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267 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy with this phone.
I upgraded from the Galaxy S3 and I am very pleased with this phone, the more I mess around with it the more I like it.
Apps like S Health are now more focused than ever and the heart rate sensor is great thing even though tech reviewers try to play it off as a gimmick - this phone has literally made me want to be more active since I purchased it, the biometric...
Published 10 months ago by Mo

versus
197 of 224 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Specs - Average Phone
This phone is frustrating. It has top of the line specs and most all the features you could ever want in a phone. Yet the overall experience is lacking.

I bought this phone for a few reasons: Expandable storage, optional inductive charging, and water resistance. This is the only phone on Verizon to offer all of this.

Physically, this phone is...
Published 9 months ago by P. Lundberg


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267 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy with this phone., April 13, 2014
By 
Mo (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I upgraded from the Galaxy S3 and I am very pleased with this phone, the more I mess around with it the more I like it.
Apps like S Health are now more focused than ever and the heart rate sensor is great thing even though tech reviewers try to play it off as a gimmick - this phone has literally made me want to be more active since I purchased it, the biometric scanner is a great addition as well that works perfectly for me 8/10 times.
Also great news is that upon typing this I found out that micro usb chargers still work with this phone (it's a USB 3.0 port that can also use a micro usb). No BS Apple move.
The feel of the phone is the best of the series. Yes it's plastic but it is definitely more upscale feeling to the touch while maintaining a light weight, and aesthetically both the front and back look great.
The screen is the best I've ever seen on a smartphone, crisp, colorful, and bright.
The camera is an important feature for me and I'm happy to say it doesn't disappoint - it's fast, takes great photos, the live HDR mode is awesome as well. The only thing i'm not sold on is the 16:9 aspect ratio being the only mode at 16mp. You can do a standard 4:3 aspect but at 12mp. But still not necessarily bad since mega pixels don't mean much compared to the actual sensor used.
The speaker is loud and clear, reception for both the phone and wifi is great too. Better than my S3 with the 4.3 update, on that note Kit Kat is awesome!
One last note, the IP67 rating/ water resistance and dust resistance is an amazing and welcome feature.

In summation:
If you're coming from an S3 then your contract is probably up this year, and this is an amazing upgrade to a phone I loved. It really wasn't even a question for me. Size, aesthetics, features, adding your own memory, and still being able to replace your own battery made this a clear choice over the HTC M8, and others.
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149 of 160 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars can't go wrong with this phone, April 22, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I took a while to decide what phone to upgrade to. When the HTC one m8 came out I was positive that was the phone for me, I was very unimpressed with its camera. When thever s5 came out, I was disappointed in the gimmicks Samsung took with the phone. However, there are so many features on this phone that truly do improve the experience. Customizing the operating system is fantastic, and many of the internal software features come in handy often. I actually have grown to like the one handed use feature which shrinks the screen to what ever side your tub is on. Samsung does include useless other features, but they all work as advertised.

The camera is fantastic, I had an 8 mp camera on my last phone and this is truly better. Plus many of the features on the camera are fun and very useful. In deciding which phone to choose the camera was one of the most important to me and I am happy with the performance of this one.

Anyone who reads this should know that buying a flagship device will most often be an improvement over previous devices. I owned a motorola Droid bionic for 2 years, it served me well, but going from that to my Shiney GS5 feels like I moved from a record player to an ipod, or a pinto to a Lamborghini, or apartment to mansion. If you are moving off a two year contract like I did, any flagship device will be a vast improvement, justhe find features that are important to you and decide from there.

As a side note, I'm finding the battery life is excellent, batteries themselves have not changedone much, but management of power usage has and the gs5 manages the power exceptionally. Watching Netflix for over an hour and a half lost me about 5 percent of my battery.
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134 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great phone except for the charging port, April 16, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I have had the phone for a week now...and I really love it...except...the charging port. The charging port has a door, which is located at the bottom of the phone. This makes it impossible to use any type of charging dock with the exception of a wireless dock, which by the time you get a new back for the phone and the charging pad, is another $100. I would pay the money, but that also means that I can't use a case for the phone unless I take it out of the case every time I charge.

On the bright side, the camera in this phone totally rocks. It has downloadable effects (filters) that you can use, the capibilities are endless. I like the "private" mode and the "kids" mode. Both work with the fingerprint scanner. Private mode allows you to put things like your Christmas shopping list, or photos etc, in an area that no one else can tell is even there. Kids mode allows you to choose what the child has access to. The camera filters for children are adorable! They have age related games for children of all ages as well. What a plus when trying to keep a child busy or quiet in an unexpected situation!

Charging is quick and the battery life is good...yesterday I went the entire day using only 18% of the battery...went to bed with 82% left. Not bad in comparison to the S3 I had.

On the whole, I totally recommend this phone....its pretty cool :-)
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197 of 224 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Specs - Average Phone, May 14, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
This phone is frustrating. It has top of the line specs and most all the features you could ever want in a phone. Yet the overall experience is lacking.

