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Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900H) smartphone: review and testing

he Korean company Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is one of the biggest and most famous players in the IT-industry. It does not need any introduction, as well as its range of devices Samsung Galaxy. The story of one of the most popular and most successful lineup of Android-devices dates back to 2009 with the launch of the first smartphone Samsung i7500. Now it has expanded considerably and includes not only smartphones, but also a number of other equally interesting devices such as: phablet, tablet, iPod, camera and smart watches. Therefore, the family of Samsung Galaxy has a division into subfamilies: Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Mega, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Player, Samsung Galaxy Camera and Samsung Galaxy Gear. Due to this diversity lineup of "Galaxy" can meet the needs of most users. Howeverthe main business card of the Korean manufacturer is a series of smartphones Samsung Galaxy S, which with each generation takes up at all the successful practices of the company and successfully competes with the flagships of other manufacturers (primarily smartphones Apple iPhone). Therefore, the appearance of each new model is a significant event in the smartphone market.

Samsung Galaxy S5

This year (February 24) a new flagship smartphone of Koforean companie Samsung Galaxy S5 was introduced. During the first month of sales the sold copies were more than 11 million. Thereby surpassing the 10% performance of its predecessor (Samsung Galaxy S4) for the same period. It should be noted that to achieve this level for the model Samsung Galaxy S3 the company spent 50 days, and the similar amounts of models Samsung Galaxy S2 and Samsung Galaxy S have been implemented during only five and seven months respectively.

We suggest to start form the technical characteristics:


Samsung Electronics


Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900H)

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, monoblock


2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz


850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 Кb/s), EDGE (236 Кb/s), HSDPA+ (up to 21,6 Мb/s), HSUPA (up to 5,76 Мb/s)

SIM-card type



Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (5422): microarchitecture ARM big.LITTLE, Cortex-A15 (4 cores, 1,9 GHz) + Cortex-A7 (4 cores, 1,3 GHz)

Graphics adapter

ARM Mali-T628 MP6, up to 695 MHz


Super AMOLED, 5,1", 1920 x 1080 p (432 ppi), touch, multi-touch (up to 10 touches), protective Corning Gorilla Glass 3



Read-only memory

16 GB


microSD (up to 128 GB)


1 x micro-USB 3.0

1 x microSD

1 x Micro-SIM

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 mm


Speaker system


Sound processing

Adapt Sound







16 Мp ISOCELL-module S5K2P2XX (1,12 micron, 1/2.6"), autofocus, electronic regulation, face detection, LED-flash, video recording in format 4K Ulta HD (30 FPS)


2 Мp, video recording in format 1080p

Communication capabilities


802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2,4/5 ГГц), VHT80 MIMO (2х2, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot)


4.0 (A2DP)










+ (MHL 2.1)


Gesture sensor, fingerprint scanner, pulsometer, accelerometer, Hall sensor, geomagnetic sensor, proximity sensor, brightness sensor, gyroscope, barometer, light emitting diode indicator    


lithium-ion cell: 2800 mАh

Charging device

Input: 100~240V AC at 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC, 2 А


Dust and moisture protection according standard IP67


142 x 72,5 x 8, 1 mm


145 g




Android 4.4.2 KitKat


TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0


12 month

Producer website

Samsung Electronics

Design and elements layout  

Samsung Galaxy S5

Despite the fact that a large number of users have complained about the fairly minor differences between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S3, especially in terms of design and used materials, and the company announced about the modification of the strategy in the production of the flagships (they even have changed the main designer), Samsung Galaxy S5 has no distinctive features from its predecessor. At first glance, in front of us is the same Samsung Galaxy S4, but with a number of significant improvements in almost all respects. On the other hand, we can understand the manufacturer: if everything is so good, why should he change something. A similar approach to the launch of the flagship smartphone has for example, the company Sony (all members of the series Sony Xperia Z visually are quite similar to each other), and the Apple.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Thanks to revisions the design of Samsung Galaxy S5 has a more rectangular and severe form, rounding become less smooth, glossy plastic disappeared, as well as changing in the chrome edging of the body. By the way, in addition to the usual color variations (coal black, shining white, electric-blue) the copper-gold was added.

The place of the glossy back panel was replaced by matte texture which is very similar to the skin. The material has a quite pleasant tactile feel and absolutely does not collect fingerprints and does not slip out of the hands.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Chrome edging that extends slightly above the protective glass, has plastic material, but became more relief and it looks pretty interesting. However, it has become more slippery compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S5 has slightly increased in size, partly due to a slight increase in the display. Also new item become heavier: 145 g versus 130 g for Samsung Galaxy S4. In this case, this weight is pretty good and does not charge the pockets.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The entire front panel of the smartphone covers protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Frames around the display are noticeably larger compared with predecessors, but it is caused by the presence of protection against dust and moisture according to the standard IP67. If you look closely, you'll see a special sealant, which stretches from the edge of the glass panel along the entire perimeter. Together with the chrome edging the width of frames is the following: on each side - 4 mm; top - 14.5 mm; bottom - 13.5 mm.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Above the display there are (left to right): an indicator of events (during charging is red, and when discharged - flashing red; missed event or recording voice - blinking blue) which can be turned off in the settings; speaker hole, located at the level of the glass and covered by metal black insert but not chrome, as in previous models; proximity and ambient light sensors; hole of front camera. From the bottom the attention is taken by mechanical key "Home", which has a silver edging and covered by glass that protects the fingerprint scanner. Nearby are the softkeys "Back" and "Menu" (when you press "Manager of running applications" is activated, and the context menu is run by holding, that corresponds to the standard Android-design KitKat).

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

The upper edge contains the following items: universal audio jacks (mini-jack 3,5 mm), infrared transmitter (to control multimedia equipment) and noise reduction microphone. The lower edge has a socket micro-USB 3.0 (covered by sealed plug) and main microphone hole.  

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

The right edge of the case Samsung Galaxy S5 has the button “Power/lock” (unlock via button “Home”) and place to open rear panel and volume rocker on the left side.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Rear panel is characterized by smooth and comfort curve on the sides. On the top you can find quite large and slightly come forward lens of the main camera. Lowe there is a bright single section LED-flash and pulsometer with diode (illuminates the capillaries) and photocell (fix the pulse data). In addition here is a silver company logo and at the bottom is a dual hole for multimedia speaker.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Back lid is traditionally removable and made of plastic. It is quite thin but fits to the case very tight without any gaps. The inner part has a special rubberized gasket as for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, that protects against the leakage to the critical important smartphone elements in case of submergence. Under the lid there are two slots: Micro-SIM and microSD, as well as removable battery.

The build quality is good as there are no gaps. The device is not bent and doesn’t change its geometry in case of moderate torsion and the glass has not any stains.

In general Samsung Galaxy S5 is quite easy-to-control, although it seems quite bulky. Basically you can control by one hand for everyday tasks. Control elements are arranged in proper places and it doesn’t matter is it used by right- or left hander person.

Dust and moisture protection

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

One of the most interesting advantage of the model Samsung Galaxy S5 is a complete conformity to standard Ingress Protection (IP) 67. This means that the device is dust and partially water protected. The first figure 6 indicates that the dust cannot get inside the device. The second – 7 figure guaranties the operation of the device in case of short-term (up to 30 minutes) immersion to the depth up to 1m. We have already tested smartphone Sony Xperia Z, which also can boast with the protection against dust and moisture.  

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

According to the testing the dust and moisture protection has a high level. It is important not to forget to check tightness of plug connector micro-USB 3.0 and battery cover. Audio jack has not plug, but it does not allow water to leak into the device. Nonetheless, the manufacturer does not recommend to use it for 2-2.5 hours after smartphone immersion in water.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

In general, Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be damaged under the heavy rain or swimming in the bath. And in the case of heavy soiling it can be easily cleaned under running water. If you have removed the cover and saw a drop of liquid, do not be frightened, as IP67 standard does not provide a complete seal. The main thing is that the battery terminals and slots for SIM and microSD were dry.

