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Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Are there any alternatives in 2019?

Christopher Minasians Tom Morgan
11 Mar 2019
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Galaxy S5 hero image
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
560
inc VAT

Page 1 of 3Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Are there any alternatives in 2019?

Powerful, with a fantastic camera and incredible battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was a superb smartphone flagship

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The Galaxy S5 was first released in February 2014 and was a once great flagship choice. Despite its plastic chassis, the smartphone had a powerful processor for the time and a brilliant screen – but alas, the Galaxy S5 is no more.

That's right, Samsung's venerable flagship is now five years old and, of course, you can't buy it anymore. You might be able to find one on eBay for less than £100, but there are some far finer alternatives you should be considering instead. For that price, you can pick up an excellent Honor 7A or, if you're willing to spend a little more, the Moto G7 is also a solid choice.

Alternatively, if you're craving the latest and greatest flagship, the Galaxy S10 is front and centre on shop shelves, although you'll be expected to pay at least £799 for the privilege.

Our original Galaxy S5 review continues below.

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Design

The Galaxy S5 is best seen as a refinement of the Galaxy S4, as both share a very similar outward appearance. The S5 has slightly bolder curves than the S4's flowing corners, but sat side-by-side they look almost identical. A metal effect bezel surrounds both handsets, although the dimpled, rubberised rear cover on the S5 feels classier than the S4's glossy finish. 

It looks sleek, and at 8.1mm thick it's also very thin, but we can't help feel a little disappointed that Samsung has stuck with an all-plastic construction. Now that the almost entirely metal HTC One (m8) is on sale, the Galaxy S5 feels a little cheap by comparison. On the plus side, the Galaxy S5 is now IP67 water- and dust-resistant, meaning it is completely protected against the effects of dust and can survive a dunking in up to 1m of water. This should hopefully put an end to dead handsets after dropping them into drinks, toilets or puddles, and gives Sony's Xperia Z2 one less killer feature to draw away potential customers. You won't be able to take underwater photos using the touchscreen, as it can't detect any inputs when under water, but you can use the volume key as a physical shutter button instead.

Samsung Galaxy S5 home screen 2

Unfortunately, in making the phone IP67 compliant, Samsung has been forced to add a flap over the USB port to protect it from water damage. It can be a little fiddly to remove for charging, and is held in place with a piece of rubberised plastic; should that snap off the phone would lose its weatherproof abilities. The port itself uses the faster USB3 standard, but Samsung bafflingly doesn't include a USB3 cable in the box. That means you're stuck transferring data from a PC or Mac at USB2 speeds until you buy the right cable, which costs a few pounds.

Page 1 of 3Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Are there any alternatives in 2019?

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