A New Galaxy
I was gonna take on another serious topic, like how stupid people think that net neutrality is going to give them faster Netflix, or how the UC Santa Barbara shooting got turned into a women's rights movement, or even how Microsoft has apparently given up on their vision with the Xbox One, but quite frankly, you guys aren't paying me enough to be serious all the time. So instead, I'm just gonna brag about my new toy.
The two-year cycle for my smartphone was nearing its end, and T-Mobile was more than happy to grant me an upgrade for next-to-nothing out of pocket. I know that in a perfect world, we wouldn't be going through $600 devices every two years, especially when they technically still work just fine. For a heavy data user like me though, a new phone means access to better network technology (like LTE) and better performance while gaming and multitasking. Better cameras are usually a nice touch too. So, a couple weeks ago, I traded in my Samsung Galaxy S3 for the shiny new Samsung Galaxy S5.

It was a tough choice between the S5 and the HTC One M8 for my next phone (the iPhone 5S, for me, isn't even a remote option). I was attracted to the M8 mainly because I was looking to get away from Samsung; their Touchwiz UI had annoyed me to the point where I had more or less gone nuclear and installed CyanogenMod on my old phone. Since custom ROMs have their own significant issues if you want to use your phone more than tinker with it, I wanted to have a UI that didn't annoy the crap out of me to begin with. At the end of the day though, the S5 won out thanks to its removable battery, better camera, and water resistance. The M8's speakers weren't a big draw for me, since I tend to wear earbuds most of the time.
Thankfully, the S5's version of Touchwiz has far fewer annoyances than I'm used to. A lot of the usual bloatware is gone, and what remains can be easily disabled (not deleted). Disabling S Voice so that Google Voice Search became the default personal assistant feature has improved life greatly. I just wish I could find a way to get rid of the S Finder and Quick Connect buttons permanently attached to the notification pull-down. I'm never gonna use either of those (the first searches your phone, a task made redundant by Google Search; the second means nothing without a Samsung-compatible smart TV or something), so I'd love to be able to just get rid of them.

Still, for all the annoyances I have, the overall experience has been much improved and I'm enjoying the phone. Games and apps load faster and with less lag. I get 4G and LTE service in areas where I previously would be lucky to get a text message through. The camera takes pictures faster, with easier focusing, and they look pretty damned good in all but the worst light. Oh yeah, and the dust and water-proofing has already come in handy, even if just to impress a few random people at a pool party. Some woman who I will probably never see again has a video of me submerging my phone in a pool just because I could.

You guys can go and look up reviews and stuff if you care all that much, but as far as I'm concerned, the Galaxy S5 is still the best Android smartphone out right now, and I'm not disappointed with the purchase.
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