Fingerprint scanner

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Another interesting feature of Samsung Galaxy S5 is the presence of a fingerprint scanner, which is located in a mechanical key "Home". It aims to better protect user’s data. Prints can be used not only to unlock the phone or activate the "private mode", and in the payment system PayPal. Smartphone can store up to three fingerprints.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

In contrast to the implementation of the Apple iPhone 5S and HTC One Max, where you need to put finger on the scanner, here you need slide smoothly from top to bottom with no deviations. When working with one hand it is difficult to unlock the smartphone by this method, so you need to use other hand. Although the sensor operates very well: wrong reading is 1 time per 10 attempts.


Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 is equipped with touch Super AMOLED-matrix based on organic Light Emitting Diodes with the placement of the sub pixels according the original scheme Pentile (RGBG, i.e. Red-Green-Blue-Green). Between the glass and the sensor is no air gap (the technology of OGS - «One glass solution»). The screen is protected by hardened glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which has an excellent oleophobic (grease repellent) coating. Additionally, due to this feature there is a quite pleasant and easy sliding of the fingers and the lack of collection of prints. Also there is a very good anti-glare coating.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Resolution of 5.1-inch screen is 1920 × 1080 (Full HD), which in our opinion is the best for such diagonal. At the same pixel density is 432 ppi, which is more than enough to display very smooth fonts and get fairly detailed images.

The main disadvantage of the display, due to the particular placement of subpixels according the scheme RGBG, is noticeable predominance of green hues, although the Samsung could minimize this effect in the new flagship. So, instead of white tints we can notice very light green color, but it can be noticed only in direct comparison with other displays. For the rest of you can count on a comfortable surfing the internet, gameplay, and watching video or favorite photos.

Display Samsung Galaxy S5 traditionally offers maximum viewing angles, perfect contrast ratio and, as a consequence a deep black color, a very high brightness with a wide range of adjustment, as well as a pretty rich color reproduction. Maximum brightness is more than enough to watch the information in light sunny day, and the minimum - for comfortable work in the dark. In addition, OLED-displays are known for lower power consumption (especially when displaying dark colors) than the other options.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

It should be noted about traditionally wide opportunities to adjust the display in flagship Samsung smartphones, allowing individually choose the optimal color reproduction. So, there are five display modes: «Adapt Display» (quite adequately adjusted to the environment), "Dynamic", "Standard", "Professional Photography" and "Cinema". In practice the profile "Professional Photography" makes optimal color reproduction, although with some deviations in warm shades. The mode "Standard" provides more "cool" picture. The most saturated colors are provided by "Dynamic" mode, while the "Cinema" offers a pretty soft shade. The display brightness can be adjusted manually or use the automatic adjustment. Proximity sensor locks the screen during carry the smartphone to ear.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

Touch display panel recognize up to 10 simultaneous touches, and processing is done without any complaints. There is a support of the increased sensitivity to work in not thick gloves.
In general, according to subjective impressions display Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the best smartphones on the market: very bright, highly contrasting, with maximum viewing angles and a wide color gamut.

As we have already mentioned, the new item is equipped with only one speaker, which is located at the bottom of rear case part. Because of this placement the sound is slightly muted when the gadget is on a flat surface, but it is not critical.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Multimedia speaker gives quite a pleasant sound at all frequencies. Depending on the style of the composition you can hear only a slight presence of low frequencies, but the middle and high can boast with a good detail without any "blockages" even at maximum volume. However, due to the structural features of the protected enclosure the volume becomes a little lower than for Samsung Galaxy S4. Although for video and such speaker capabilities are enough.

The sound in headphones is very good (the model Technics RP-F600 was applied), especially when listening to music in a branded player that has a wide range of functions to be set. Also, the new product uses quite interesting and effective technology SoundAlive. It includes a number of different effects, which in combination with an equalizer provide high-quality sound.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy S5

In addition there is pretty interesting option «Adapt Sound» (available only in the company's player). After passing a special test, it optimizes the sound in the headphones. For example, in our case the sound became more vivid and saturated regardless of the style of the currently playing song.

Also, the new product has integrated voice recorder, which is useful when creating audio notes, but to record telephone conversations is not possible. Built-in radio module is absent, therefore, it is impossible to listen to the radio station.