I bought this phone for a few reasons: Expandable storage, optional inductive charging, and water resistance. This is the only phone on Verizon to offer all of this.

Physically, this phone is light although a bit large for the screen size compared to the LG G2 and Nexus 5. I have read this is due to the water resitance. If so, it's a compromise I can live with. The back of the black (dark charcoal) one is dimpled and slightly soft-touch, which I like. The white one I looked at in the store was NOT soft touch. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else. There is a plastic chrome strip going around the outside. Normally I don't mind chrome, but the ridged edge on the S5, combined with the plastic chrome volume and power button and dimpled back looks tacky. There is also a door you need to pry up to access the USB port. I don't mind because I like the water resistance and plan on getting an inductive charging back for it. It generally looks nice, but not nearly as nice as most of its competitors. It doesn't creak and make noise when handling as Samsungs have been known to in the past. Online drop tests seem to indicate it is a durable design, so personally I don't really care about how "premium" it looks. I much prefer a grippy soft touch plastic to slippery metal that is prone to scratches.

The home button/print scanner is a physical button rather than capacitive. At first I didn't think I'd like it, but then I realized it also turns it on which is nice. I still don't know if I like it, but I don't mind. There are also capacitive back and multitask buttons along the bottom. I do wish they weren't invisible when not lit up and swapped like on other Android phones, but I am glad they are there rather than just having on-screen buttons that take up screen space like on the Nexus 5.

The screen looks nice. Frankly, I think 1080 screens are overated and find 720 screens just as nice. I don't hold the phone up to my nose after all. In regular use, I don't find the resolution to be much if any improvement over my old EVO qHD screen. Brightness and color are much better though.

On to the features. The main selling points of this phone over others seem to be the water resistance, heartrate monitor, and fingerprint scanner. The heartrate monitor requires you to be still and quiet. In other words, it's pretty useless and should not factor into your decision at all. The water resistance is a great feature I think every phone should have. I don't plan on torture testing it but there are videos online of it surviving an hour under water, a pot of boiling water, and a washing machine. This is an important feature for me as I spend a lot of time outdoors. The fingerprint scanner is good enough that I continue to use it. I have both thumbs and a finger set up. It would be nice to have one more finger available to use to cover all the ways I hold the phone. It's a bit picky that you swipe straight down, keep contact with the button, and don't go too fast. But once you get it down it works OK.

What really lets this phone down is Samsung's TouchWiz interface. While it offers a lot of features, some more useful than others, it is also laggy, clumsy, arguably ugly and overall just not an elegant interface. Yes, I can use a launcher or root it or whatever, but then I'd lose the features it offers. Two years ago that kind of thing was acceptable on Android, but I don't feel it is today.

There's no getting around the lag. I don't understand how anybody can claim it doesn't lag. Scrolling is often not smooth. There is a slight pause every time you select something. All around you will find random stutters and jitters. The camera is especially bad, often taking 6-7 seconds to snap a picture when first starting up. This is not an Android thing as the MotoX, G2, One M8 and Nexus 5 all do not suffer from this. I wouldn't call it terrible, but it really puts a damper on the overall experience. That's not to say this is a slow phone. It's very fast once it does start to do something. But there's a difference between fast and fluid. This phone is not fluid, especially compared to an iPhone or Windows Phone. It always feels a step behind in its reactions. If you look on forums you will find a lot of complaints about this and also a lot of "fixes" that include reducing or disabling animations. I've done all that and it really doesn't matter.

The tradeoff of course is all the features TouchWiz gives you. There are a ton of customizations you can do to make it function just the way you want. Oddly though, you cannot change the color scheme from the default teal and pastel. This is the first cell phone I've owned in the past 10 years that didn't allow that, which is puzzling considering the point of something like TouchWiz is to make the phone more customizable. It was also a bit complex getting everything setup the way I wanted. Not very cohesive. That could just be unfamiliarity with TouchWiz.

The default email app, for whatever reason, tells you to use the Gmail app for Gmail. I'm not sure why this is. I setup Gmail anyway on the default app and it seems to work fine so far.

The IR blaster is kind of neat but not real useful. The "Smart Remote" to use it is lacking. It can turn things on and off, adjust volume, and do other basic things but it's not going to replace my Harmony remote. Or any of my remotes. It's pretty weak and needs to be pointed almost directly at stuff to work, which is understandable when you see the size of it.

The camera, once it gets around to snapping a picture, is fantastic. Easy to use, great quality, just great all-around for a phone. Plenty good enough to replace my old point-and-shoot Sony camera, but not my DSLR of course. The trouble with lag seems to be worse when opening the first time in lower light situations and it can be aggravating. I saw there is a patch to address this but I don't have it yet.

