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Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands-on Part 2: Feels The Same, But Different

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We finally got our hands on a final retail unit!

When Samsung Philippines invited us to check out the Galaxy S5 when it was unveiled during MWC, we were only able to look at its internals, display and sensors due because of the black box unit version of the S5 that they had at the time. Today, we were able to get our hands on a live retail unit, and finally give our two cents about the overall design of the new device.

Galaxy S5 Specs

  • 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16/32GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB
  • 16-megapixel camera
  • 2.1-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2√ó2), Bluetooth 4,0, BLE / ANT+, NFC, IR Remote
  • IP67 Dust and water resistance
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

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Looks the same, but is still different

Many people commented on how disappointed they were in the look of the S5 when it was initially unveiled. While we tried to reserve judgement until we actually got our hands on the device, the official renders and press photos made it look like the S5 was almost identical to the S4.

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Worse still, some people said that the material of the plastic used in the S5 made it feel cheap and plasticky.Well, that’s not entirely true – the back of the S5 may be plastic, but it feels solid and premium, unlike the material that the company used for the S4.

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The S5 is also more rectangular in shape compared to the S4, and has a metal band on the side. It actually feels much more like a Note than their S-series of devices, which is a testament to how much the design language of the Note has permeated into the S-series. The build quality is topnotch, which is what you’d expect from a flagship device.

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Like the devices before it, Samsung will be offering attractive S-View Flip covers for the S5. The S-View covers replace the dimpled back of the S5 but retain the IP67 rating of the device, so you still don’t have to worry about it getting wet. The S-View covers allow you to check for messages and notifications without opening the cover itself, and you can even take photos while the cover is closed. There will also be S-View covers that allow the device to be charged wirelessly, with Samsung saying that their implementation of Wireless Charging can get the device to full power in just 3 hours.

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So let’s talk pricing. Both Smart and Globe have already released their pricing plans for the S5, but if you’re not a fan of back reading, Globe is offering the S5 for Php 1699 a month under Plan 999, with a Php 700 cashout for 24 months. Smart on the other hand, is offering the S5 for at Php 1,799 a month under UnliSurf Plan 999, with a Php 800 monthly¬†handset cash-out for 24 months. If you’re looking to buy the device unlocked, you will have to dole out Php 34,990 for the 16GB version of the device.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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6 Comments

  1. Samsung phones are getting worse. The S4 looks way better than the S5 with its slim bezels, the S5 looks like the S3 with its thick bezels and the texture looks like a cheap Chinese phone, sorry Chinese people. The S5 is even way bigger and bulkier than the LG G2 despite having a smaller screen 5’1 inches for the S5 and 5’2 for the G2. Samsung is getting lazy.

  2. The design is so crap.
    If people want an awesome-looking device, get the Z1 or the M8, not some ultra-expensive band-aid.

  3. Parang mas gugustuhin ko na lang ang OPPO despite my comment on the other article.

    Samsung is kinda following Apple’s footsteps with their design trend. Which is konting changes lang externally and focused more on the SW and HW changes.

    I can still remember back when Nokia was still king, every time they release a new phone, there’s always a differentiating factor in design despite the near identical nomenclature. For example, alam ng tao ang difference ng 6110 sa 6150 and ng 8210 sa 8250.

    Ngayon, wala ng design innovation. Tsk, tsk.

  4. For sure, majority of those S4 owners aren’t gonna jump on the S5 bandwagon. Napaka non-existent ng benefits to even justify the upgrade. Total waste of money

  5. Hello readers..

    The GS5 is actually a very nice/good smartphone. Im not very techie though but its very responsive and fast when it comes to taking picture(not selfie) editing pictures, communicating thru chat apps, and browsing thru web! I like it. Feels good to hold. Though i have 1 gripe— zooming in an object becomes grainy.. maybe i need to learn more about mobile photography… enjoy the s5!

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