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New Samsung 5S is déjà vu all over again

The iPhone 5S is a great phone.

But it was still only an iterative improvement over my iPhone 5. It didn’t move me to upgrade. I decided instead to wait for this year’s expected release of two big-screen iPhones.

I’ve had the chance to try out the new AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 over the past week and it’s iterative déjà vu all over again.

It’s one of the best phones out there and it’s a good choice for those who have and love the Galaxy S3.

But if you have the Galaxy S4, you may want to wait—especially since Samsung is expected to launch an enhanced S5 this summer.

This is not a good-looking phone. It’s clunkier than the S4, which is saying something, and still has a cheap plastic feel.

The biggest selling point for the S5 over the S4 or iPhone 5 may be that it’s waterproof. Even during this week’s deluge with my butterfingers, it had no problem staying dry. If that’s what you’re looking for in a smartphone, though—well, you’re all wet.

At 0.3 seconds, the 16-megapixel camera has the world’s fastest autofocus. A new Selective Focus feature allows it to create shallow depth of field and blur out backgrounds.

However, there have been problems with the Galaxy S5’s camera. Some Verizon Wireless customers have been getting “Warning: Camera Failed” messages and Verizon is offering to fix it or replace the phone.

The Galaxy S5’s new fingerprint scanner isn’t as efficient as the one on the iPhone 5S, which isn’t that great itself.

A new, built-in heart rate monitor is part of an

S Health 3.0 package that also includes a pedometer. So the S5 was actually able to tell me it wasn’t making my heart race. It has integrity.

On Thursday, Verizon Wireless cut the price of a Galaxy S5 with a two-year contract to $99, perhaps because of the camera problem and to entice those who may be tempted to wait around to see the new iPhone 6.

It’s $199 at AT&T with a two-year contract.

Michael Zitz lives in Spotsylvania County.

mzbeckham@gmail.com

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/business/2014/05/03/samsungs-new-phone-is-deja-vu-all-over-again/