All around phone funtionality is good. Radio strength, sound quality, speed, contact functionality are all good. Maybe not the best out there, but pretty solid. Speaker quality is OK but not as good as some other phones. It's good enough that I don't have trouble in the car with it. The virtual keyboard is the best I've used. It's accurate and does swype, predictive text, and has an extra row on top for numbers. Contact dialing/texting is fast and easy.

The S5 does support inductive charging which I plan to use. It should come standard though and not require a new $30 cover. The charging cover also adds a bit of bulk, so that the camera is recessed a bit rather than raised. So if you get that some cases may not work with it.

Battery life has been OK. It makes it through a day fine with my use. Probably average by today's standards. There's no way for me to compare it to any other recent phone with my personal use so I won't try. The USB3 charger charges it in about 90 minutes which is great. What's not as great is you can't use the included USB3 cable on older microUSB devices. You can, however, still use standard microUSB cables to charge the phone, so that's not a big deal.

There are a ton of features on this phone so I won't keep going on and on. The bottom line for me is that this phone offers the main features and functions I wanted but Samsung needs to do a lot better with the overall cohesiveness and fluidness of TouchWiz. There's really no excuse for it with Android KitKat.

As for other phones, I like the MotoX but the muddy camera was a dealbreaker. The LG G2 was nice but water resistance and conventional buttons on the side rather than the back won out. I didn't like the slippery metal case and on-screen buttons on the HTC One M8. iPhone was never an option, way too small and I hate how simplistic iOS is and how closed their ecosystem is. Nice, but not for me. Also looked at a Nokia Icon since I love Windows RT on my Surface. Windows Phone OS is slick and the phone is just very nice all-around. Windows has certainly come a long ways, but it's not all the way there yet. Things like the phone dialer and email aren't all that great. Ultimately it was the features and Android ecosystem that Samsung won me over with. There are just a lot of good phones out there today, which is why I give this an average rating. I got it on sale, I probably would not have paid full (contract) price for it over a MotoX. For a hundred dollars more it was worth it, but only because I wanted a good camera to take family pictures with.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent phone with great features, June 30, 2014
By 
DP21 (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
Pros-

1. Beautiful display.
2. Great performance.
3. Battery life has been improved.
4. Improved design.
5. Premium camera with lots of features.

Cons-

1. The interface still feels cluttered.
2. A lot of bloatware and redundancy.
3. Only 16 GB of internal storage.

Having used the Samsung Galaxy S5 for over a month the best description I can use for it is that is it a jack of all trades. This is a phone that does everything really, really well but it is not the best at any one thing. The phone itself is fantastic and I hope this review will help you decide whether it is right one for you.

DISPLAY

The Galaxy family of phones has always had very attractive displays. The Galaxy S5 is no exception. The screen has a 1920 x 1080 resolution with a pixel density of 432. This makes texts and pictures incredibly sharp. It is very useful for people that like to read a lot on their phones. No more blurry texts. But it is not the resolution that makes the display special but the fact that it is a Super AMOLED screen. What does that mean? Well Super AMOLED have very saturated colors that look beautiful. The colors look slightly unrealistic but there is no denying that they are attractive. AMOLED screens also has higher contrast than its competition. Compare a Galaxy S5 screen to an LG or HTC and you will instantly notice the difference. It really makes pictures and videos come to life.

The only thing I do not like about the display is that it is not very bright. If you are under direct sunlight you have to increase the brightness all the way up in order to distinguish anything. Even then videos are very difficult to watch under sunlight.

PERFORMANCE

The Galaxy S5 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 2 GB of Ram. This phone comes with latest version of android which is Kit Kat 4.4.2. This is the most secure, stable, and smooth version of android. The processor makes the phone feel fast and the phone can handle just about everything that you throw at it. With this phone you don’t have to worry about how many applications you have opened or whether or not it is going to freeze. Samsung has been refining and perfecting multitasking the last few years. In the S5 you can run two applications at the same time without any lag or stutters. I have 4 home screens with 5 widgets running at the same time and I still can’t get this phone to lag. As far as gaming is concerned, you can be confident that this phone can handle any game available in the Play Store right now without any problem. Games load fast and the performance is very smooth. I have absolutely no complains about performance.

DESIGN

The Galaxy S5 is made of plastic. There is no way around that. However, the back texture of the phone is much better than the one found on the S4, S3, and S2. Those phones were fingerprint magnets. After a few minutes of use without a case they would become an oily mess. That is not the case with the S5. The S5 does not collect fingerprint. The back of the device has a dimple texture that has grown on me. I am not a huge fan of the color selection of the phone but the navy blue model looks great.

The phone has a 5.1 inch display. The phone is pretty big. One handed use is not impossible but it is hard. I am a fan of the fingerprint scanner on the S5. What I don’t like is the fact that you have to slide your finger in order to scan your finger. The IPhone 5S version of the fingerprint sensor is much more convenient when you are using the phone with one hand. The phone itself is comfortable to hold for long periods of time and it provides a pretty good grip. I am using the phone without a case and I don’t fear dropping the phone. I was using an LG G2 a few months ago and I was terrified of holding it without a case. It was much more slippery.

