Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport for Sprint
Aug 14, 2014, 9:30 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Samsung kicks out a fitness-oriented version of the Galaxy S5 for Sprint. This Android smartphone differs from the original model in a few respects. Phone Scoop takes it for a jog in this full report.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport is billed as a slightly amped up version of the Galaxy S5. It is somewhat more rugged thanks to the thicker casing and it has the same resistance to water and dust. If you want a Galaxy S5 and don't mind opting for something different from the standard model, the Sport is worth considering thanks to its fitness focus.
Editor's Note: Since the GS5 Sport is so similar to the GS5 and GS5 Active, portions of this review have been carried over from Phone Scoop's review of the GS5 Active. Rest assured, we put the GS5 Sport through our full battery of tests and added new text where relevant.
The GS5 Sport from Sprint is surprisingly different from the GS5 Active from AT&T. It loses the Active's thicker, sturdier corners. The Active's outer edge is framed in hardened rubber. In contrast, the Sport's is simply a chunkier plastic shell that feels more solid than the standard GS5 model, but not as robust as the Active's. You could say the GS5 Sport sits between the GS5 and GS5 Active in terms of toughness, though it is much closer to the standard GS5 than the Active. That's a bit of a disappointment.
Where the GS5 has a chrome-colored band circling the outer edge, the Sport has a matte-finished polycarbonate frame. The phone has lots of textures and lines running all over the place. I find it somewhat disjointed-looking. The colored plastics are a nice change from black, but any device that has "Sport" branding needs to be either super sleek or much more rugged. Unlike the Active, I'd be afraid to drop the Sport. I certainly wouldn't kick it, throw it, or smack it with a hockey stick. These are things you can do with the Active. Skip the roughhousing with the Sport.
The Sport is a big phone. People with small hands may find it too big. The thick sides mean it doesn't rest comfortably in your hand, it doesn't nestle into your palm. You can feel just how wide the phone is. On the positive side, it feels robust. It should fit into most pockets without too much trouble, but the rim protecting the display means the phone is easy to feel against your leg as you move about.
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The front surface is mostly screen. There's a chrome-colored strip above the display for the earpiece speaker. The Sport ditches the GS5's capacitive control buttons and fingerprint sensor for three regular buttons: multitask, home, and back. The buttons are easy to find with your thumb thanks to their good profiles and nice textures. Travel and feedback is excellent. The Sport loses the GS5's fingerprint reader, though.
The lock button is on the right edge, just above the center. It has an excellent profile and travel and feedback are practically perfect. I wish it didn't make such a loud "clacking" noise. There volume toggle is on the left edge. It is rather small and thin, but offers superb travel and feedback.
The battery cover takes some effort to peel off thanks to the gasket that protects the innards. It needs to be snapped firmly in place to protect the Sport from water. The battery cover is the same, dimpled band-aid-looking abhorrence as the standard model. The battery itself is removable and must be first yanked in order to access the SIM card and microSD card slots. The Sport will remind you, from time to time, to make sure the rear cover is firmly in place.
The microUSB port is on the bottom and has a hatch to protect it. The Sport isn't water resistant unless this hatch is firmly closed. I found this hatch to be a little bit of a pain to use day-in and day-out, but it's a worthwhile tradeoff. The headphone jack is on top and doesn't need a hatch. There is no camera button.
The Sport is slightly bigger and heavier than the standard model. It doesn't seem any more rugged to me, though, and some people might mistake it for a tougher phone than it is.
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