The Bokeh effect has become a big thing in smartphones over the last few months. If you’re not familiar with the Bokeh effect, it is the process of de-focusing certain areas of a picture, usually the background. HTC went as far as adding a second lens for this effect and Google just added it to their stock Camera app. Now, Samsung has added “Selective Focus” and “Out of Focus” options to the Galaxy S 5. They both do the same thing, but act completely different.
“Selective Focus” is for when you know in advance of taking your shot that you want to apply this effect, and “Out of Focus” is for those times when you didn’t know. You can make changes after the fact with both methods, but they can be a little confusing in how they save the images as well as exactly when they work.
In this video, I will walk you through both options and how they work. Hit the break for the video and be sure to check out all our other Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung condensed a few of the camera modes into “Shot & More” with the Galaxy S 5. This makes it a lot easier as all you have to do is press the shutter button, and it will take a series of burst shots. Soon after, the device will tell you what editing modes are available based on what happened in the shot. You will have your choice of Best Shot, Best Face, Drama Shot, Eraser, and Panning Shot. All options were available last year as separate modes other than Panning Shot, which is brand new. The best part of all of this is that you can make as many edits as you want after the fact, which is something you couldn’t do on the Galaxy S 4.
In this video, I walk you through how to get into the “Shot & More” mode as well as how to make your edits and save your images. Check it out after the break, and be sure to hit up all our Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung made some changes to the Camera app with the Galaxy S 5. It still offers a lot of different modes, but they simplified things and added the ability to further edit after the fact.
The Mode button is still the heart of everything, but you will find fewer choices. Drama Shot, Best Face, Best Shot, Eraser Mode, and Panning Shot (new) are now part of “Shot & More.” When using this mode, you will be able to choose which effect you want to apply to the photo, and you don’t have to do it right away. You will also find a “Download” option for installing more modes from Samsung Apps. This makes perfect sense since you don’t need to clutter your phone with modes that you don’t plan on ever using. Lastly, HDR mode adds real-time previews for both images and videos.
Samsung introduced S Health last year on the Galaxy S 4. so it’s no surprise that it showed up on the Galaxy S 5. The difference this year isn’t so much the app, but the marketing behind it. This year, health and fitness is a big part of the Galaxy S 5 since it also works in conjunction with the Gear devices. However, you don’t need those devices to use S Health.
Just like last year, S Health can track diet and workouts pretty easily. You can use it as a simple pedometer to track all your steps throughout the day and/or track specific workouts. New for this year is a “coach” to help you achieve your goals. The “coach” isn’t limited to just diets and workouts, it will also assist you in controlling your stress and getting a better night’s sleep.
In this video, I will walk you through the basics of S Health and how to get the most out of it, so hit the break to get started. Also be sure to check out our other Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung’s fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S 5 can secure your phone, but it can also be quite handy for making payments via Paypal. Instead of entering a password or PIN to login in to Paypal or make a payment, now you can just swipe your finger.
Since this is a special partnership between Samsung and Paypal, you will need to download the Paypal app from Samsung Apps since it is the only version that includes code for Samsung’s fingerprint scanner. So far, Verizon’s GS5 is the only one we know of that doesn’t include Samsung Apps, so you will need to download and install it as a third party APK before you can proceed.
Assuming you are ready to go, follow my instructions in the video below and you will be setup in no time. Don’t worry if you already have the PayPal app installed from the Google Play Store., the setup process will install the Samsung Apps version over it. Video after the break.
Tired of tapping a PIN or Pattern to unlock your phone? Well, Samsung introduced a fingerprint scanner (or as they call it, the finger scanner) on the Galaxy S 5, which you might find to be a little easier.
Surprisingly it works pretty well. It’s just a matter of learning exactly how your finger needs to be placed on the display. The only real negative is that you have to slide your finger, as in it’s not a simple touch like the iPhone 5S. So you might find that unlocking your phone with one hand is a little cumbersome.
It can be hard to keep track of all the things that the Galaxy S 5 can do. There are so many obvious ones, but here are 10 things you might not know your Galaxy S 5 can do, as provided by Samsung.
1. Write on your Galaxy S 5 with a pencil
You can increase the sensitivity of the Galaxy S 5′s display by heading into Settings/Display and tapping on “Increase touch sensitivity.” Now you will be able to tap, swipe, or write on the display using a pencil. You can even use a gloved hand or your fingernail. Quick tip: You can also access Touch Sensitivity from within the 22 quick menu icons. Just pull down the status bar using two fingers to see your quick menu icons and toggle “Touch Sensitivity.”
Just like last year’s HTC One (M7), this year’s One (M8) sports an IR blaster. It’s part of the power button, so you might not even notice it’s there. This makes your One (M8) a very convenient remote control for your home theater system. It can control your TV, cable/satellite box, and an AVR receiver. You can even configure different rooms so when you’re laying in bed, just use your phone to change the channels.
In order to do all of this, HTC has provided their own Sense TV app. Not only does Sense TV assist you in configuring all your equipment, but it also serves as your TV guide. It will tell you what’s on TV now with nice cover art and even recommend shows to you based on your interests. Just tap on a show and your cable or satellite box will magically tune to the appropriate channel, or you can simply get more information about the show or movie.
Video Highlights is probably the coolest application that any Android manufacturer has ever come up with, at least in my humble opinion. HTC doesn’t promote it enough. Video Highlights first debuted with Sense 5 on the HTC One (M7), and has really matured with Sense 6 and the All New HTC One (M8).
If you’re not familiar with HTC’s Video Highlights feature, it will automatically produce a professionally looking video of various images, Zoes, and other videos. You can select content from certain events, locations, albums, dates, or even your starred favorites. Just take a look at the results from my vacation last year.
There are twelve themes to choose from that include their own unique effects and music. You can even use your own music files. Most videos will be 30 seconds in length, which is perfect for most events, but if you have a lot of content from your family vacation, you can extend it if you use your own music.
The HTC One (M8) allows you do some neat stuff with images utilizing the Duo Camera, but another cool feature is slow motion video. Recording slow motion video isn’t anything new, but HTC takes it one step further with the ability to adjust the speed for certain parts of your video. For example, you could record your child scoring a goal and just when they make the final kick, you can put that in slow motion, but leave everything else at full speed.
What’s cool is that this can be done after the fact, but the video must be filmed in slow motion. You will be able to set what part of the video you want at full speed and what part to be at 1/2 speed or even 1/4 speed. You can even revert back to full speed for the entire video. The only caveat is that slow motion videos will be at 720p, even if you revert them back to full speed.
It is a pretty cool way to add a little flair to your videos, so hit the break to find out how to do it.