difference. Some people don't like cases. It's not that simple.

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AvalancheRyder says:

I think it's obvious that no one cares about good industrial design when they put their phone in a case anyway. I don't remember the last time I saw a phone, iOS or Android, that wasn't in a case.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Taz89 says:

Exactly, everyone keeps going on a bout metal and the feel of metal but most average person puts on a case for either protection or to accessorise to stand out.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

George_27 says:

It's not necessarily the "metal" it's because the YES the design is nicer but also, well for iPhone , the chasy is made out of aluminum and some kind of rare metal which prevents it from over heating. Makes a beautiful deference when charging. Never gets hot compared to the old galaxy s2 I used to have.

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SmartphoneNerd says:

I notice a common theme with all your posts...you keep reaching back into the past when it comes to Android phones but use the newest Apple for comparison... I had the original iPhone, and it was a buggy piece of shit...that surely means the 5S is too, right?

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Gazoobee says:

The average person is an idiot. All these posts about "the average person" especially the fact that they use cases, don't prove anything except that simple fact.

If you are a smart person, then you are "above average" and literally 60% of everyone you meet is "stupid" by comparison. If you have a high IQ, then over 90% of the rest of the population are "morons" in comparison.

Android phones are made for, and targeted at, that giant bump in the middle of the IQ distribution chart. The "average person."

George_27 says:

So what if you where a guy and you went out and bought a phone designed pink for women you wouldn't give a damn and your friends wouldn't giggle at you?

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raddbj03 says:

Some people are more concerned with what the phone does, not how it feels. I admit that a great feeling phone can add to the overall user experience, but if I want a phone with a good all around camera I wouldn't get the m8.

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George_27 says:

Ya HTC did it with the HTC On where they put a 4meg camera

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rockerchick says:

It's called excellent marketing and Samsung has it. It doesn't help that two of HTC's early flagship android products turned out to be garbage HTC Hero and the Evo (and thier later brother and sister). HTC screwed itself by the first two heavily marketed androids turning out to be lemons. I loved their UI when I had those two phones as well as the build quality of them but they turned out to be junk. I think their UI conflicted with Android. I think skins are dumb and are not a good implementation of any product. Glad Microsoft didn't allow it on PC's with OEM's. Glad Apple doesn't license it's OS out to OEM's, I think it puts consumers at a disadvantage. HTC has well built phones, much better than anything Samsung has EVER put out but they shot themselves in the foot before they left the gate and they are limping 5 miles behind to the finish line.

George_27 says:

It's called a pain and a lie. Samsung showed the multitasking of the Note and nothing of the iPad Air and didn't show it's multitasking and then they say its betters when the only other tablet to beat the iPad Airs battery life is the Lenovo Yoga and no ones gonna buy that. Also with the S3 they said it had more features than the iPhone 5 when the iPhone handled graphics much better, phone calls and also they said the iPhone 5 had less feature when the only thing that the galaxy had that the iPhone didn't have was a higher resolution. The iPhone is more secure updates come at the same time world wide, Apple never got effected by Heart bleed because they where ready and you don't get iCloud with 5GBs of free storage and don't tell me Dropbox because I can get Dropbox. Don't believe the adverts that are stupidly funny with no fact. They parody Apple and they can't even pay for patents they copied and admitted they copied.

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jdotcarter says:

I went cross-eyed and puked out of my ears while reading this....

Nicholas Kathrein says:

"Apple never got effected by Heart bleed because they where ready"

Wow. You don't have a clue. They didn't get it because they don't use open source software. Period, End of your story. Instead they had the "Go to fail" security issue. http://www.imore.com/understanding-apples-ssl-tls-bug

They have also had many other security issues. When your a fan boy who doesn't understand anything technical other than Apple is the best then you loose all credit.

PS.. iCloud is one of the worst cloud services out. Apple does bad on services.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/26/4148628/why-doesnt-icloud-just-work

Hectorius says:

I went from the IPhone 5s to the HTC M8...and never looked back. No way the S5 is better..

George_27 says:

I'm all Apple but if I was head to gun I'd pick the HTC. They actually give some what of a damn for they're users unlike samsung just piling and pulling tons and tons of adverts. Even on Appleinsider the advertise.

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SmartphoneNerd says:

I really like that M8

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Illustrator Joe says:

Let's just talk about how awesome the review is and how great it looks in the new format. Alex FTW.

snookasnoo says:

Yeah let's not and do that on Android Central where it belongs.

