Using the Samsung Galaxy S5 in 2020 – Review

by birtanpublished on October 4, 2020

At what point does design decrease practicality many would argue that the ultimate samsung galaxy was the s5 from 2014 a phone that while not bad looking didn't match the premium nature of its competitors but was about as practical as it got i'd argue that this was the final galaxy to put function over form but can this phone still be useful in modern times hey how's it going i'm josh from 91 tech and today we're taking a look at the samsung galaxy s5 samsung's final plastic phone how does

It hold up well over six years later 2014 was kind of a turning point in smartphones carrying over from progression in 2013. the galaxy s4 came out the year before and still stands as the second best selling smartphone of all time behind the iphone 6 and 6 plus that came out in 2014. apple moving into the phablet market really took a chunk out of samsung's base but that didn't stop the s5 from being a very popular option back in the day

Most considered it not to be the nicest looking in fact i myself remember laughing at the fact that samsung was still using plastic and in all fairness there was a reason to be annoyed by that and the next year with the s6 samsung finally moved to a more premium look but what the s5 lacked in style it more than made up for in functionality we're talking an easily removable back and battery an sd card slot water resistance a basic but straightforward design no glass on the back means it's going to be tougher than newer galaxies and it's

Also quite easy to repair the s6 the next year took away a lot of these features and fans weren't happy about it which led the s7 to find kind of a middle ground but this phone stands out nowadays in the world of glass aluminum and stainless steel the display is absolutely gorgeous and still holds up in my opinion even today the s5 is quite behind in updates actually we're talking really really behind with android 6 marshmallow that is bad really bad and it reinforces the fact

That despite samsung making terrific hardware year after year the lack of software support is not only disappointing but straight up pathetic yes you can use backdoor methods to get newer versions of android but the vast majority will never do that and samsung's two years of updates is inexcusable the iphone 5s released the year before as well as the iphone 6 were up to date all the way until late 2019 with ios 12 to put things in perspective is that what we're looking at here decent hardware that's just way too behind in updates could you even use it

Today well yeah you could if you had to it has lte so it'll connect to whatever carrier you want it to in theory the s5 could be your daily driver it just wouldn't be a very good experience but perhaps i'm getting a little bit ahead of myself so let's start with the design originally i wrote the s5 design was its worst aged aspect but i removed that because i actually don't think it's true yes plastic is pretty hard to swallow

And the thick bezels on the top and bottom are not terribly appealing but the trade-off for easily replaceable batteries and microsd card is just about worth it and believe it or not i actually like this design the plastic feels good in the hand being grippy and comfortable to hold the camera bump is extremely minimal i mean compare that to the note 20 ultra my least favorite part of the design isn't the plastic but the samsung logo on the front of the display under the speaker i don't know why samsung used to do this

I've always found it to be a bit of an eyesore myself but it does come down to personal preference and they have gotten rid of it as the bezels have slimmed down the phone is very light and the dimpled plastic on the back is held in place by a frame that looks metallic but it isn't it's plastic yeah you could be excused for being fooled i actually was at first but after you feel it in the hand it's pretty clear on the top of the phone you've got that headphone jack and on the bottom you'll notice something

That you may never have seen on any phone before and that's a charging port cover i didn't even know this was ever a thing it's here for water resistance reasons and it's a clever workaround to avoid getting water in there before tech can prove to the point that this wasn't needed the jack doesn't need a cover as it is coated internally to keep the water out after charging your phone with micro usb you get a pop-up reminding you to put the cover back on which is kind of annoying if anything i mean how often are you going to keep it off it just

Kind of hangs there and would be uncomfortable to use looking at the front of the phone we have a 5.1 inch amoled display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920. the screen is still pretty good looking thanks the vibrant oled panel an impressive pixel density of 432 pixels per inch the phone actually feels a bit small compared to phones we have nowadays but at the time the galaxy line was known for headlining the phablet trend of course the notes were even bigger but these phones were still quite large compared to the

Phones most people were upgrading from the screen is very very good and while it does have that over saturated look samsung's used to be very famous for there's no question it really pops when you turn it on the colors are very in your face that's not a bad thing here and i think this display is comparable somewhat at least to what we have today i do know a lot of older samsung's in general do have burn-in now this is just an issue with oled tech and if you left your phone on a singular image for too long it does tend to burn into the

Display if for some reason you do get this phone nowadays try to avoid one with burn-in because it can be a bit of an annoyance luckily as far as i can tell my phone here doesn't seem to have it the home button contains the fingerprint sensor and it's one of the most annoying i've ever had the displeasure of using the phone came out in the early days of smartphone biometrics so it's difficult to fault it completely but it can be extremely finicky to use as you have to swipe your finger slowly over the home button and it never seems to work with

The s6 all you had to do was just press the home button that was much better the next year but this one is just awful and it feels like samsung just crammed it in here because iphones had it one thing this phone has that iphone's never had is a heart rate monitor on the back this is cool and fairly simple to use through the samsung health app which actually offers a whole plethora of other health tracking features but right above that heart rate monitor is the camera and so let's talk about it there's a single lens on the back that

Boasts 16 megapixels which is a higher count than many current phone cameras including the iphone 11 pro max now a higher megapixel account doesn't mean better pictures but they will be larger resolution pictures are okay not that good considering what we have now but about what i'd expect from a 2014 smartphone i won't go in too in depth here you can see for yourself it could do the job if you needed it too but i'd quickly be reaching for a better camera when possible the phone actually

