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I recently had the opportunity to test the fantastic Samsung Galaxy S5 using a demo unit from prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint’s 4G LTE mobile network where available and 3G otherwise. Here are several ways a Galaxy S5 Android smartphone would make you glad to own one.
- Huge, vibrant display. While iPhones seem stuck with around 4″ displays, Samsung and other brands regularly release phones with 5″ or even larger screens. The Galaxy S5 sports a gorgeous 5.1″ HD touchscreen display, yet its 5.6″ by 0.3″ by 2.9″ measurements and just over 5-ounce weight make it feel super thin and light. Games and YouTube videos look amazing on the Galaxy S5’s display, and its touchscreen has just the right feel and sensitivity for playing games like Angry Birds or Words With Friends.
- Zippy performance. The Galaxy S5’s 2.5 GHz quad-core processor with 2 GB RAM makes short work of installing and running apps, and it comes with plenty of storage space – 16 GB – with the ability to add a microSD card if you’d like. I recommend using free cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive for backing up your photos and videos and syncing them with your computer, if desired.
- Takes awesome photos and videos. The Galaxy S5 takes phenomenal photos with its 16 MP autofocus camera and exceptional HD videos as well. In addition, the device’s built-in editing tools let you add significant enhancements to your photos as well as extras such as frames, effects and cartoon graphics including bows, beards, stars, hearts, hats, crowns, funny glasses and animals. If you still tote around a digital camera to make sure you get great shots of life events, you’ll find your camera gathering dust once you start carrying a Galaxy S5 with you.
- Nice virtual keyboard. The phone’s generous display size means its onscreen keypad features sufficiently large keys for comfortable and accurate typing, plus its multi-function keys let you speed up your typing by holding in a letter key to get a number or symbol. Samsung’s popular S-Voice app also lets you dictate messages, Web searches and most common smartphone tasks using its outstanding voice recognition technology.
- Cool bundled apps. The S Health + Heart Rate Monitor app comes bundled on the Galaxy S5 – giving you the first-ever built-in heart rate sensor, which responds to your touch and can track your steps. It can also help you choose exercises and set fitness goals.
- IP67 Dust and Water Resistance. I’m not willing to drop the phone in water or take it through a dust storm, but its water and dust resistance may interest anyone who has previously dropped a phone in water. You might also like this feature if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors or in a dirty environment.
- Great battery life. Under moderate usage during my Galaxy S5 review period, the phone generally went two days between charges, and it didn’t go completely dead before I plugged it in. I initially found an app that was draining battery life in less than a day, but manually stopping that app from the app manager made this problem go away. If you notice battery life issues with any Android phone, check first to see if any apps may relentlessly update themselves with no ability to change that behavior.
I wrote my Samsung Galaxy S5 review after testing a demo unit from prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile, which charges $599.99 for the phone and as little as $35 a month for service that includes 300 voice minutes per month, unlimited texts and 2.5 GB of full speed data. You can also find the Galaxy S5 on contract with Verizon Wireless for $49.99 or with AT&T Wireless on contract for $79.99.