The Samsung Galaxy S5 released back in 2014, but it still has more than enough fight left in it today. I’m not just talking about adding custom ROMs either; the Galaxy S5 had some of the best features available for its time, and they’re still good now. If you’re new to the S5 or are even a longtime owner, do you know everything that your phone can do?
The Galaxy S5 features a great camera, a gorgeous but tough display, a good amount of processing speed, and much more. There’s a lot to go over, but if you’re willing to learn more about what your phone can do, you won’t walk away empty-handed.
The Best Parts of the Galaxy S5 Camera
Let’s talk about the camera first. I’m no stranger to taking pictures, and if you aren’t either, a good camera is a must. The Galaxy S5 has a 16MP camera that doesn’t play around about taking beautiful shots. It isn’t all about raw megapixels, though; the S5 camera has some great features bundled with it that make each shot even better.
1. Super Fast Auto Focus
When you don’t have time to adjust the focus manually, and just want to get a quick shot, reliable and fast autofocus is a dream come true.
The Galaxy S5 comes into focus faster than previous models, letting you get just the shot you want, as fast as you want. If you’re trying to take a picture of something in motion, this helps more than anything else. While blur will improve a photo when used properly, it more often than not hurts the shot as a whole when you’re trying to capture something specific.
2. Use Selective Focus for Specific Shots
Speaking of using blur effectively, that’s exactly what selective focus is all about. With selective focus, you do just what the name implies; you move the point of focus around to blur everything except what you select.
This is great for focusing on your subject when the background details aren’t important for the picture. Unlike autofocus, that’ll take a few seconds to set up, so make sure you have enough time on your hands to take a good shot.
3. Picture Stabilization to Help With Screen Shake
Do your pictures sometimes turn out blurry? Are you trying to hold your phone with just one hand but it isn’t turning out, right? If your screen starts to shake, so will your photo, and that’s where picture stabilization comes in handy.
If you open your camera settings, one of the best features of the Galaxy S5 camera is a toggle switch for picture stabilization. If you have shaky hands while taking pictures, turn it on for a helping hand.
4. HDR for Rich Tones
While taking pictures, mostly while outside, shadows affect your pictures in ways you can’t control. With HDR, you can change the lighting and tones while outside to helps shape the picture you want to take.
With HDR on, if you’re in harsh or uneven lighting, the system helps to even that out. It works very well in examples like the picture above. It isn’t something you want on all the time, but it helps when you’re going for a certain effect.
5. 4K UHD Video Recording
Even if you can’t take advantage of 4K video, the ability to record in ultra high definition is a great additional feature on the Galaxy S5. This is something that cements how good the S5 camera is, and why it’s still a great Android phone today for all of your picture and video needs.
The Best Parts of the Galaxy S5 Body and Screen
There’s more to the Galaxy S5 than what’s knocking around on the inside. I’m talking about the front, back, and how it all comes together. The Galaxy S5 is an all around solid phone, and I’m not speaking metaphorically.
6. A Screen that Lasts
The screen on the Galaxy S5 is a super AMOLED 1080p, Gorilla Glass 3 protected piece of tech. Best of all, it’s easily replaceable if you ever run into any problems.
The Galaxy S5 screen is tough, and that’s exactly something that you need if you’re as clumsy as I am. If you couple that with a good case, you’re golden.
7. A Plastic Back is a Good Thing
This sounds like a negative at first, but hear me out. Plastic backs on phones never make me worry as much as other backs. I never get concerned about popping plastic back off, because why would I?
If you plan on removing the back of your S5 for maintenance or other reasons, it’s great when you don’t feel like you’re touching something you shouldn’t. This is subjective and doesn’t apply to everyone, but it definitely applies to people like me.
8. Water and Dust Resistant
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has an IP67 qualification with water and dust resistance. This doesn’t mean you can chuck it in the pool overnight, wake up, and then take a morning dive to check your email, but it’s safe to use it in the rain and dusty environments.
Seriously, just because there’s a 7 in its qualifications, doesn’t mean it’s as resistant as an S7.
