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Samsung Galaxy S5
Checkout Details

Jim Carter, 2015-04-15

The checkout page is a summary list where long discussions will not fit. This page is for additional information about the various checkout steps.

Display in Sunlight

The display is excellent in a wide range of lighting conditions. It is hard to fight the sun and win, but in direct sunlight I judge the contest to be a draw. In all light levels the display brightness was adjusted appropriately.

Display in Artificial Light

The Galaxy S5's AMOLED display, viewed in artificial light, gives good color rendition which is independent of the viewing direction. When viewed at a radical angle, e.g. nearly edge-on, the brightness is maybe about half that for perpendicular viewing.

Light valve (LCD) displays generally have trouble giving good color when viewed off perpendicular. The IPS (In Plane Switching) technology is currently best in this aspect.

Ambient Light Sensor

The ambient light sensor works, and influences the display brightness. It is on by default in both the stock image and CM-10, but you can turn it off, and at least on CM-10 you can tweak the control parameters. It's in Settings - Device - Display&Lights - Adaptive Brightness (turn on). Under Live Display you can set it to tweak the colors for day and night (as defined by the clock), and you can adjust the tweakage.

About lux: The light flux is reported in lux, from 140000 lux in (today's) direct sunlight to 1 lux in a dark closet. The value can be seen on Phone Tester and on GPS Status :-) See this Wikipedia article about luminous efficiency. Lux means lumens per square meter and lumens are proportional to watts but depending on how strongly the eye responds to the various colors in the light. The denominator may be the total power into the lamp or the equivalent power of the emitted light. On the latter definition, the theoretical maximum scale factor is 683 lumen/watt. Going by power input to the lamp, practical lamps range from 0.3 (candles) to 100 lumen/watt for the highest scoring LED lamps and plasma (fluorescent) tubes, which are similar in efficiency.

Details About the Internal SD Card

There is 16Gb of internal NOR flash memory, where the HTC Dream had 256Mb of NAND flash. /proc/mounts show these partitions mounted; there are definitely partitions we don't see for the booter, the kernel, and probably the radio image. Sizes here are in Gb (230 bytes). These are for CyanogenMod-12.

Mountpoint Size Used Format
/system 2.3 0.6 ext4
/efs 0.013 0.004 ext4
/data 11.8 2.9 ext4
/cache 0.20 0.004 ext4
/firmware 0.077 0.007 vfat
/firmware-modem 0.064 0.052 vfat
/storage/emulated/0 11.8 2.9 (fuse)
/storage/sdcard1 1.2 0.047 vfat

It would appear that the internal SD card is only mounted through FUSE. /sdcard is a backward compatibility symlink to one of its various FUSE mountpoints, /storage/emulated/legacy . The original Android-2.x used this mountpoint.

/mnt/media_rw/sdcard1 is the real mountpoint for the external SD card. It is normally accessed through a FUSE mount on /storage/sdcard1, or through the symlinks /extSdCard or /external_sd. These have got to be for backward compatibility with apps written for previous Android versions where these were actual mount points.

Data Speed Tests

The data speed test is to download a compressed (MP3) music file of 1.31e6 bytes (1.25Mb) or 1.05e7 bits, using HTML protocol (no encryption, no second compression). Note, all the data rates in this section are in bits/second, not bytes/second.

Download times for this file:

Download To Protocol Carrier Seconds Bits/Sec
Server Local HTTP 0.03 3.5e8
Galaxy S5 802.11n 0.64-0.70 1.50e7-1.64e7
Galaxy S5 LTE T-Mobile 5.04-10.65 1.05e6-2.08e6
Galaxy S5 HSPA+ T-Mobile 5.20-5.93 1.77e6-2.02e6

Via 802.11g at 5.4e7 bits/sec the download should take 0.19 seconds. The theoretical speed is never achieved in the wild, but the Galaxy S5 is clearly not getting the benefit of the higher data rates possible in 802.11n (up to 6e8 bits/sec), likely due to limitations in the access point.

The theoretical maximum rate for HSPA+ is 1.68e8 bit/sec download (and 2.2e7 bit/sec upload, not tested), never achieved in the wild. The lowest fallback download speed is 2.1e7 bit/sec. The theoretical speed on LTE is 3.0e8 bit/sec with a fallback to 1.0e8 bit/sec. These assume client equipment (multiple antennas) that we don't have, no competing traffic of any kind, and strong signals with no noise sources. This Wikipedia article comparing wireless data standards gives some estimated typical data rates: HSDPA (HSPA download) around 2.0e6 bit/sec; no estimate for LTE.

