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Open Thread: New Galaxy S5 Owners, Share Your First Impressions

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Did you pick up the Samsung Galaxy S5 today? If so, we want to hear all about your initial thoughts.

How does the 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED display look? How does that plastic body feel in hand (those dimples tho)? How is the performance from the Snapdragon 801? Have you used the fingerprint scanner? What carrier did you go with? Taken any good pictures yet with the 16MP sensor? What is your favorite feature so far? 

Answer whatever you’d like to, but really, we just want to start up conversation around the device through the DL community. You are all the best in tech with great views and opinions. Let’s hear them.

Also, if you haven’t yet, check out our Galaxy S5 unboxing, plus tutorials of Toolbox and the fingerprint scanner.

  • Dirk Antoine

    Am I the only one that hates this S5? Once again I bought into the hype once again im extremely disappointed! Do I have a bad phone? AGAIN? I mean when I got the S3 people said I probably got a bad unit…then the S4 was “probably a bad unit”…..and now the faquin S5…bad unit? Am I the only one who has no data connection when im on the phone????…

  • gage

    I love the phone but my battery life isnt to good i put it on ultrq power save mode at 1pm it was 37% I closed every app thwt was on and then at 3 pm i look at it and its all the way down to 16% i took it to tmobile they rqn q test on it qnd everything came back good so idk i was wondering if qnyone else was havn this issue

    • Ken

      I had same problem with battery life. See my review posted right before yours (sort by newest). Let’s vote up each others post and see if others are having same problem. I just voted up yours.

    • G

      I had the same issue. They swapped the phone with a new one and still same thing. Worked out it was my sd card. When I removed it My battery life improved dramatically. From not lasting more than 12 hours on a full charge with idle use, I now getting about 20 hours of idle time with 90% of the battery remaining to use.

  • Ken

    Had the phone for two weeks. My biggest complain is horrible battery life. People beware, either all those reviews lied or Verizon did something to thier version of S5. The battery can merely last 10 hours with avarage use. I’m busy during the day spending 3/4 of my time in meetings. My old Razr Maxx can last for 2 days and a new iPhone served me well for 12+ hours. I tried disabling most of Verizon apse, installing juice defender, didn’t help. The big battery consumer is android system. The plastic body actually feels OK, just a bit slippery to my taste, but much better then iPhone. The screen looks great indoor, but ducks under sunlight. Much worse than iPhone and Razr Maxx. CPU is super fast. Figure print scanner works well but it is disabled as soon as I connect to company’s exchange server. I think this is silly. I haven’t made extensive use of the camera.

    • Ken

      BTW, I have had two phone in my family having exactly same battery problem.

      • G

        Try removing your sd cards from the device

  • spumz

    s5 screen not lighting up when I receive a text message

  • Ashleigh

    My only complaints really is the camera lag… Between the S4 and the S5 my pictures come out consistently worse with my shaky hands, the steady setting doesn’t seem to help much and its very annoying to wait for. And whatever is going on with the network. I have the TMobile version and it seems like it has trouble deciding if there is a 4G/LTE connection or not sometimes waiting almost 3-5mins for things to load. Seems like once it looses 4G/LTE it cannot recover on its own, and forgets to tell you that. I find myself switching between airplane mode and rebooting the phone a lot when it can’t seem to find the network and I haven’t gotten any messages in a while. This drastically effects my text message speeds and sometimes I’m even missing calls. I have had it a little over a week now, and I’m having trouble trusting that its connected. Wi-Fi isn’t as bad, but I have noticed some lag there as well, this could be related to slow wi-fi speeds though. Not sure if this is soley a TMobile issue or the phone, but it is becoming increasingly annoying as the days go on. I wish I could blame it on “rural” areas like PGMag describes but I live and work in and around NYC, which is hardly rural by US standards. Although the phone is much better than my S4, network is not something I can brush off, its the most important feature… I maybe returning it in the next week if this issue doesn’t resolve itself soon. Is anyone else experiencing any network related issues? I can’t seem to find anything online about it other than Sprint users LTE disabled by default, and I have about 3 people I know that are having the same type of connection issues. Bad batch possibly?

  • Angel Andres Rosado


    Sadly, I’m returning mine to T-Mobile after receiving it on initial release (April 11th). Here’s why:

    1. Three days in, the phone’s “TouchWiz” app crashed. TouchWiz is the program that tells the phone how to operate the touch-screen. So, even though I could get to my home screen using the physical button on the bottom of the phone, I couldn’t actually get the touch screen to work. Even shutting it down requires confirmation by way of the touch screen. So, I had to open the phone and remove the battery. I’d hate to have to do this in the middle of an important moment.

    2. Eight days in, I suddenly stopped receiving text messages. I was able to get messages out, but no incoming. After lengthy phone calls to T-Mobile, we (T-Mobile and I) still couldn’t determine if it was the network or the phone causing this problem.

