Could be the best this year

2014-05-17 00:00

THE most wanted smartphone of 2014 may already have been released in South African, with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The S5 has managed to capture the best unique features found in today’s top-selling smartphones and merge them into a single device, with a few added bonuses.

The device undisputedly has the most unique features among its competitors, although some of the S5’s features may be useless to many.

Uncovering the S5

Out the box, the S5 has a comfortable grip from the rear cover and one of the sharpest displays when switched on. After registering the device to the user as with all Androids, the device is a hassle to use due to a one-touch default setting. After turning the mode off, the device feels like home.

Exterior appeal

The Galaxy S5 retains the slate form, following the line of the manufacturer’s flagship smartphones, other than the textured back cover, which can be customised. The device also has some exterior upgrades, which differentiate it from its predecessor, the S4, including a 0,1 inch display size increase, offering a wider view of the screen. The display is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass to prevent scratches, and one of the highlights of the device is its IP67 rating, making it dust and waterproof, and slightly more resistant than the Sony Xperia Z2, with its IP58 rating.

Under the hood

The unit houses a 2,5 GHz Quad-core processor running the Android 4,4 KitKat operating system. The S5 has two gigabytes of Ram and is produced in 16 gigabyte and 32 gigabyte variants. It also features a Super Amoled screen that displays 16 million colours. One of the other highlights of S5, but not a first, is the inclusion of a PayPal certified fingerprint scanner. The scanner is discreet and doesn’t make a difference to the exterior of the device. Mainly used for unlocking the device, it works as well as the one added to the iPhone 5S.

Camera

Taking another small step up from the S4’s 13 megapixel camera, the device comes fitted with a 16 megapixel rear camera and two megapixel facing camera. The rear camera records video at up to 2160 p HD at 30 frames per second and the 1080 p HD at 60. The facing camera can record at 1080 p HD at 30 frames per second. Photo capturing on the device results in sharper, brighter images when taken in good conditions. While the camera cannot compete with the like of cameras from manufacturers such as Nokia, it still offers decent results.

Your next gym buddy with the Galaxy Fit

Smartphones are being more integrated into everyday life. There’s an app for almost any­thing one needs, but one of the most interesting features of the S5 is the heart-rate monitor. The Samsung Galaxy Fit smartwatch also features its own heart-rate monitor and the device and smartwatch make a great fitness combo. Coupled with Samsung’s S Health app, the device tracks your calories burnt during workouts, while motivating you to maintain, increase or decrease speed when out for a jog, for example. The Galaxy Fit vibrates lightly on your wrist and flashes the notification. The smartwatch also allows the user to read SMSs and notifies its wearer of incoming calls. While the Galaxy Fit is a benchmark in the introduction of fitness into smartphones it cannot be compared with other fitness watches on the market from companies such as Polar and Nike.

All - in - one but at a price

The Galaxy S5 is a market leader but the fitness component of the package could have seen some adjustment, which will probably be seen as upgrades in the devices to come. The device is an all-rounder, so expect to pay the price for the technology you’re purchasing. If, however, you’re a fan of Samsung but find no need for the added features like the heart-rate monitor and fingerprint scanner, rather settle for the S4, which will be much cheaper than they were before the release of the S5.

Later this year, we should see the release of a new iPhone, and the LG G3, which will be strong competitors, but the Galaxy S5 will definitely hold its weight.

Let me know what you think @KyleVenktess on Twitter.

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