February 29, 2016

Tracfone Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review - Tracfone Android Smartphone

Below we share our review of the Samsung Galaxy S5 that is for use with Tracfone prepaid service. TracfoneReviewer is a blog that shares information, reviews and much more about Tracfone Wireless to help consumers save money and find answers to their questions.

samsung tracfone s5 review
Samsung Galaxy S5 Review for Tracfone
If you're looking for a powerful smartphone to use with Tracfone and don't want to try out the BYOP program, the Samsung Galaxy S5 from Tracfone might be the phone for you.

Three new (to Tracfone) phones recently became available including the Samsung Galaxy S5, which was the most notable of the trio for us (the other two are the Samsung Galaxy E5 and Samsung Galaxy Core Prime).

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was first released to the public in April of 2015, making it one of the most recent phones Tracfone has added to their lineup. Many of the phones that Tracfone releases to use with their service are several years old, which is challenging for smartphone users where technology is progressing at a rapid pace. A phone that is a few years old will generally do the basic functions just fine, but will struggle and run slowly when trying to operate with multiple applications running at one time.

The Galaxy S5, however, is a phone that can keep up with multiple programs running at once, or even more resource intensive apps and games, due to its fast, quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM.

Before we get too far, let's look at some pro's and con's we've discovered.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Quick Facts

The Good Points:
-Great Camera - 16 MP
-Lots of Memory/Storage - 16 GB
-Large Touchscreen - 5.1"

The Not so Good:
-Expensive - currently $500 with 1 Year/400 minute airtime card bundle
-Older OS - Android 4.4

The Samsung Galaxy S5 from Tracfone is basically a really great smartphone with a lot of impressive features that users have been desiring for a long time. But, its expensive. Let's dig into the full list of features and phone specifications for the Galaxy S5 to see how this phone is better than any other device offered by Tracfone at this time.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Features and Specs

Below are the features for the Galaxy S5, followed by the phone specifications.

  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 4G LTE service through Verizon CDMA cell towers
  • 16 MP Rear Camera, 2 MP Front
  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 3 Home Screens
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps on Google Play
  • Triple Talk, Text and Data
  • Caller ID, Voice Dialing, Voicemail
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Alarm Clock
  • MP3 Player
  • Hadsfree Speaker
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Air Gestures, Smart Scroll and Smart Pause
  • IP67 Certified - Dust and Water Resistant (1 Meter/30 Minutes underwater)

Samsung Galaxy S5 Technical Specs

  • Size: 5.59" x 2.84" x 0.31"
  • 5.1" Touchscreen (capacitive) at 1080x1920 resolution (432 ppi pixel density)
  • 2.5 Ghz Quad core processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB Internal Memory
  • Battery: 2800 mAh with 29 hrs talk time, 27 days standby (removable)

This phone brings a whole host of features and upgrades that most Tracfone users haven't experienced because no other Tracfone device at this time can compare to the Samsung Galaxy S5 (except, perhaps, the Galaxy E5). The LG Sunset, for example, has 1 GB RAM, 8 GB Internal Memory and  a 5 MP Camera, about half as good on each of those features compared to the Galaxy S5. But the Sunset does have 4G LTE just like the S5.

Let's get into what we like and don't like about this phone, where we will also review many of the great features the Galaxy S5 comes with.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review - What we Like (and don't like) About the S5 for Tracfone

What we Like:
The Samsung Galaxy S5 was the flagship phone for Samsung when it was launched, which means it was loaded up with the best tech and newest features. We like a lot of things about this phone, because it comes with a lot. So let's break it down and get into reviewing some of the most exciting features.
Tracfone Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5 Front and Back

The first thing you notice about this phone is the screen, which is an impressive 5.1" and has a resolution of 1080x1920, which is better than any other Tracfone smartphone at this time. It also has a pixel density of about 430, making for very crisp, clear viewing on this phone.

Internal memory and RAM are both great features on the S5, which comes with 16 GB for storing apps, photos and other things, and 2 GB for running multiple apps at once. The 2.5 Ghz processor is also very good, and should have no problem keeping up with the latest games and applications you may want to run on your phone.

For Tracfone users who want to do some phone photography, the Galaxy S5 has a very impressive 16 MP rear camera that comes with a host of features all to itself. You also get a 2.1 MP front camera for selfies and video chatting. The rear camera has auto-focus and flash, and will record video at UHD 4K quality. Take a look at some photo samples on flickr to see the quality for yourself.

One additional feature that we're quite impressed by is the Galaxy S5's IP67 rating, which means that it is dust resistant, and water resistant up to 1 meter deep, for 30 minutes. You can watch some of the waterproof tests on YouTube if you're interested. It is never a bad thing to have a phone that won't be ruined because of an accident or a moment of forgetfulness.

Finally the S5 does come with a handful of extra features that may or may not be useful to you, like a heartbeat sensor, gesture controls, smart scrolling and more.

