Home / Opinions / 7 Features We Wish The Galaxy S5 Had

7 Features We Wish The Galaxy S5 Had

Andrew Williams


Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has been announced. And, in the usual Samsung fashion, it has just about every feature you can imagine.

However, it doesn't have everything. Here are some of the rumoured features that never came to be, and some of the things we really wanted to see in the Galaxy S5.

Watch our Galaxy S5 video

2K display or an LCD screenMissing features

For a long time, many believed the Galaxy S5 would have a 2K resolution display – meaning that there are 1.5x the number of horizontal and vertical pixels, and almost twice as many pixels in total.

Such a display would give a pixel density of 560ppi, much more than the Galaxy S4. However, it’s not a huge loss. A full HD 1080p resolution spread across 5.25-inches is enough to produce sharp images and text, especially as Samsung has made some improvements to the pixel structure to make the screen appear sharper than the Galaxy S4’s.

We also secretly wish Samsung had opted for an LCD screen. AMOLED is great, but there's something about the slightly eye-popping colours that rubs us up the wrong way. We're fussy like that.

Galaxy S5

A larger camera image sensorMissing features

Samsung is one of the few manufacturers whose camera technology still values megapixel count quite a lot. The Galaxy S5 has a 16-megapixel camera. But it doesn’t have a particularly large sensor.

A big sensor is what gives ‘proper’ cameras cleaner-looking, more detailed low-light photos than phones. And as the Galaxy S5 has to fit an awful lot of megapixels into a pretty small camera sensor, the effect is potentially even worse here.

We love the idea of the new hybrid AF system, but a larger sensor would have made us even happier.

Samsung Galaxy S5 versus 9

A new, classier UIMissing features

One of our constant criticisms of the Galaxy series of phones is that the interface is a bit too invasive. It tries to pack in all the features you could ever need, but as a result it isn’t streamlined and can slow down a phone significantly. It’s an interface that begins to slow down even the Galaxy S4 after a while.

Instead of paring back like HTC did, and like Android continues to do, the Galaxy S5 TouchWiz interface piles more features on. It’s handy in some respects, and means you don’t have to download a dozen apps as soon as you turn the phone on. But it’s not the route to the most efficient, easy to use phone.

The other side effect is there's still a significant amount of software bloat, enough that early estimations put the S5 ROM at around 6GB to 8GB. That's a lot.

A classier, metal bodyMissing features

After HTC was lauded by everyone in 2013 for making the HTC One we thought Samsung might strike back with a metal Galaxy S5. However, once again the phone steers clear of the shiny stuff.

It’s a plastic phone once more. Some people will groan, others won’t care. Every lead Galaxy phone to date has had a plastic body, and every one has been a massive success. Why should Samsung want to change things? We'll leave you to fight this one out, but if it's a choice between water resistance and a phone we like to look at and hold, we know which we'd choose. But that's just us.

A true Touch ID sensor-like fingerprint scannerMissing features

The Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner. However, it’s not quite as handy as the one on the iPhone 5S.

Rather than placing your finger on the sensor, which sits under the main select button, you have to run your finger along it. It’s much closer to the sensors you’ll find on many laptops. The mechanism is also comparable with the scanner on HTC One Max, but that one sat on the back. While we hope the front-loaded scanner of the Galaxy S5 will be handier, it’s still likely to be quite fiddly in daily use thanks to the sheer size of the phone.

Xenon flashMissing features

Samsung has improved the flash in the Galaxy S5. It now has an inbuilt reflector so that the flash’s light is more widely and evenly distributed around whatever scene you’re shooting.

However it’s not a Xenon, it’s still an LED. Incorporating an advanced reflector is a good way to offer a happy middle-ground between a normal LED flash and a Xenon – especially as Xenons are power-hungry – but the technology fundamentally isn’t quite as good.

Proper Stereo SpeakersMissing features

The best kinds of tablet and phone speakers are those that try to give you a bit of a stereo experience when the device is held in a certain way. However, like the other Galaxy phones, the Galaxy S5 offers a mono audio experience.

If you want the best sound from a phone, you’ll want to wait for the HTC One 2, which is expected to use BoomSound stereo speakers much like those of the original HTC One. We’ve not yet had a chance to assess the actual quality of the sound, though – hopefully Samsung will perform here.

