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Unlike the prior generations, Samsung hasn’t up to now announced a Mini version of its flagship smartphone Galaxy S6. Instead, the Korean manufacturer now supplies the Galaxy S5 Neo, which is dependant on the old top model Galaxy S5 for price-conscious users. Externally, you can hardly distinguish any dissimilarities between your two devices, but there are a few small changes. Samsung has discarded the Snapdragon 801 and uses its Exynos SoC. There are a few changes to the cameras aswell, but some features have already been removed. The Galaxy S5 Neo also manages two issues of the existing S6, because aside from the replaceable battery, now you can expand the storage via microSD-card.

During the period of this review, we will obviously compare the results with the old Galaxy S5 and the existing Galaxy S6. Other rivals for the review unit will be the Huawei P8, the OnePlus 2 in addition to the Motorola Moto X Play.

You can immediately see that the review unit is a Galaxy S5, despite the fact that there are a few small but important dissimilarities between your new S5 Neo and the Galaxy S5. For instance, Samsung has dispensed with the fake leather back. The pattern remains, but you can evidently see that the trunk is constructed of plastic. This creates a good package, specifically for our silver test sample, nevertheless, you may also get the smartphone in gold and white. Fingerprints aren’t a major issue for the Galaxy S5 Neo.

The ports certainly are a welcome improvement being that they are now encapsulated, which means you do not need the excess covers anymore. The smartphone continues to be dust-resistant and waterproof (up to at least one 1 meter/~3 ft; for thirty minutes) according to IP67. The notification to close the trunk cover properly is quite annoying, since it appears after each restart.

The home button in addition has changed and there is absolutely no fingerprint reader anymore. The physical buttons are well integrated, but both volume rocker plus the power button are rather loud when you press them, which slightly affect the product quality impression. We have mentioned previously that you can take away the cover at the trunk to access the battery. The latter also should be removed if you wish to access both slots for the SIM card and the SD-card (both Micro).

Once again, we are able to hear some quiet creaking sounds whenever we twist these devices or apply a whole lot of pressure. However, we’re able to not provoke ripples on the display and the entire stability is good. Overall, the case once more leaves an excellent impression, though it cannot quite match the sophistication and the stability of the brand new Samsung Galaxy S6.

We can find the largest variations when compared to old top smartphone Galaxy S5 in this category. Furthermore the switch to Samsung’s own Exynos SoC, which mean less performance, the top features of the Galaxy S5 Neo are also reduced. Samsung has dispensed with the USB 3.0 port, the MHL connectivity, the Infrared transmitter, the support for the Chinese BeiDou satellite network in addition to the earlier mentioned fingerprint reader. What’s left is USB 2.0, ANT+, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct plus the heartrate monitor on the trunk. Accessories just like the Samsung Wearables (Gear Fit, Gear S) still work. At least, the USB port supports USB-OTG and we’d no problems whenever we attached a USB flash drive. The 16 GB internal storage could be expanded by up to 128 GB via microSD-card and compatible software can be used in the memory card following the installation.

The Galaxy S5 Neo is shipped with Android 5.1.1 and Samsung’s own TouchWiz interface. There is absolutely no information regarding if so when you will see an update to the present Android version 6.0. The other software additions are incredibly like the larger sibling Galaxy S6 and the main functions are covered. The Smart Manager allows fast access to the energy settings and these devices security. A swipe gesture from the left launches “Briefing”, a news feed that’s based on the favorite Flipboard. As well as the usual Google programs (Mail, Maps, Chrome, etc.), Samsung has once more installed the S Planner (calendar), S Health (fitness) and S Voice (voice control). Additionally you get a special iphone app store called Galaxy Apps. Furthermore, you get 100 GB OneDrive cloud storage free of charge for just two years. The “Simple Mode” helps it be simpler to utilize the smartphone with a lower home screen and larger symbols.

Communication & GPS
Unlike many current high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S5 Neo still runs on the Micro-SIM. Together with quad-band GSM, the review unit supports quad-band UMTS and Hexa-band LTE (Cat.6: downstream up to 300 Mbps, upstream up to 50 Mbps). We’re able to not notice any issues in the metropolitan T-Mobile network. Wireless networks are supported up to the fast Wi-Fi standard 802.11ac (2.4 & 5 GHz). Bluetooth 4.1 is supported aswell. Once more, the download booster, which runs on the Wi-Fi and LTE network simultaneously (download size at least 30 MB) is available.

We have mentioned previously that the Galaxy S5 Neo will not support the Chinese BeiDou anymore, that was the case for the Galaxy S5, therefore the smartphone must locate you position via GPS and GLONASS. The positioning takes just a few seconds, both outdoors (accuracy right down to 8 meters/~26 ft) and also indoors near a window (accuracy right down to 12 meters/~39 ft).

We also checked the accuracy of the module on a bicycle ride and compared the results with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. The full total difference is merely 100 meters (~328 ft). The smartphone shows some small deviations in the difficult sections just like the turning point, however in general, the performance continues to be very good.

The phone application is simple and is dominated by the good sized quantities pad. Aside from the call history for incoming and outgoing calls, you have immediate access to the favorites and the contacts. Within the app, you can even directly access the settings and block contacts or setup a call forwarding, for instance.

The decision quality leaves an excellent impression. Voices are incredibly clear on both sides of the decision and there is absolutely no annoying static. The positioning of the speaker at the trunk isn’t always perfect when you wish to utilize the hands-free feature, however the performance is reasonable. Our voice was somewhat too quiet and background noises might have been better suppressed. Overall, an excellent performance.

Picture with leading camera
Samsung has improved the cameras when compared to Galaxy S5 and the specifications act like the existing top model Galaxy S6. At the front end is a 5 MP sensor, which takes 4:3 images at up to 2576×1932 pixels. As well as the push button on the touchscreen, you can trigger the camera with the quantity rocker or voice control. Under good lighting conditions the standard of the pictures are decent and leading camera is satisfactory for selfies. You can also create group selfies. There is absolutely no flash, so you will begin to see picture noise in low-light situations. Videos could be recorded with leading camera with no more than 1920×1080 pixels.

Once more, a 16 MP sensor is situated at the trunk, but Samsung runs on the wider aperture for the Galaxy S5 Neo (f/1.9 vs. f/2.2 Galaxy S5). The bigger pixels can absorb more light, that ought to create greater results, particularly in low-light conditions. The entire resolution of 16 MP is merely designed for 4:3 pictures (4608x 3456pixels), while 16:9 shots could be taken at 12 MP (4608×2592 pixels). There are various picture modes you can pick from, including automatic, panorama, continuous shooting, HDR and an expert mode, and you could also download more modes. The pro mode includes settings for the exposure, the ISO value (100 to 800) and the white balance. Pictures are taken quickly and there is merely a little delay before you take another shot. This will not change in the professional mode.

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