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Samsung Galaxy S5 : NFC Review

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No sooner had the Galaxy S4 launched it seemed that Samsung had already consigned it to the archive lot and announced the arrival of the S5 almost immediately. Where the S4 was perhaps a tread-water effort to remain competitive, the S5, genuinely, seem to be something that has propelled the galaxy range back into the lead in the smartphone wars.

Whereas the S4 just was't much more than the S3, the S5 somehow feels remarkably more modern and device you would expect a flagship to be.

Although it's a little ironic. The S5 doesn;t have the premium feel of the S4 in terms f case and finish, but as soon as you power on the screen it seems to eeek of a new world. Somehow this device finds itself in a different league despite how tacky the back case feels when you remove it to add the battery and sim card. I was even amazed and somewhat sceptical that this flimsy back could be instrumental in making the phone water resistent. A claim that is being made on TV currently, and one that you are reminded of every time you remove the back cover.

The S5, as you would expect, has NFC. Normally at this point, when talking about this specific feature, there's not much to add. standard fayre NFC Android implementation is the usual summary. However, Samsung have this time round completely refreshed the look and feel of the settings section of the phone, and NFC now find itself in a iconised set of features called Connect and Share. However, under connect does not exist Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or any of the other networking features, but rather it sits with Nearby devices, Printing and Screen mirroring. It's an interesting placement. Theoretically NFC is not much different to Bluetooth, so one wonders why it isn't in Network Connections, but actually when one considers how a consumer night think of NFC - and it's ability to connect or share with something tangible close by, then it kind of does make sense. So it looks like someone has actually put some thought into this, which is always refreshing!

Under NFC there the simple on / off switch and then under a heading Data Exchange you have Android Beam and S Beam. Again, someone has thought about this and started to differentiate the terminology fo rthe customer. Great to see it happening finally.

The final setting is for Payment services - Tap and pay where you can select your default payment app, which you have to install first before you can select it. Whether Tap and pay fits under a general heading of Connect and Share, I don't think it does, it doesn't really matter much since the availability of mobile payments in the true sense of the term, has yet to reach the general public. However, that time will come and I guess they'll move it up the menu hierarchy or give it i's own settings.

The antenna on this device is even further down the back of the phone that the S4, being a good 2 / 3rd's of the way down the back. This jockying of position of the antenna isn;t great for consumers, especially when you don't have a physical marker on the device to let people know where it is (like Sony does).

NFC performance is robust and fast with interactions taking place at speed and feeling very spontaneous.

Overall I am impressed with the S5. Samsung have done a good job of refreshing the interface, and making the device feel up to date. But before I eat my words, let me just check when the S6 is due out...

 

 

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Guest Thursday, 21 September 2017