Next, read a bit more about the HTC One 2


February 25, 2014, 7:15 pm

The Xperia Z2 seems to tick a lot of those boxes... IPS LCD screen, larger camera sensor, classier UI, classier glass/metal body, stereo speakers


February 25, 2014, 8:56 pm

"It’s a plastic phone once more. Some people will groan, others won’t care."
You betray some bias by denying the third option - some people (quite a lot going by sales figures) will applaud the decision to continue to use the most appropriate material for the purpose. Polycarbonate is RF signal friendly, resilient and light. Metal is none of those.

"Every lead Galaxy phone to date has had a plastic body, and every one has been a massive success."
"HTC was lauded by everyone in 2013 for making the [metal bodied] HTC One". It wasn't a massive success. Go figure.

mark choletti

February 25, 2014, 10:41 pm

C'mon, these smarties have peaked due to technology hitting a wall. 1080P is overkill for a small screened device. The game's coming to an end.


February 25, 2014, 10:47 pm

2K Display? Full HD is essentially 2K - 1920 + 80 = 2000!


February 26, 2014, 9:51 am

Fair points, though I think you're being a bit unfair on the HTC One. It wasn't a massive success in the same way as the S4, but then Samsung enjoys a great many advantages HTC doesn't, namely a huge marketing budget and (to be fair) the smarts to spend it wisely. HTC is paying for the years it messed up while Samsung made hay. HTC horribly mis-handled the Desire brand.


February 26, 2014, 12:15 pm

andyvan You said "The Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner. However, it’s not quite as handy as the one on the iPhone 5S." But that is nonsense. All the iphone finger scanner can do is unlock your phone (if you want to lock it in the first place) and bypass the apple-unnecessary requirement to verify each and every purchase made on YOUR phone in the itunes shop... The finger scanner on the S5 is way beyond that... enabling you to make purchases with third party solutions like PayPal... this is fantastic and shows up what is a massive applE failing, their control freakery and closed, proprietary solutions.


February 26, 2014, 12:20 pm

Just to clarify, I'm a different Andy -- confusing I know.

Third-party payments is a nice addition, I believe Andrew was pointing out it's not as easy to use. We'll see -- it's very early days yet.

It's totally necessary to verify purchases regularly, though, just ask anyone with kids. That's how the whole "my son spent £20,000 on game" thing kicked off.


February 26, 2014, 1:30 pm

I'm glad they didn't include a 2k display, at 5 inches even a 1080 display is overkill. All a 2k screen would do is eat up even more battery life......

George Washington✓

February 27, 2014, 8:24 pm

Doesn't need a larger sensor with ISOCELL technology! lol.... ISOCELL is like a Lytro camera in a smartphone. Until Sony gets this tech licensed from Samsung, the whole rest of the smartphone industry are doomed with their last gen sensors. But hey.... they just lost image sensor sales for Samsung's 400 Million smartphones to be sold this year! haha.... Got their own better sensors now. The features in GS5's ISOCELL Camera Sensor are Light Years.... ahead of any sensor maker out there today for smartphone cameras!

I can't wait till this Smarterphone comes out so you fools can find out what idiots you all are. I mean the sensor isn't even in the Home Button. The only reason you have to slide your finger over both the clear sensor under the screen glass and the home button, is make contact with the capacitive switch in the metal ring around the home button! haha....

This is Validity's prized clear transparent sensor that only they have. Authentec which Apple only bought, has poor yielding IC chip and sensors combined, all in one. They have yet to get the "Clear" Spoof-less type sensor technology thing working! lol

Samsung instituted a two step scan in GS5 for unlocking and PayPal Payments. You must slide your finger over the sensor under the screen glass and down over the capacitive metal ring switch, around the Home Button. It's so obvious that the sensor isn't in the Home Button anyway. Apple are the ones that will be using Home Button/metal ring switch, before they get a clear transparent sensor to put under the screen. But you won't be able to simply drag a swipe gesture up over home button, over the FP sensor onto the browser PayPal payment spot in your browser. Well until Apple finally gets what the CEO of Authentec promised in a clear transparent under screen glass sensor!

So now Samsung is the first to have 2 step slide scan (Apple's patent is for 2 step Touch scan) in conjunction with sliding over the capacitive switch in the ring around the home button. Their partnership with PayPal is a done deal.... they've been working on for over 2 yrs. Since they were first going to put a sensor in Galaxy S3!

Apple meanwhile only got a patent recently started to work on a deal with PayPal on theirs, while only recently getting a patent on what Samsung has been doing with their fingerprint sensor Touch Scan Door Locks for years. Yes Metal capacitive ring around a round touch sensor! ;-P ......Samsung after all has been in fingerprint sensors in Notebooks and battery operated Door Locks since 2002!!!

comments powered by Disqus