Illustrator Joe says:

I am gonna do it wherever I damn well please.

ಠ益ಠ

snookasnoo says:

I'm really tired of article here pushing us to Android Central or other sister sites. If I cared about those things I can find them myself. This is especially true of Android Central since they are obnoxious about Android and ignorant about iOS which I never reversed here see here. So iMore is coming out of my RSS feed. Let's see how that improves your click or page views...

iSRS says:

@illustrator joe - hahahahaha!

@ everyone else complaining about seeing a sister site article, do yourself a favor when you see an article you don't like. Keep on scrolling. Do not come here and post a complaint. Those of us who are open minded (though only for other people, never will I go android or windows) enjoy the articles and discussion.

As far as android central bashing iOS, I think there is the occasional good natured jabs, but the iMore articles do the same. I think it is all done in fun. The Mobile Nations sites are some of the best as far as bashing goes (meaning there isn't a lot). As far as commenters go, I think overall it is better than any mobile destination, but could be changing. And if it is getting worse, remember that "bullying" and similar tactics generally come from a place of insecurity or fear.

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eahinrichsen says:

What drives me craziest is when people think that which mobile device a person likes says something about the user as a person. When I see people on any of these sites who frequently make the standard "iPhone users are sheep," "Samsung users are suckers for marketing," "Nexus users are elitist dicks," I just ignore everything they have to say about everything else from then on. These are devices we should use and enjoy, not identify personally with.

And I agree with your opinion about the Mobile Nations writers. They clearly have their own preferences, but I don't see a lot of bias, and when they poke fun at each other's OS, it's just good-natured shit-talking and not the absurd viscera we see in the comments sometimes.

George_27 says:

Very True and well put! If they call Apple user iSheep samsung will just call it S Sheep.

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SmartphoneNerd says:

Both apple and Samsung fanbois are equally annoying.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

eahinrichsen says:

It apparently wasn't all that well put, considering how badly you missed the point.

jessica62578 says:

Right on dude.

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wamsille says:

Blah, blah blah.....

Buy what you will like and use the most. Feel free to listen to the skeptics, the tech bloggers and enthusiasts. Nothing will beat real world experience with a device. Go to a retail store and play with a store demo. See the phone at its absolute WORST. Do you still like it? Buy it. Store demos are beat up, scuffed up, loaded with crap software and run like hell. If you never plan to come anywhere close to this level of suckitude and yet the phone somehow manages to make you smile when you use it, she's all yours.

Gazoobee says:

Dude, no one cares about you enough to care that you are "plus one-ing" comments. You aren't the moderator, you aren't in charge.

All comments are fair, but this "meta-comment" rating thing you do is not only offensive, it makes you look like a giant tool. Your not really a giant tool are you? You don't really want everyone to think you are do you?

iSRS says:

Bravo, brava!

My cousin just posted on Facebook this week he ditched his iPhone 5 for an S5. Most of my family was getting on him. I said that I was curious as to why. He said the features. Was light on the details, but I said, hey, if it makes you happy.

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George_27 says:

That one family member lol. Haha, take your iPhone and download a heart rate app then show it to him and ask him to take his heart rate with his s5. Samsung tried to advertise the heart rate scanner as something pro but it really just an extra flash light and a extra camera. And maybe a proxy sensor

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Taz89 says:

Exactly, enjoy what we like, buy what we want. Shouldn't matter if someone else thinks it's bad or not, if it fits your needs than its the right device for you.. It's funny when people say this phone is rubbish or doesnt deserve success etc as if there opinion is more valid then others.

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George_27 says:

That is chill bit what ticks me off is when there adverts are full of bull. The heart rate monitor for the s5 is just an extra camera next to the flash light

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George_27 says:

Store demos are store demos! I walk into Apple stores or iStore and the only thing that screwed is the cable from so much twisting.

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Rowanova says:

I'm sure the S5 is a very good device, but if I were to try an Android smartphone I'd go for the HTC One M8, hands down. And it's also now available from the Play Store so there'd be a lot less/no bloatware.
But I'll actually be staying with my iPhone 5S and iPad Air tandem. After a few years and all my apps, I've kinda got them dialed into my daily workflow.

