I’m always on the lookout for a phone that combines intuition and functionality. My phone is a tool for both business and for life. From taking photos at live music events for social media, recording interviews with artists, live tweeting events, and taking notes and even writing entire articles, my phone is an extension of the work I do. In an evolving technology market, I’ve had to adapt and open myself up to phones that not only have the capabilities I need to work, but that can go above and beyond and meet needs that I haven’t even anticipated yet. And that’s where the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in.
Let’s get the superficial out of the way first – the Samsung Galaxy S5 is one sexy phone. It’s sleek and slim with a metallic finish. The pearly white color is eye-catching, the leather like back cover a stylish upgrade to the old slippery plastic backing. The S5’s 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED display (measuring 1920 x 1080) is incredibly vibrant, the colors popping, making text easy to read and photos a joy to look at. Add to that a better than average battery life; I got about a day and a half out of the phone with fairly heavy use. Beyond that, the amazing Android platform and the S5 stands out from the crowd from the onset.
Getting my Samsung S5 set up was as easy as logging into my Gmail account. My contacts, emails, calendar all loaded up in a flash, making me work- and life-ready minutes after booting up the phone. Speaking of booting up, that’s another area the S5 shines – it was a mere few seconds wait from powering on to full usability. I spent a bit of time getting to know my S5 and found it very easy to navigate between emails, texts, browsing and built in applications. Hitting the home button brought back to the main screen, and the button to the left allowed me to see whatever apps I had open at any given time, and just a quick swipe to the left or right allowed me close the apps so my phone wasn’t dragged down with unused apps working in the background.
Once my tour of the S5 was over, I set to personalizing it. I headed to the Android Play Store to download all the apps I would need to function in everyday life. Searching, finding, downloading and using all took just a few minutes as well. Every app I could ever want was at my fingertips and worked seamlessly on my new device. I also loved that my Gmail was as functional on my phone as it was on my computer. I could easily search my inbox, file emails away in my plethora of folders and find messages I’d already filed away. I could also move seamlessly between Gchats on my computer and continue conversations on my phone when I needed to step away. Also cool? If you want to send a photo or file from your phone to a Gchat contact while chatting on your computer, you can! It will just pop up in your window once the task is done.
I soon found that the S5 integrated perfectly into my day to day activities. The voice command function was both useful and entertaining. By saying “Ok Google” I could search for a restaurant or store phone number, dictate a text message to a friend or even ask how the weather was going to be at my press trip destination. The voice recognition was accurate the majority of the time, and easily reset when it misheard me. The map application was also a handy tool. My sense of direction is notoriously bad, so having a handheld tour guide to direct me to the places I needed to go is a necessity. The map function is easy to use, accurate and nimble enough to quickly adapt to route changes while still getting you where you need to go, no matter how you’re getting there (by foot, transit or car).
But perhaps the biggest win on the Galaxy S5 is its 16 Megapixel camera. I spend a lot of time in dark restaurants, dark bars and dark music venues, so a cellphone camera that performs in low light situations is my mobile holy grail. Second only to the Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 Megapixel camera in my experience, I was thrilled with how well the Samsung’s camera worked. From crisp close up pictures of cocktails and dishes for foodie and boozy events, great selfies with its fantastic front camera and magnificent photos of moving musicians, even from a great distance, the Samsung S5 camera suited every photo prerequisite I have for my work and life.
Aside from some minor annoyances with Samsung’s autocorrect, the imposition of the new and highly irritating Facebook Messenger app (something you’ll deal with on any newer phone), I had no complaints about the S5. If you’re looking for a phone that’s fun, functional and fabulous, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Check out photos of the phone and photos taken by the phone below:
*all photos by Nadia Elkharadly