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Samsung Galaxy S5 Problems and How to Fix Them

Andrew Williams

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Problems and How to Fix Them

What's wrong with the Galaxy S5?

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is almost certain to be one of the best, most popular phones of the year. However, every device has little gremlins, or missing features that you wish were included.

Here are the things we think are the Galaxy S5’s most serious issues. We’ll also update this article with any known faults that crop up upon full release, so check back to see if there are any reported problems post-launch.

Its waterproofing does not extend to the sea Dot

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the first S-series flagship to have a water resistant body - like other phones of this class, it uses rubber-sealed ports to keep moisture out.

However, the phone is not certified to withstand being dunked in salt water. It’s likely down to salt water accelerating the deterioration of the rubber seals that make the phone water resistant in the first place.

That rules out being able to take photos in the sea with the phone if you want to stay within Samsung’s guidelines.

How to fix it – Your Samsung Galaxy S5 probably won’t die if you take it in the sea. It’s not as if sea water particles are smaller, and able to break through the phone’s seals. However, do be careful and try wash the phone in clean, fresh water immediately after use. And don't take it in the sea unless you have to. The pics will probably look rubbish anyway, unless you're on Hawaii.

TouchWiz may make it the slowest 2014 flagship Dot

Another year, another set of mobile phone CPUs arrives and the Galaxy S5 will be by far the most powerful S-series phone yet.

However, if its TouchWiz software hasn’t made some pretty serious changes, it may well be the slowest of the 2014 flagships - the others being the HTC One M8 and Xperia Z2. The bloat and lack of optimisation of Samsung’s custom Android interface often slows its phones down. A vanilla Android version of the Galaxy S5 would almost undoubtedly be a lot snappier.

It becomes a problem if the Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8 end up being noticeably faster than the Galaxy S5 – such a thing is possible.

How to fix it - With a bit of tech know-how you can root your phone and install a vanilla version of the Android OS on the Galaxy S5 – or at least you will be able to once the right ROM is released online. Alternatively, you can download custom launcher apps, which just bung a different interface layer on top of Android. There’s no rooting involved with this solution, and they can improve the response times of a phone considerably.

Its camera may cause production issues Dot

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a brand new camera that’s interesting in a great many respects. However, it is reportedly causing some production issues ahead of the phone’s launch.

Apparently there are issues fitting the new 6-element lens system in next to the 16-megapixel sensor module without causing damage - there's more hardware to squeeze in and no more space to play with. Samsung has said that these rumours are groundless, but it seems perfectly possible that a new-design camera could cause these sorts of practical issues.

How to fix it – No fix is needed here. We just have to hope that the rumours are, as Samsung says, basically fabricated.

Heavy software likely to delay Android updates Dot

Android fans are ravenous for updates in our experience. However, the heavily involved TouchWiz interface is likely to delay the release of updates, just as it has in previous Samsung phones.

So why mention it now? It seems like more manufacturers are starting to take measures to try and speed-up the update process. Motorola phones like the Moto X are almost stock Android to start with, while HTC Sense 6 takes a modular approach to things like the gallery and camera app that means the company needs to make fewer tweaks in order to get a new version of Android working.

To our knowledge, the latest version of TouchWiz doesn’t make any similar moves.

Android

How to fix it – The techier among you can root your phone in order to be able to install ‘homebrew’ versions of the latest version of Android, but these are often a bit less stable than the official releases.

To get the quickest updates, you can wait for a Google Play edition – which runs vanilla Android (although these aren’t generally sold in the UK). Also, buy an unlocked, unbranded version, rather than one from a network, if you can. The latter doesn’t stop the update issue, but avoids having to wait a second time as the software goes through carrier approvals.

It’ll be technogically gazumped very soon

Dot

Aside from its intriguing camera technology, the Galaxy S5 doesn’t really offer many tech advances over the top phones of late 2013, such as the LG G2. It has a 1080p screen and a Snapdragon 801 processor that isn’t really light years ahead of the Snapdragon 800 common among the last wave of phones.

The issue here is that we’re going to see some more serious spec advances within the next nine months. 2K-resolution screens will be doing the rounds before too long and the Snapdragon 805 chip will be seen in phones soon. It offers a greater power upgrade than the Snapdragon 801.

