Why Samsung's Galaxy S5 is the best business smartphone

Samsung didn't need revolutionary features to make its latest flagship a worthy choice for enterprise customers, road warriors -- and anyone who wants a device that will last a few years. Here are 10 reasons to consider the S5.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
10 reasons the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the best business smartphone
Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

Yesterday Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5, which looks a lot like the Galaxy S4 and III with some evolutionary improvements. ZDNet's Jason Perlow thinks it is just another Android device, but I have to say it may just be the best Android device available for the enterprise customer in the first half of 2014.

CNET Review: Samsung's best phone gets better

I previously wrote five reasons that Galaxy Note 3 was the best smartphone for the road warrior -- and it remains a fantastic choice. However, I think the Galaxy S5 goes even further with more functions and features that are attractive to the business customer. Here are 10 reasons the new Galaxy S5 is the best smartphone for the enterprise.

  1. Advanced sensors: Samsung includes a fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, and IR blaster in the Galaxy S5. I like that the fingerprint sensor can be used for device security (I find this very handy on the iPhone 5s) as well as for mobile payments -- with potential for even more functionality in the future. As a fitness fan, I appreciate how the heart rate monitor can help improve my health. I love the IR blaster on my HTC One and won't buy an Android device without one. It is especially useful for hotel room TVs.
  2. Dust and water resistance: After testing the Sony Xperia Z1s, I would have bought one if the screen wasn't so washed out. I decided I want a water-resistant phone to use out in the field. I understand you need the headphone jack cover in place, like the earlier Xperia Z models, but that is fine for most of the time I use a phone outside.
  3. Samsung Knox 2.0: Samsung's Knox technology offers advanced security features that helps make the S5 more attractive to businesses.
  4. Removable battery: I have to admit I was afraid that Samsung was going the route of everyone else with an integrated battery, so I was relieved to see they still offer a removable version. It has a bit more capacity than the S4 and road warriors will love the ability to swap them out when away from a plug.
  5. microSD card slot: Like the battery, I thought we might see this go away on the S5. The microSD slot is not very useful for apps, but allows you to store media and easily show files directly with a PC connection.
  6. Gear 2 and Fit connectivity: Samsung updated its Samsung Galaxy smartwatch offerings and I think these look great for the business user who needs to triage incoming notifications without having to focus on the phone. The Gear 2 and Fit are functional extensions of the Samsung experience and look to be quality pieces of gear.
  7. Latest mobile processor: Samsung includes the Snapdragon 801 processor in the S5 so you won't have to wait for things to happen on your phone. Demo and hands-on videos show people flying around the device and no one wants to be waiting for things to happen on their phones today.
  8. Advanced camera software: When I am out doing work in shipyards and in the field, I notice that most  people use their smartphone cameras to capture photos of projects. Samsung's 16 megapixel camera has an enhanced user interface and new functions such as advanced HDR, Selective Focus, and more.
  9. Large display, yet pocketable form factor: Samsung increased the display just a bit to 5.1 inches with a slight size and weight increase over the S4. It is still more pocketable than the Note 3 and I understand the display is gorgeous, as expected from Samsung. A large display is handy for messaging and viewing documents on the go.
  10. Improved UX: Samsung's TouchWIZ is pretty overwhelming and sometimes frustrating, but their new interface looks to be more efficient and useful. Business users will still have plenty of customization available, but shouldn't feel as frustrated by the experience.

Samsung will sell millions of the S5 devices and I think it is pretty clear that it is a worthy smartphone to consider for road warriors, photographers, media junkies, and those who want a phone that lasts at least a couple years. It may not have any significant revolutionary features or blow away everyone, but there are some unique features and existing functionality has been improved.

I won't judge the Galaxy S5 until I get a chance to test one out. But given that I love my HTC One I am also going to wait to see what HTC announces on 25 March in New York before deciding which of these two smartphones earns my 2014 dollars.

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