Every week the Editors here do a piece each that we call “Android Headliner”. These pieces are more editorials on what’s happening in the Android world than they are a normal piece and we try to be more ourselves in these articles than in news pieces or anything else. So, this being April 11th, there’s only really one thing to talk about when it comes to Android smartphones, and that’s the Galaxy S5. The device many Samsung fans have been waiting for since February, Samsung’s latest and greatest has finally gone on sale in 125 countries worldwide. That in and of itself is impressive, but if you thought this year’s galaxy was just more of the same, then you’d be sorely mistaken. There’s a lot going for Samsung’s latest and greatest and even someone like myself, who swears by a “less is more” mantra when it comes to hardware and software design, could learn to love a Galaxy S5.
If any of you know me on Google+ (I’m nowhere near as active as Alex) then you’ll have probably guessed that I’m not a massive Samsung fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a decent smartphone when I see one. While my Nexus 5 is by no means “old” or in need of replacing, the two-year contract I took up on an HTC One X is up in a month or so. Which puts me in the same sort of position as a lot of people coming a One X, Galaxy S III or similar device; I’m due an upgrade. Forgetting the fact I have a Nexus 5 (which is starting to bug me after spending time with the HTC One M8) and I have a handful of choices to upgrade to or start a new contract somewhere else. I could go for the HTC One (M8), the Xperia Z2, LG’s G2, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or even the Xperia Z1 Compact. If I were to upgrade to the Galaxy S5, would I really be happy, coming from a stock Android running Nexus 5? Well, I think so, and here’s why.
For one thing, the design doesn’t bother me too much. As long as I could choose either the black or some other dark color, I think I could learn to like Samsung’s bizarre design decision and while I greatly dislike the idea of a physical home button, it actually does something this time around. Samsung’s TouchWiz seems like it’s been refined somewhat as well, and while I’m sure Samsung have loaded the thing with bloatware up the yazoo, I’ve been running stock Android (with little customization) for nearly two years straight now. I know Sense a little too well by now, so a change would be nice and besides, Samsung have some genuinely useful features in this year’s model. I don’t like handing out my phone to others (I’m not selfish at all, just careful with my tech) so the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone actually sounds like a decent feature to me. The main reason I avoid patterns and codes is because they take too long, but using my thumbprint doesn’t seem like it’d take too long at all to me.
I know I’m in the minority here, but playing around with (and potentially owning one) excites me. The last Samsung device I called my own was the Nexus S and the last I reviewed for the site was the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Much like a lot of people weighing up a Samsung device with the recent launch of the Galaxy S5, I’ve not really spent a huge amount of time with a Galaxy S for some time. Are you a Nexus user? Could you live with the modifications and additions that Samsung has made to Android? Let us know the comments below.