The Best Battery and Optimization Features on the Galaxy S5
Battery life is pretty important when you’re talking about phones, and it’s sometimes the most considered factor before buying a new one. Since we’re talking about the Galaxy S5, I can happily say that its battery life is great, and a feature that’s worth mentioning.
Battery life goes hand in hand with optimization, so both topics are worth mentioning here, even if there isn’t much to go over.
9. Helpful Power Saving Modes
If you’re familiar with the Power Saving Mode, or Battery Saver with other Android phones, it’s mostly the same here. The only difference is the Ultra Power Saving Mode added to the mix. Both modes will drastically decrease performance and activity, but in return, give you a huge boost in battery life.
In most versions of Android, just tap your battery icon to open up your battery settings. This has both power saving modes ready for use at any time, with just the push of a button. Just don’t expect to get anything power intensive done with either of these modes on.
10. Faster Downloads With the Download Booster
This next feature is only a bonus if you don’t mind chewing through mobile data faster than a wood chipper eating a birch dinner. If you don’t know what the Download Booster is, it combines mobile data, and Wi-Fi data, to push your download speeds even further than ever before.
All you need to do to activate is tap the button on your quick menu, and incredible download speeds are suddenly at your fingertips. Just make sure you use this feature sparingly, or else you’ll get decreased speeds in the long run, and bill that will make you run.
11. Smaller Notification Popups
This isn’t as big of a problem now as it was when the S5 first released, but on the Galaxy S5, if you’re getting a call, the notification doesn’t take up your entire screen by default. You won’t believe how much this annoyed me in the past, and still, does whenever I think about it.
There’s no need to worry about being forced out of a game or another app on the S5; you can answer or ignore that call when you feel like getting to it.
The Best Customization Options on the Galaxy S5
There’s more than a few ways to make your Galaxy S5 feel like it’s truly yours. I’m not going to go over all of them here, but I want to, at least, mention a few important ones. If you want to use your S5 to the best of its ability, or just have a better understanding of its best features; you need to know this.
12. A Personalized Keyboard
The Galaxy S5 comes with a pretty great keyboard system to start with, but most of its features are turned off by default. So to turn them on, you need to dig into your settings.
- Open your Settings
- Go to Language and Input
- Tap on the gear, or cog, icon to open the rest of your Keyboard Settings
From here, you can mess with personalized text, predictive text, and even set your phone to learn from your typing habits on other sites and services. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s a hard feature to ignore once you know about it.
13. Toolbox Lets You Access Your Apps Anywhere
Another feature locked away inside of your S5 settings is the Toolbox. The Toolbox adds a white circle onto every screen, that when you press it, it shows different icons for other frequently used apps.
Here’s how to activate it:
- Go to your Settings
- Go to Sound and Display
- Select Toolbox
Now you have easy access to important information and apps on any screen.
14. Multi-Window Mode for Multitasking
Let’s talk about windows, not the PC operating system, or what every bright room needs, but app windows. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has one of the best features from the start about windows with its multi-window mode.
This mode isn’t on my by default, so you have to turn it on first:
- Go to your Settings
- Under Device, go to Multi-window
- Toggle the mode to On in the upper right corner
- Next, you can check a box to go into Multi-window mode by default, or not
Once you’ve done this, just hold down the back button to access multi-window mode at any time. Now you can drag and drop apps from the sidebar to use them in your new mode whenever you’re on this window.
15. Root your S5 for the Best Possible Features
Last, but never least, is the best “feature” for any Android phone, rooting. This unlocks the Galaxy S5’s potential, gives you access to rooted apps, custom ROMs, and much more once you’ve finished one simple process.
If you haven’t rooted your S5 yet, it doesn’t take long, and as long as you backup all of your information; it’s as safe as possible. If rooting still isn’t your thing, the S5 still has plenty of great features to get the best bang for your buck.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 had some of the best features you could ask for, and is still a great Android phone today. It’s a solid device, despite a plastic back, that will treat any user right for a long time to come. If you’re thinking about picking up the S5, or have it already, you can rest easy knowing it’s a safe purchase.
Have any features you love about the Galaxy S5 that we didn’t mention here? You can tell us about them below!