Its the Samsung Galaxy S5. That is all I have to say when people ask me what phone I am reviewing now and immediately I can predict the response which usually goes something like “ohhhhh” and “aaahhhh” followed by “So whats cool about this phone ?”
The “Whats cool” seems to be the standard questions that people are asking these days of any phone. We have become used to the smartphone being smart, lightweight, powerful and all knowing. It is now a given. So when people ask whats cool about the phone, they are in fact asking, “why should I get this phone ?”
Loads of sites have reviewed the specs of the Galaxy S5 so I am going to focus my review on the 3 factors that I think make the Samsung Galaxy S5 a cool phone:
The 3 factors that make the Samsung Galaxy S5 a cool phone
Cool factor 1 – Water Resistant & Dustproof
I don’t think there is a single person who has taken the Galaxy S5 for a spin that has not dunked it in water. No one.
But be warned: The IP67 certification that the Galaxy S5 received means that it should be ok against accidental water and not intentional water-dunking stunts. The IP67 means that on a scale of 0 to 6, the Galaxy S5 received a 6 against dust (so its fully dustproof being at the top end of that scale) and on a scale of 0 to 9, it received a 7 for water resistance. It is NOT waterproof.
In the event that some water is splashed on the phone, or the phone is dropped into the toilet or you move the phone after getting out of the shower, then the phone will be perfectly fine. It does NOT mean that you can tuck the phone into your swimming costume and start doing laps at the local gym.
There is a depth and a pressure factor too. If you dive to the bottom of the pool and the depth is greater than 1 meter then the water pressure is too great and the phone could fail. Whilst showing off to your buddies about how great the phone is and you run the phone under the tap at full tap-speed, remember that the water pressure coming out of the tap also plays a factor.
So in other words, the Galaxy S5 is water resistant for those accidental water issues. It is not your new best diving friend for all that underwater photography in Mauritius.
Check out my article about water-resistance vs. water-proof and what it means in the cell phone world
Cool Factor 2 – The Battery Life
As per my previous post about the 7 tips you must know about the Galaxy S5, the battery life is great on the S5. If you turn off all those gizmos that you don’t need then you get a decent full day out of the device. As soon as you start adding Bluetooth devices such as a car kit and an Bluetooth audio speakers and a the Gear Fit, then you start to run into low battery levels by around 4pm on heavy usage days.
At this point, you can simply turn on Power Saving Mode that disables some high usage features or if you are desperate, you can turn on the Ultra Power saving mode which essentially changes the S5 into a feature phone so that you can still make calls and are not completely out of comms .
The power management and the ability to control the device to this extent makes it a cool factor as we have all been to events/ meetings/ friends where someone starts twitching as they nervously being to look for a power plug to charge their phone before it dies.
Cool Factor 3 – The Camera
This is where the S5 really shines. We have all become mobile photographers knowing that it costs nothing to snap away and simply delete those pics that aren’t clear. One of the main reasons that mobile cameras don’t have that quality and sharpness of a professional DSLR camera is that the camera takes too long to focus, too long to lock on the subject and adjust the settings to capture the image. This is why the images are washed out and blurry and land up in the Delete pile.
Over the Easter weekend, I took the Galaxy S5 for a shoot down at the Vaal river to test the camera where it needed to capture some high action fast moving shots.
Ryan Durham was the go-to subject who created a real challenge as Ryan hardly stayed in one place for any period of time and was mostly up in the air and upside down. Adding to the complexity, my photographer Tal Segev, has never used a Samsung product before and since I was driving the boat my brief to her midway was “here, take some shots and videos”. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was up to the challenge as it not only produced great stunt shots from a fast moving bouncing boat but was simple, managed to lock onto the airborne Ryan fast and managed to focus even though the conditions were not ideal on an overcast day.
Capturing the Slalom water skiers was more predictable but the action is much faster as the skier criss-crosses the wake:
The following is a splice of several videos taken with the Samsung Galaxy S5 on the same overcast day:
Other shots taken with the S5 in auto mode:
My Favourite shot of the weekend was this shot I took of the night fire…slightly freaky too…