Oh, and there’s a phone.
Yes, smartphones will work like that, and Samsung is no different, making it possible to use the 5.1 inch Galaxy S5 with either one hand or two, and even providing some sound boosts for those who want their speakerphone to be a little louder.
Make no mistake, this is one of the most volume heavy smartphones you’re likely to see, and it’s clear Samsung has been working on that side of the technology in this phone, providing an easily found booster button if the speaker just isn’t loud enough.
The speaker on the back will boom it out, as will the one on the front, and while neither appear quite as good as HTC’s dual front-facing BoomSound speakers, they’re a lot better than previous Samsung smartphone speakers have been.
Keeping it simple… a little too simple.
Not all Android overlays are created equal, and while the Google Nexus devices show Android the way Google intended it, the overlays afford manufacturers the chance to customise Android for their customers, making it at once easier to use and more befitting of a brand.
For instance, Sony’s Xperia overlay is like blending the look of the PlayStation and Bravia Xrossbar with that of Android, while HTC’s evolves Google’s look to be a little clearer and easier to operate for newbies, and LG’s is insanely customisable while still stickng close to what Google envisioned.
And then there’s Samsung’s TouchWiz. Where do we begin with this.
Many have thought for a while that TouchWiz was an Android interpretation of how an iPhone should be done, with an easy to understand menu system, soft icons, and no real reason to touch the settings unless you were a pro.
For many people, that’s perfect, and with an “easy mode” (below) built into this handset, that could be made even better, as you’ll just need to switch it on and start using your phone, adding the apps you want but forgetting about all the extra layers that Android can offer.
But if you like complexity, and you’re escaping another phone because of the control you want here, you’ll be sorely disappointed when you realise that Australian Galaxy S5 owners don’t get to see to much of this. Overseas it’s different, and we hear people from other nations can change their devices in ways we cant, but Aussies, well, we’re an unlucky bunch.
As an example, you can’t change the shortcut dock at the bottom of the screen. At all. Not one bit. Nada.
Which is a shame, because the first thing this reviewer does when he gets an Android (or iPhone) to review is fix the dock so it matches his life, removing the apps he’d never use and replacing them with ones he would.
And that makes sense, right? A phone serves you, not the other way around.