27 problems with Samsung’s Galaxy S5, and how to solve them

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Problems with screen, calls, lag, and more

Bug: Screen won’t turn onSamsung Galaxy S5 review android screen

Quite a few people have been having issues with the Galaxy S5 screen refusing to turn on. The capacitive buttons light up as expected, but the screen remains black. This seems to occur at different times for different people, but the common issue is that the screen fails to wake up, even though you might be able to hear that the phone is working and feel vibrations. There are lots of things you can try to solve this issue.

Workarounds:

  • To begin with, try turning it off by holding down the Power key for at least seven seconds until you feel a vibration, then let go, and press the Power key again to turn it back on.
  • If the screen doesn’t come back, then try removing the back and taking the battery out. Wait for ten seconds, then put the battery back in, and try turning the S5 on again.
  • Some people found that going to Settings > Device > Lock screen > Additional information and turning it off seemed to help.
  • A few people have reported success after disabling the S Health app and/or the Smart remote app.

Potential solutions:

  • Try going to Settings > Accessibility > Vision > Dark screen and make sure this is turned off.
  • This issue might be related to your case or cover. Try removing it and see if the problem still occurs.
  • It could be your microSD card that’s causing the problem. Try removing it for a while and see if that makes a difference.
  • It’s possible an app is causing the problem, so try booting into safe mode. Turn the S5 off, then tap the Power key to turn it back on. When you see the Samsung logo press and hold the Volume down key. The S5 should start up and it will say Safe mode at the bottom right. If you don’t have the problem anymore, then it must be an app that’s causing it, you can try uninstalling apps one by one to identify the culprit, or do a factory reset and be selective about your reinstall. You can turn Safe mode off again via the notification shade.
  • Back up your files and go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.
  • If you’re still having issues, then it’s time to contact your retailer, carrier, or Samsung and try to get a replacement handset.

Problem: Can’t hear caller or can’t be heard

Some Galaxy S5 owners have encountered a problem with the audio during calls. They either can’t hear the caller or, more commonly, the caller can’t hear them.

Workarounds:

  • Hold down the Power key and tap Restart from the menu that appears. The problem might reoccur.

Potential solutions:

  • Hold down the Power key and select Power off from the menu. Remove the battery and SIM card and replace them, then turn the S5 back on again to see if the problem is gone.
  • If people are struggling to hear you, check the microphone. The microphone is a pin hole on the bottom of the S5. Blow on it or use compressed air to ensure there’s nothing caught in there.
  • This might be related to Bluetooth. If you have a Bluetooth accessory that’s paired within range of the phone then maybe it’s trying to connect. Pull down the notification shade and turn Bluetooth off to check. You might have to go to Settings > Bluetooth and tell it to forget paired devices.
  • Some people found that wiping the cache partition helped. If you want to try it, then turn the S5 off via the Power key and the Power off option. Press and hold Volume up, Home, and the Power key together. When the S5 vibrates, let go of Power. When you see the Android recovery screen, let go of the other two and use Volume down to highlight the wipe cache partition option, then Power to select it.

If you’re wondering what happened to the Menu key that used to be bottom left, it has been turned into the Multitasking button now. The problem is that some older apps don’t have a menu option on screen and you need that button to access the settings.

Solution:

  • All you have to do is press and hold the Multitasking button at the bottom left and it will work just like the old menu key and bring the settings up.

Problem: No Download Booster

In our Galaxy S5 tips article we highlighted the Download Booster feature which allows you to download files really fast by using Wi-Fi and LTE together. A number of new S5 owners are reporting the feature missing in action and that’s because AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have removed it.

Workarounds:

  • Switch to T-Mobile or U.S. Cellular and you’ll find that Download Booster is present and correct.
  • Keep an eye on XDA Developers for a rooting solution that gets it working again.

Annoyance: Lag or stutter

A casual scan of forums and article comments reveals that lag is the subject of much debate when it comes to the Galaxy S5. A significant number of owners feel that the Galaxy S5 lags when compared to the competition and the blame is generally leveled at Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface and bloatware. What we’re talking about here is perceived delays when you load up or exit an app, when you unlock the phone, when you tap the Home button, or perhaps when you’re typing.

Workarounds:

  • Use a different launcher. There are lots of options out there, Nova Launcher is good, or you could sideload the Google Now launcher.
  • It may be the animations that are giving you the feeling of lag, so why not turn them off? Tap and hold on a blank space on your home screen and select Home screen settings > Transition effect > None. Go to Settings > Lock screen > Unlock effect and set it to None.
  • You can go further in Settings > About device by tapping the Build number seven times to turn Developer mode on. Now go to Settings > Developer options > Windows animation scale and set it to Animation is off. You can do the same thing in Settings > Developer options > Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale.
  • If the delay on the Home button is annoying you, then double tap it to fire up S Voice and choose Settings from the menu at the top right then make sure that Open via the home key is not ticked.
  • You may want to turn off some background data syncing. You can do this via Settings > Accounts or within the settings menus of individual apps.
  • To reduce the impact of bloatware go to Settings > Application manager and look at the All tab. Any app you don’t want to use, you can tap on it and choose Disable, but don’t disable or uninstall randomly, make sure that the apps are not something you need first (search for a Galaxy S5 bloatware list for your carrier). All disabled apps will be listed in a separate tab, so you can always turn them back on again in the future.

Potential solution:

  • You should definitely try wiping your cache partition, particularly if you had an Android update recently. Hold down the Power button and tap Power off. Now hold down Power, Home, and Volume up When the S5 vibrates, let go of Power, but keep holding down the other two. You should see the Android System Recovery screen and you can let go of Home and Volume up. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then press the Power button to select it. Once it’s done, tap Power to select Reboot system now.
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