DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

The S5 is the latest model in Samsung's line of Galaxy S flagship smartphones and replaces last year's Galaxy S4. The new model's camera comes with a slightly larger 1/2.6-inch CMOS BSI sensor and an increased pixel-count of 16MP (up from the S4's 13MP) but the maximum aperture remains unchanged at F2.2. Like its phablet sibling the Galaxy Note III, the S5 offers 4K video capture but has to make do without an optical image stabilization system.

Samsung also claims to have improved AF speeds by implementing a phase-detection system, similar to what's being used in digital SLRs. Other new imaging features include real-time HDR processing , a new camera user interface and the Selective Focus feature that allows you to blur the background by taking two pictures at different focus settings and merging them, similar to Background Defocus on the Sony Xperia Z2 or Nokia's Refocus app.

In terms of design, with its rounded corners, metal band around the edges and the faux-leather back, the S5 looks like a cross between Galaxy S4 and Note III. However, the new model is also dust and water resistant with an IP67 rating, which means you can keep snapping in adverse weather conditions. As you would expect from a Galaxy S device the non-camera components are top-notch, too. Android 4.4.2 is powered by a Qualcomm quad-core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon S801 processor and 2GB of RAM. Images can be stored on 16 or 32GB of internal memory or microSD-card and the 1080p Super AMOLED screen measures a generous 5.1 inches. Read on to find out if and how all the high-end specifications translate into mobile photography performance.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 1/2.6-inch 16MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • F2.2
  • 31mm focal length (35mm equivalent)
  • 4K video recording
  • 2MP front camera
  • Slow motion video
  • Electronic image stabilization

Other Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal memory, microSD slot up to 64GB
  • Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen (1920 x 1080)
  • Dust and water resistant (IP67) 
  • NFC
  • Pulse meter
  • 2800mAh Battery 

Our 11-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.