Another improvement the S5 has over the S4 is that it is now water and dust resistant. The back plate has a thin rubber border on the inside that prevents water from coming in. Now the phone is NOT water proof. It will with stand the occasional water splash and maybe the unfortunate drop on the toilet. But don’t go in the pool or the beach with it. Water will eventually go in and ruin the phone.

On the back of the phone below the camera there is also a heartbeat monitor. Personally I do not like it simply because it is not practical. You have to be standing really still and on a quiet environment for it to work properly. That is not exactly ideal when you are trying to use while jogging. However, when it is use properly under the right conditions I found it to be very accurate. It is a shame it is so nitpicky when it comes to its terms of use. Overall, I am happy with the design and hardware improvements.

USER INTERFACE AND APPS

Like I mentioned before the S5 is running android 4.4.2 Kit Kat. However, in order to differentiate their phones from other android offerings they are running a layer on top of android called Touch Wiz. As a whole Touch Wiz is a mixed bag. I like what they do with the notification area. They have many shortcut toggles on the notification area that allows for easy access to the main connections settings such as Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data and more. They allow you to customize the order of the toggles as well as add or remove some of them.

Where Touch Wiz gets a bit confusing is in the settings menu. For some reason, Samsung decided to have the menu settings laid out as colored bubble toggles in the setting menu. The toggles color scheme follow no discernable pattern. Even though the toggles are grouped by categories it feels disorganized. Fortunately, they decided to include a search bar at the top that lets you easily find the setting you are looking for. It reminds me of the search bar on Windows 8. It really is useful for beginners.
Samsung includes a lot of their apps along with their phones. Most of the app offered by Samsung are redundant and generally inferior versions of apps found on the Google Play Store. For example, they include a virtual assistant called S Voice that is supposed to help you schedule appointments, search for the weather and look up web searches. Unfortunately, it is very slow and half the time I did not get the desired results. Google offers Google Now which is much faster and delivers better results. Each carrier comes with their own suite of apps. Most of them are useless and take up a lot of space on the hard drive. The Verizon model is specially the worst. Fortunately, you can disable most of them and install your preferred choice of apps.

CAMERA

The S5 comes with at 16 megapixel camera on the back and a 2.1 megapixel on the front. I do not use the front camera very often but the back camera I use every day. For taking pictures it is simply fantastic. I really like it. The camera focuses really fast and come out looking very sharp. You will get the occasional blurry picture but they are few and far in between. Night shots take a little more time to focus and there is a higher chance of getting blurry pictures. The HTC One(M8) takes better night pictures than the S5 but the S5 camera takes much better daylight pictures. I have tried both phones and for general usage the camera on the S5 is considerably better.

One of the things I really like about the camera is the HDR mode. You know how sometimes when you take a picture and the subjects are standing in front of a lot of sunlight and the faces tend to come out darker than you want them to. Well when you activate HDR mode the camera takes several pictures at the same time with different exposures. It then combines them all together and highlights the best part of each photo. It makes a big difference. Now, many phones have HDR mode but in most of them you have to take the picture and then once it is done you have to go back on the gallery and check how the picture came out and see if you like it. On the S5 however, when you activate HDR mode it automatically shows you a preview on the screen of how the picture will come out. It is the first phone I have seen do it and I really like it.

The Galaxy S5 has the ability to take videos in 4K resolution. The videos come out looking sharp. Unfortunately, the S5 does not have optical image stabilization. That means that videos come out looking very shaky. You really have to slow and have a steady hand if you want the video to not shake as much. This is one area where the LG G2 is considerably better than the S5 thanks to the image stabilization. The G2 videos still shake if you are not careful but not nearly as much. The image stabilization didn’t make nearly as big a difference when it came to pictures though. They are both good camera phones.

BATTERY LIFE

The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a removable 2800 mah battery. The usage is going to vary between people but for my regular day I found the batter life to be more than adequate. The thing I noticed that drained the battery quicker was the web browser. It lasts a surprisingly good time when it comes to videos though. You will appreciate this if you like streaming Netflix and YouTube. On a regular day I make about half an hour worth of calls, send about 50 texts along with an hour or so of web browsing. I usually go to sleep with the battery at about 40%. Not bad at all. I charge it every day for good measure. The phone takes between 90 to 120 minutes to charge depending on whether you are using it or not at the time.

A new addition to the S5 is “Ultra Power Saving Mode”. What it basically does it strips your smartphone of everything that makes it “smart”. It is meant to be used when your battery is about to run out and it will basically only let you send texts, makes calls and use a total of six apps. The screen will also turn white and black to conserve more power. It is meant as a desperate last resort strategy. Hopefully you won’t have to use it often.

