Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on impressions reveal subtle, but significant improvements

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Samsung used Mobile World Congress to unveil its next flagship Android device, the Galaxy S5. As expected, the S5 shares the same styling as its predecessor with a faster processor and a few new bells and whistles like IP67 certification under the hood. How does the S5 fare in the early hands-on impressions? Read on to find out.Phil Nickinson of Android Central points out in his hands-on that Samsung is learning from past mistakes by improving the overall hardware quality in the Galaxy S5 and including features like a fingerprint sensor that are beneficial and not so gimmicky. They also give us a tour of TouchWiz, which is flatter and toned down a bit.

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PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan got some hands-on time with the device before the announcement and walked away impressed with the S5’s 5.1-inch, 432 ppi 1,920-by-1080 Super AMOLED display. Not only was the screen beautiful, the S5 has a new image chip that dynamically adjusts the color gamut and contrast of the display. “It’s a big step up from the standard automatic brightness control, and it makes the colors really pop under different lighting conditions,” writes Segan.

Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear spent some time with the fingerprint sensor, which, similar to the iPhone, is built into the home button of the S5. To activate the feature, the user has to slide their finger slowly over the sensor. The S5 had a high success rate for recognizing finger swipes when you positioned your finger properly. A slow downward swipe worked more reliably than a sideways swipe.

GigaOm’s Alex Colon took a two-pronged approach and looked at both the Galaxy S5 along with the Gear Fit fitness band. He notes that Samsung seems to be a bit more restrained with the S5 and the Gear Fit, packing in a lot of features, but not too many to be excessive. This is a good thing as “it makes for devices that are relatively refined yet still exciting,” writes Colon.

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While GigaOm compared two of Samsung’s newest devices, PhoneArea pitted the new against the old, by comparing the Galaxy S5 with its predecessor the Galaxy S4. Though on paper the two phones compare favorably, the CPU boost, improved camera and the new hardware features like a fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor, make the S5 a compelling choice.

Similar to PhoneArena, Pocketnow compares the Galaxy S5 to the Galaxy S4, with the recognition that the S5 is an incremental upgrade from the S4. Anton spends over 7-minutes comparing the two devices in a thorough hands-on review.