Samsung Galaxy S5 Black

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The excellent Samsung Galaxy S5 sports one of the most stunning screens on the market, and offers an innovative array of features, including waterproofing and a fingerprint scanner.
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Why the Samsung Galaxy S5 Black?

The excellent Samsung Galaxy S5 sports one of the most stunning screens on the market, and offers an innovative array of features, including waterproofing and a fingerprint scanner.
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Our Rating:
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Samsung Galaxy S5 Black Review


The excellent Galaxy S4 only fell short in the ‘making breakfast and cleaning’ department. The nature of the smartphone rapid release industry also means that a lot of customers will have only had their rather yummy S4 for a year, equating to half of the standard 24-month contract on a major phone.

The S5 would need to be something remarkable to convince those S4 users to fund a switch, and there are some excellent flagships competing against each other in the top-end market, like the new HTC One and the iPhone 5S. We take a closer look at the S5 to see if it can really compete at the very top-end.

Screen & build

Luckily, Samsung has developed and built a masterpiece. The first port of call is the screen: this 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED beauty is as good as it gets right now, with ultra-crisp, vivid image clarity. It is a treat for the eyes; attractive, defined and vibrant – we love it.

On to the build, it is more comfortable to hold than its predecessor, with a pitted soft-touch back, and there is a ridged chrome band around the edge. It balances that essential lightweight feel with a seemingly sturdy structure, and of course it looks great at the same time.


The Galaxy S5 is also IP67 certified, meaning that it has been formally recognised for its protection against dust and water immersion between 15cm and 1m. It can withstand a stint in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and this will no doubt be useful to a large number of the more, er, clumsy phone owners.

Samsung has integrated a fingerprint sensor into the home key, making it convenient in terms of positioning, and we found it to be effective, if a little glitchy.

The UI does not disappoint, with Samsung’s usual plethora of customisable options available. You should find it easy to get on with the TouchWiz interface, and the beautifully crafted and rendered design work all adds to the breezy and effortless experience.

Other features which stand out include the download booster, which utilises both 4G and Wi-Fi to download larger files quicker. This is obviously only good if you have a lot of monthly data as part of your plan (seriously, a lot) and 4G connectivity at the time. We were also impressed by the 16MP camera, which offered very impressive image capture, and the S Health 3.0 app, which lets you track exercise sessions, diet and general activity.

Processor & performance

The Galaxy S5 runs on the Snapdragon 801 processor, and this pretty much means it utilises the power of a thousand suns.

That may be an exaggeration of sorts, but it really is extremely powerful, and you see the benefit throughout general usage of the phone. Running multiple tasks, playing video, zipping through home screen and loading apps; the phone breezes through everything without so much as a flicker of effort, and on top of this the battery is very good for a flagship as well, lasting over a day under the strain of eager and demanding usage.


We think it is an exceptional phone, and quite possibly the best around right now. The screen is flawless, the processor is incredibly quick, the UI is fluid and smooth, and there are some genuinely innovative and useful features on-board.

It would still be difficult to justify moving from S4 to this phone if you are halfway through your contract, as it would set you back a lot of money, but if you’re due a new smartphone, and you are thinking about the very top-end of the market, then you simply must consider Samsung’s latest, and probably most impressive, release.

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