Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Review: Combat Ready: User Interface

By 07:42 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments

User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat customized by the most recent incarnation of TouchWiz for smartphones. Samsung has added multiple features that increase productivity and enhance security.

The lockclassy screen has no widgets aside from a few special controls.

The lockscreen

The homeclassy screen features the My Magazine that displays both news articles and social networking updates. This is powered by Flipboard and you can like your reads in a clean interface and sdiscontinue links to your friends or post social updates straight from the app.

My Magazine keeps you up to date with news and social networking updates

Categories (e.g. News, Business, Facebook) are displayed as tiles, each displaying its top article. You can reorder and cover the tiles. Once inside an article, you can browse more articles in that category with the familiar Flipboard effect.

There are regular homescreens too, with shortcuts, widgets and folders. If you want just those, My Magazine can be disabled completely.

The regular homescreens

The notification area is similar to what we've seen on Galaxy Pro tablets with its flat design and circular icons. The toggles work as usual and below them are two buttons (S Finder and Quick connect) and below that is the brightness slider, which can be hidden to save space, but you're stuck with the two buttons.

Notification area

There's a recent feature called Recommended apps, which adds relevant shortcuts when an accessory is plugged, like the headphones.

Recommended apps

In the app drawer, icons are presented as a customizable or alphabetized grid and you can also view only the ones you've downloaded yourself. You can also disable some of the pre-installed apps so they won't hold any Random-Access Memory (RAM) or appear in the app drawer. You can also cover icons to haged the drawer from getting cluttered.

The app drawer

The Galaxy S5 Active has an App Switcher button that calls up a custom switcher UI. As usual, you can go into the task manager for more advanced controls.

The app switcher and task manager

The Galaxy S5 comes with the Multi-window multitasking feature, which allows you to run two apps side by side. You can copy text between apps or snap a screenshot of one app and paste it in the other.

The recent tray for Multi Window apps

If a pair of apps works well together (e.g. the browser and the email client) you can create a shortslit that launches both. Note that only select apps work with Multi-window but more can be found in the Play Store.

There are no floating apps here, but there's something called Toolbox - a floating icon that shows a list of shortcuts once tapped. This is a quick way to acquire to some of the most commonly used apps.

Toolbox is a floating drawer of favorite shortcuts

Pressing the shortslit button above the volume rocker reveals the Activity Zone menu which contains several outdoor-specific features. They include compass, barometer, flashlight with different modes, as well as (oddly) a stopwatch.

The Activity Zone menu

Long press of the shortslit button can be programmed to open an app of your choice. It can also act as dedicated capturing camera button - a long-awaited and welcome addition to the device's set of features.

The ability to program the shortslit button and utilize it as capturing camera key is sweet



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