It's fast, but crazy cluttered and far from done – Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The AZTB review team is back with the newly released Samsung Galaxy S5. Samsung’s flagship device is always at the center of attention at this time of the year! Here is a breakdown of what we think.
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  • Great camera and great handset sound
  • Camera is great, its better than the Nexus 5 and there are major improvements compared to the Note 3 making it easier to get around the camera app
  • Although people had problems with the fingerprint scanner, we had it to work seamlessly and it was a great plus on the S5.
  • Love the design, textured back. It felt good on the hands but its a little too big for day to day usage.
  • Option for both a USB standard and micro-USB is a great plus.
  • Screen is nice and bright even when out in the sun.
  • Great battery life, even with decent usage the S5 can go for two days without charging.
  • Performance on the phone was fast for loading games, playing games and loading videos. No signs of lag.
  • Waterproof feature is a great feature.


  • Pain to remove the cord cover to charge the phone but its made for the waterproof feature
  • The very first impression of the Galaxy S5 is that the device is crazily cluttered. When we turned the phone on, there are apps and icons everywhere.
  • Touchwiz interface is crazily bloated
  • When you are simply looking for the settings from the notification grid, there are way too many things on the grid. Past Galaxy phones were cleaner and things were easier to find. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed with the new S5.
  • With the additional icons on the notification menu, notifications get pushed down when you get more than 3 notifications.
  • Homescreen starts off with every position taken, we had to spend the first 2 hours deleting stuff to customize the phone.
  • Fitness apps weren’t very well done
  • Overall first impression of the phone- “Its like going in to a hoarder’s room but then putting all of that on the phone”

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Would we recommend the Samsung Galaxy S5?
French aristocrat and pioneer aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said,  “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” One reviewer says, “A product is not done when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away. And the Galaxy S5 is far from done.”
Although there are many new features such as a built in heart/pulse rate monitor, fingerprint scanner and a waterproof build, we agree that the S5 did not wow us. As a flagship device for Samsung, we expected more from the S5. However, its a great upgrade if you are coming in from the old Galaxy S3 or the older android phones.
Mobile phone was provided by AT&T & Samsung for an independent review.
Pricing: The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available at AT&T for $199.99 down with a 2-year contract, plus activation fees.
Check with your carrier for pricing and contracts. AZTB is not endorsing a particular brand or carrier. This was an independent review for our readers.

1 thought on “It's fast, but crazy cluttered and far from done – Samsung Galaxy S5 review”

  1. I have a note 2 which I like. Touchwiz is cast to the side in favor of Apex.
    I am more than a bit surprised that a device that strives to be waterproof does not offer wireless charging which is a feature at all times, and certainly a wonderful design alternative to a cover on a waterproof device.

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