STORAGE

The standard version of the Galaxy S5 comes with 16 GB of internal storage. However, there is only about 10 GB of those available for you to use out of the box. The rest is taken up by the operating system and the apps that come pre-installed. Fortunately, the S5 supports the use of MicroSD cards up to 128 GB. That is great feature because you can use an MicroSD card to store your pictures and videos and use the internal storage to install apps from the Play Store.

CONCLUSION

Do I recommend this premium smartphone? In all honesty I do. It has a fantastic screen, smooth performance, and a very nice camera. The exterior design of the phone has been improved considerably from the S4. You will probably appreciate the addition of the fingerprint sensor and water resistant features. The heart rate monitor is not perfect but it works under the right conditions.
I would have liked to have 32 GB of internal storage as opposed to 16 GB on the base model. Optical Image Stabilization would be a nice addition in the future.

Overall the phone is feature packed and very complete. Samsung has proven to build pretty solid and reliable phones and they usually support software updates for at least a couple of years. I really thing that this phone is a great choice that you will like. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Currently the most technologically advanced phone, April 17, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I have been up for an upgrade for many months, but nothing piqued my interest until this phone and the HTC One M8 came out.

It took me a while to debate between the two phones, but here is what eventually sold me on the Galaxy S5:
-Wireless charging option. I plan on getting the replacement back cover and a wireless charger for my desk, as well as a wireless charging car dock
-Camera. Higher Megapixels and faster focusing. Low light is still not great, but an improvement. This phone takes pictures very quickly.
-Fingerprint scanner. Not as convenient as on the iphone, but still a nice way to unlock the phone.
-Battery is replaceable and of significant mAH.
-IP67 rating

Here are some other thoughts:
-I liked the HTC one M8's dual front speakers, but it added a significant length to the phone, which frankly, all these phones are on the large side already.
-I like the aluminum back of the M8, but I know that I would scratch it quickly, it doesn't allow for wireless charging, and is not easily replaceable. In this regard, I actually like that the S5 has a plastic back that is replaceable.
-Both HTC and Samsung has some nifty software features with their own flare, and Kit Kat is also nice - on both phones.
-the infrared port is fun to play with to control the tv and bluray player, and works quite well.

I do plan on adding a tempered glass cover to try out and see how well it works. I am undecided about cases, especially since I intend on wirelessly charging, and the replacement back cover isn't available yet, and most likely will add some thickness. I want to get the wireless charging cover before I look for cases. With the Qi standard, it should be able to charge through the thickness of the case.

One reason why I want to wirelessly charge, is to keep the USB 3 door cover closed at all times to retain the IP67 rating, and not have to worry about that as well as wearing out the charging port.

Other factors that I generally like about the S5, but were not the deciding factors:
-heartbeat sensor
-usb 3, faster transfers if I directly connect the phone to the computer, as well as compatibility with a greater number of cables (both 2.0 as well as 3.0 now)
-All current wireless standards (including mimo for ac, dual band, etc.)
-2.5 Ghz processor

The Galaxy S5 is not THE best in every aspect (I wish it had a better speaker, more abilities from the lock screen, came stock with the wireless charging back, more Ram, etc.), but it is excellent (if not the best) in many areas, and overall for me, was the best option and compromise from what is currently is available.

I keep my phones for at least 2 years (my last phone was the Droid Razr MAXX), and I expect to be able to hold on to this phone for at least that length of time considering the features of the S5, especially the battery which tends to be the shortest lasting part of any phone.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archie Bunker using an Android?!, May 13, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
My older husband is the Archie Bunker type, stuck in his ways after 6 decades, not readily looking to change. He is also REALLY attached to the physical Qwerty keyboard of his old Env3 type flip phone (Env3 in 2014? See what I mean?) especially for text messaging (usually to YELL AT ME IN ALL CAPS!) So imagine my surprise the morning the Galaxy S5 launched, to be awakened FOUR Hours before Verizon even opens to be told WE ARE GETTING S5s. Seriously? WE?! It's MY account. We? I've been holding out 2.5 years for Motorola to get off its behind for the Droid 5, WE are getting S5s?

Did I mention that my Archie Bunker has a partially paralyzed hand AND peripheral neuropathy? He has very limited sensation in his hands....

I'm smelling disaster. Four whole hours. Til Verizon opens. We get breakfast. We stalk Verizon.

After the kind store manager gave us an S5 to play with for awhile, I reluctantly ordered a black and white matched pair. Grreat. Now I had all weekend to await the arrival of my dreamship while fear began to engulf me. What have I done?! What am I thinking?! We are talking about my Archie Bunker here (no! I am most certainly NOT Edith!)

The phones arrived. We're activated. I set up his Google account and calendar (forgetting all about his stored contacts on his ancient phone...), and began hunting down the most crucial apps and laying out his desktop in an orderly fashion - Gmail, clean sweep, advanced task killer, the weather channel, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Hulu+, TED, Kindle, etc. Widgets, can't forget those! I also installed a screen protector and leather case. (hint: have your technomage spouse or technogeek grandkids do this for Archie types!) It was time to turn him loose. I cringed in fear.

