7 Ways to Speed Up Your Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 is a super-powerful phone. However, this only makes its day-to-day performance issues all the more annoying.
As with so many Samsung mobile devices, performance isn’t super-snappy all the time, especially if you have loaded the phone up with apps. Here are the best ways to try to patch up performance, if phone is just that bit too lumbering for your liking.
Tip #1: Restart or Reset Your Phone
Let’s get the most obvious one out-of-the-way first. If your phone is behaving erratically, try giving it a proper restart. These days, most of us never turn off our phones, and a proper shutdown is a good way to clear away some of the grime from in-between the phone’s cogs.
Hold down the power button and a pop-up will appear offering restart and power off options.
If this doesn’t work, and none of our other tips do the trick, you may want to factory reset the phone. If that doesn’t work, your phone is really in trouble.
To perform a factory reset, go to settings and tap the Backup and Reset option under the User and Backup tab. Down at the bottom you’ll find the Factory Data Reset option.
Tip #2: Limit Background Processes
You can manually restrict how many processes/apps run in the background of the Galaxy S5 system. Having too many of these is one of the main reasons Android phones slow down.
To limit the number of allowed processes, you have to enable the phone’s developer mode. This offers extra settings normal folk aren’t given access to.
To enable developer mode, go to Settings and tap About Phone in the System tab. Then tap the Build Number entry seven times.
This unlocks a Developer options submenu in the System settings tab. Enter this submenu and right down the bottom is an option to limit background processes. You can limit this to zero processes if you really want optimum S5 performance. It should also improve battery life.
Tip #3: Turn off Battery Saver Mode
The Battery Saver mode of the Galaxy S5 is the best way to improve the phone’s stamina. It’s pretty great.
However, it also limits the processor speed, which may result in a slight drop in performance.
You can switch the power saver mode on and off from the notifications bar, by tapping the ‘more icons’ button at the far top-right of the screen. Or you can do it from within the Power Saving part of the Settings menu, which is relatively near the top of Settings.
Alternatively, you can simply get rid of the performance restriction part of power saving. Tap on the Power Saving Mode’s settings entry and you’ll be given options to toggle background data, performance capping and greyscale mode.
Tip #4: Try the ART runtime system
One of the lesser-known performance tweaks in Android 4.4 is switching between the DALVIK and ART runtime systems.
As standard, Android uses the DALVIK runtime system, but you can switch to ART if you enable developer mode, as explained in the ‘limit background processes’ tip above. You’ll find the runtime switch option in the Developer options part of Settings.
What’s the difference between ART and DALVIK? ART pre-empts your movements, doing some of the processing work for actions before you’ve even made them. It should give you slightly better performance than DALVIK.
It’s in an experimental stage, but is likely to become the way future Android releases work.
Tip #5: Turn Off Animations
A third developer options tweak is turning off the transition animations between menus. This is really about altering you perception of the Galaxy S5’s performance, rather than its actual performance.
But, hey, it might do the trick for you.
In the Developer Options menu you’ll see options for Window animation scale, Transition Animation Scale and Animation Duration Scale. These control the transitions between screens, and you can fiddle with how long they take, and if they are there at all.
Getting rid of transitions altogether makes the phone seem much more ‘instant’, but it also makes the interface seem much less smooth. It won’t be for everyone.
Tip #6: Try a Different Interface
The Galaxy S5’s performance issues are largely down to the TouchWiz software Samsung applies to all of (well, just about all of) its phones. You can’t get rid of TouchWiz entirely without hacking your phone, but you can use a different front end that might be more to your liking.
You can download a bunch of these from Google Play, and obvious choices include Facebook Home and Launcher Pro.
However, our favourite is not one you’ll find on Google Play – it’s the Nexus 5’s Google Experience interface. You’ll need to download this one from the net, but it’s worth trying. For more details, read our guide on how to get Google Experience for your Galaxy S5.
Tip #7: Free Up Some Memory
In our testing, the Galaxy S5’s performance only got irritatingly bad when we had eaten way just about all of the phone’s internal memory.
If your phone is sloth-like, check out how much free space your phone has left in Settings > Storage. One to watch out for is the Miscellaneous Files section in this menu. This is where you’ll find out any apps that are using up loads of storage for temp files or large, half-finished downloads. You can get rid of them from within this menu.
If you want to fully uninstall apps, you can either press down on the app and drag it up to the uninstall bin at the top of the screen, or do so in the Application Manager in Settings.
Next, read our Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5S comparison