If you want to know more read: Snapdragon 805 vs 801 vs 800 - Qualcomm's processors explained

How to fix it – Our advice is not to worry about this one. The Samsung Galaxy S5 doesn’t need more pixels or more power. The only concern is one with a different angle – that when 2K-resolution screens arrive, 1080p ones will sink down to the mid-range level. And the Galaxy S5 certainly doesn't sell at a mid-range price at present.

Does a plastic phone still cut it for £550?

Dot

This one is a personal point, something that many of you may not be bothered by at all. However, having used its key 2014 rivals, the Samsung Galaxy S5 does feel a bit cheap. The HTC One M8 is metal, and the glass rear of the Xperia Z2 too feels much snazzier than the S5’s plastic back.

The look is also something that may count against the S5. A strange-looking dotted back doesn’t quite fit with a phone that costs as much as this one.

How to fix it – Put a phone in a case and it’s the finish of the case that determines the feel of phone, not the mobile itself. Simple.

Next, read our list of five reasons not to buy the Galaxy S5

MattB

April 6, 2014, 8:51 pm

I want my GPE.....

Peggy Aufdengarten Simpson

April 12, 2014, 4:52 am

I purchased a new phone Samsung Galaxy 5S and the button that you push to take pictures on the camera is red and will not take a picture. What is wrong?

Geoff Richards

April 13, 2014, 5:09 pm

It sounds like you are in Video Mode rather than Photo Mode. That's my best guess

Maria

April 15, 2014, 3:31 pm

My new S5 freezes when I try to view my stored pictures and the back of the phone gets very hot, they have switched 3 phones that were doing the same when the dealer at Costco tried to start it up. Could it be a setting issue that they don't know about?
~Regards

Yuliya

April 16, 2014, 6:02 pm

Galaxy S5 16 mgp camera is great until it stops working after everything is synced, all the cool apps installed and ready for use. Today, it snowed again and I wanted to take a picture. I clicked on camera icon, a Warning window appeared with error message "Camera failed". As advised on most forums, i cleaned out cache and data info in the camera info settings, after which I restarted the phone. Now, when I click on the same camera icon, I get two window error messages but now on top of each other saying: Storage location window and om top Warning "camera failed". Now what?

Andi

April 17, 2014, 2:13 pm

One MAJOR problem I am having (and it very well could be the app) is Spotify. I pay premium for this app and it will not load AT ALL. Also, I have experienced a couple "reboots" already and I have had my phone for 24 hours. This is alarming to me and hopefully the developers will begin to update their apps to the new phone. Grrrrr!

Jemmila

April 20, 2014, 10:32 pm

The same thing happens to me. I love samsung but they have too many problems with their new phones, I think they should find a solution to the problems or they will be losing many costumers.

Dennis Maples

April 22, 2014, 12:51 pm

My USB port cover keeps popping open!! Won't evenly stay latched!
Also when opening the camera from the lock screen the screen will go black and do nothing!
Bad bad bad lag. Honestly it's a deal breaker for me. I HAVE to keep it because my iPhone 5S screen hurts my eyes....
Can't wait for Apple to release a larger Iphone!!

Deb Earp M

April 28, 2014, 11:50 pm

I am not able to Zoom my camera :/ it says can't in this mode, I have changed modes and still can't
.. anyone know how to fix this?

Jan

April 29, 2014, 7:18 pm

I cant recieve calls off anyone who is on the EE network, I am on 3. Everyone else has no problems????

Not_as_Gullible_as_they_want

April 30, 2014, 8:29 am

Previously had several Moto Droid4's
and several other phones such as Nokia Etc... and never had a problem
placing calls through Bluetooth... However just replaced two Moto
Droid4's with the Galaxy S5 and instantly discovered a problem...
cannot initiate a handsfree call without manually unlocking the phone.
this poses several problems. I work in an environment that is hazardous
to phones (Have broken MANY screens) so I leave my phone either on my
desk or on a nearby shelf... If I decide to place a call, I press my
Bluetooth headset button, but nothing happens until I physically
retrieve my phone and unlock it manually. Thus making the Handsfree
feature worthless. Extremely inconvenient at best.