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Taz89 says:

Yep agree, it's kind of same with me, just can't see myself ever moving from Android as I have a lot invested in the ecosystem app wise, money spent etc also can't see myself moving from a galaxy, it's just familiar to me and like ios is for many apple users they can just jump straight in and feel at home and I thinks that how many samsung customers feel. While the Internet says this and that about galaxy or iPhone devices, the truth is likely the mass consumers are not like the tech crowd that are trying out new devices every other day, they either get a phone a year or every 2 years so it doesn't feel that old to them and they enjoy the familiarity of when moving phones.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

George_27 says:

One word. Theft. You have a galaxy so 1. Power it down
2. Hold down the home, volume up and power button. It'll be in recovery. I could steal your Android phone, wipe it, put it back in the market with 0% hassle.

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SmartphoneNerd says:

Maybe like 4 generations of Android ago...Google Device Manager will still track the phone even after a wipe...like iPhones do.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Illustrator Joe says:

Yeah as all his replies in this comment section suggest he has no clue about recent Android devices.

ಠ益ಠ

endlessnoodling says:

Nexus 4 is my current daily driver. Would never consider a Samsung, but am thinking about a switch back to iOS if Sir Jony outs the 4.7" iPhone. In any case, I'll be waiting to see what iOS 8 and Android 'L' brings. If Apple fixes notifications, I will definitely pick up an iPhone 6. If not...tough call. Various things in Android are terrible (seriously Google, music/audio control...crap), but iOS's notifications can't hold a candle to Androids.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

raddbj03 says:

One thing I would like to see is lock screen notifications for all the apps on android. There are a couple of 3rd party apps that kinda work, but not as well as notifications on iOS. Now if only the notification center on iOS was like android, that would be awesome.

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endlessnoodling says:

Agreed, lock screen is the one area where iOS does it better. Strangely the best lock screen notifications I've seen on android are using Facebook Home! Sad but true.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Gazoobee says:

As a huge Apple fan and user and a person that has bought every iPhone and iPad ever made at least once ... strongly disagree.

Notifications on iOS suck, the lock screen sucks, the notification "pull-down" is the ugliest most unusable piece of poo I've ever seen or used, and while Android may be better or worse (I wouldn't know), iOS could surely use a massive overhaul of it's notification system.

George_27 says:

Why? It's called notification centre because it's just notifications. No widgets or toggle, that's what Control centre is for

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raddbj03 says:

I don't need widgets or toggles in notification center, but being able to clear all notifications at once would be great. Or after I check the app that had the notification, it would auto remove from the notification center (or at least an option to do this). Also, actionable notifications would be great as well. Apple has always been great at taking a good idea from another company and making it a better user experience. I just hope they do the same to notifications.

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SmartphoneNerd says:

You can clear them all at once in 4.4...

Posted via the Android iMore App!

raddbj03 says:

I was saying I wish iOS notification center had those functions (all currently on android).

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jessica62578 says:

I love the fact that there is competition, since there are more great phones than ever before. I expect this will continue. Playing with my friend's S4 has made me realize that Samsung makes some great products, their business practices notwithstanding. I am a happy iPhone user, but I like Android as well. If I weren't so invested in the iOS ecosystem I would be tempted to switch.

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jayzero76 says:

For me phones getting more expensive but doesn't bring the wow effect like something really new! You can have a S4 and still you have a good phone! Same with the iPhone 5 you still good and no need for an upgrade and that's a more then a year old phone!

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LefD says:

Samsung is thieving company. The S5 is obviously ANOTHER copy of the iPhone. So much so, I'll NEVER purposely buy ANYTHING they make!

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Nicholas Kathrein says:

You don't know what your talking about. Tell me what they are coping? It's rectangle and has a screen. Everyone is copying Apple.

RoryG73 says:

The Galaxy S5 is so ugly. They made the design worse than the S4 (which was worse than the S3 as well). Samsung messed up their fingerprint scanner as well. The only reason they decided to make you "swipe" over the home button was to make it less obvious that they were copying Apple as usual. Well, it backfired on them, because Touch ID is much easier and safer to use. Samsung need to stop making these crappy products.

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Tunsen Khondaker says:

iPhone is always best!

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zubesha Dcuze says:

Cool camera, awesome display but it looks bit outdated (back side is awful).

Nicholas Kathrein says:

Looks good with this.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I3UWHX2/galaxy-s5-2?tag=imoreb...

Most people want to keep their expensive devices as safe as possible.