Why the Galaxy S5 will never get pulses racing

The Galaxy S5 failed to raise my heart rate, and that's a crying shame
Samsung's Unpacked5 event

There's clearly a lot to be liked about the new Samsung Galaxy S5 - a phone that the Korean company was quick to tell us has been built to answer some of the complaints about 'eye-popping' gimmicky innovation that beset its predecessor.

But, for those of you who were wondering just why Samsung chose to eschew a solo show for its Unpacked unveil, instead offering up a sister event to Mobile World Congress, the S5 provided the answer.

This is a solid device - better camera, bigger battery, waterproof - but if you were to use the brand new pulse monitor on those assembled in the audience I think you'd soon find the real issue.

It's just not all that inspirational.


Let's put this in context - I was quick to roll my eyes at some of the crazy innovations that were thrust at the Galaxy S4 last time around. And those that own an S4 know that rolling your eyes at the device gets you in all kinds of trouble,

But I did appreciate the effort; for every cynical guffaw coming from the assembled journalists there is a genuine nod of gratitude that the company is at least trying something .

Nobody wants a curved television, for instance, but when you see that curvy tech appearing in the far more interesting Gear Fit band it makes you appreciate the innovation that is going on.

Be still my beating heart - I'm trying to test this new tech

Be still my beating heart - I'm trying to test this new tech

A bigger battery and a better camera are nice - but they aren't especially interesting. Sony beat Samsung to the punch on waterproof a significant time ago, and Knox is the recycling of phone tech - we all know it's worthy and we should do it but the less we have to think about it the better.

You could argue that the real excitement was in the companion devices, but even though the fitness wearable is fast becoming a 'thing' in tech, it's clearly not something that is going to be propping up Samsung's profit margin for some time.


Even as I write this, a few hours after the big reveal some media is asking if this is the greatest smartphone of all time.

And maybe it is. Right now - ahead of the iPhone 6 and new HTC One. It's a long jumper adding an extra millimetre to their personal best, with the two biggest rivals looking gleefully on and strapping on their running spikes.

It's a skier putting in a perfectly competent safe run to take an early lead, fully in the knowledge that he can go harder next time but it's a good idea to get a safe marker down early on.

It's solid, not spectacular: I'm not underwhelmed, but I'm not overwhelmed - which I suppose makes me merely whelmed. And that's a shame from a company that is perfectly capable of blowing us all away.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.