If Bluetooth (music via A2DP) is running at the same time as the speed test, it slows down 802.11 radically, and cellular data noticeably.

Refer to the speed test section for the Galaxy S3 for its speed and that of earlier devices.

Bluetooth Testing

Multimedia Checkout

Outcome of various audio sources and formats (on CM-12); URLs of the nonlocal sources were attempted by the browser, except as noted, and in most cases were handed off to one of the apps. -- indicates that the player either rejected this media type, or offered to download the whole file, which is useless for playing media.

Media Firefox
KUSC Shoutcast MP3 -- Plays Plays
Jacinth Icecast MP3 -- Plays Plays
Jacinth Icecast Ogg Plays -- --
Single track MP3 (HTTP) -- Plays Plays
Single track Ogg (HTTP) Plays -- --
M3U from HTTP -- Fails --
Local MP3 n.t. Plays Plays
Local Ogg Vorbis n.t. Plays Plays
Local M3U n.t. Plays Plays

Comments on the player software:

Results of my standard web browser test:

Type Class Result
JPEG Image Shown properly
PNG Image Shown properly
GIF Image Shown properly
PDF Text Firefox downloads it. When done it puts up a notification. Click on the card. Pick one of your PDF readers (Amazon Kindle or WPS Office). They show it. Remember to delete when done.
WAV Audio Not tested, server permission issue
OGG Audio It plays, Firefox player.
MP3 Audio It plays, external player.
M3U Playlist Passed to app, but Music by Google could not play it.
ZPL Playlist Browser just showed a GUID, useless.
Theora Video It plays, video and audio, Firefox player.
SWF Video Passed to downloader; when notified, open it; I used ES Media Player, and it played (video and audio).
RPZA Video Same process, it played (video, but media has no audio track).
AVI Video Downloaded, but neither video player could play it. This media is ancient.
The following files are Quicktime with various stuffings.
3GPP Quicktime Plays video and audio, both external players
3GPP2 Quicktime No player
Sorenson Quicktime No player
MPEG-4 Quicktime Allegedly media was corrupt (plays on GStreamer)
MPEG-2 Quicktime Plays with Video Player, not ES Media Player
MPEG-4(iPod) Quicktime No player
H.264(iPod) Quicktime No player
Java Applet Was not executed

Details of the Battery Test

Here is a history of draining and charging the 2800mAh battery of the Galaxy S5. For discharging, I used a simple but standard test, doing SHA512 sums of every file in /system/apps (about 250Mb, which will fit in the memory cache). All four cores repeated this continuously. The screen was on, but at normal brightness. Battery temperature was 43C during the test, vs. 27C before the test. With extra work it would have been possible to raise the power demand, e.g. by making the graphics processor perform a video over and over. For charging, I used the 2 amp charger provided with the phone.

Minutes Charge Voltage
0 100% 4.33
5 97% 4.20
10 94% 4.15
15 91% 4.07
20 89% 4.09
25 86% 4.04
30 83% 4.02
35 80% 3.96
40 78% 3.95
45 74% 3.90
50 72% 3.86
55 69% 3.86
60 66% 3.78
65 63% 3.78
70 60% 3.78
76 57% 3.78
81 54% 3.74
86 51% 3.73
91 48% 3.69
96 46% 3.69
101 43% 3.68
106 40% 3.66
111 36% 3.65
116 34% 3.65
121 31% 3.62
126 25% 3.59
131 23% 3.58
136 19% 3.56
141 15% 3.54
146 11% 3.50
151 4% 3.08
0 0% 3.48
20 16% 3.96
40 39% 4.01
60 61% 4.20
80 82% 4.40
100 96% 4.39
117 100% 4.39

So the phone did the test for 2.5 hours. I planned to terminate the test when the battery voltage dropped to 3.20 volts, but it ran a little bit beyond that. A fully charged battery quickly drops from 4.33V to 4.04V at 86% charge, then very gradually declines to 3.50V at 11% charge, and drops precipitously after that.

The phone charged to 82% in 80 minutes (1 hour 20 mins), at which point the voltage reached its safety limit of 4.40V. It then took reduced current for another 40 minutes to reach 100% charge.

Batteries degrade with time and use. Watch this space for future battery statistics. This list gives the time to do the standard test from 100% to 3.20V more or less.

Jimc's Suggestions for Saving Battery Power