Samsung's Galaxy S5 isn't the newest smartphone on the market, there has been the Galaxy S6 as well as two Note phablets since this flagship. We're even expecting to see the brand new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge launch next month. But don't let that put you off considering it, this is still one of the best phones you can get at a cheap price. This phone was a superstar when it launched, and it remains a brilliant little phone now. It has a few little annoyances that were addressed with the Galaxy S6 but in the long run those aren't particularly worth the extra money it'll cost you. It's an older phone so there are some great deals to make the most of. You can get extra data, accessories thrown in or even just really low price contracts that you wouldn't see for the latest version.
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Samsung Galaxy S5: review excerpt
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great phone - the problem is we're now in a world where stunning smartphones are becoming the norm.
Samsung seems to be banking on the fact it knows there will be some people out there who will buy its devices no matter what, else it would have jumped to a more premium design.
Some might think I'm overstating my disappointment in how the S5 looks, but this is a critical part of the buying cycle. You can't rely on brand recognition and loyalty for long if competitors are making something that can cause design envy.
And there's the divide in terms of how to deliver a verdict on the best Samsung phone ever: if you're excited about what Samsung does, you'll love this phone. The brand has definitely done a lot to make it more useable and deliver things you'll actually use, such as a better, faster camera and health info.
But if you're on the fence, or in the iPhone camp, it would be easy to decry this as a mere update to what came before, offering uninspiring design and a feature set that doesn't mark it out well enough from the competition, and the iPhone 6 is again a big jump forward.
Samsung has done enough with the Galaxy S5 for it to still be a decent smartphone of 2014, and I would still recommend it as a solid, if unspectacular, smartphone that ticks the boxes it needs to and very little more.
It initially squeaked in as a 4.5-star phone, largely due to the fact that it's got an excellent screen, great battery and high-end specs combined with a strong camera - but now there are plenty of other options ahead of it from Sony, HTC, LG and Apple.
If you're a Samsung fan, this is the phone you should check out thanks to the slightly lower price tag (although not by much), but also see whether you'd prefer the design elegance of the Galaxy Alpha or the amazing power of the Galaxy Note 4 instead.