The Galaxy S5 Sport is just like the Active with an app bundle, and that's okay

galaxys5sport
Credit: Michael Homnick

Samsung has a reputation for making an absurd number of devices, and while it can be a bit exhausting to keep up with every release, at least that means there's more than one flavor choose from. 

Take the Galaxy S5 Sport, for instance. It's essentially a version in between the Galaxy S5 Active and the regular Galaxy S5. Inside, it's almost exactly the same as its counterparts, with only a rugged outer shell to sway you toward its direction.

I used the Galaxy S5 Sport for about a week to see what exactly differentiates this particular model from its predecessors. It's certainly more attractive than the Galaxy S5 Active, and it's more durable than the regular Galaxy S5, but beyond that there's really not much more to it. 

Just another GS5 on the inside

galaxys5sport 1 Michael Homnick

The Galaxy S5 Sport is just a water-resistant, colorful counterpart to the original flagship device.

There is virtually no difference between the components inside the brightly colored Galaxy S5 Sport, the Galaxy S5, and its bulkier counterpart, the Galaxy S5 Active. All three phones feature a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, a 2.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 16-megapixel camera sensor. They also share the same 2,800 mAh battery pack. I did a quick battery rundown test just to see if it was on par with all the others; the phone lasted about 10 hours and 30 minutes before it began screaming for a charge. That's pretty good for a phone that's meant to go adventuring with you.

galaxys5sport 3 Michael Homnick

Like the regular GS5, the Sport also comes standard with a heart-rate monitor on the back, a removable battery, and an expansion slot. It doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner embedded in its physical Home button, however.

Overall, the only obvious hardware differences between Galaxy S5 editions—besides the chassis, which we'll get into next—is that the Galaxy S5 Sport is tied to Sprint’s CDMA network. Also, this particular model is limited to 16GB of storage, though there's an added expansion slot if you need more. 

A little better looking than its brothers

The Galaxy S5 Active is meant for the rough and tumble smartphone user, but aesthetically it’s not what I would call “pleasing.” It actually looks like a throwback to some of the ruggedized Nextel phones of yore.

galaxys5sport 5 Michael Homnick

The Active on the left, next to the Sport on the right.

I liked the look of the Galaxy S5 Sport a bit more. It's outfitted in a colorful chassis without the Active’s bulky bumpers, and it's still IP67 certified for dust and water resistance. It’s sturdy enough that you don’t have to put a case on it, and is protected against shocks, extreme temperatures, humidity, and high altitudes.

Special apps that you can get anywhere

sprint screenshots

Sprint's Fit Live apps and widgets are just extra applications you could get yourself from the Google Play Store.

The GS5 Sport features Sprint Fit Live, a suite of apps dedicated to helping you stay fit. The apps include a year of MapMyFitness MVP, which comes with customized audio coaches and training plans to help you start on your fitness journey, as well as specialized Spotify workout playlists and a premium account for six months if you also sign up for a Sprint Framily plan, or three if you don't. 

If you’re not one for bloatware, then you likely won't be too enthused by the Galaxy S5 Sport's app offerings. It's Sprint's way of enticing you to pick this phone over all the others to help you stay active, but you don't really need any of these apps to stay fit—and even if you did, you could easily download them yourself. 

Should you get it? 

The only real perks of this particular device seem to be that it's designed specifically for those who toss their phone around. The original Galaxy S5 is already water-resistant for up to half an hour, but its shiny polymer casing definitely couldn't take a beating like the Galaxy S5 Sport.

If you're on Sprint and you have a particularly active lifestyle, this is a solid smartphone that's worth considering over the other more delicate flagships out there. The added bloat is worth the ruggedized chassis. 

This story, "The Galaxy S5 Sport is just like the Active with an app bundle, and that's okay" was originally published by Greenbot.

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