Not that we didn’t have 90% of the specs in advance as well as the last minute photo leaks early this morning, but we’ve not officially got ourselves a Galaxy S5 coming in April. Most carriers are already on board (I’m looking at you Verizon), and it’s being hailed by AC as the best Galaxy phone to date. Solid upgrades in the hardware, software and design departments. Will it do well? Most probably. Will I buy one – probably not (I’m looking at you HTC!)

So what did we learn and see today? Plenty! Samsung’s industrial design has seen an upgrade. Even more sensors on board, waterproofing, and even more solid in-hand feel are the initial verdict. They didn’t employ the use of an alloy, and for that I’m disappointed. At least they finally scrapped the slick plastic back and didn’t continue the faux-leather trend. The matte back finish is Nexus-like. Ridged edges and a little hump around the lense add character (read: people will be pissed).

Out of the box the new flagship is running 4.4.2 – KitKat and Touch Wiz in it’s latest form. Flatter design and slicker menu make it much more palatable. I personally care not for anything that isn’t stock. There is an insane amount of proprietary software on this phone, SOME useful even. The camera has seen an upgrade with better processing, faster focus, features and even multi-mode HDR for photos AND video. Heart rate monitor and finger sensor put it at the top of the heap as far as functionality is concerned.

Finally, some key specs:

  • LTE Cat4
  • 5.1″ FHD S-AMOLED
  • 2.5Ghz Quad-core
  • 4.4.2 Kit Kat
  • 16MP/2MP
  • IP67
  • 2GB RAM, 16/32GB ROM + 128GB SD
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • finger, gyro, accelerometer, HR, barometer, compass, ambient light, proximity and IR

So the verdict is that it looks and feels better, runs better, is more rugged and can do so many things. About what I expected, but my socks are still on. What’s your take?

Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and initial review | Android Central.