    3. The straw that broke the camel’s back (so-to-speak) was when I called T-Mobile today to follow up on the text messaging issue. T-Mobile couldn’t access their own systems to even look up my name. I was transferred, then accidentally hung up on, the again transferred to two other “agents” before being told that T-Mobile had some kind of system upgrade going on (yes, during working hours) for their customer service computers.

    Long story-short, this phone could be a flop or it could be great. Unfortunately, the end of T-Mobile’s “20Day” return policy is fast approaching for me. I’m not comfortable risking $700 for a phone and $50 a month on a network that may or may not be operating as advertised. I’ll wait until I know the majority of the bugs are worked out before taking a shot at it again.

    Hopes this helps you. 🙂



    • Ashleigh

      I’m having the same network issues on tmobile. I have a little over a week left before I can’t return it anymore. I’m at a point where I don’t know what to do, I haven’t contacted TMobile yet about this problem. I will probably go to the store tomorrow and see what they say.

      • Rebecca

        I’m having the SAME problem, and every representative I talk to is “surprised” to hear this. Yet I come online and find complaints for days about this same issue and that Tmobile is VERY much aware of it…. Weird

  • lokey1000

    The main issue I have with the phone thus far is that I do not like the fact that when the phone rings, a voice announces the call also. I spent two hours in chat with Samsung Tech “expert”. He connected to my phone and even he could not determine why it was doing it. We turned off all TTS stuff and car mode and check boxes blah blah blah. finally we rebooted and had to wipe out the phone. it stopped….until this morning after adjusting a few settings, it started again. I reverted the settings yet it still does it. I would need to reset my phone again and not touch the settings in hopes that it would stop but WTF! Just saying. been thinking all morning about taking it back for the new HTC M8 or the Note 3. Thought?

  • Saad

    Is there any one who find hot screen while charging or using mp3 player in Galaxy S5 ??

  • Terry Porto

    I purchased the M8 a couple weeks ago and really liked it (coming from Droid Maxx)…Blink feed to me was nice and I really liked Sense 6.0. This phone had zero lag anywhere. My biggest issue with the M8 was how slippery and delicate the phone felt and how tall it was. I don’t like cases so the M8 felt like a wet bar of soap in my hand. Even with the free replacement inside of 6 months on a broken screen…I felt like it would be full of nicks and scratches. So I returned it and for an S5. No comparison for me from how the S5 feels in the hand. Plastic or not, its light and feels solid in the hand and grippy…But I’ll be honest Touchwiz is a bit over bearing for me and the lag when I wake it up is driving me crazy. I found that it is the SD card causing wake up lag…Everyone loves the build quality and the aluminum on the M8…Not me I would love an M8 in an S5 exterior. Or better yet a Google Play Edition S5.

  • debbers97

    Picked up my phone and have 2 problems and have NO IDEA where to even find help for it!! Since day one my phone says I have 2 voicemails but I don’t… I have done everything I can to try and clear it but it won’t. Today all of a sudden it keeps tell me that the car mode is stopped. I can’t get the voice mode of “HI GALAXY” to work…. not very happy since it has been less than a week 🙁

  • mcdonsco

    Strange…when I first got the s5 it took pictures instantly…now for some reason it takes forever to take a picture.


  • mcdonsco

    Ok…the aqua blue theme everywhere on the phone is starting to bug me.

    Is there a way to change that?

  • mcdonsco

    I will say this…a number of folks ragged on it for the “gimmick” heart rate sensor because an app CAN do that…

    …but not as well.

    I remember trying it on a few different phones using an app; the flash got HOT fast…often it couldn’t read your bpm before you felt like your finger was burning.

    This one doesn’t burn/get hot near as I can tell and gives pretty accurate results.

    Yet no reviewers are giving samsung kudos for it NOT being a gimmick; it works well.

    Now, the finger print reader compared to the iPhone 5s; that’s another story.

  • mcdonsco

    Is anyone else getting a message to check the back cover every time they boot the phone?

    Is it saying that just as a reminder or is there a sensor that thinks its not firmly closed?

  • ravenofdoom

    Needing root on my verizon GS5… it’s the missing element to allow me to undo the tethering block on Verizon for unlimited data… and to allow writing to the SDcard. I can’t tell you how stupid android 4.4.2 is for disabling applications’ ability to write to the SDcard within the OS.

  • Six83

    Battery is a dissaster!!! Looks is so-so… Very fast and very good photos… Bloatware and samsung UI is anoying as hell.. Will sell it as soon as new moto x comes out or trade it for M8..