For performance and features, the Galaxy S5 is unmatched by any other Tracfone device at this time, and delivers a full smartphone experience.

It's not all good news though, we do want to share a couple of concerns about the Galaxy S5.

Dislikes for the Samsung Galaxy S5
While there are so many great features with the Samsung Galaxy S5, there are two things we don't like, that might be deal-breakers for some Tracfone users. The first is the price, which is rather steep. The Galaxy S5 is only available through online retailers HSN.com and it is listed for $499 bundled with a 1 Year/ 400 Minute card, and some additional items. The airtime card is worth $100, making the phone cost closer to $399.

Our issue with the price is that you can find an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 on Amazon for $325 (and closer to $200 if you're willing to buy a refurbished model). You can then get a SIM card from Tracfone, and use the phone on the BYOP program.

The second negative about the Samsung Galaxy S5 is that it comes with Android 4.4.2, and cannot be updated. If you get the unlocked version, and bring it to Tracfone's BYOP program, you will be able to update it to version 5.0.1, but the Tracfone version is locked at Android Kitkat, which has some known security issues. If you are concerned about your phone's security, then look into the BYOP program.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Overview and Additional Resources

If the two negative aspects of the S5 don't worry you, then the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great buy and a great smartphone to use on Tracfone's low cost prepaid network. You will be getting high performance at low monthly costs.

But if the price and possible security issues are a worry, we strongly recommend looking into the BYOP program from Tracfone which allows consumers to bring a wide variety of devices to use with Tracfone.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available from HSN with a minutes bundle and is listed for $499.

We will update this when we find the phone available from other sources.

View the Galaxy S5's Interactive Tutorial to learn more about how the phone works, or visit Samusng's website for the S5 to read up on what they have for the phone, which includes a user manual.

If you're new to using smartphones with Tracfone, take a look at some of our popular articles we've posted including:
How to Check your Airtime on Tracfone Android Phones
How Minutes Work on Tracfone Smartphones
How to Buy Only Texts for your Smartphone
Are Data Cards a Good Deal from Tracfone?
Analysis of the New Smartphone Only Airtime Cards from Tracfone

If you have any further thoughts or questions, leave a comment below. Each comment is reviewed before posting.

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And if you're new to Tracfone, start with our Beginners Guide to Tracfone which explains some of how using Tracfone service works.

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  1. Defeats the purpose for having a cheap service.

    1. Not for everyone. The phone is a one time expense, and something you're likely to keep for two, three, or more years. Personally, I've been thrilled that tracphone service costs me less then $10 a month, but constantly want to smash the cheapie little Android they sold me because it can't DO anything. I can type three word in a text before they show up on the screen, the phone runs out of ram if I view a webpage with more then five or six pictures on it, it ran out of storage after installing about ten apps, picture are an unfocused blur and performance is so low that games are just impossible. If we can now get a real-people phone and keep the $8 monthly bill, I'm in.

  2. Wow, this phone has more guts than my tablet! Kind of a shame it's CDMA though (my preference is GSM). The steep price is also a major issue.

  3. I just about bailed out on tracfone because of the cheap phones but with the Bhopal option and the higher end phones you now offer you probably have me for life. I've been with tracfone for 6-7 years. The coverage has always worked great for me.

  4. Just wondering how to get Tracfone ringtones on my Samsung S5? I tried 3 different times from their web site but I never recieved the download to my phone.

  5. After several Tracfone flip phones, just bought our first Tracfone Smartfone, an LG L33L Sunset. Before buying any airtime, we charged the battery and turned on the phone to see if we could communicate with our WIFI modem. We turned WIFI on in the settings. The symbol indicating WIFI appears at the top of the screen but the actual internet connection is only available at about one attempt in five or six tries. Could the phone be defective or will we have to buy airtime to get a reliable WIFI connection?

    1. Have you tried using the phone's WiFi on other networks (eg: public hotspots; a friend's router; et cetera)?

  6. The Tracfone website indicates that you can only download ringtones, graphics, utilize Facebook only on certain model phones. The Samsung S5 Model S902L is not listed. I would like to purchase this phone. Is there any way of getting around these road blocks. It doesn't seem right that you cannot download.

  7. No micro SD? 32 gigs internal is a lot, but media (audio & video) will burn through that in no time.

  8. Confused: The Tracfone "Buy Phones" page only shows the the Galaxy S6 for $529, nothing about the S5. When I called Tracfone I was told that was the only one available. Any info on this?

    1. Yes, Tracfone only offers certain phones on their website. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was offered through HSN.com and may still be available there, although with the release of the S6, they may not be selling them anymore.

    2. *any more - two words.

  9. "...desiring for a long time. But, *it's expensive. Yes, *it is expensive.

    But when consider the amount of computing power in these things that we take for granted, they are an incredible bargain.


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