Samsung Galaxy S5 review

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

Battery life

Galaxy smartphones have always had excellent battery life and the S5 takes power management to the next level. There are a handful of software optimisations built into the Android handset, showing Samsung is not content with relying on the efficiency improvements provided by the Snapdragon 801 processor.

A standard power saving mode turns off background tasks and restricts performance. You can also turn off colours to save power without affecting functionality.

When you need to stretch the battery for as long as possible the Ultra Power Saving mode needs to be activated. This shuts down everything but the core apps, changing the interface to a list of simple icons - much like the HTC One M8. But the S5 takes things a step further by turning the screen black and white too. This can add days onto standby time.

How did the S5 stack up against the competition in our battery test? The handset was set to 75 per cent brightness, we turned off auto-brightness and power saving features and kept Wi-Fi off (except for the web browsing test).

We measured how much the battery would drain after 60 minutes of HD playback, web browsing, music playback and gaming. The S5 came top is all but one test:

[Editor's note: For the Gaming test we used the GFX benchmark and it appears Samsung has gamed this test by delivering a low framerate to give the illusion of long battery life. Ironically, HTC's One M8 did the opposite. It automatically enhanced performance for the benchmark and ate up more battery. Therefore, the most realistic figures are for the S4 and iPhone 5s.]

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