In addition to offering a variety of colors for the Galaxy S5, Samsung is also broadening the line with two additions to the family—the AT&T Galaxy S5 Active and the Sprint Galaxy S5 Sport (compare the specifications of the S5 vs. S5 Active vs. S5 Sport). Both cousins to the flagship boast features that are more tuned to those with a more sports-oriented lifestyle, though neither model makes any ruggedized claims. The Sprint-exclusive Galaxy S5 Sport comes with enhancements to get you up and active, and in this review we’ll see if the fitness-oriented sportier edition of the original flagship lives up to its namesake.

Design

The Galaxy S5 Sport is closely related to the Galaxy S5 flagship. Both phones offer excellent bright and vibrant 5.1-inch full HD 1080p Super AMOLED display, top performing quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, Samsung’s new 16-megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor, heart-rate sensor on the back, and water seals to the make the phone water-, dust-, and sweat- resistant.

Galaxy S5 Sport in the hand

Galaxy S5 Sport in the hand

The main difference between the Sprint Galaxy S5 Sport and the Galaxy S5 is the basic design.

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Though both models are very similarly designed, the Sport version has a more rubberized back cover that makes the phone less slippery than the perforated faux leather backing of the non-Sport variant.

Hardware buttons on the Galaxy S5 Sport

Hardware buttons on the Galaxy S5 Sport

Additionally, Samsung replaced the capacitive touch buttons on the front in favor of physical controls that you can press when navigating the Android UI. Though this requires a bit more force to activate than a simple tap, in practice it’s a lot nicer as you’re not accidentally hitting the back button if you’re just trying to hold the phone.

Galaxy S5 Sport uses micro USB 2.0 port with a cover to protect against water and dust

Galaxy S5 Sport uses micro USB 2.0 port with a cover to protect against water and dust

And though you’re getting the water resistant covers and seals of the standard S5, the Sport model eschews the faster USB 3.0 port on the flagship in favor of a standard micro USB 2.0 port. While this may seem like it’s a step down, I didn’t really find the need to connect my phone to my PC that frequently due to robust cloud storage options and faster WiFi and wireless connectivity options these days.

With rounded corners, the Galaxy S5 Sport (middle) feels more like the Galaxy S5 (top, white) than the Galaxy S5 Active on AT&T (bottom) with its more rugged appearance thanks to grippier edges and corner bumpers.

With rounded corners, the Galaxy S5 Sport (middle) feels more like the Galaxy S5 (top, white) than the Galaxy S5 Active on AT&T (bottom) with its more rugged appearance thanks to grippier edges and corner bumpers.

In terms of dimensions and aesthetics, the Sport version feels more like the standard Galaxy S5 when compared to the more rugged-looking Active on AT&T, which has more robust sides for gripping and corner bumpers to help with impact in case the phone is dropped. With a less industrial look, the Sport variant may appeal to a more broad market than the Active model.

The major thing that the Sport, and also AT&T’s Active, lacks when compared to the Galaxy S5 is the 2014 fingerprint swiping technology. This means to unlock your phone and authenticate yourself, you’ll have to revert back to using the screen to entering a PIN, passcode, or swiping away.

A soft-touch rubberized back on the blue Galaxy S5 Sport makes it easier to grip than the faux leather of the Galaxy S5.

A soft-touch rubberized back on the blue Galaxy S5 Sport makes it easier to grip than the faux leather of the Galaxy S5.

Filed in Reviews. Read more about Android, Galaxy S5, Samsung and Sprint.

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