Reviews of Samsung's new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, have begun to surface on the web this week, ahead of its release date on 11 April. Here, we round up what the critics are saying about the iPhone 5s rival so far.

Samsung is already said to be suing one newspaper that published negative reports about the Galaxy S5. According to a report by MediaToday, Samsung has sued Electronic Times for 300 million KRW (around £170,000) for writing bad things about the Galaxy S5's camera that Samsung claims are false.

Our sister site PC Advisor has said that its "not exactly blown away" by the new Samsung Galaxy S5, which was highly anticipated by Android fans before its launch in February at Mobile World Congress. 

Why not? There are several reasons listed in PC Advisor's review, including its design. "It doesn't feel like a premium smartphone in the hand," writes Chris Martin, adding, "Unfortunately for Samsung, the Galaxy S5 just isn't a new smartphone to get excited about."

"It has the same old design albeit with waterproof credentials but that's nothing new," Martin continues. "A fingerprint scanner is cool but again nothing new. The only new element, the heartrate monitor, will only be useful for some users. The rest is essentially standard." 

Overall, most other tech websites have the same opinion about the Samsung Galaxy S5. There's no doubt that it's a good smartphone, but there's nothing about it that makes you think "wow". It's not a huge upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy S4 and some have even suggested that it's just a filler for a new Samsung phone coming later this year.

Trusted Reviews has a similar opinion to PC Advisor about the Samsung Galaxy S5, though does have a slightly more positive take on the matter. "Not every new part of the phone is a smash hit and it is not really a huge step on from the Galaxy S4, but the Galaxy S5 still earns our recommendation," writes Andrew Williams.

While impressed by the screen, camera and battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S5, Williams agrees that the design is lacking in premium feel.  He also notes: "Where Apple and HTC have successfully judged their recent gold models, using a fairly muted 'Champagne' shade, Samsung's has the blingy vibrance of a £10 plastic handbag."

"The Samsung Galaxy S5 is probably the worst-looking of the three 2014 Anrdoid flagships we know about so far," Williams continues. "It carries on into the software too, though. Once again HTC Sense looks and feels slightly better than TouchWiz. And yet again the Samsung UI does prove to be a minor performance drain."

"However, other aspects of this phone are good or excellent," Williams concludes. "There are misses to match the hits, but the places those hits land are extremely important."

The Wall Street Journal has also been busy testing Samsung's latest flagship, beginning its review with the statement: "It can swim, but it won't make any waves."

The reviewer, Geoffrey A. Fowler, highlights the Samsung Galaxy S5's waterproof exterior as the most exciting new feature. "In most other ways, this update to Samsung's top-selling Galaxy S4 barely moves the needles," he adds.

"Samsung may market the Galaxy S5 as a significant upgrade, but it is best seen as a refinement," Fowler adds. "The Galaxy S5 offers a powerful phone with a big screen, but it's not the only phone that does, despite Samsung's marketing dominance."

"Existing Galaxy SIII and S4 customers will appreciate the ways its software has matured, but should look at HTC One and Moto X Android phone, too," Fowler concludes. "iPhone users itching for a larger screen should wait, however, to see what new form factors Apple might deliver this fall."

Find out the latest rumours about a bigger iPhone here.

Stuff is one of the only publications we've seen that's given the Samsung Galaxy S5 a full five star review. In fact, it actually describes the smartphone as "the most feature-packed smartphone on the planet."

Reviewer Sophie Charara specifies the S5's power, screen, camera, waterproof body and variety of features as the big selling points of the device, but does note that the design is not the greatest, the UI can get confusing and the camera isn't very good in low light.

Charara's conclusion suggests that, while the S5 has "plenty to brag about", it doesn't beat the recently launched HTC One (M8). "The fact is, this is a smartphone just millimetres from greatness. Samsung's problem is that its competitors are closer still," she writes.

TechRadar's Samsung Galaxy S5 review starts by defining the device with one word: "evolution". However, after listing the ways in which the new smartphone in the S series has improved over its predecessor, reviewer Gareth Beavis notes that "it's hard to point to one stand out feature that will grab the prospective user when they handle the Galaxy S5 for the first time."

In his verdict, Beavis suggests that the S5 is not impressive enough to last Samsung the entire year as a flagship. "Samsung HAS to be making another premium model to show us later this year," he writes. "Samsung needs to step up," he adds later when discussing the plastic design of the S5.

"If you're on the fence, or in the iPhone camp, it would be easy to decry this as a mere update to what came before, offering uninspiring design and a feature set that doesn't mark it out well enough from the competition," Beavis concludes.

Meanwhile, Pocket-Lint says in its review that Samsung's S5 "might be a handset playing it safe," but describes it as an "excellent smartphone" nonetheless.

As with other reviews, selling points of the S5 include the display, the camera, and the battery life according to the review. The downsides, though, are the plastic build and slow navigation of the user interface, writes reviewer Chris Hall.

We'll add more reviews as they arrive. You can also see our comparison of the new Samsung device with Apple's flagship in our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s comparison review.