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Samsung Galaxy S5: Benchmarks and Performance

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Updated:

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

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Samsung Galaxy S5: Performance and Hardware

At launch the Samsung Galaxy S5 is among the most powerful phones ever made. It uses the Snapdragon 801 processor, which is the upgraded version of the Snapdragon 800 chipset we saw in top-end phones of late 2013 like the LG G2.

The Galaxy S5's particular iteration is a 2.5GHz quad-core model, clocked 200MHz faster than the Snapdragon 801 version we'll see in the UK versions of the Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8. As king of the Android castle, it's no great surprise that Samsung has done its best to keep onto its title with this bit of tech Top Trump-ery.

In practice this won't make a great deal of difference, though, and the Sony Xperia Z2 has another hardware advantage anyway. The Z2 has 3GB of RAM, the Galaxy S5 2GB. After Samsung plugged 3GB into the Galaxy Note 3, this was a little surprising. But we imagine it was a result of fairly intensive research into the real-world benefits versus the additional hardware cost. Well, hopefully.

Galaxy S5 photo 29

After seeing relatively good day-to-day performance – for a TouchWiz phone – we gave the Galaxy S5 some more objective tests. In this time of benchmark duping by just about every phone-maker out there, exact benchmark results should be viewed with slight scpeticism. But they can tell us whether a phone is performing as it should.

In 3DMark with the Unlimited Ice Storm test, the Galaxy S5 scores 18,600. That's a little below the HTC One M8's score, but with HTC already having admitted to fiddling benchmarks with the phone, we're loath to come to any damning conclusions with this data.

In Geekbench 3, the phone scores 2,908 points. This is slightly higher than the HTC One M8's score (2,840). This makes sense as it is a largely CPU-based benchmark, and the Galaxy S5 is after all 200MHz faster than the UK version of the M8.

If we were to do down the Galaxy S5's abilities, it would only be because a more impressive CPU upgrade is already around the corner. Snapdragon 801 is a stop-gap upgrade between Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 805, due later in 2014.

For more, read our Snapdragon 805 vs 801 vs 800 comparison

Snapdragon 801

The Snapdragon 801 is merely a supercharged 800. It has the same battery efficiency techniques and the same core components, but they are clocked a bit higher. As such, the 2014 flagships aren't really much more powerful than the LG G2, which currently sells for a good £150-250 less. But then hardly any normal people know that phone exists, it seems, though it's relative the Nexus 5 is wildely popular.

For a few more real-world tests, we tried the Galaxy S5 out with some top-end games. Real Racing 3 shows the same minor frame rate drops we saw with the HTC One M8, seemingly confirming it's down to lacking optimisation on EA's part. Using a 'top-end' phone also makes us naturally keen-eyed for these sorts of things – the game still runs extremely well.

A few other games we tried include Riptide 2 and Dead Trigger 2. The latter is a particularly good way to show off powerful phone hardware, with graphical elements like proper real-time shadows, complex water effects and reflections and real-time lighting effects. The Galaxy S5 handles it with relative ease.

It's the screen – as much as the powerful processor – that makes the Galaxy S5 such a great gaming phone, though. The deep blacks, rich colours and large expanse of screen space make the phone hard to beat.

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barondebxl

April 8, 2014, 7:36 am

Its a keeper.

Guest

April 8, 2014, 8:50 am

According to PA, loudspeaker of S5 is louder than HTC One(M8) hmm...

andyvan

April 8, 2014, 8:56 am

Louder doesn't necessarily mean better. You've also got to consider location and actual quality. S5 loses on both points.

Guest

April 8, 2014, 10:04 am

Location of speakers, your review of One(M8) stated that "As your thumbs move directly over the drivers, your digits' movements do (slightly) alter the tonality of the sound" Indeed I found this noticeably annoying whilst playing a game and etc.

It seems like the location has cons and pros, don't you think? Of course you are entitled your opinion, but I'm just saying people don't think the location of speaker as an outright winning factor.

andyvan

April 8, 2014, 10:27 am

I'm a different Andy (Yes, I appreciate the confusion), and yes you have a point. We still think the HTC's are better overall, though.

mus1c

April 8, 2014, 2:20 pm

Im a big fan of Samsung products but why oh why would they have a protruding camera lens which detracts from the look/ feel.

RonRoyce

April 8, 2014, 6:35 pm

I won't be buying it for one reason. It's a Samsung.

Senad

April 8, 2014, 7:52 pm

Water resistant :)

looks really Nice :)

iFrank

April 8, 2014, 10:26 pm

I was able to hold one in a Voda shop today.
So like the Note 3 I recently did a deal on but more pocketable.
I wish I'd waited. Sighs.

PS, some sites claim it uses a nano sim?

godafoss

April 9, 2014, 6:29 am

And the reason I won't buy it: Knox!

Tim Sutton

April 11, 2014, 10:53 am

I held one of these yesterday.

It actually looks worse than the S4.Those bezels are HUGE.

It feels nasty and cheap.

