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When Samsung launched the Galaxy S5, it did not receive an overwhelming response, although it did succeed in making an impact. The response, as compared to the other handsets in the flagship series (such as S6 and the recently launched Edge), was relatively minimal. The sealed-case design and non-replaceable battery were not taken well by numerous users, and the price seemed too much to pay for the looks. However, Samsung seems to want to set most of it right by the launch of the Galaxy S5 Neo. There are a few improvements, to increase the shelf life of its predecessor, the S5 brings with a removable back cover. There are a few improvements, though, and in addition to increasing the shelf life of its predecessor, the S5 Neo brings with it a removable back cover, and the replaceable battery feature back. It is worth mentioning that the price of the device is another excellent feature about it, and the long battery life is certainly an appeal for those who tend to use their phones excessively.
Most of us expect the devices in the Galaxy series to be visually appealing, to be the least. It was a surprise that the S5 turned out to be a disappointment, thanks to the textured plastic chassis it sported. We are already familiar with Samsung’s move to offer metal bodies for their Galaxy flagship. The S5 Neo, thankfully, does not have the textured plastic feel about it. But it would certainly be an overstatement to say that it feels like the S6. In terms of its looks, the device is no eye-catcher but makes up for it by offering a well-built, solid look.
Also, the expandable MicroSD card will be a boon to many, given the fact that the phone only offers 16GB of storage. Of this, 11GB is made available for user storage, but inserting an extensible memory card will boost up storage significantly. The other differences are the lack of the fingerprint scanner and Micro USB3 port, and this is one more reason behind the economic affordability of the phone. Instead, the S5 Neo features a devoted Home button, and a Micro USB2 port. Nevertheless, the phone retains the integrated heart rate scanner.
The S5 Neo offers a 5.1-inch display, with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, and a pixel density of 423ppi. However, in comparison to S6 (which has a resolution of 2560x1440p, and a pixel density of 576ppi), the S5 Neo certainly offers a better battery backup, thanks to the reduced number of pixels. Samsung’s proprietary interface looks amazingly clear and crisp, although if you have come across the S6 before, you might notice a subtle difference. The picture quality for both the devices is nearly identical, and the Super AMOLED screen offers excellent color reproduction.
Tests carried out on a variety of testing platforms revealed surprisingly good results, although it would not be technically correct to compare them to Neo’s predecessor. For instance, the S5 used Snapdragon 801 (which was a quad-core unit) but was clocked at 2.45GHz. In contrast, the Neo employs Samsung’s own Exynos 7580, which despite having eight cores, is clocked only at 1.6GHz. Again, we can’t complain much about it, since this is also one of the major reasons behind the affordability of the price. The difference, although not mind-boggling, is significant. Having said that, it must also be pointed out that the device technically ranks amongst the likes of Motorola’s Moto X Play and the Huawei P8, both of which offer decent hardware specs. The S5 Neo, however, scores slightly low when compared to competitors such as the One Plus2, and Galaxy flagships including the S5 and S6.
The S5 Neo offers a lag-free operation most of the time, but one may experience stutters when switching amidst numerous simultaneously open apps. The phone seems to take a break (only for a quick couple seconds though) when trying to open applications which consume more memory. The same scenario repeats when we try to overburden the GPU, but not all of it can be attributed to the hardware in the device. The UI seems to be responsible too, at least to some extent.
The camera units have been boosted in contrast to the original Galaxy S5. The S5 Neo comes with a 5MP camera for selfies, although the absence of a flash includes some noise taken in low-light pictures. The resolution is decent, though, 2576x1932 at an aspect ratio of 4:3. The rear camera is the same at 16MP but now comes with a wider aperture, f/1.9. Picture quality is excellent, and images are taken from the rear camera feature minimal noise, although the colors look slightly diminished.
Videos recorded from the rear camera are full HD, 1920x1080 pixels at 29 frames per second. However, the in-built camera app does not include features for time lapses or slow motion. As a matter of fact, the S5 Neo can capture better images using the rear camera than videos. While videos shot insufficiently conditions were quite okay, the ones shot in low-light areas seemed to miss on details. The phone can play a wide variety of audio and video files but added codecs could also be installed to play almost any multimedia file you like. The 5.1 inch gives you an immersive visual experience, and the color contrast as well as the reproduction makes watching movies a pleasure on the device.
The S5 Neo uses the same battery as its predecessor (2800mAh). Given the reduced screen resolution and power consumption, the device’s battery levels almost beat every other phone in this category. The S5 Neo went on for 9 hours for the WiFi test, and the device kept running for 13 hours for the FHD video looping test. The handset also allows you to save power exponentially if you turn the Ultra Savings Mode on since it brings the home screen to you in black-and-white, and also limits the usage of the smartphone to a few selected apps.
In terms of connectivity, the S5 Neo is at par with its flagship predecessor. The WiFi can seamlessly get connected to any device using 802.11sc for faster internet access, and the download booster combines the wireless as well as the LTE to considerably speed up downloading on content.
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