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Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 for AT&T

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Samsung took the Galaxy S5 in the right direction. The GS4 was so clogged with features - half of which felt like gimmicks - that it was overwhelming. The GS5 stripped out the GS4's flabby functions and left the best ones intact.

The hardware is the best I've seen from Samsung, though definitely not the best I've seen when compared to the competition. The GS5 feels like it is made from better materials than previous devices and is assembled with a greater degree of care. The added protection from water and dust is a welcome feature, and the overall design, though conservative, could be considered classy be some. The screen is dazzling, voice quality is good, battery life is impressive, and the GS5 performs incredibly well when it comes to powering apps.

Samsung evolved its TouchWiz user interface a bit. While the basics remain mostly unchanged, several of the screens and apps received redesigns. The camera app has been improved dramatically and the GS5 does a great job of taking pictures. The media options are plentiful, and Samsung took care to add some truly useful tools, such as Private Mode and S Health. The fingerprint reader is a neat idea, and it works fairly well. I find passwords and/or PINs to be faster at unlocking the device, though.

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There's no doubt the Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the best phones you can buy. It goes toe-to-toe with the HTC One, Nokia Lumia Icon, and iPhone 5s in terms of general quality and features. Some may prefer the design aesthetics of Samsung's competitors, but the company did about as good a job as we could have expected with the GS5. Given the array of purchasing options available to consumers these days, I strongly recommend the Galaxy S5.

Our Ratings

Battery Life
Hardware Usability
Hardware Quality
Interface Speed
Audio Volume

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