What if there was a phone that managed to pull in all the best features of all the great phones out there and put them into one pretty package? Would that make it a superphone? Samsung is probably hoping that’s what their latest flagship, the Galaxy S5 will turn out to be.
Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 launch in Barcelona at the World Mobile Congress on Monday and while the device was more likely an evolution of its predecessor, it did come with some innovative features not seen on a Galaxy device before, particularly the 16MP camera, fingerprint scanner, heart rate scanner, and pedometer.
Samsung Galaxy S5 : A Superphone in the Making?
Samsung’s president JK Shin told the audience that the company was not focusing on reinventing the wheel but rather on simple practical enhancements. And these simple enhancements comes by way of a slightly larger screen, a 5.1 inch HD 1080p display, a powerful Snapdragon 800 2.5GHz quad-core processor, an perforated rubber back for easier holding, and removable back cases that come in four colors Charcoal black, Shimmery white, Electric blue, and Copper Gold. The external body is still plastic with rounded corners so you may most likely get a Galaxy S4 feel when you’re holding it.
However, what’s inside tells another story altogether. One of the top flagship features of the device is not particularly innovative since Apple set the benchmark with its fingerprint scanner. Now with the Galaxy S5, users will be able to use their fingerprint as a password, affording more security especially with regards to making secure payments (via PaPal) or storing secure files. (A secure private mode which can be unlocked only using the fingerprint scanner will help users store files more securely.)
The next flagship feature is the health related apps, and the Galaxy device is not new to it either. But combined with Samsung’s second gen smartwatches the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo as well as the wearable band, the Gear Fit, it can turn you into your own health manager. Both the watch and the band can pick up your pulse through the skin and display it on the device’s screen any time of the day, or when you are exercising. The data collected by the devices can be used to calculate calories burned, steps walked and so on. S Health, Samsung’s health app will create graphs and tables of the data collected making it easier to track changes in health over time. Other health apps such as Lifestyle Coach can then be used to hopefully build yourself a good fitness routine.
The Galaxy S5 has a new camera that has twice as many megapixels as Apple’s 5S. The camera has many advanced editing and focus tools; the phrase-detect as well as contrast-detect autofocus is apparently the fastest autofocus seen on any phone.
The Galaxy S5 with a removable 2,800mAh battery has a better life when compared to its predecessor, with a unique power saving mode that almost doubles the life left when the device goes on very low charge. The device also comes with Wi-Fi MIMO, which is expected to almost double WI-Fi speeds.
The S5 also comes with a USB 3.0 which should allow for faster data transfer and sync. As fas as the OS is concerned, no surprises there, the S5 comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Much like the Xperia Z1, the Galaxy S5 is also dust and water proof.
Nick Dillon, senior analyst at Ovum stated that Galaxy owners may not be too convinced to upgrade to the latest device on account of the minor-looking updates, at least on first glance.
The Galaxy S5 is expected to reach consumers in early April. Samsung has not revealed pricing details for the time being.
Samsung appears to have strived to retain its successful Galaxy formula while at the same time pushing forward its futuristic wearable tech gadgets side by side. With Apple’s fingerprint scanner feature, Xperia Z1’s water and dust resistant feature, its own S Health apps power-shifted into Gear devices, an impressive 16MP camera, is this truly the superphone that people are making it out to be?
Samsung Galaxy S5 Unpacked
Samsung Galaxy 5 Tech Specs
- Network: LTE Cat.4 (150/50Mbps)
- Display: 5.1 inch FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
- Processor: 2.5GHz Quad core
- OS: Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
- Camera: 16MP (rear), 2.0MP (front)
- Video: UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization
- Video Codec : H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
- Video Format: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
- Audio Codec : MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/ AAC+/ eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
- Audio Format: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
- Camera Features : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot&More
- Additional Features: IP67 Dust and water Resistant; Ultra Power Saving Mode; Download Booster; S Health 3.0; Quick Connect; Private Mode; Kids Mode
- Connectivity: WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2×2); Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+; USB: USB 3.0; NFC; IR Remote
- Sensor: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart rate sensor
- Memory: RAM: 2GB; Internal Memory: 16/32GB ; microSD slot upto 128GB
- Dimensions: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g
- Battery: 2800mAh
- Standby time: 390 hrs / Talk time: 21 hrs