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 screen
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.
A larger camera image sensor
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.
A new, classier UI
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 body
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 scanner
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.
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 Speakers
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