April 1st 2017 Samsung S 5 Hassles

April 1st 2017 Qt 5_8_0 | | August 22nd 2017 Qt 5_9_1

Almost two years ago I bought myself a Samsung S5. It has been serving me well so far, but yesterday GPS stopped working. I checked everything, even installed Lineage OS (aka cyanogenmod) 14.1, but GPS is just dead. For a phone that was bought for the major reason to have a decent GPS receiver this malfunction renders it pretty useless.

I still like the fact that it has an exchangeable battery (after two years battery capacity has dropped to less than 50%) and an sdcard slot. Another reason I bought it was the good camera and the water resistance. The latter has not held up to its promises, since the usb slot cap is a lousy piece of plastic and got loose soon although I really carefully handled it. Without it the phone is not water-proof any longer.

I still dislike that the S5 is so large. I cannot handle it easily with one hand, many buttons are in the top left corner and not easily reachable. The phone is a tad too big so that it doesn’t fit in many pockets or falls out more easily.

For those reasons I would not recommend to buy it again. On the other hand what else should one buy: The Samsung S5 Neo? This is no longer featuring the flimsy USB slot cover despite being still water-resistant, but the camera is not as good as the original S5 camera under low light conditions and it still has a pentile matrix.

Like 2 years ago there is just no reasonable 4.x” mobile phone with good GPS, display and low-light camera on the market for under 300 EUR, not even under 400 EUR. Maybe the best fit nowadays is the Samsung A3 (2016) for 200 EUR or the Samsung A3 (2017) for 280 EUR, but both have a low-resolution LCD with pentile matrix and no exchangeable battery. Still waiting for the ultimate hiking smart-phone…

If we are looking at 5.x” smartphones, then there is a good match on the market now: The Huawei P9 Lite. It has a decent although not superb camera, full HD screen, long lasting battery and a GPS that is working for about 200 EUR. Compared to the Samsung S5 neo for 330 EUR, the Samsung A3 (2016) for 200 EUR, the Samsung A3 (2017) for 280 EUR or the Motorola Moto G5 for 200 EUR (with exchangeable battery but below-average camera) or the Motorola Moto G5+ for 260 EUR (with above-average camera but non-exchangeable battery), the Huawei P9 Lite is a no-brainer.

Compared to its successor the Huawei P10 Lite for 350 EUR the P9 Lite is the better match. The most important parts are identical: equal camera, full HD display, enough battery capacity. One has to note though that exchanging the battor the Motorola Moto G5 for 200 EUR (with exchangeable battery but below-average camera)ery is a hassle with both models, since the battery is glued into the housing and is hidden below a couple of connector cables so that a lot of parts have to be removed before the battery is accessible. The battery has to be warmed with a hair-dryer, also. Even then it is not easy to remove the battery without bending the case.

Nevertheless, for 200 EUR the P9 lite appears to be still the best match at this time of writing in April 2017.

As of July 2017, the price of the Huawei Nova has dropped to about 250 EUR. It has a very good camera and a large battery capacity (although the battery is not exchangable). I have made several hands on camera tests and my Samsung S5 does not look very good against the Huawai Nova regarding image quality and camera focus speed.

So for now, the best affordable outdoor mobile is the Huawei Nova.

The Huawei Nova II has been already released and its dual camera looks promising, but it has a price tag of 350 EUR, so that it currently competes with high end mobiles such as the Samsung S6 and alike. So for the moment the camera of the Huawei Nova is still the best for the buck.

April 1st 2017 Qt 5_8_0 | | August 22nd 2017 Qt 5_9_1