bunch of fives

Sam­sung’s lat­est Galaxy is fight­ing off HTC while em­brac­ing the fu­ture, with fin­ger­print scan­ning, heart-rate mon­i­tor­ing and 4K film­ing in tow

Australian T3 - - MOST WANTED SPECIAL -

MUCH LIKE htc’s one m8, THE Galaxy S5 is a care­fully con­sid­ered up­grade rather than a com­plete re­boot, with Sam­sung run­ning through a great­est hits of 2014’s head­line phone up­dates be­fore sprin­kling a few es­o­teric ex­tras on for good mea­sure.

Fronting the whole she­bang is a big and bright 5.1-inch Su­per AMOLED full-HD screen, with the same 2.5GHz quad­core Qual­comm 801 pro­ces­sor found on the HTC One M8. The rear brings more up­grades, with the cam­era boosted from 13 to 16 megapix­els and able to shoot video in 4K. You’ll need a 4K TV to watch it, though, as the screen can’t dis­play 3840x2160 res­o­lu­tion.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of Ap­ple’s TouchID, Sam­sung has added a fin­ger­print scan­ner to the home but­ton, pro­vid­ing ex­tra se­cu­rity but also able to au­then­ti­cate PayPal pay­ments. Who takes ad­van­tage of this tech, much like Ap­ple’s Pass­book, will de­pend on fu­ture deals, but we’re hop­ing the con­ve­nience catches on.

Rid­ing the fit­ness tech wave, Sam­sung’s also packed the S5 with a heart-rate mon­i­tor, ac­ti­vated by hold­ing your fin­ger over a sen­sor next to the cam­era flash for eight sec­onds. We’re not sure we’d trust it to be med­i­cally ac­cu­rate, but it can as­sess the stren­u­ous­ness of your work­out (and bleep at you to do more). Im­i­ta­tion is the high­est form of flat­tery else­where, too, with Sam­sung fol­low­ing Sony’s lead by mak­ing the S5 wa­ter-re­sis­tant for thirty min­utes in up to a me­tre of wa­ter.

Yet the most com­pelling fea­ture here is seem­ingly the most ba­sic: Ul­tra Power Sav­ing. An­swer­ing the con­stant tech cry for longer bat­tery life, this dis­ables non-es­sen­tial func­tions and switches your screen to black and white when you’re run­ning low. Put the S5 in this mode with ten per cent bat­tery left and we’re promised an ex­tra 24 hours of calls and texts. Yo­taphone, come in, your time is up…

The Galaxy range has rarely turned heads like the iPhone or One, but the faux leather back might change that for the wrong rea­sons. Look be­yond aes­thet­ics, though, and the S5 of­fers a strong mix of cut­ting-edge fea­tures and smarts to give it an edge in the An­droid bat­tle. Which should win up­grade hearts and minds? Come back next is­sue to find out…

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