The interface design is awful. You've got Touchwiz, Tizen and Android all looking and handling differently and all fighting for space on one handset. There are FOUR texting apps and THREE music players. The settings page is SIX SCREENS long. It's insanely cluttered and impossible to enjoy.

I can't see how anyone would look at this handset and choose it over even an S4. Physically the S4 is the better looking of the two (they're both ugly) and the S4s software isn't quite so schizophrenic.

I'm.. how is this a 9/10 handset guys? How? It's actually less good than the phone it's replacing.

Everlast

April 11, 2014, 3:58 pm

Totally agree, This is a piece of overpriced plastic!

And how did they decide the price is £499, I can only see offers for £569?

Andrew_TR

April 11, 2014, 4:28 pm

I have some of the same criticisms. I think the HTC One M8 is a much 'nicer' phone, and I rate the Sense software more highly than TouchWiz.

However, the excellent screen quality and very good camera quality won us round.

The display in particular is a lot better this time around. It surprised me quite how good it is in various conditions - I've always been an LCD rather than OLED fan in phones (plasma in TVs, natch). But the S5 has won be around.

The camera too is a big improvement in certain conditions. I've heard some criticisms of the new 'faux stabilisation' feature. However, the way it is effectively built into the Auto mode means it'll result in better pictures for a whole load of people.

For me, though, the screen is the biggest winner here. And SOME of the S5's bad bits can be patched away with customisations either supplied directly by Samsung or Android.

AEdouard

April 11, 2014, 5:29 pm

The comment about the display being so much better than the one in the M8 is a bit strange, as Samsung's displays still have obvious issues : lower brightness than LCD and fuzziness due to the pentile arrangement. It really is a matter of preference. I sense a bit of ''fanboyism'' here. Shouldn't happen in a professional review.

Everlast

April 11, 2014, 6:09 pm

I can smell a flop from Samsung's top model this time. Why Samsung decided they can have the highest priced flagship phone while they are making it out of plastic? In the UK it is £569 SIM free, which is more than the Sony Z2 £549, the HTC One M8 £529 and the iPhone 5S £549!
It's not surprising they announced a drop in profits.

toboev

April 11, 2014, 10:57 pm

What is wrong with 'plastic'? What better material is there? Robust. Light weight. Impact absorbing. RF-transparent. Engineers to fine tolerances. I can't readily think of another material which fits the purpose so well. Quality is fitness for purpose, not bling.

toboev

April 11, 2014, 11:00 pm

Sheesh - they missed that in the review, it's a Samsung?

toboev

April 11, 2014, 11:07 pm

"Samsung's displays still have obvious issues.."
So why even bother reading a review - you already know that all Samsung displays are the same hence this one is necessarily the same as its predecessors.

Everlast

April 11, 2014, 11:55 pm

Plastic is unpleasant to the touch, gets static charge, lacks reasuring weight, flexes, creaks, poor aesthetics.
I agree it has many great uses, but not in a TOP OF THE LINE product. Don't forget you are buying the most expensive smart phone out there and what you get a rubish bin plastic shell.

An Droid

April 12, 2014, 2:19 am

I actually have a S5, so my comments are based on interaction with the phone and not hearsay.
The good:
- a really amazing screen, and rated the best by everyone who has tested it. It really IS that good
- a huge improvement in the camera
- scaled down TW (works and looks better)
- dimpled soft touch back cover is a pleasure to hold
- ultra power saving mode (I travel a lot, and often used to run out of juice after a long day of normal use)
- heart rate monitor and S-Health (I had a 3rd party HR monitor on my S3 as I do exercise regularly)
- it's water resistant
- lightning fast download (10% faster than S3 over same wi-fi

The bad:
- the square shape (I preferred the more curvy shape of my S3
- the chrome look plastic surround ( satin fining on S3 was classier)

toboev

April 12, 2014, 8:16 am

Why do you feel the need to up-vote all your own comments?

Tim Sutton

April 12, 2014, 1:16 pm

I really like the M8 (except for the name) too.

I went in to have a look at the S5 because my work will have a look at it for employees and had my Lumia 1520 with me, and the difference between the two in terms of quality is, to my eyes, enormous.

The Lumia feels and looks like £500 worth of electronics, the S5 doesn't. And then you try and actually use the S5 and its WEIRD mish mash of three OS's and the gap just gets wider.

It really seems odd to me to give such high marks to a handset that is, as delivered by Samsung, mediocre both to look at and to use.

Everlast

April 12, 2014, 6:18 pm

Because the designers at Disqus decided posters should have this option and I am using it - as designed.

ttitr

April 13, 2014, 7:09 pm

i have a galaxy phone and i'm telling you apple is way better than his piece of crap i have right now

Chris

April 13, 2014, 7:49 pm

For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people hate on the samsung products because they are not some aluminum unibody design. Polycarbonate is rather durable, resistant to scratches and reduces the overall weight of the phone. The texturing of the polycarbonate is the only thing I have issue with (See S4).... smooth PC is a fingerprint magnet.

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