30 seconds with the s5
I wrote off the S5 as being hideous, and poorly designed (but I repeat myself) as well. That is, until I happened to be near a sprint store with some free time today.
1. The camera. THE CAMERA!!! Not even the 5s can capture a moving subject without motion blur. With my moving hand test, the S5 was the first phone since the 4s-on-iOS6 which is useful for taking pictures of things that aren't perfectly still. I can't overstate this achievement, though I'm sure it's gone overlooked by nearly every reviewer across the world.
2. Mostly everything else. From someone who thought the unbranded white GS4 and the white iPhone 4s were the two most attractive mobile devices I've come across, and who's played with if not owned every flagship since the gs3, I'm not sure why I was so put off by the appearance of the S5 in videos and pictures online. In person, the white version was very attractive. I already find the body attractive a la the Note 3, and I caught myself staring at the pattern on the rear panel for a good 15 seconds — surprisingly, not being appalled by it. It didn't look or feel big, and I'm attributing this to the fact that a centimeter of the display isn't wasted on stationary software buttons, and because the there wasn't a centimeter of wasted bezel near the bottom like on most other Android flagships (Nexus 5, One M8, G2). That makes for around 2 centimeters of used space instead of wasted space, and it frees up the entire (beautiful SAMOLED) display to do what displays do best: display content. Speaking of displays, I pulled up the internet browser for it's readily accessible white background to test the consistency of colors across the display. It wasn't plagued by yellow-tinted edges or one side being darker or lighter than others — unlike the 5s or Nexus 5, but I can't really speak for most other phones. Also, It didn't feel heavy.
3. The rest. There was a lady in the shop talking to a sales rep (her boyfriend?) and she had owned the S5 for a day or so, and her fingerprint scanner was set up. She demonstrated it for me, and I need to take a shower after experiencing that on an otherwise amazing device. It worked, despite having a gigantic case with a quarter inch raised bezel immediately below the home button, but as you already know it's a gimmick feature and even she didn't use it because it's just faster and easier to turn on the display and punch in a code to unlock it. The software is...well...embarrassing, but that's practically unchanged from Samsung device to Samsung device.
Overall impressions: If the iPhone 6 fails me, and the Nexus 6 fails me, then I'll be grabbing the S5 Google Play Edition.