A month has now lapsed. I'm ready to write this review.

Wow. Despite the hand issues, he has figured out ways to make the touch screen respond appropriately. He's become a regular on Facebook, even at 3am from bed! His adult kids are angered because he stopped communicating as much (note: we eventually realized the S5 shows ACCOUNT names on incoming calls, when he sees his 'ex-wife' calling he obviously isn't answering lol!) and without that physical keyboard he's all but forgotten texting exists... Even to reply to me. ::sigh::

But what has he learned to do?!
His LinkedIn is now over 1200 connections, he's all over Facebook day and night even from the car (passenger of course) and waiting rooms, hitting Like hours before even I see the post! He's found the camera, our poor German Shepherd Dog now cringes at the sound of the 'shutter' click knowing that bright flash is blinding! Poor Aiko! At least Daddy hasn't yet been posting his candid furball mugs all over Facebook (that's my job!)

He's so attached to his S5 it goes with him everywhere! Even to his metal desk in the basement, which remains our cell phone black hole... So if you experienced dead zones with other phones that likely won't change.

If my knight in shining armor can survive his first month on an S5, so can yours. I highly recommend the S5, even for those with moderate hand disabilities.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing screen, sweet power sipping mode, IR blaster, great camera, fingerprint secured, and water and dust resistant!, May 15, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
THE CHARGER
Please note that while the S5 has a special looking port for charging (a USB 3.0 port) you CAN use the old charger from one of your other Android powered devices! It just happens to charge really really quickly if you use a USB 3.0 cable, but it's not necessary to do so.

AMAZING SCREEN
This display is nicer than any I have ever seen. It is so sharp I cannot see individual pixels with my naked eye. It's also bright, very bright! It's perfectly usable on a bright sunny day at noon without a cloud in the sky. In really bright conditions, the screen boosts the maximum allowable brightness when the auto-brightness feature enabled! So if it's extremely bright outside, leave the auto-brightness feature enabled. Unlike in previous iterations, it is superbly implemented anyway, so I'd recommend leaving it on regardless. I upgraded from the S3, and I immediately noticed the 1080P resolution, the whiter whites, darker blacks, extremely realistic and still vibrant colors, and even the capability of dimming the screen much more effectively (which is really nice when using the phone in bed). The Super AMOLED screen seems to have been perfected in this device! You have to see it to believe it, this is a stunningly beautiful 1080P display that knocks the competition out of the park. The size of the screen is a big plus in my opinion, as well and is especially fantastic given its...

CONVENIENT MULTITASKING CAPABILITIES
You can run two programs on the screen at the same time, in a split window arrangement. The really fast processing ensures that doing so doesn't cause lags. Even with two apps sharing the screen, the phone's operation is butter smooth. And the 5 inch display means that you have plenty of real estate for both apps.

INSANELY AWESOME ULTRA-POWER SAVING MODE
This thing is for real. With 10 percent power left, you get usability the rest of the day. The S5 has a super amoled screen, so black pixels don't draw any power as opposed to back-lit LCD screens in which a black pixel is really just a pixel in which the backlight has been blocked. Ultra-power saving mode turns the screen black and white, and gives you a jet-black interface with up to six black and white icons. This means that a tiny fraction of the pixels are powered. This mode also reduces the screen frame rate, shuts down two of the phone's four cores, reduces in half the speed of the remaining two cores, shuts down almost all background processes, disables most apps, and sips power all the while letting you text, call, and surf the web. You can check your email via the web, but can't use the email or gmail apps. Basically it turns your phone into one of those old brick phones that lasted forever. That's pretty sweet in a pinch!

At 100% power, activating ultra-power saving mode gives you 12 DAYS of standby time! I figure with regular use I'd get a week. You could literally charge your phone to 100% before a week-long vacation, flip on ultra power-saving mode, use your phone normally (calling, texting, and some web surfing) and probably make it the entire week without having to charge it. I'd love to test that theory. But suffice it to say that gone are the days of needing to worry about a dead phone when you're out all day and don't have access to a charger.

THE SECURITY OF A FINGERPRINT SCANNER
It takes some getting used to, but once you set up your fingerprints, you can easily activate the phone by swiping your finger or thumb (I set mine up for one-handed use using my thumb, and after a week, it registers on the first try just about every time). No one else can access my phone and should I try and fail to unlock the phone too many times, I can then enter a password to unlock it. I had to do that a few times the first day of use. But with frequent use, I quickly learned to unlock my phone on the first attempt. I am a huge fan of the fingerprint scanner.

IR BLASTER
I can use the IR blaster to operate my TV. Along with Bluetooth and WiFi, the infrared blaster basically gives you the chance to make your phone a universal remote!