The more dangerous aspect of this problem is when traveling.... Placing a
call requires you to again physically pick up the phone and unlock
it... I first try using the fingerprint reader but that thing is even
more worthless.... after swiping my finger until reaching the maximum
number of tries, it then prompts you to enter the unlock code on the
keypad.... this problem is repeated for every subsequent call. creating
a dangerous situation that is exactly the same as texting while
driving.

Called Samsung two weeks ago and was told that this was a known issue
and it would be corrected in a few weeks.... I called them back today to
ask about the status of the update and was told that this was now an
"unknown problem". Now their solution is "Don't lock your
phone"...!!!! Seriously? the only way to use the phone handsfree is
to defeat the lock?

The whole purpose of the lock is to secure your files and data... and their only suggestion is to disable the lock?

I understand that there are possibly some third party apps to circumnavigate the lock but as with all third party apps... you can become vulnerable to hacks and other security issues using them.

Has anyone else been given the runaround concerning this?

I have 2 of these S5's and intended to purchase 10 more for the rest of
the employees but I cannot allow data and sensitive information to be
exposed on an unlocked phone at any time

Gourangaman

May 6, 2014, 10:16 am

Anyone else find the digital compass is 180 degrees off. I have tried calibration. Some times its fine, then it randomly goes out. It's not a consistent out either. I thought it was items interfering in an area, would be back in the same place and it worked. It's frustrating.

Ange Richards

May 7, 2014, 10:44 am

my phone will not switch on

Mike 159

May 8, 2014, 3:33 pm

On April 14th, I bought the S5 from Phones 4 U on an EE contract moving over from my old Galaxy S2 which had been on Orange. I am still trying to get EE to clear up a problem with communication with some other phones, especially my wife's which is also a Samsung on Orange pay as you go. I have been told by an EE level 2 technician that the problem was that the tempory number given to my new phone to allow my own number to port across was not then deleted and so therer are 2 numbers in my new account and some calls are going to the tempory number and thus not connecting with my phone. Having told me that, he said he could fix it and would ring me back. That was several days age and he hasn't done either thing. I have been unable to make contact since. So, apart from EE's rubbish service & lack of consideration, does anyone have any ideas as to my problem & a solution?

Laura Russo

May 27, 2014, 8:53 pm

Anyone else have the flap which covers the charger plug in break off?? I also had to return my first s5 because it had a terrible echo. this phone is very dissapointing.

Steve

June 1, 2014, 2:42 pm

I have the solution, it won't receive calls when you are on WIFI, turn it off and you shall receive!
This is a batch of phones that are faulty from production that Samsung UK know about yet leave the customer frustrated and let the 28day warranty run out. ( tweet attached ) They now want me to send it off for 7 - 14 days for repair instead of exchange under warranty.
Not good enough Samsung. Crooks.

Steve

June 1, 2014, 3:26 pm

Try turning your WIFI off to receive a call might work, then try with it on... faulty S5

lm

June 5, 2014, 12:49 pm

Anyone have their phone switching off?? I find just by placing it down it switches off

toboev

June 13, 2014, 7:27 pm

The sea water thing - I think this is more to do with the fact that IP water resistance ratings apply only to fresh water, it is written in the standard. So if you use an IP rating then you are only talking about fresh water, by definition. Maybe the phone will stand up to sea water as well, but an IP rating is silent on that issue.

Randall Terry

August 8, 2014, 12:36 pm

I have had a S5 since June. I am going to be on my 3rd one I am having a
problem of the phone locking up and turning its self off while on the
charger.

I have a S3 and wish I had never upgraded

Juraj Niggqa

August 18, 2014, 2:57 pm

I have a problem, the screen on my Samsung galaxy s5 moves, I think it's a software error, you help someone?

Christine M Sowder Schnee

August 27, 2014, 12:49 am

I use a pattern on the home screen of my Galaxy to keep people from just picking up my phone and using it. I recently switched over to the S5 and again I set up the security pattern on the home screen. Today as I was putting in my security pattern into my new Galaxy S5 I must have missed the right dots and I went to re-inter the code and my phone completely went dead, it reset and wiped everything I had on it completely off. it then shut its self off and then came back on as through it was new right out of the box.

dominguito quiom

December 18, 2014, 4:04 am

i have i problem of my home screen of my galaxy s 5 i set up the finger security code when i week up i see enter alternative password i can't open my phone .how can i reset to unlock the screen of my phone.please I need your help thanks

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