As expected, Samsung has announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5 here at its Unpacked 2014 Episode 1 event in Barcelona. The new Galaxy S5 is Samsung’s latest push at making the perfect Android smartphone for consumers, with a particular focus on software. Unlike the Galaxy S4 from last year, this time round Samsung has gone for quite a revamp, with less clutter and more polish.
The TouchWiz UI has been revamped, featuring a new set of icons and an interface that Samsung promises to be minimal. Edit: The TouchWiz UI has merely been tweaked, with a new icons-based Settings page and less clutter in the UI as a whole.
Other improvements in terms of software on the Galaxy S5 is related to security. Crucially, the new Galaxy S5 features a fingerprint sensor that fully supports mobile payments. On top of that, Samsung has also added a Private Mode that securely hides your files (such as photos) with a single swipe. There’s also a Kids Mode, that again secures your device when used by a little one.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that Samsung has forgotten about the hardware. One of the most highly-anticipated and much-rumoured additions of the Galaxy S5 – IP67 rating for dust and water resistance – is finally here. In addition, the perforated design of the back cover is likely to split opinion (not to mention the lack of a radically different design) but Samsung promises that the new back cover will improve users’ grip.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 will also hold the record of being the world’s first smartphone to feature a heart rate sensor. Yup, there’s not just a fingerprint scanner, but also a heart rate monitor. Combined with the new S Health 3.0 app, as well as Samsung’s latest generation of wearables, Samsung promises the Galaxy S5 to be the perfect companion to your life.
Also a compelling new feature is the new software and hardware enhancements that help improve connectivity. The Galaxy S5 not only supports all LTE Cat 4 bands and the WiFi MIMO standard, Samsung’s flagship smartphone also features the Download Booster, which combines both WiFi and LTE connections for a single download; Samsung touts that with this feature, the Galaxy S5 can download a 1GB file in only 30 seconds.
Then, there is the Ultra Power Saving Mode, which Samsung claims to “dramatically” increase battery life when you need it most. When switched on, the entire UI turns into a clean, black and white interface, and all unnecessary features are shut down to further minimize power consumption.
As for the display, the new Galaxy S5 sports a new 5.1-inch Super AMOLED full HD screen, that also comes with its set of new features, allowing the Galaxy S5 to intelligently and quickly adjust the brightness of the display based on the ambient lighting.
Moving on to the heart of the Galaxy S5. The new flagship will be powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor – no mention of the makers though. There’s 2GB of RAM, as well as storage options of either 16GB or 32GB, which can be expanded by a further 64GB via microSD cards. The battery capacity has also been boosted to a generous 2800mAh. Naturally, the Galaxy S5 will be running on Android 4.4.2 – the latest version of Android.
Moving on to another new aspect of the S5: the camera. As previously rumoured, the Galaxy S5 sports a new 16MP sensor, with a companion image processor to further boost imaging capabilities on the S5. On paper at least the Galaxy S5 sounds like a stunning camera, with a blazing fast autofocus speed of only 0.3 seconds, the new Selective Focus mode, and an improved Rich Tone (HDR) mode which is also available on video recording. We’ll test out the new camera on the S5 extensively later, so watch this space.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in four colours – Electric Blue, Shimmery White, Charcoal Black and Copper Gold. While the Galaxy S5’s pricing has not been announced, Samsung will again attempt a feat in distribution, with over 150 countries set to get the Galaxy S5 on April 11.
Stay tuned to Lowyat.NET for more about Samsung’s latest devices!