Reader Ratings And Advice: Flagship Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 received an average score of 3.9, with most of our readers giving it a rating of 3 or 4 but many giving it either a 1 or a 5. We got feedback on the Samsung Galaxy S5 from 140 users.The S5 seems to be the most controversial device rated by our readers. It got scores across the whole range: Some people hated it, others loved some things about it but disliked other things, and some people loved it.

>> See the In-Depth Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

On the positive side, most Galaxy S5 owners seem to be happy with the battery life of the device. The screen was also scored highly by most people, and it seems to work well both indoors and outdoors. The camera is another major improvement compared to previous generations, and our readers seem to be happy with it. One of the unique features of the Galaxy S5 that some people really like is the water resistance.

On the negative side, the biggest complaint revolves around the TouchWiz interface and extra Samsung software that seem to slow down the performance of the device, despite it having top-of-the-line specs when it launched. The stress that the software puts on the CPU can also lead the device to overheat, even with basic use. Some features, such as the IR blaster and fingerprint scanner, also don't work as well as they should, our readers reported.

Although some users liked the design of the Galaxy S5, others thought it had become too old and boring.

If you're a Samsung Galaxy S5 owner and you haven't given us your feedback yet, the form is still available. Below, you can see some of our readers' most representative comments for this device.

Top Ten Comments:

Comment: "good phone with great screen but too much bloatware resulting in the phone lagging quickly. cheap build quality. Waterproof not as good as in other in real life usage compared to other competing devices"

Comment: "Price tag is way too high. Camera is great though.Some features will rarely, if ever, be used and are clunky if you do use them (IR blaster)."

Comment: "This phone does more than any phone should ever do!It tends to overheat quite often, from basic use. Not to mention if it’s left on the bed while charging."

Comment:"Touchwiz slows the phone down to unacceptable levels. There is no reason a flagship phone should feel laggy compared to its competition."

Comment: "It is a capable phone with a great screen and can be used with one hand. Menus and apps load quickly and the camera is a good upgrade from the previous generationFingerprint scanner isn't as good as the iPhone5S or 6, you need to slide your finger down slowly for it to recognize it. Back cover doesn't have the quality feeling the Note 3 had with its faux leather. Takes a bit of getting used to the button to the left of the home button being something different altogether."

Comment: "Screen clarity and brightness were very impressive and I haven't yet seen anything that beats that screen. The camera is nicer and the phone is an all round joy to hold and to use.All the Galaxy products since the Note 2 have all been cut from the same tree. The design language has been the same for nigh on 2 and a half years! It's becoming boring."

Comment: "Very nice, powerful phone with a big screen, very good battery life, and waterproof.Waterproof is huge (hasn't everyone ruined at least 1 phone because of water?) Very nice big and clear screen. Battery life is much better than S3.Don't like? Camera is much better than S3, but it needs to t a little faster than it does."


Comment: "The battery life is amazing, the phone is waterproof, and size is just right.The charger is a weird shape which makes it hard to connect especially in the dark. The preloaded samsung features and Verizon Wirelesss apps can be annoying at times, like My Magazine, VZ Protect, and VZ Navigator."

Comment: "Phone has a nice sleek design, powerful hardware however a bloatware filled version of Android.Bloatware slows down phone and sometimes can't be removed"

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • Janithdalw
    In my opinion best phones are,

    The best Hardware => iPhone 6 Plus

    The best Phablet => Note 4

    The overall the best phone => Note 4

    Better value for money => OnePlus One

    I don't know why Tom'shardware added the G3 into the list. It has a poor battery life and the display also not so good despite the 2K resolution. I would rather replace it with the Z3.
  • Vorador2
    I'd say:

    If you have deep pockets and want a phone that provides a great (if constricted) experience, get the iPhone 6

    If you want a design that can turn heads and feel rock solid at the same time, get the One M8. Or better, wait for the upcoming refresh.

    If you can get an invite, get the OnePlus One. It's hard to get ahold of an unit, but it's probably the best device in relation to cost, and best device all around. If you can't, get the Moto G.

    And if you want the best big phone/phablet of the market, get the Note 4.
  • Tomtompiper
    If you want a good phone around the size of an iPhone 6 go with the Sony Z3 Compact, it beats the iPhone hands down. I like big screens so my choice was the Note 4, and I'm very happy with my decision. The S pen is fantastic and the video quality is outstanding. If I was being ultra critical I would ask that the plastic inserts in the metal frame were better colour coordinated.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Tom's, where is the Sony Xperia Z3 (and the smaller Z3 Compact?) I feel that you're missing out on what I feel is the best phone, with the best camera and, in my opinion, the least amount of customization to Android and what customization there is, is extremely intuitive useful.

    Or is this a primarily a US-based line-up, where you'll have to list the Xperia Z3v, the Verison version, which I don't think is on par with the international Z3?

    @Tomtompiper: I miss my stylus from the P990i days... :-)

    Thank you.
    South Africa
  • Matous Mojzis
    Where is Sony Z3 or Z3 Compact ?
  • wtfxxxgp
    I think that you should have done a very brief survey for all respondents to first complete before commenting on the handsets. That could have provided better context for the results. Not sure if this was done or not to be honest, but if not, then it would surely add value. Just as an example, 2 users have completely opposite opinions about battery life - yet the one uses the phone more for work-related activities, sees the occasional small video and chats - no gaming or movies or tinkering with apps and does not have LTE connectivity so doesn't use it. The other person that hates the battery is a heavy gamer when they're bored, or watches a full episode or 2 of a series on the daily commute and tinkers a lot with new apps etc. Suddenly very obvious why one person says that the battery life is great compared to the other one that thinks it sucks.
  • firefoxx04
    Weird. My S5 has no lag even with "restrict cpu performance" enabled to increase battery life.

    The bloatware isnt even active.. its just installed and hangs out.
  • randomstar
    I am a bit biased towards windows phones, and would love to see at least one of the top models here. I have not found anything that I feel compares well against my older 928 Nokia on the new iPhone.
  • beetlejuicegr
    Where is the Nexus line?
  • Lkaos
    Funny people saying an iPhone has the best sound when the phone's speakers are MONO and not STEREO....