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

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.

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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, Smartphones, AT&T

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8 comments
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  • What about Verizon

    Why didn't you test it on Verizon?

    How in the world is anybody supposed to keep up with every different version of each phone on each carrier and then say that Android is great?
    John Hanks
  • Unusable Service

    I'm always curious why people stick with T-Mobile or Sprint when so often their coverage and reliability is so bad.
    John Hanks
  • I prefer BlackBerry Z30

    I prefer the BlackBerry Z30 to Samsung Galaxy for security and even better battery life
    HenselM
    • BlackBerry 10 is Great

      Personally I prefer my Q10, the Z30 is a big too large for me. In just about every other way it is great though. The improved antenna design improves upon an already well done feature.
      John Hanks
  • Sprint No Talk and Data

    You failed to mention that on Sprint there is no capability for simultaneous data and text... that is a big issue in my opinion. Deal breaker for Sprint service.
    kirstijb@...
  • Couple of observations

    So the Sprint version also includes wi-fi calling which I was pretty impressed with on my Note 3. The S5 also has that capability. The radio receiver is great and I was glad to see it. Once upon a time there was a movement trying to force manufacturers to put that in phones. I wondered what had happened to that. i guess it failed.
    To the guy talking about Sprint doesn't do voice and Data (no CDMA based network has ever had that, my understanding is it remains in LTE because the voice is still on that stack) as with previous complaints like this I point out that all of the CDMA phones I have had were quite capable as long as you were on wi-fi for data. I am hoping that eventually the infrastructure will finish switching to LTE so that limitation will be lifted. That won't happen until they switch the backup network (3G) and voice (1x) over to a compatible radio (GSM).
    fezzik1977
    • my sprint has voice and data

      To reply to all cdma can't. I have a HTC EVO 4g LTE right now. I don't have wireless at home and I can talk on phone and use internet. I'm still think I'll get s5 eventually because I don't talk much on a phone anyway. I use it more as a super portable computer anyway since it is a mobile Linux OS.
      a12le14
    • Some Verizon phones support it

      I don't know the specifics, but I know the BlackBerry 10 phones on Verizon can do voice and data at the same time when using LTE. I also know that iPhones don't because they are lacking a 2nd radio. Beyond that, I don't know how some do it and some don't.
      John Hanks