To Samsung’s credit, there is a very cool power saving option that can deliver up to 24 hours of not doing anything when you have a very small amount of battery left.
This special mode can be switched on whenever you want, and will switch off mobile data and the pushing of information when the screen goes off, change the apps you can run, switch the colour screen to greyscale, and turn off wireless networking and Bluetooth.
Basically, this means you can still use your phone, but for less, with the net result being more battery life appearing out of nothing. Screenshots can’t even be captured here.
But hey, your phone will last longer when the battery really counts, so that’s good, and given how quickly life seems to be extinguished from the Galaxy S5, you might find yourself using this more often.
Mobile performance, at least, will have you cheering, and not just because the Category 4 LTE speeds are decent across the board. Our tests yielded results between 25 and 80Mbps down, and that was with Telstra’s Category 3 LTE network.
Those of you with access to a Category 4 could see speeds over the 100 mark, and that’s pretty bloody good if you ask us.
There are also the little things, and these are really the bits that make the Galaxy S5 special, as otherwise it would just be another phone with another Snapdragon processor.
For instance, there’s an emphasis on security in this handset, with Samsung including a fingerprint scanner, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 5S.
Like that handset, you can use the fingerprint scanner under the home button to unlock the phone, which means there’s a touch more security than just your regular password, though if the scanner doesn’t read your print properly, you’ll have to enter a several character password, and not just a simple PIN.
The technology is also being employed by PayPal on the S5, and really this just serves as another way of bypassing security with an easier and harder to break security solution. Sure, you could type in your PayPal password or PIN code, but why do that when you can just swipe a finger?
Samsung’s use of the fingerprint technology can store up to three fingers, and it does a decent job of reading — much better than the biometrics used on the HTC One Max, that’s for sure — but it can fail, and we found that it would miss your finger about 50 percent of the time. It’s also next to impossible to swipe with the hand your holding the phone in, so don’t even try. We can only imagine the length of digits you’d need to make this happen, and it never worked in our tests.
But the fingerprint security is just one side of the security, and in the Australian Galaxy S5 handsets, locals will be able to connect to their banks and use their phone as a PayWave device, so you won’t even need a credit card. We didn’t get to test this feature, and our bank doesn’t yet support this, with only Commonwealth Bank and Westpac signed up for this as far as we had heard, but because of the security technologies Australian banks use, you can only get this with an Australian Galaxy S5 model, so if this is an important feature for you, don’t even consider buying a phone from out of this country.