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The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S5

Updated Apr 14th, 2014 12:08PM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S5 Review
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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It feels like we have been waiting forever for the Galaxy S5 to launch. The release of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone actually comes less than a year after the Galaxy S4 first debuted, but to be frank, the S4 was a pretty big let down. It was a jack of all trades, master of just one: the display.

Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2013 wasn’t a bad smartphone, per se, but it really wasn’t anything special. And it certainly wasn’t the envelope-pusher we were looking for from the top smartphone vendor in the world.

But with the Galaxy S5, Samsung tried even harder to wow us.

In some ways, the S5 is absolutely a step in the right direction. Whereas Samsung seemingly tossed every half-baked gimmick it could think of into the Galaxy S4, the feature additions on this year’s model actually have purpose. For the most part, at least.

The new camera is a big upgrade, the software is more refined and the health features provide a good first crack at an emerging space.

But there is one way the Galaxy S5 is almost exactly like its predecessor, and it just so happens to be the one area where we hoped the new S5 would be just like the S4: It has the best mobile display the world has ever seen.

When the Galaxy S4 debuted in 2013, we had never seen a smartphone screen quite so stunning. In fact, it wasn’t until the Galaxy Note 3 debuted in the fall that a handset finally bested the S4’s display, and of course it was a Samsung phone that stole the crown.

Now, another new Samsung phone will wear the crown.

The full HD Super AMOLED display on Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 is absolutely the best thing about this new phone. It’s just incredible.

Measuring 5.1 inches diagonally, the panel actually spreads the same number of pixels across a larger canvas than the Galaxy S4 did. The result is a slight drop in pixel density from 441 ppi to 432 ppi. Of course, that difference simply cannot be perceived by the human eye.

What can be perceived, however, is the fact that the new panel on the S5 is far brighter than the one on last year’s model. The colors also seem to pop a bit more, and the contrast is somehow slightly more impressive as well.

But don’t take my word for it. Display analyst Raymond Soneira took an in-depth look at the Galaxy S5 screen and found it to be 22% brighter than the Galaxy S4 display. He also called it the best smartphone display Samsung has produced to date.

There’s a lot to like about Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 and there’s also plenty to dislike. Of one thing, however, there is little room for debate: The gorgeous Super AMOLED display on this new handset is absolutely the best thing about the Galaxy S5.

A piece on the worst thing about the Galaxy can be found here, and more Galaxy S5 coverage from BGR can be found here.

This post is part of a new feature on BGR that supplements our standard product reviews. In this series, BGR takes a closer look at the best and worst qualities of some of the most popular consumer devices in the world in an effort to dive deeper into exactly what makes them stand out.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.