Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Samsung's jack-of-all-trades returns with an improved display, waterproof case & biometric scanners

Fingerprint & Heart-rate sensors

Samsung has introduced a fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor as the headline hardware features in a bid to provide a "wow" factor. Ironically, these are no-where near the best upgrades.

These are good ideas in theory but need immaculate execution to avoid being labelled as gimmicks. Apple proved fingerprint recognition takes the hassle out of password entry through it's Touch ID feature. You place your finger in a static position on the home button of the iPhone to register a print. Samsung has taken a different approach and has not been able to replicate the smooth and consistent user experience provide by its nemesis.

You can register up to three fingerprints on the S5 and this is a fiddly process. It requires eight swipes to register one finger, which isn't the problem. The reality is you'll end up doing more than a dozen swipes as you need a perfect connection.

The scanner is reminiscent to those you'd find on Windows laptop. You have to start your swipe on the screen and then continue downwards over the home button. If you don't catch the scanner dead-centre your print won't be recognised.

It's almost impossible to register a swipe when holding the device in one hand as your thumb will be at an angle and you need to have it straight down. Get used to an error message asking you to swipe the device again when unlocking it.

This is a shame because Samsung has teamed up with PayPal to allow users to authorise payments with the scanner. But with the inconsistency, it's odd-on you'll turn the feature off.

The heart-rate monitor on the back is a curious inclusion. Located directly under the rear camera it reads your pulse via a finger. Despite Samsung promoting the health tracking features of the S5 - the heart-rate monitor is unnecessary. The location means the device is not able to track your pulse during exercise, the time during which the information is most beneficial.

Ironically, Samsung is selling its Gear Neo and Gear Fit smartwatches. These can provide up-to-the-minute heart rates and can sync up with the S5. But with those devices costing 200, they are a substantial expense.

A simple wristband accessory included in the box with the S5 would have been a better proposition, as it would have given users a taste of wearable devices and been more useful.

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Most Popular

Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal
collaboration

Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal

19 Jan 2021
How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit
hacking

SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit

20 Jan 2021