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First impressions: Samsung Galaxy S5

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On Saturday, your LA Gadgets Examiner was able to spend some hands-on time with the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5. We will be receiving a review unit within the next couple days. However, we wanted you to know what our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S5 are.

We have the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 as our main phone and thought we might want to upgrade once the Galaxy S5 comes out. Needless to say, we are glad we won't have to spend extra money to upgrade; the Galaxy Note 3 still remains the smartphone of all smartphones. But that doesn't mean the Galaxy S5 isn't impressive.

The first thing that we noticed is how bright the Galaxy S5's screen is. The Galaxy Note 3 is bright enough, but the Galaxy S5 screen is blindingly bright with beautiful colors. It is the most impressive screen we have ever seen on a smartphone device. We are not sure how this affects the battery life, but couldn't take our eyes off the screen for at least a minute.

The fingerprint scanner was a mixed bag. Unlike the one on the iPhone, this one requires you to swipe your finger. It worked 3 out of the 6 times we tried. It could be that our fingers might have been slightly wet or slightly greasy, but that was never a problem on the iPhone 5s. We will give the fingerprint scanner a full test this week. Needless to say, it is quite disappointing.

The camera, from our short time playing with it, isn't that much different from the already excellent cameras on the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. We did notice that the auto-focus worked significantly faster though. We were excited about the 4K video features, but--like the Galaxy Note 3--there is no video stabilization when taking 4K videos. Still, this is an impressive feature to have on such as small (relatively speaking) device.

Samsung's somewhat annoying TouchWiz operating system is less annoying this time around. Fonts and icons look cleaner and it is easier to navigate with Samsung's update. We still can't wait until Samsung creates its own operating system, but TouchWiz will do for now. Those expecting a major difference between last year's TouchWiz may be in for a slight disappointment.

The Samsung Galaxy 5 is definitely a great evolutionary unit. But it's not revolutionary. If you don't expect to be absolutely blown away by the Galaxy S5, you may just be very impressed and satisfied. Check for our full review sometime this week.

Twitter: @ddeino

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