Films video in 4k which is very impressive for 2014. although the video itself is fairly mediocre still the resolution is impressive and that's worth noting the selfie camera on the front of the phone has 2 megapixels and wow this is bad 2014 smartphones and bad selfies were definitely the norm but considering the back has 16 megapixels i wish they had improved it so the camera it's typical of the era samsung generally in the past wasn't the best when it came to smartphone photography

And while i do think they've gotten quite a bit better in recent years the s5 hasn't aged the best in this department when it comes to the hardware of the s5 there's no question that it was impressive back in early 2014 we have a snapdragon 801 processor and 2 gigabytes of ram good enough to get the s5 from android 4 kitkat to android 6 marshmallow and no further as said before the amount of software support samsung's have historically gotten

Is pretty darn pathetic and unfortunately the s5 is no exception despite hardware that should have been more capable of going further as far as software goes marshmallow isn't too too different from newer android but gosh darn if i hate this skin with the touchwiz ui samsung has put on it everything feels so unintuitive the settings app for example look at this this is awful you need to scroll through and every setting has an individual circular icon and it goes on forever there's so darn many and then you tap one and you have a ton more confusing

Settings to scroll through if you don't somewhat know what you're doing it'd be impossible to navigate there is something that piqued my interest in the easy mode i switched over and quickly realized it wasn't for me icons are bigger there's no dock and you have contacts on the far left screen honestly i actually like this a lot i know i said it wasn't for me but it's not for advanced users but i imagine people unfamiliar with smartphones such as grandparents and don't forget this came out in 2014 so many people hadn't even had a smartphone

Yet this would have been useful it's a fairly simple easy way to use your phone but the setting is somewhat hidden and if i had to guess many never even knew it existed the software actually runs okay all things considered not a ton of slowdowns and i think that's just mainly because this phone is a little bit overpowered for marshmallow but hey i won't complain about lack of slowdown when you think of double tapping the home button you probably think of a view of all your apps open

Not here instead that brings up as voice samsung's very early version of a google assistant siri like ai assistant and it might be okay if it weren't for the fact that google assistant is already there when you hold down the home button so if you double tap the home button you get samsung assistant if you hold it down you get google assistant why on earth are these both included at the same time this is even worse than bixby because at least bixby is kind of useful compared to this at least i don't know

Of course you don't need multitasking to open with a double tap the home button because we have buttons beside the home button now as ugly as i find these they're very practical and it means you don't need to have a navigation bar above the bottom bezel like you saw on many other androids of the era for example look at the first pixel it's got this giant bottom bezel with absolutely nothing on it and then right above it is the home bar so why not just put the home button on that big giant bezel anyways the back button is a

Feature android users have always raved about and it's here in all its regressive glory regressive in that it moves you backwards on your phone not that it's a bad thing i actually do like having it the buttons light up when you use them and then slowly fade so that they're just visible without being too obvious on the google play store you can still download the majority of apps and for any that you can't you should be able to find an older apk if you look online so this phone is usable today it's not

The fastest and if you try to do anything somewhat modern you can definitely feel the slowdown you're not gonna be playing fortnite on this thing two gigabytes of ram is a little bit tough to deal with but on marshmallow it is more than enough all in all i've been pretty impressed with the samsung galaxy s5 it certainly is the end of an era the final plastic galaxy s phone and considered by many to be one of the best for the easy customizability an impressive feature set nearly seven years later it doesn't

Hold up to the greatest anymore but no one would expect it to it served its purpose for the time and no one should really be using this phone anymore but if you had to you could and that in it of itself is an accomplishment this phone will forever be the final representation of the plastic samsung era or it would be if it wasn't for the thousand dollar galaxy note 20. yeah that phone has a plastic back for some reason i won't talk much about it but i do find it pretty darn ridiculous

A thousand dollar phone has a plastic back that is insane i don't care if there are benefits to it it doesn't fit on a thousand dollar phone sorry not anymore a cheap or even mid-tier phone to cut costs sure plastic works fine on that the pixel 4a for example samsung calls the back glastic but putting makeup on a pig doesn't make it any less of a pig and i think that old saying applies here but that's just my opinion of course i won't rant too much about it this video is supposed to be about the s5

And actually speaking of that i'm pretty much done here i feel like as a kid i didn't give this phone enough credit i didn't take it very seriously because it was just plastic but there's a lot of benefits that come with that and i think that's something that a lot of people probably would have preferred to the premium nature of newer samsung phones being able to so easily just remove the back i mean look at this there you go done remove the back you swap the battery you could carry multiple batteries on your person and just swap through them if you really

Needed to i'm not saying phones should be like this anymore and of course some cheaper phones are like this but i do understand people that enjoyed this feature set and so as much as plastic makes me cringe i'm finally willing to give the s5 a pass for it because it's a pretty decent phone but what do you think of the galaxy s5 and more specifically the old plastic backing with the dimples on it do you miss it let me know in the comments down below

If you found this video interesting maybe hit that like button and consider subscribing for more content just like this you can follow me over on twitter and instagram at 91 underscore tech if you'd like to for some reason and we also have a discord channel you should come check it out link in the description thank you so much for watching i'm josh from 91 tech and i will see you all next time

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