What's so good about the Samsung Galaxy S5 anyway? We took it upon ourselves to take a close look at its features and tell you what we think...
It's finally here! The Samsung Galaxy S5 has arrived in the UK at last!
The arrival of a new flagship smartphone is always exciting, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is no exception. We've been tearing into all the new features with the fervour of a kid opening presents at Christmas. It's too early for us to pass judgement in a full review, but we can talk about some of the things that have impressed us.
Of course, we are a price comparison site, so if you found your way here hoping to compare the UK's various Samsung deals, here's where you need to go:
With that out of the way, here's what we love about the Samsung Galaxy S5 so far:
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is packing some seriously impressive specs. Take a look:
2. It's had some work done
Sorry to be shallow, but looks do matter - at least when it comes to phones. For years, opinion in the broadbandchoices office has been divided about the Samsung Galaxy range's design. Half of love the robust, glossy plastic and half think it looks a bit cheap compared to rivals, while half don't really have an opinion and half decry my lack of basic maths skills.
Regardless, there's considerably less disagreement about the S5. The dimpled casing of the Galaxy S5 has met with approval by the majority of people in the office. It's the best-looking Samsung Galaxy phone so far, and more importantly, it feels nicer to hold.
3. The camera is superb
The 16 megapixel (MP) snapper on the Galaxy S5 may not be up to the standard of the Galaxy K Zoom's, it's undoubtedly the best Samsung's put on its flagship, taking images of excellent colour and clarity.
But more importantly, Samsung has simplified how you use it. The camera on the Galaxy S4 was also strong, but it presented you with so many options you'd almost need an advanced degree in photography from the University of Phoneology to get the most out of using it.
The new Galaxy S5 camera app presents different photo options in a much more straightforward way, and while experienced photographers will still get the most out of all the options, it's much easier for the less experienced of us to start experimenting with our pictures.
4. The fingerprint reader gets a thumbs up
I'll be honest - when I heard about the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S5, my natural reaction was witheringly cynical. "It's a feature for the sake of having a new feature", I harrumphed. But now, I hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong.
The scanner works a little differently than the one on the iPhone 5S - you have to swipe the scanner on the home button, rather than hold your finger on it. It's an oddly satisfying motion, and it works often enough to be of practical value.
In fact, unlocking the phone with your digit begins to feel natural so quickly, you're caught unawares if you use a handset without the feature. I can tell you from personal experience, it can be more than a little awkward when someone sees you trying to unlock an old iPhone 4 by stroking it.
5. It's waterproof and dust resistant
Water damage is something we're always a little nervous about. Even among the broadbandchoices editorial staff, we can identify at least two devices that were damaged severely by nasty ol' H20.
One of us admits to dropping his Google Nexus 4 into a toilet multiple times - I've never worked up the courage to ask how this happened more than once - and I was once caught in a rainstorm so torrential, it drenched my phone beyond repair.
Suffice to say then, that the fact that the Galaxy S5 is waterproof is a cause for celebration. Anything that increases the survivability of a handset is a good thing in our book. Or toilet, as the case may be.
BONUS: It's great for health and fitness
Oh go on then. Just one more.
Older Galaxy S models were accused of being bloated by too many pre-installed apps. Samsung's clearly been listening as it's cut down the number of apps on the boxfresh Galaxy S5 - a very good thing in our opinion. One app that has survived, however, is S Health - Samsung's fitness app.
It works in conjunction with the Galaxy S5's new heart rate monitor, which can be found on the camera flash, to provide useful data about your lifestyle and fitness regime. That's assuming you have one - we don't, but we're thinking about using the Galaxy S5 to start one. Just as soon as we finish this cupcake…
What's the best way to get the Samsung Galaxy S5?
All said, we're quite impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S5. It's a distinct step forward from its predecessor, addressing a number of our concerns and adding some new genuinely useful new features like the fingerprint scanner.
If you're tempted to get a Galaxy S5, there are multiple ways to do so. You can get it from most networks, as well as most mobile retailers as part of a pay monthly contract. The downside of this approach is that you'll typically end up paying more than the cost of the handset over the length of the contract.
If you've got the cash for it, you can save money compared to a 24-month contract by getting the Galaxy S5 sim-free. This means a larger upfront outlay, but you'll save money in the long run - particularly if you find a good deal. You can compare some of the best here: