Samsung Galaxy S5 is Bigger, Faster, and Still Made of Plastic

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10basetom

Sorry you spelled the company's name wrong -- it should be Samesung ;)

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biggiebob12345

I had an S3 and have an S4. The S4 was a much bigger step up than the S5 is. I was hoping for a better screen or OIS camera. Got neither. I'll probably still upgrade to the S5, but only after 6 months when you can buy it refurbed for $5 with a contract which is what I did with the S4.

As for the metal v. plastic....I like plastic. It's a better material in every way for a phone aside from "aesthetics" that iTards are so fond of. Most journalists also don't recognize that there's many different kinds of plastic and polycarbonate used in the S series is one of the better / more expensive ones.

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MaximumMike

It was inevitable that Samsung would eventually release a product that would have us going, "meh." Smartphone technology has been moving forward at a breakneck pace. So much so, that we've constantly heard the nay sayers ringing the knell of the PC. But just like with PC's the platform has hit a plateau and is finally maturing. It was only September when Samsung revealed the breathtaking Galaxy Note 3 with practically every feature imaginable. And here we are less than 6 months later hoping Samsung will release another device that makes us forget all about the one that's barely even on the shelves. But the GS 5 hasn't really done that. And frankly, I'm glad.

This pace of marketing a new device to us every 4 to 6 months barely even allows one to settle with his new toy before being told he must discard it for one that's superior in every possible way. And to PC users (the platform these devices are supposedly replacing), this is a foreign notion. We're not lining up every time HP or Dell releases a new flagship (what an absurd term) model. We hold onto our machines as long as they perform the task for which we bought them. So, if these smaller more mobile devices are now starting to replace some of the tasks traditionally endeared to our trusty PC's, it's only natural that we don't want to line up to replace them every 4 to 6 months. In fact, I think many of us would prefer a device we thought would still be relative in 3 or 4 years.

And that's my point. I just got my Note 3. And it was a huge jump from my GSII, which just wasn't cutting it anymore. I have absolutely loved the device. But honestly, I haven't even had the time to explore all of its features yet. And here comes Samsung to burst my bubble and make me wish I had waited a few months for a better device. But wait, they didn't. Anyone who has a GSIII or older will be more than ecstatic about getting a GS5. But those of us who just bought new devices don't have to feel like technology is leaving us behind just after we bought them.

The smartphone market is finally maturing, just like the PC market did before it. Sales numbers will eventually drop off as well. And then you'll see the world where PC's and smartphones exist as complements to one another, where there is both stability and growth in technology. So, in short, I think it's a good thing that the GS5 is underwhelming.

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JosephColt

It still amazes me to this day people will go out and buy the next best thing because you tell them it's better, and they don't know why when they are standing in line. Mostly just iPhone customers though, it's a sign of social status to own one, and they want to be part of the crowd.

Smartphones have come along way in the last 5 - 7 years with features, but now it's nothing to impressive like you noted. I'm sure the next big thing will be 4K playback for phones, it's the next logical marketing step. I was tempted to get a Note 3 myself, but the difference between the S3 and N3 wasn't to inciting feature wise. Right now I have to carry around a new blackberry for work and that's larger than my last one, and an S4 which is pretty big as it is too, I'd hate to dangle a Note 3 and Blackberry constantly. We will see 6 and 7 inch phones in no time I bet, hah.

It will be interesting for sure to see how phones end up in 10 years and compliment each other. Interconnection of all your devices, phone, PC, and smart watch are inevitable without a doubt. We may even have nano chips implanted in our body, while sounds scarey now, may be the norm of the future.

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severnia

"We will see 6 and 7 inch phones in no time I bet, hah."
your a bit behind the times, they have already been here. Look up the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Huawei Ascend Mate. there have been a few other no-name Chinese flavors in the 6+ inch range.

I personably have the Note 2, have had it over a year and love it and have seen no reason to chase after another phone right now, although I do envy the newer phones that are water resistant due to the environments I frequent, the iterative bumps in speed and power are not enough to jump. I love the 5.5" screen, and I personally feel the sweet spot is 5.1-5.7" for phones. I'm an engineer in a industrial plant, and I frequently use the phone as a tool, from the flashlight app, to pulling up PDF's or other reference documents, to using the stylus to either jot a few quick notes, or snapping a picture and making some quick annotations on it. I don't need to carry a tablet or a laptop always with this around.
Now, when the note 4 comes out, with the ip67 dust/moisture proof rating, Ill probably make the jump. never mind the relase date likely being close to my 22 month upgrade cycle end...

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JosephColt

Technology sure movies fast in the phone segment, it's almost scarey.

I also feel the sweet spot is around 5 inches too, anything bigger would start to feel like a tablet at that point. I would use my phone to go over PDFS or review documents, but it's just to small which is why I need something bigger for work related tasks on the go, but I also wouldn't want my phone to be over 6 inches.

If you work in an industrial plant then I am guessing the dust and moisture protection will come in handy for you then.

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Engelsstaub

I'm doing fine with my 4S. I've no plans to upgrade anytime soon and nobody's telling me to buy jackshit. ...I guess it's just too cold to stand in line where I live. Meanwhile, my best friend has an S4 and is already itching for the newest "Sammy."

I don't know what it is with nerd-stereotypes online, but I rarely see much truth to them in my admittedly-mundane day-to-day life.

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RandomInt

Huh. Paul, which iPhone do you have?

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DJFresh

The S3 was such an awesome phone, they're releasing it again........for the third time

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garrettp

So, the thing that sticks out the most in the back is the camera??? So... when it slides on a surface, and it will, the camera glass will get nice and scratched up? That to me is a deal breaker. I take so many pictures with my phone since I cannot always have my great Canon SX30 with me at all times!!!!

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Vano

First of all, most responsible people have a case, secondly, because it's raised up, the only way to scratch the lens the way that it would affect photos is to "work it", because the middle of the lens would never touch surface when the phone is laying on it's back, simply because phone can't be balanced on it...and finally, although the lens is raised up, it's metal border is actually raised up slightly more, that acts like a bumper.

IMO N3 has a better design regarding this, because the lens stays even more away from table surface, because of the flash.

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vrmlbasic

Glad to see that _someone_ believes in the SD slot. I wish Google itself did.

The phone has USB 3.0. I wonder if that means that the phone will have faster IO with the SD card when connected to a PC. My current phone struggles to give me my Class 10 speeds when connected to my PC :(

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Vano

Note 3 doesn't have faster IO for SD. From internal storage, however is 100mb/sec (ish) transfer. (tested with Samsung 64gb Pro SD card, with 70/30 r/w suggested speeds)

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vrmlbasic

Thanks.

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squarebab

Will the S5 allow you to disable S-Voice? If so, I'm in. S-voice has made voice dialing impracticable with my S3. I miss the simple voice dialing of my Droid Incredible. Die, S-voice, die!

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Innomasta

Pretty sure it's 3GB of RAM?

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AEM

Nope, 2 Gb.

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Axel011

I am a bit underwhelmed. Fingerprint technology is nothing new and while they are expanding on it. It's not enough to make me go "Wow I am so not getting a new iPhone for this"

To me as a consumer it seems like most of the effort went into developing smart watches which is something I am not interested in at all. So as I go forward I will be keep my options open this spring in terms of a new phone, or I might even stick with my old GS2 for a while. The more I look at the GS5, the more I dislike it compared to the features of the GS4 they are virtually the same which does not give me the urge to run out and buy it.

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JosephColt

You're not really supposed to upgrade a device unless it cannot keep up with your needs. As an example, going from my old phone to an S4 was like going from a P4 to an i7. If your phone cannot met your needs then you know when to upgrade.

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wolfing

exactly. Going from my Palm Pre to the S3 was a big jump, but right now I have no desire to switch my S3 for anything else (S5 or latest iPhone). That is blasphemy for some people, specially a lot of iPhone users, but it's the best thing for your wallet.

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JosephColt

Really, why do people care if it's metal? I would rather have plastic because it's lighter and I use a protective case with my S4.

As far as things are concerned Samsung is making the best phones right now in my opinion for, and for a good price.

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stradric

Few people use naked phones. They buy a pretty glass and metal phone and then drop it in a cheap rubber or plastic case and boast about how metal is so superior. It's like me saying how sexy I am under all this fat.

The plastic phone is rather brilliant in that regard. It gives me utility access for battery and such and I don't have to care about covering up my plastic with a case.

I'm glad Samsung is sticking to the Galaxy S series' much loved design.

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Arthur Dent

Not to mention plastic is better at shock absorption than a rigid metal shell.

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EKRboi

Was a moto user for years. Picked up an S4 last year and have been happy with it once I got rid of TouchWiz and am back to AOSP based roms. I've never been a new phone every year kind of person, hell I used my Bionic for almost 3 years.

There is absolutely NOTHING to the S5 that even remotely makes me want it over my S4. Having never used an S3, maybe it would be a worth it upgrade for them? I will say this though, the only thing it has going for it is it's newer SOC and fancy fingerprint scanner. The SOC upgrade seems pointless to me at this time as I run mine under clocked from its stock 1.9Ghz down to 1.56Ghz and notice no performance decrease, only much better battery life.

If someone were to ask me my opinion on upgrading from an S3 to to an S5 I would tell them to skip the $200-300 it will cost up front on a subsidized contract and grab an S4 that they are pretty much giving away now. Same goes for buying one outright.

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Peanut Fox

Didn't the Bionic have a biometric scanner on it?

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wolfing

My S3 contract ends in about June, but I'll hold for a while (unless it breaks) for the S5. The S3 does everything I want, so if I can save $100 or more by waiting, I'll wait.

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EKRboi

If you can hold til oct-nov you can probably get one for $0 up front. Thats what happened to me with my S4. I was planning on waiting til then but I knew I had to have a phone with an open or hacked bootloader after dealing with the locked down bootloader on my Bionic. So I sucked it up and paid the $200 "down payment" for my s4 the day after I read that VZW was starting to send out an OTA that patched the exploit that basically bypassed the locked bootloader.

The girl at VZW I bought it from was puzzled when she started setting it up for me and tried to accept the update and I grabbed it from her and yanked the battery out. I had to explain myself about the bootloader and she said "you can't do that", I said "I can and I will" haha. I paid $200 on contract for it and a couple of months later they were doing it for $0.

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Drummerdude

It's still all the same crap that my HTC Vivid has. Idk why these companies keep selling a " better product " when in all actuality, it's the same exact phone as everything else, sans MAYBE an extra gig of space, and so on.

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locoism25

No Samsung...you still don't know what consumers want.

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LatiosXT

I don't get the whole "omg metal phone" craze. Yes the iPhone and HTC One have a nice feel, but you can make a plastic phone that doesn't look like a cheap glossy toy.

For instance, I have a Moto X and I like its build quality very much.

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Bdiddytampa

Just picked up a Moto X the other day as an upgrade from my dead Gnexus and I love it, great phone. I also don't understand the big deal about metal phones, I have mine in a case anyway so as long as it is light and durable, I could care less what it is made of. That being said, the build quality on the Moto X is fantastic, I just hope it lasts longer than my Gnex lol :-D

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Eoraptor

Metal phones tend to have a better feel in the hand than their plastic brothers. (sisters? not sure the gender pronoun on a phone). They spread the heat from components and hand use more efficiently and so don't tend to develop hot spots the way a plastic or fiberglass phone does, or have a cold bite to them. As to flexibility or durability, it seems to be a wash, plastic, fiberglass, kevlar, etc, all seem to come out the same at the thicknesses needed for modern phone design.

the down side is that, as we learned with antennagate, unless carefully engineered they can play havoc with reception.

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stradric

Metal can absorb more energy than plastic, so naturally it works as a more efficient conduit for heat. So you are correct there. However, that same property also means metal will absorb more of the heat from your hands when it is left out to chill in the air. So the metal phones are the ones that have the "cold bite".

Both materials have their advantages. It comes down to personal preference.

The reason I love the plastic phone is because it means I can open it up and change the battery, SIM and SD card.

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LatiosXT

In my case with the Moto X, only the front side has a glossy feel to it, and most of that is Gorilla Glass. The back is a rubberized texture which feels really nice.

I also don't immediately believe metal chassis helps with heat that people think it does. I'm probably pulling this out of my ass, but while metal does conduct heat better, it doesn't spread it out very far, creating hotter spots. And heat has never exactly been a problem with portable devices. At least in my experience.

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EKRboi

I don't either. IMO the HTC One was/is an ugly phone. The iPhone is aesthetically pleasing until you turn it on and ios starts up. I don't know ANYONE who does not have a case on their phone. I have never broken the shell of a phone, nor seen a broken smartphone shell. What I have seen are broken screens... we need bullet proof glass on phones!

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wolfing

guess you don't know me then, I don't have a shell and don't see the need for a shell for my phone (S3).

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EKRboi

you are one of the few then I think. I only have a flimsy super thin case (if you can even call it that) on mine (s4). It won't stop anything from breaking the phone if I was to drop it from very far. It's more or less there so I dont scratch the body up.

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BlazePC

LG will be quietly eating Samsung's lunch...

Nexus 5 F T W !

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Rebel_X

Nexus is a failure because of one thing "NO SD CARD" .

Back to topic: It is nice to have water and dust resistance, but the biggest problem of phones is the fragility of the screens. Make it bullet proof then we are talking, they could save somebody's life :p

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LatiosXT

I'm also in the boat where a lack of SD card slots is a real deal breaker. Maybe it made sense back then when one could only fit in 1GB or less of internal flash. But I haven't even gotten close to filling up 32GB and I have a few dozen videos on there (I don't have music though, since I have a Zune HD for that).

Plus I believe internal flash memory runs much faster for accessing files and the like. Going through an SD card is annoyingly slow on the phones and tablets I've used.

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vrmlbasic

Wait a sec, are you for or against the SD slot? Your opening sentence says that you want a SD slot but the rest of your post seems to be anti-SD slot.

I use my phone as a music player so I need the SD card. I also like the idea of being able to swap in more storage in seconds via a new SD card, rather than having to slowly extract or outright delete the info from the phone's internal memory.

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BlazePC

People can and do use these for convenient music library bumps or to have movies handy when traveling.

https://shopmeenova.appspot.com/st/p/m3r.html#devList

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BlazePC

SD card slots aren't market killers one way or the other, otherwise a majority of phones would simply have them... and they don't. Most people get along just fine with even 16 GB of on board storage.

I totally get wanting the flexibility to add storage but the lack of SD slot doesn't equate to "failure" in my book; only a disappointment.
32 GB on board works just fine for me and Google KK without all the other bloat makes a buttery smooth phone experience. Samsung phones are plastic toys with execution issues.

"Same as it ever was...same as it ever was."
Enjoy your S3 Bro!

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Vano

If one is "ok" with 16gb of internal storage (that actually turns out to be a 9gb user accessible storage, because system and all other partitions use it too), than that person probably doesn't need a smart phone in the first place, as they don't use it in it's full potential.

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BlazePC

Right Vano! (?)

Because everyone knows that the only compelling reason to have a smart phone is to utilize gobs of on board memory or that present via an SD slot. Nothing to do with the apps, the maps (navi), the camera, text communications, internet access and oh - let's not forget that really prehistoric and useless function of

...talking on the phone!

We are talking GB's here
LOL

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Eoraptor

Not having an SD card is fine on a mass-market model like a moto G or any of the legion of LG devices, but on a flagship device likely to be purchased by early-adopters, it's much more important to have the ability to side-load, to reload, and to expand or rapidly transfer data.

It would be akin to going and buying fully loaded car, only to find out that not only are floor mats extra, but they decided just not to include them at all. Fine for the econo model, but not on the fifty thousand dollar auto with the nine hundred dollar cut pile carpet.

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BlazePC

Apples to oranges.
Even worse, a S5 is hardly an adequate "fifty thousand dollar auto" comparison. "any of the legion of LG devices"? Say wut?
LMAO

Google gave LG the Nexus because Nexus is the reference developer platform. Samsung lost Nexus because they execute failure.

And to the folks claiming they need storage to watch movies on their phone... who does that anymore? Most people have tablet travel companions so they can actually SEE the movie. Weak propositions make even weaker arguments....

Two words for the SD town criers:
Cry moar!

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MaximumMike

LG aficionado here. I've owned LG cell phones as long as I've owned a cell phone. I never had an LG I didn't absolutely love. My first device was a Nokia phone, followed by an LG VX4400 and nothing but a series of LG devices (disregarding a couple of PDA phones I played with on other carriers) all the way to the Envy Touch. Furthermore, I also ran a cellphone store for a couple years and stocked used phones from every major carrier. So, I was exposed to the full gamut of LG devices. And they had some crappy devices on ATT and T-Mobile, but they also so had some very good ones on those carriers as well. I'm not sure they made a bad device for Verizon, and only the original Fusik stands out as having been problematic on Sprint. Overall, I felt LG made the best devices of any manufacturer, though Nokia's devices were usually a higher quality but less fun.

But when Android and iOS hit the stage that all changed. LG initially dropped the ball bringing a solid Android device to market. And so, I held onto my Envy Touch as long as possible waiting for a solid Android offering from LG. When none appeared I grabbed a Samsung GSII and was thoroughly satisfied with it. I now have a Note 3, which is the first smartphone to bring exactly what I wanted to the table since I handled my first HP iPaq. But I still watch LG, hoping for another awesome device. And if they ever deliver one, I won't hesitate to go back. But you're kidding yourself if you really believe LG makes better smartphones than Samsung.

Furthermore, you're kidding yourself if you think you know what my needs are or what will suffice to meet them. But I don't need to cry moar, because Samsung delivers what I currently expect from a smartphone. Why should I compromise when exactly what I want is on the table?

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BlazePC

Enjoyed your anecdotal evidence Mike.
Everybody has some.

My anecdotal evidence; I have a friend & his son that both have Note 3's on Sprint. Towers are solid in our town. My Nexus 5 has spectacular sound quality and solid LTE connectivity. But for these two pals, they get dropped calls frequently. Unacceptable.

I've owned the G S2, G S3 and G S4.
The Samsung meddling in the OS was terrible on all three with the S2 being my most enjoyable experience but that was a 3G device. Audio/call quality was mediocre at best. The displays were all, over-the-top overrated too.

Anyone apprehensive about LG products should simply go and read reviews/forums. The Nexus 5, the G2, the "L" Series on many networks are fielding a good migration away from Samsung and they rate strongly. And holding the moniker of "Nexus" reference provider to Google speaks volumes.

But hey, you have a phone that fits your expectations,
so cool. Enjoy! But back on point, SD slots cater to
a minority of demanding power-users and gauging what is truly representative of the majority of regular Joe users isn't reflected on MaxPC. Many people I know don't even populate the SD slot when available because they simply get along just fine without it...

And this - -

"Furthermore, you're kidding yourself if you think you know what my needs are or what will suffice to meet them. But I don't need to cry moar, because Samsung delivers what I currently expect from a smartphone. Why should I compromise when exactly what I want is on the table?"

- - amusing but not really relevant to the discussion.

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MaximumMike

>>Enjoyed your anecdotal evidence Mike.
Everybody has some.

My opinion of LG is based on years of experience as both a customer and a salesman, and from the feedback of my own customers. I can count 8 different LG handsets I personally owned before jumping ship. Also, for posterity's sake I just went back through all of their handsets (on a popular website that tracks all of them) from the time I started handling their devices in 2002 until my last LG device, which was manufactured in 2009. And I had first hand knowledge of at least a third of them, hardly anecdotal. And perhaps it's the fact that I couldn't have possibly handled more than a few of the millions of instances of each handset I do have knowledge of that led you to say my opinions are anecdotal. And in that regard, I'll admit you're right. But if we're going to go that route its hard to say you should listen to the findings of anyone other than a large research firm. If not, then I'd say my experience with their devices is considerable enough to at least listen to.

>>But for these two pals, they get dropped calls frequently. Unacceptable.

You know, I don't doubt it. I was very hesitant to get my Note 3 because I had read so many negative reviews based on atrocious call quality. But I waited until I saw a positive flood of reviews and comments saying the call quality issues had been resolved. Upon receiving my Note 3, I updated it before ever using it and have never had an issue. Honestly, I had a lot more dropped calls with my GSII than my Note 3. But I don't doubt that others have fared worse with the device than I have. And even though it doesn't excuse Samsung for releasing the device with those issues in the first place, I do wonder if a factory reset followed by a full set of updates would alleviate your friends' issues.

>>The displays were all, over-the-top overrated too.

Honestly, I thought the display on my GSII was pretty good when I first got it. But after having it for a while, I really wanted much more. The display on my Note 3 is top notch. I have no complaints whatsoever. I'm not as fond of the display on my wife's GS4, but it's still very solid. The GSIII's I've handled have all looked fine, but I honestly didn't spend much time with them. In comparison to an iPhone 5, they're all immaculately stunning. But the iPhone is hardly a reference point anymore.

>>Anyone apprehensive about LG products should simply go and read reviews/forums

I have read many reviews of LG products and have heard some great stuff. I honestly believe they are churning out some quality products despite their crappy (and unwarranted) reputation. But their products always fall short in some category or omit some feature that I want. I read a lot of reviews of the Nexus 5 and they were all underwhelming. And particularly the camera performed quite poorly in every review I read. I would still recommend the device to the right person, but it doesn't fit my needs at all.

>>The Nexus 5, the G2, the "L" Series on many networks are fielding a good migration away from Samsung

It wasn't long ago that droves of people were flocking to the iPhone. I've never felt it was a good device, and you'd never get me to buy an iPhone just because tons of people like it. That reasoning won't win me over to LG either. But honestly, I'm already won over to LG as a company. I'm just waiting for them to produce the device that's tailored to my taste. In the smart phone era, that hasn't happened yet.

>>And holding the moniker of "Nexus" reference provider to Google speaks volumes.

Be careful there. Google has been slowly eroding the original intent of the Nexus brand as a developer device. They stand poised to whore the Nexus moniker out to any and everyone who will buy into it.

>>But back on point, SD slots cater to
a minority of demanding power-users

I don't know if I quite agree. I think the appeal may be to a minority of users, but it is a large minority, and not just power users. Camera and media enthusiasts would certainly have a desire for them, but are not necessarily power users.

For instance, my wife drove me nuts with her GS2 because she filled it up with video and pictures so quickly, and was constantly bugging me to clear the memory card and archive her videos so she could get back to using the camera to chronicle every facet of our lives. To say that she isn't a power user is an overstatement.

Also, there is a glaring absence of marketing of the feature at the same time you see companies like Apple marketing features like noise cancellation. I believe this is intentional and that carriers seeking to limit bandwidth usage(and by proxy consumption) along with companies with a large interest in the cloud (think Google, Microsoft, and Apple) are applying a lot of pressure on manufacturers to either not include the feature or to limit its marketing.

Obviously Samsung still pushes it because they make the friggin SD cards and its a revenue stream they don't want to lose. Go Samsung.

If manufacturers spent even 1 percent of the time they spend marketing their cameras on marketing the utility of sd cards, I think you'd see the number of users rise with the number of educated customers.

>>and gauging what is truly representative of the majority of regular Joe users isn't reflected on MaxPC.

I agree, but along your same line of reasoning about all the users flocking to LG, Samsung is still king in worldwide appeal to the average Joe- based on sales figures. So I'm confused, are we talking about the actual utility and quality of the device, or are we talking about it's appeal to average Joe?

>>Many people I know don't even populate the SD slot when available because they simply get along just fine without it

These same people would probably get along just fine with an iPhone as well then. But I wonder how many of them would say that their experience was somehow worse because the manufacturer included a feature they opted not to use. Relegating a feature to obsolescence just because you know people who don't use it is a little premature and shortsighted. There is undeniably a significant demand for the feature. You certainly thought the demand was great enough to make it worthwhile to lambaste all of us who are asking for it.

>>- - amusing but not really relevant to the discussion.

Then was your original comment to which that was a response also not relevant?