WATER AND DUST RESISTANT
I love that you could accidentally drop the phone in a puddle or have it fall out of your shirt pocket into the toilet, sink, or bathtub and you'll be just fine. It's nice that a downpour won't short-circuit your phone, and it's pretty spectacular that if you forgot to take the phone out of your pocket before doing a load of laundry, you'd likely retrieve a perfectly operable phone from the washing machine. Not sure about dust resistance, I never had a phone die from dust, but I'm guessing it's happened before and it's nice that it won't with this phone.

CAMERA
It's a behemoth. It's a 16 megapixel camera that takes beautiful and sharp pictures. It takes great low-light pics without the need for activating the camera flash. I used it during my Nephew's baptism recently. My aunt saw the pictures on my screen as I took them and reviewed them. After the baptism, she looked at my phone and said, "Your phone takes such beautiful pictures! I'd rather have a phone that takes pictures like that than this thing (she was holding up her really nice digital camera)!

DESIGN
It's functional. The S5 is made of a nice looking textured soft-feeling plastic that I think looks quite premium and is reminiscent of perforated leather (although the plastic is panned in almost every official review--I like it). Mine is white and looks fantastic, but isn't quite as soft as the black variant--which is actually a dark grey rather than black. Nonetheless it feels nice in the hand and doesn't get as hot or cold as metal gets. It has better grip than metal, and that's important to me. You don't want to go around dropping a premium phone. And because it's flexible, the plastic cover pulls right off the back of the phone so you can replace the battery (which isn't really necessary with Ultra-power saving mode--see above), or add some extra storage with MicroSD card slot. My only complaint design-wise is that the "chrome" side of the phone is painted plastic. I've dropped it a few times and the chrome paint chips off very easily, and on this phone it serves a very important purpose. The screen is slightly recessed, so the chrome takes a beating if you drop it. It should be a durable unpainted metal that doesn't chip or scratch.

THE NEGATIVE
The only negative I've seen, besides the painted chrome plastic part of the phone that chips really easily, is the loudness of the speaker. It doesn't get all that loud. Some people complain about the plastic back cover. I love it. It's functional, grippy, and attractive. I prefer the textured plastic to just about anything else. Others actually complain about the port cover! To them I say BOO-FREAKING-HOO! Oh no, a cover that lets your phone survive a tumble through the freaking washing machine! How truly awful!

THE VERDICT
Ultimately the S5 looks really nice, stays alive forever (as far as modern smart phones go, anyway), can be used as a universal remote, has an incredibly bright and stunningly beautiful display that is readable in the direct light of the sun, has a fantastic camera, has a really convenient and pretty sure proof security system with the fingerprint scanning set up, can survive a tumble through the washing machine as well as lots of dust, and has a plastic design that allows for the immediate and screw-less opening of the device for the swapping of a battery or the addition of a MicroSD card! Five stars? Well, since you can't give 4.8 stars (minus 0.1 for the speaker that isn't loud enough and another 0.1 for the plastic chrome painted side that chips too easily), yep!
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Samsung Evolution, April 23, 2014
By 
Johnny Saigon® (Bangkok/Sydney/Saigon/LA/Waikiki) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
First off, I am not a professional reviewer, nor am I employed or compensated by Samsung or any other company. Instead of boring you with facts - which you can find anywhere on the Net - I will just give you some real-world impressions on how it looks, feels, and runs. With that out of the way, let's get to the point and the nitty gritty, shall we?

* THE SCREEN - that is the very first thing you will notice when you look at the S5. Samsung has found its niche with AMOLED screens, which are BRIGHT & SATURATED. Everything almost literally jumps out at you, and sometimes even too much so. I had to switch to the "natural" setting, as the "vivid" and even "standard" profiles are too saturated(and FAKE) for me. It's better as a demo unit to draw you in, but for everyday use, I recommend switching to the natural profile.
FACTS: The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Full HD resolution - 1080 x 1920 pixels or ~432 ppi pixel density, plus Gorilla Glass 3 to protect the screen from scratches.

* The Look - the S5 has a more squared-off edges look than the S4, which is more squared off than the S3, but all three are not as angular as the S2. In terms of roundness-to square-ness, it goes from the S3 - S4 - S5 - S2 (the original S just looks like an iPhone 3GS). Check out my images for an easier comparison. The S5 is the tallest and widest, but not the thickest of the Galaxy S's. The best thing I can say about this is it's an evolution. Beauty is subjective, so judge for yourself. The front side is almost the same as any other Galaxy phone: You have the physical Home button, flanked by the "back" and "menu" capacitive buttons. Probably the most improved aspect of the design is in its functionality - it is now dust-proof, and water-proof up to 3 feet!
FACTS: The dimensions are 5.59" x 2.85" x 0.32"(142cm x 72.5cm x 8.1cm), and weighs 5.11oz(145g).

