Samsung Galaxy S5: 10 things you probably didn't know

Now that it's available, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will probably be the biggest selling Android handset of 2014, regardless of the fierce competition it faces. 

The fifth-generation Galaxy S has been poked, prodded and scrutinised - including a full review right here on Pocket-lint.com, but there are probably a few surprises left.

Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about the Samsung Galaxy S5.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S5 review

1. One-handed operation

The SGS5 is a big device and Samsung knows this. Fortunately there's a one-handed mode. A quick swipe from the side of the display to the centre and back will shrink the on-screen display making it easier to reach all points with one thumb.

Even better, if you do it from the left, it moves to the left, if you do it from the right, it goes right. It's a feature lifted from the Galaxy Note and you'll find it in settings, sound and display, one-handed operation. 

2. Toolbox

The Toolbox is a clever floating shortcut app menu you can enable on the SGS5. It's hiding in settings, sound and display, under Toolbox.

All you have to do is add your favourite apps - up to five - and you'll get a small floating button that's always on display. It means you can be reading a message and dive straight to the browser, or any other app you want.

3. You can finger it sideways

There's a fingerprint scanner on the SGS5 embedded into the home button. The phone shows demos of a straight swipe to unlock, but that's impossible to do when you're gripping the phone in one hand.

Fortunately, you can register your fingerprint sideways. Just set-up the scanner to register your finger or thumb gripping the device as you normally would and it should all work fine. 

4. Apps tray folders

To keep your apps tray tidy, you can create folders in the apps tray. This will save scrolling, letting you group together things like productivity apps or games.

To create a folder you have to open the apps tray and hit the menu button top right and opt to create folder. You can then open this folder and add the apps you want into it.

5. Live HDR mode

The camera has a "live" HDR (high dynamic range) mode. It's just like normal HDR modes, but it shows you the results before you press the capture button. 

This means that it will balance out the scene in front of you, lifting foreground shadows and adding contrast to skies, for example, and you'll see the difference as soon as you engage HDR in the camera.

6. Display your steps on the lock screen

Samsung is making a play for fitness in the Samsung Galaxy S5 with its new S Health 3.0 app. There's a pedometer onboard to count your steps, but a great feature is that it will show your steps on the lock screen. 

This means you'll get at-a-glance step information every time you look at your phone.

7. Two finger swipe for quick settings

There are some hardware shortcuts in the notifications bar, but if you want to get to a fuller list of feature toggles, use a two-finger swipe down to access a huge list.

This is actually a standard Android feature, but Samsung as taken it to the max so you can quickly toggle on and off the features you want.

8. Multi windows means multitasking

There's a multi window feature on the SGS5 that apes that found on the Galaxy Note devices. You can select the apps you want to open and pick how much space each gets.

Even better, it remembers your options. With multi window turned on, you can have it open a link in Twitter in the Chrome browser and split the screen. Instagram links no longer feel like a pain, as you can keep scanning Twitter while it loads on the bottom half of the display.

9. Where's the bloatware?

Samsung has left a lot of the bloat out of the Galaxy S5. Unlike previous devices, Samsung hasn't piled it all in to the SGS5 from the get go. However, there's a shortcut to the Galaxy Essentials selection in the apps tray menu.

Hit this shortcut and you'll be taken to the Samsung Apps store where you'll be able to download lots of additional Samsung apps to get you connected, like WatchOn, Samsung Wallet or S Note.

10. Navigation has changed

There's been a change to the buttons configuration on the bottom of the SGS5. There's the central home button as always, but it's now flanked by a recent apps button and a back button.

The menu button is gone. Instead, you'll have to use the in-app menu button instead, which is a change from the SGS4 and previous devices. We prefer it: it's as Android intended, bringing more consistency to the app experience across devices.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S5 review