4/15/2015

Samsung Galaxy S5 problems and solutions: 10 common issues and how to fix them

As experience has shown on more than one occasion, it is quite common to see a new smartphone attract a few teething problems. If we're lucky, the problem is widespread and the solution becomes quickly known or the manufacturer gets right on it and fixes it pronto. But this doesn’t always happen and some problems only appear after a while. Here are the ten most common Samsung Galaxy S5 problems and how to fix them.


The Galaxy S5 is not without its problems. Here are the solutions


1. Camera crashes

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has one of the fastest cameras on any smartphone, both in terms of focusing time as well as shooting. Unfortunately, this quick draw speed sometimes causes issues whereby the camera app actually crashes instead of capturing that magic moment. This problem may simply be because the image stabilizer option is enabled. This option helps you get more luminous, clear pictures in low light without using the flash, but of course it also involves additional image processing that not only makes taking pictures slower, but also occasionally leads to the camera app crashing. To check if you have this option enabled or not by going to the camera settings > Image Stabilizer.

Another problem with the camera closing unexpectedly is followed by the following message: "Camera failed" or "the camera application is not responding". This error is a more serious hardware issue and was present on multiple devices, so Samsung responded and advised that users who have this problem should contact the store they purchased their S5. If the fault is found to be the hardware issue, Samsung can ship a replacement S5.

2. Water damage

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is water-resistant and this water-resistancy is listed in the specifications. However, there have been more than a few people that have confused water-resistancy with water-proofness and joyfully given their Galaxy S5 a bath. And then been less joyful when they have water damage issues. Do not forget that the back cover of the S5 is removable and, therefore, it is not waterproof like the Xperia Z3.


The Galaxy S5 is water-resistant, but that doesn't mean you should try getting it wet


Suffice to say, it is not advisable to submerge your Galaxy S5, for fun or necessity. The IP rating is generally accepted as being sufficient to with stand a rain shower or the like, but not prolonged submersion. If you really must immerse your S5, make sure the back panel is tightly closed and all ports are closed. In the event that your S5 stops working after getting wet, do not try to turn it on. Pull it apart and dry the components, then insert them in a bag of rice for a day or two before reassembling and trying to turn it back on.

3. Too much lag?

It is well known to all that thanks to TouchWiz and bloatware, Samsung devices tend to suffer the most from lag of any smartphone. In case you don’t know what I mean, the word “lag” refers to the delay or stutter when we swipe through screens or pages, or the delay when launching apps or switching between tasks.

To treat S5 lag, I recommend you disable some animations and the home key shortcut to S Voice. For the first, long press on a blank space on a home screen and tap Home Screen Settings. Then change the transition effect to nothing. You can also remove My Magazine if you’re not a fan (it is possibly the laggiest part of the S5). To disable the S Voice shortcut, we just have to open S Voice, then go to Menu > Settings > Open via home key and uncheck the option. Here's some more tips to speed up the Galaxy S5.

4. Overheating

If you experience excessive heating of your S5 and, above all, in the vicinity of the battery, a simple sidestep is to go to Settings and lower the screen brightness, as it is the biggest battery drain. It is also highly advisable to lower the screen timeout to 15 seconds. Once you do wait a bit to see if the temperature drops.

If you still experience an overheating problem you think is problematic, then you may have a physical problem with the battery itself. Take a look to ensure it is not swelling or leaking and if you can’t see anything out of order, take it to a technician for a proper inspection. Of course, prolonged screen on time is always going to lead to heating up, as are graphics-intensive games and tasks.

5. Display problems: auto-brightness, ghosting

If you have experienced problems with auto-brightness levels – either the screen is too bright or too dark for the ambient light conditions – then you may have a dirty or faulty sensor. Take a look and make sure there’s nothing gunking up the sensor on the front of your S5 and if you can see something under the glass you may need a repairman to assist.

On the other hand, many users also suffer from the so-called ghosting that causes some pictures to stay on the screen as a faint background. This is occasionally solved with a software update or some attention to on-screen elements that are the cause of the ghosting: there are apps available that supposedly repair screen burn-in. Another trick is to keep your screen brightness at a low manual setting to minimize the severity.

6. Touch response issues

Currently, the management of our smartphone is really intuitive and the least we expect is that when you touch the screen it reacts instantly. This may not be the case in your Samsung Galaxy S5. Many users have reported problems with a lack of calibration on the touch sensor. This means the smartphone does not respond exactly where the screen is touched, but few millimeters to either side.


The service menu on the Galaxy S5 lets you test features like touch responsiveness.


As usual, the solution to this problem lies in an update. If you have the latest update already and the screen sensor still does not work well, then you can try a factory data reset (make sure you backup fully first!). If the problem still persists, I recommend going to the secret Galaxy S5 service menu for helping us test phone problems like sensors and touch response. To enter this menu, go to the dialer and enter *#0*#. There we can see in "Touch" if it reacts well to touch and see if there are problems. If so you'd better take your S5 to a technician for further examination.

7. Sensor problems

Now let's talk about other sensors. Let's start with the fingerprint sensor. From my personal experience I can say that it does not always work as it should, although it has improved. (The Galaxy Note 4 has significantly improved the responsiveness). Unfortunately there is no definitive solution to this problem on the S5. Other than recording your fingerprint with a natural gesture (based on how you generally hold the phone) or paying extra attention to how you swipe your digit, you’ll just have to get used to this one, or hope that Samsung tries to make further software improvements.


You can check issues with a bunch of other sensors on the S5 too


If you’re having problems with other sensors, say with the display or gesture controls, or even haptic feedback or tones, you can take a further look through the service menu mentioned above. Just open the dialer and enter *#0*# and select the "Sensor" option. You might also want to try out the following app, Phone Tester:

8. Knox problems

Not everyone realizes the S5 includes a special security system called Knox, the biggest surprise being that when making any changes to the software, either via root or by changing the ROM, the S5’s flash counter is increased and is not so easy to reset, meaning a one-way trip to voided warranty land. Another problem that arises from an overactive Knox is that we will also lose automatic official updates and OTA notifications will disappear.

Fortunately, you can disable Knox. We’ve already done a whole article about what Knox is and how to disable Knox on the Galaxy S4, but the same steps are also used for the S5.

9. Wi-Fi problems

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has an option that makes Wi-Fi shut off automatically if the connection is very bad. If your Wi-Fi connection is suddenly lost, that may be the reason. However, Wi-Fi dropout can also happen when you open the Google Play Store or some other application, so you should first check to see if you have the option enabled before we look to other culprits.

It's called Smart Exchange network and what it does is change to your data network when the Wi-Fi signal is very weak. Just head to Settings and your Wi-Fi menu to disable the option and see if the problem persists. If it does, try clearing the cache of the app that causes the disconnection.

10. Sudden death

This problem is the last on the list and may well seem to be the end of your smartphone. Sudden death bug was a particular problem for the Galaxy S3 and unfortunately, the problem has also affected other devices in the Galaxy range. If your S5 starts turning itself off without warning or acting particularly erratically or won’t even turn on (assuming you have a charged battery), the only option left to you is a hard reset. This will erase your data, so make sure a regular backup is part of your S5 care plan.

If a reset does not bear fruit, the only avenue left to you is to take it to a Samsung technician. If the problem lies with an internal component or the motherboard itself, they are the best ones to tackle the issue (and keep your warranty intact).

I hope you have found the solution to your particular S5 problem. If not, feel free to visit our Galaxy S5 forum to ask any other questions you may have or to provide solutions you may have found to some other S5 problems.


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