The Samsung Galaxy S5 hits store shelves on Friday and the reviews are starting to pour in. Can the latest in the Galaxy line grab more market share from Apple’s iPhone?

The Galaxy S5 comes equipped with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 2.5 GHz quad core application processor and runs on Android 4.4.2, also known as KitKat. There’s a 16-megapixel camera at the rear and a 2-megapixel camera on the front, along with high-definition-capable video.

The Galaxy S5 also boasts autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds. The High Dynamic Range promises to reproduce natural light and color with intensity under any lighting circumstances. Meanwhile, a new Selective Focus feature lets users focus on a specific area of an object while simultaneously blurring out the background. With this capability, consumers no longer need a special lens kit to create a shallow depth of field effect.

A Sturdier Galaxy

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his thoughts on the new device. He told us he predicts the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be a big hit -- most likely one of the top two best selling devices. The iPhone, of course, is the other.

“I have been using a new Samsung Galaxy S5 on the AT&T Mobility network Relevant Products/Services and am delighted to see so many new features in a handset that is still comfortable and familiar,” Kagan said. “If you liked the Galaxy S3 and S4 then you should love the S5. However, if you prefer an Apple iPhone device then there is not much that will steer you away.”

Kagan said the size, shape, thickness and weight of the Galaxy S4 seem basically unchanged. However, he added, it feels better in the hand than the S4. In fact, he said, the S4 was so fragile that he dropped it once and it stopped working. By contrast, he said, the S5 feels more solid and has a rubber-like backing so it won’t slide off the table. He also likes the waterproof feature and the fingerprint reader.

Choosing Your Carrier

While it is easier to read text or watch movies on a larger screen, Kagan said the larger footprint is also harder to hold in one hand and takes up more room in the pocket.

As he sees it, sometimes devices are improved and other times they are completely reinvented -- and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is an evolution not a reinvention. It’s better than its predecessors with several key new features but it’s still the familiar Galaxy.

“If you want a new Galaxy S5, the real question should be which carrier. Typically AT&T and Verizon are top of the list, on a nationwide basis. Sprint and T-Mobile charge less, but don’t offer the same network range, quality or speed -- yet anyway,” Kagan said. “C Spire is a regional player, has a lower price, and an excellent quality network. U.S. Cellular has struggled over the last couple years, but they typically cost less.”

Kagan’s bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S5 should be a winner in 2014. If you liked the S3 and S4 you should love the S5, he said, but he doesn’t think it will win over Apple iPhone lovers.