Released two years ago, in April 2014, the Galaxy S5 remains the best smartphone on the market. Of course, there are many smartphones that have been released since then, including several Samsung models, that have much better specs on paper. The fact remains, however, that the S5 remains the best phone on the market that has three key features that are a must-have on my list:
- A removable battery – I don’t care how long a battery lasts or how quickly you can charge it. Until you can produce a battery/charging combo that can beat the 30 seconds it takes to power-down, swap batteries, and power-up, it’ll never be as good as one with a removable battery. I know there are arguments in favour of non-removable batteries, including reduced cost, thickness and weight. The bottom line is that convenience trumps these minor disadvantages every time. Just look at the charging stations at any airport or convention centre and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
- SD card slot – Again, it doesn’t matter how large you make the internal storage on a smartphone. Chances are you’ll fill it up if you own it long enough. A removable SD card slot always protects you against that eventuality.
- Wireless charging – Even though the Galaxy S5 doesn’t come with wireless charging, a Qi charging cover is inexpensive and extremely convenient. So much so that it makes the S5 a winner over the new LG G5 that lacks the capability of even adding it as an aftermarket product.
- Current Cyanogenmod development – This isn’t a must-have feature, but it keeps the hardware alive and the software current. By upgrading the Galaxy S5 ROM to a nightly build of Cyanogenmod, I get the benefit of running a much newer version of Android along with current Google security patches without the need to wait for Samsung to get around to it or abandon it altogether to force the upgrade cycle. While this isn’t for the non-technical user, it is certainly recommended for those of you who prefer the Bring Your Own Device plan that all the carriers provide.
Until one of the manufacturers produces a decent phone with the above specs as a minimum, I’ll be replacing my current Galaxy S5 with another Galaxy S5.