  • alilfish

    I’m new to this site … I haven’t had an Android phone and currently have an iPhone 5s. I’m very interested in making the switch from Apple to Android. My main question is about picture quality. I want to be able to take pictures of my daughter and family things at home, outside, etc and have them not only look good on the phone or computer but printed in different sizes as well. How is the phone camera for that? Do you see it being better than the 5s? Reviews I’ve read say they’re comparable but I want user reviews. I also like Android since you can customize it more, screen size and speed among other things.

    Do you think the S5 is worth trading in my my 5s?

  • dan

    Having problems with texting on gs5 can send texts all right but having trouble getting texts. Called t mobile. It is a problems many GS5 owners are having. Not sure if it’s a T mobile issue or if it’s across all cell provider’s

    • Jenness

      I see in my notification window I received a text but then I go to my text message screen and the messages aren’t there. I’m Verizon. Going to have to call them about this glitch, I use texting a lot for work and can’t seem to find if there is some data cap on texting that would cause me to have the inability to see the texts past a certain point. Message+ by Verizon is the default app so not sure if that is what it is.

  • Teresa

    I purchased the m8 first. Beautiful phone, but very slippery and uncomfortable for me personally. I was also experiencing horrible battery drain issues and my husband’s was fine – checked for wake lock issues, rebooted, etc. and it was still losing 3 percent battery every 10 minutes. I switched to the S5 and there is a noticeable difference in battery life and the phone just feels better in my hand. I’m impressed so far!

  • Well my S5 got stuck in a recovery boot cycle after I got a security alert saying I needed to restart in recovery mode. I had to reset to the stock rom using Odin and now it’s just in a infinite boot cycle. Any ideas on how to fix this, or should I just take it back to the store and hope I can get a replacement. Thanks.

  • topherct

    Just got the S5 today. I love it. I upgraded from the galaxy nexus. The screen is fantastic and I am pleasantly surprised with the build quality even though it is plastic. I would recommend this phone.

  • BDWilliams85

    I got the phone on Friday 4/11/14… I haven’t noticed until today but when im connected on WiFi my network signal bars still shows 4g or 3g…I did a factory rest and its still like that anyone else having this happen to them? Maybe it was like that from day 1 and I never noticed. Thanks!

    • KCCO

      Depending who your carrier is could it be that download booster that I have read about? That is supposed to use 3G/4G in combination with WiFi when turned on. I know ATT&T/Verizon blocked it though from what I read. Not sure on the rest.. Just a thought though..

  • SefQuiN

    Waiting on the Note 4… patiently.

  • SefQuiN

    My wife switched from the S3 to the S5… and she really likes it. Biggest improvement is the screen and the camera, other than that I feel it did everything the S3 did just that it does it very well compared to the S3…. lol

  • daniel

    Every feature I’ve explored so far is fantastic, I’m especially impressed with the camera and photo editing capabilities. However, I’m having trouble with music. I can’t seem to get my music to sound good (even using the equalizer app) and none of the songs I download ever have album art. Any advice?

  • Alex James Simon

    The stock earphones that come with the Galaxy S5 are extremely good, I don’t usually like cheapy earbuds, I use Sennheiser HD558s and a headphone amp, but these do not sound cheap, they sound amazing, they actually sound better then my Sol Republic Ultras. I will be using them for gym use.

  • MichaelFranz

    After a few days with it I can say a few more things……

    First thing….go get milk music!! Loving it

    Finally went to nova instead of touchwiz home. I just like it to damn much. Might go action launcher but we will see. Acdisplay works nice so I’m not to hurt losing it from droid maxx. Only thing is I miss the “OK Google” from touchwiz home. Hoping nova gets that built in. Additionally you can put the Samsung widgets on nova but tapping them doesn’t launch the app. S-health for instance

    Battery is decent so far but its just settling in. Used GPS yesterday and it drained hard. Went from like 92-80 in a 30 minute ride with a little traffic.

    One annoying thing which I hope gets addressed is the auto brightness. As I sit in bed at night with it turned on the screen is nice and bright and maybe too bright…but from a battery saving perspective if I turn off auto brightness and turn the brightness slider all the way down. It’s plenty visible and would be much better on battery.

    The camera seems great but I have a feeling I’m not using some things to their full potential. Hoping an in depth camera review/video review is done.

    Google wallet works great…used it twice to pay yesterday.

    Overall I’m liking it so far. Going to need a few more days though.

  • Drew

    Battery life is terrible running Exchange Services. Returning today.

  • The State

    Switched from the iphone 4 to the s5. Long story. It won’t charge on my active computer’s USB port. However, plugging it into the wall works. Is it supposed to be that way>

    • Ashleigh

      How old is your computer? The phone requires USB 3.0…. it can charge on USB 2.0 but very slowly… maybe even like 6hrs+. If your port is anything less than 2.0 I can imagine it wouldn’t charge at all. The iPad used to have this problem with PC USB ports that were slower.