It also takes less time to shoot a picture in HDR (high dynamic range) mode, a setting used in sunny settings that has the camera quickly take several shots at multiple exposures and combine them into one shot. When it works, HDR should bring out details that would have otherwise been lost in the shadows.
On most smart phones, HDR can be somewhat of a hassle. You have to hold the phone steady for a few seconds and then wait for the camera to process the shot to see the results. But on the Galaxy S 5, the process is appears to be instantaneous. In fact, the Galaxy S 5 saves you even more time by showing you a preview of your HDR shot before you snap the photo.
The Galaxy S 5 borrows some intriguing features we've seen on recent Nokia phones such as the Lumia 1520 and Lumia Icon. For example, when you snap a photo in Selective Focus mode, the camera simultaneously focuses on subjects within a few feet, subjects a bit further away, and infinity (such as mountain ranges and other distant objects in the background). It's easy to switch between focal points to compare so you can decide which element you want to focus on, then share that version.
Another Galaxy S 5 feature similar to the one we saw on the Nokia Lumia Icon is Shot and More. In this mode, the camera takes a series of photos a few seconds apart. You can do several things in this mode, depending on the subjects and circumstances of your photo. These include choosing the best still from the bunch; deleting a passerby who may have strayed into your picture; or swapping the best facial expressions from different pictures to make one "perfect" shot.
Never-say-die battery. The Galaxy S 5's 2,800 mAh battery, which has 200 more mAh of capacity than the one on the Galaxy S4, promises more work time between charges. But should you find yourself on a desert island with a battery charge of only 30 percent, Samsung says it can help you squeeze up to 8 more days in standby mode by switching on Ultra Power Saving Mode. In this setting, the Galaxy S 5 will sever its wireless connections except for sending and receiving voice calls and text messages. Also, if you need it, you'll be able to use the camera's LED as a flashlight for short periods of time.
Automatic SOS. Emergency Mode is a new Samsung feature that should make the folks at OnStar a little nervous. If you’re in a car accident or other emergency situation, pressing the Galaxy S 5's power button three times will trigger several actions that will be transmitted as five separate messages to multiple contacts of your choice, including 911. They include:
- An MMS message with a link that, when tapped, will launch the recipient's map app to pinpoint your location on a map
- A text message with your raw coordinates
- A message with a picture automatically taken with the rear camera
- A message with a picture automatically taken with the front-facing camera
- A 5-second audio recording that begins right you activated Emergency Mode
Samsung says these multiple communiqués will improve the odds that concerned parties will be alerted to your plight, plus it will give them a clearer picture of your situation in cases when you can't speak on the phone.