Experiences with the Samsung Galaxy S5 on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile

Summary:The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available on all major carriers and I had the chance to test multiple versions on three major carriers. The available internal storage varies with the number of apps pre-installed by carriers.

Experiences with the Samsung Galaxy S5 on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile
Image: AT&T

I spent a month with the Galaxy S5 and over the last couple of weeks I have been testing the Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile versions. I will be visiting my T-Mobile store this week to buy a Galaxy S5 for my wife since it's working out well with a Cel-Fi booster helping out.

It's great to see so many carriers launching flagship devices that let consumers purchase the best devices with their preferred carrier. I think this lack of exclusivity helps Samsung and Apple sell more of their smartphones and is likely contributing to the slow adoption of Windows Phone.

AT&T Galaxy S5

AT&T offers the 16GB Galaxy S5 in black, white, and gold at a number of different price points. The full, no-contract price is $649.99 with the two-year contract price as low as $199.99. AT&T Next options include Next 12 for $32.50/month for 20 months or Next 18 for $25/month for 26 months.

The AT&T model includes quite a few AT&T apps and services, with some actually having good value. The available apps include:

  • myAT&T: App that helps you manage your account.
  • AT&T Messages: App that consolidates all your texts, calls, and visual voicemail into one inbox.
  • AT&T Locker: Cloud storage app that provides you with 5GB of free storage and options for purchasing additional storage.
  • AT&T Navigator: Telenav's GPS navigation and mapping solution that provides online and offline mapping support.
  • AT&T FamilyMap: Service designed so that families can track where each person can be found.
  • Mobile TV: AT&T U-Verse Live TV mobile television application.
  • Mobile Hotspot: Wi-Fi hotspot utility
  • Usage Manager: Utility that provides the status of your battery and storage capacity.
  • Device Help: Website link to AT&T help sites
  • DriveMode: Handy utility that helps drivers avoid distractions from incoming calls and text. Can be set to launch automatically when driving speed exceeds 25 mph.
  • AT&T Mobile Locate: Utility available to help you find your device. I kept seeing application errors so didn't test it out.
  • Caller Name ID: Provides caller ID info even if you don't have the caller in your contact list. It costs $2.99 per month.
  • Isis Wallet: Mobile wallet application
  • Beats Music: Music subscription service
  • Keeper: Password application
  • YP: Yellow pages app designed to help you find places to shop or visit.

There looks to be about 10GB of internal storage available on the AT&T model. I experienced fast connections in almost every place I went with the AT&T model. If I didn't have five lines on T-Mobile at such a low price I would probably go with AT&T as my carrier.

Sprint Galaxy S5

S5Sprint2

Sprint offers the 16GB Galaxy S5 in black and white. The two-year contract price is also $199.99. An Easy pay option with $0 down and $27.09/month for 24 months is also available.

The Sprint model looks to have fewer apps than the AT&T model, including:

  • Sprint TV & Movies: Sprint's television and movie application that has both free and subscription options.
  • Sprint Music Plus: Music subscription service
  • NBA Game Time: Official NBA application
  • Scout: Telenav's GPS mapping and navigation service
  • Eureka Offers: Shopping app that provides local deals and special offers.
  • Sprint Money Express: Visa prepaid service
  • NASCAR Mobile 2014: Official NASCAR application to follow your favorite driver and keep track of the racing season.
  • Lookout: Utility and service used to secure your device and data while also keeping it safe from viruses.
  • eBay: eBay mobile application
  • Messaging+: Enhanced text messaging application
  • NextRadio: FM radio station application

The Sprint Galaxy S5 has the least available amount of internal storage at just about 9GB due to the included applications. It's interesting to see that the Sprint model includes a FM receiver while that capability doesn't look to be present on the AT&T or T-Mobile versions.

T-Mobile Galaxy S5

S5Tmo1

T-Mobile also offers the 16GB Galaxy S5 in black, white, and gold. The full, no-contract price is $660 with the option to pay $0 down and pay $27.50/month for 24 months.

Like most phones from T-Mobile, there are very few apps loaded on the Galaxy S5. You will find the following:

  • T-Mobile My Account: Utility to view and manage your account.
  • Mobile Hotspot: Utility to manage the Wi-Fi tethering functionality.
  • Visual Voicemail: Utility that provides you with enhanced voicemail.
  • Amazon: Application designed for shopping at Amazon.
  • T-Mobile Name ID: One of the subscription service options to provide caller ID beyond just the contacts you have in your database.
  • T-Mobile TV: Application so you can enjoy mobile TV on your smartphone. This is another subscription service available for consumers.
  • Lookout: Utility and service used to secure your device and data while also keeping it safe from viruses.

There is about 11 GB available on the T-Mobile version since they don't overload it with bloatware. Actually, most of the items installed by T-Mobile are simply utilities and not additional services with fees.

Wi-Fi Calling is a nice function to have on the device and it works well for me in one level of my house.

My wife loves the Galaxy S5 due to the great camera, useful Samsung utilities and functions, long battery life, large display, and HD voice call quality.

Related Galaxy S5 coverage

Topics: Mobility, Android, AT&T, Smartphones

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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