* The Feel - Samsung has taken a lot of flack for making the Galaxy S line so cheap looking and feeling with its plastic bodies, for being the top Android phone maker. HTC has been known to have the best craftsmanship with their all-metal One phones. Perhaps Samsung feel they are so dominant that they don't have to spend more to mass-produce metal phones, but since they don't want to come off as too arrogant, so their compromise is a dimpled, faux-rubber backside like the Nexus 7(2012) and its very own Galaxy Note 3. It definitely gives a better feel - it doesn't slip and slide in your hands or pockets anymore - but it cannot compare to the feel and craftsmanship of the HTC One(both the m7 and m8). It is on the right track though, so let's hope that rumored luxury "F" line or next year's S6 will continue to get better.

* How it Runs - This phone is fast, fast, FAST! With a 2.5gHz Snapdragon 801, it has the fastest processor out there right now. It terms of real speed, I cannot say if it is faster than the HTC One m8 or the Sony Xperia Z2, but it is definitely up there. When you touch an app icon to launch it, it launches nearly instantly. To really see how this phone flies, just open the gallery app and scroll through all your photos and you'll see what I mean. Usually the gallery is where most phones stutter as it tries to load all your photos and albums - but NOT the S5!

* The Camera - FINALLY! Samsung has decided to make a decent camera, and not just as an afterthought. This 16mp camera is really awesome, so much better than the S4. I would always get washed out images with my S3/S4/Note 2, but with the S5, it actually looks like it's from a decent point-and-shoot dedicated camera with crisp, bright, and saturated images. Low-light shooting is also vastly improved, although not as good as the new HTC One m8. 16mp means 5312 x 2988 -resolution images, so you can actually blow them up or crop them down without fearing the dreaded pixelation monster. There are a myriad of other cool and useful camera features that I will save for you to find out(like macro and "Google Street View" modes :]). And lastly, the focus is quick, quick, QUICK! Nearly instantaneous focus allows you to capture those hard-to-capture moments easier. A definitely thumbs up to Samsung for paying attention to the camera and its functions.

* Software - I'm still trying to figure out everything, as there is A LOT of stuff under the hood. Samsung's TouchWiz user interface this time around is A LOT less intrusive though, as much as can be without being totally stock Android, I guess. The layout and iconography are flatter and simpler, and for the better in my view. There is also a new sensor on the back, just beneath the camera lens. It is a heart-rate monitor/pedometer, and it comes with its own health app called S Health. There is a new battery-saving mode which can save you precious minutes when you're caught in a bind. All in all, I think this version is a lot nicer-looking, more responsive, and better than the precious S phones.

The ultimate question is whether this phone is a worthy upgrade over the S4. As my review title suggests, it is an evolution, an incremental upgrade over the S4. So with that said I cannot whole-heartedly recommend it if you already have a good phone, or even over the S4. But I do feel this upgrade is more vast and much better than from the S3 to the S4, so in that sense Samsung has done a much better job this year. If you are switching from an older phone that was made at least 2 years ago, then I would tell you jump right in and try the S5 - it will not disappoint you. But for those with already a good phone, and/or say you just finished year one of your 2-year contract, then I would say think hard before you make the leap. For my money, I think the Note 4 and S6 will be the bigger upgrades more worth waiting for.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars S5 Review, May 21, 2014
By 
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S5, Black 16GB (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
Let me start off by saying that complaints about poor signal strength, texting not working and similar complaints are NOT this phones fault they are the carrier and thus not valid to an equipment review.

1. Durability - I relied on the professionals to test the durability (cnet, etc.). However I do know that the phone is at least as durable as the S3 which I dropped on the concrete several times at 3' to 5' and the gorilla glass never broke and the phone worked normal, also used it in the rain with no problems. The phone is one of the most durable excluding construction phones available.
2. Signal strength - the same as most phones, only older non smart phones that have extended antennas and phones that allowed you to connect to signal boosters and external antennas will get you a better signal.
3. Voice Quality - Tried speakerphone, Bluetooth, headset and regular mic. everyone I spoke to told me the voice clarity was very good. On my end I found the volume a little on the low side and had to use the increased volume option in a noisy environment.
4. Camera - The quality of the picture in still - auto mode, panorama and movie mode is excellent. The delay people experience is the camera compensating for the environment so you get a good quality picture. The picture quality in my opinion rivals a good non-professional digital camera.
5. Screen - Screen size is one of the largest available on a cell phone. Screen clarity is amazing and you can even see images and use the key pad in direct sunlight a great improvement from older phones.
6. Surfing the internet - I tested the phone on WIFI and received up to 57mbs. (The fastest speed my provider had), the phone processor is as fast as a good computer. People that complain about the connection speed in my opinion are having a carrier problem not a problem with this phone.
7. Heart beat monitor - Yes it works, but it is very sensitive and you may have to re-take the measurement several times.
8. Music - no problems with clarity.
8. Battery Life - Over 24 hours with "normal" usage. Normal being texting, music, voice, camera in still mode, use.
9. Overall Impression: Very well constructed, options work as advertised. I believe you will have a hard time finding a better quality phone. In my opinion the only real negative was the volume during calls; it was "ok" but in my opinion should be a little louder in normal mode.
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