The speaker is also quite good: clear voice quality, moderately loud and quite detailed, but it depends on the operator and the phone of the interlocutor. Subjectively, it seemed a little muted, but perhaps this is just a feature of the test sample.


Samsung Galaxy S5 is equipped with two digital cameras. Front module of own production (Samsung S5K8B1YX, 1,12 m, 1/7.3") has a 2-megapixel sensor on and the lens with aperture F2.4. It can capture the photos and videos with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 that is Full HD.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The camera provides videos and photos of sufficient quality. Its capacity is enough for video calling and self-portraits. The main drawback is the lack of auto-focus, as it is fixed. Image detailing is quite good. The viewing angle is not very big, but enough and does not cause complaints.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The main camera has ISOCELL-module Samsung S5K2P2XX (1,12 m, 1/2.6") with a resolution of 16 megapixels and a pretty fast lens with an aperture of F2.2. Focal length in 35mm equivalent is 31 mm, which gives a fairly wide viewing angle. Also here is single section bright LED-flash, quite accurate and fast autofocus (focusing for 0.3 s), and electronic image stabilization for images and video.

Additionally there is a support of HDR-mode for photos and videos, pretty interesting mode of "selective focus" (allows you to select part of the image in focus, and the rest - will be washed after receiving pictures), serial shooting (up to 30 frames/second), face detection, and geotagging. Video recording is possible for modern format 4K Ultra HD (3840 × 2160). And using Full HD (1920 x 1080), you can shoot in the "Normal", "Acceleration" (time-lapse) and "Smooth" (shot at 60 frames/second) modes. For HD-video there is "Slow" shooting mode. The rate of acceleration and deceleration can be selected from the following values: 1x, 4x, 8x и 1/2x, 1/4x, 1/8x respectively.

Note that the light-receiving matrix has received quite large size as for smartphone (1/ 2.6"against more standard 1/3"). Such matrix can be found in the entry-level cameras, which should have a positive effect on the quality of pictures (the large matrix, the better).

In addition, another important technology is ISOCELL. It is designed by Samsung Electronics, aimed to increase the sensitivity and efficiency of the control of electron absorption, which leads to more accurate colors even in low light conditions. Its idea is in the screening of individual pixels (photodiodes), which reduces the cross obstacles and thereby to improve color accuracy and saturation.

With a maximum resolution of 5312 x 2988 and a ratio of 16:9 photo quality is perfect. A special role plays advanced processing algorithms of photo module data. In general a very good color rendering is provided. The picture is bright and rich, with good contrast, excellent sharpness and details. Good shots can be obtained under conditions of artificial or even low light.

In general, the same situation is with video recording. But a little disappointment has slow-motion pictures mode, which hasn’t decent quality of pictures. Also the sound quality is not high (there are noises, detailing at the secondary level, but it's probably drawback only of our test sample).

Special attention is given to HDR-shooting (photo and video), which significantly expands the dynamic range of the photo module. You can get a decent quality of a picture or video, even in very difficult circumstances.

Camera software is proprietary and has a wide range of features, options and settings. Design is pleasant, quite plain and intuitive. The right side of the screen has buttons of camera for a quick start. Below is a mode switch, and a rectangle that shows the sketch of the last frame. In the upper left corner you can find the button to switch between the main and the front camera. In the lower right corner - the setup menu, which provides access to a large number of additional parameters: from changing the resolution to control light meter or white balance. ISO value in manual mode can be set in the range from 100 to 800, and automatically from 50 to 1600. There is the possibility of voice control for shooting photos and videos. Two of the most used functions can be put on the Quick Access Toolbar in the left side of the display.

Note the available shooting modes: "Auto", "Retouch" (allows you to improve the color and texture of the face), «Shot & more» (allows you to make a series of images with the ability to edit and overlapping), "Virtual Tour" (allows you to create virtual tours stored as MPEG4 video without sound), "Panorama" (shooting up to 360 degrees is possible), "Two-sided shooting" (allows you to make shots from both cameras at the same time). If you want to expand the list of profiles, you should visit the company store Samsung.

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