Samsung Announces Galaxy S5

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Oh boy. If you had asked us a few hours back whether Samsung, the world’s largest phone-maker, was going to announce its next flagship today, we would’ve said “Heck no”. But believe it or not, its here and alive: the new Galaxy S5.

Quite remarkably for a Samsung flagship, the phone comes without a lot of hype. Samsung didn’t do much to build it up either as they probably knew that there aren’t really a lot of earth-shattering features in here.

Design

The biggest head-turner in the new phone is the design. Gone are the slippery, cheapish polycarbonate plastics of the past, welcome the new “modern glam” look. The perforated, dimpled back is similar to the first Nexus 7 and is quite an improvement over the Samsung phones of yesteryear.

It is still made of a leather-like material like the Note 3. Surrounding the phone is the same metal-imitating silver plastic. The phone itself will be available in four colours: Black, White, Gold and Blue.

Another quantum leap in the Galaxy S5 is the IP67 certification, which means the phone is water and dust-proof. The front, apart from carrying the display, has a home button with an integrated finger-print scanner built-in.

Display and Fingerprint scanner

The display of the Galaxy S5 is a larger by 0.1″, to 5.1″. It is still a Super AMOLED panel and carries the same 1080p resolution which means it is almost the same as last year.

While latest rumours suggested a QHD panel, Samsung obviously thought it was necessary. We might’ve grimaced but Sony too has used the same resolution in the Xperia Z2.

The most-intriguing feature of the front is the finger-print scanner. Just like Apple’s TouchID, it is built-in straight into the home button. Swiping the finger over it unlocks the phone. It is implemented in phone unlocking and further into the phone, where you can add insert the feature to keep other people at bay.

Samsung has even partnered with PayPal to allow users to make online payments via the scanner. We don’t know much more about it so we’ll update if something comes up.

Internals

Being a flagship phone, you naturally think that the phone will come with beefy hardware and you’ll be right in doing so. The new Galaxy S5 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.5Ghz and an Adreno 330 GPU.

Internal storage will be either 16 or 32 GB, which means the 64 GB version is axed this time. It will of course be expandable via a microSD card of up to 128 GB. (In case you wanna know, SanDisk announced those earlier at the MWC and they cost about 145 Euros a piece.)

The former is the second most-advanced processor which Qualcomm makes after the 805. Apart from that, the phone also comes with the new Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, Infrared and the new microUSB 3.0.

4G LTE-advanced is supported and the phone can provide speeds of up to 150 Mbps. It also comes with a new feature called “Download Booster” which combines the speed of Wi-Fi and data connection to provide ultra-fast network.

Camera

Galaxy S5 comes with a new 16 megapixel camera at the back, with LED Flash. The camera provides the fastest autofocus of any smartphone camera right now, thanks to the new Snapdragon 801’s image signal processor.

The camera also shoots 4K videos at 30 frames per second this time. And as is mandatory with Samsung, there are a few bonuses bundled along too. The first and foremost is the new HDR, which makes photos look more striking and natural.

The second, is Selective Focus. This is a thing commonly seen on advanced cameras. It allows you to sharpen only the parts of the image that you want, blurring the rest of the snap.

OS

We know that Samsung’s phones come full of hated bloatware and a heavy skin but this time, things are less intense.

The phone comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat pre-installed. The interface is a bit flat and simpler, with less menus. It still comes with Samsung’s S-branded apps but it is a bit cleaner look and definitely a welcome change, though, we would’ve liked a bit more.

Miscellaneous

Samsung clearly intents in making this phone the one-stop to all your fitness needs. The S5 is the world’s first phone with a heart-rate sensor, which it has on its back. It also comes with an updated S-health app which syncs with Samsung’s Gear and Fit devices.

The battery capacity is now set at 2,800 mAh and is said to last 20% longer.

Competition

Not many companies have announced flagships up till now, except for Google with the Nexus 5 and Sony with the Xperia Z2. The S5 faces stiff competition from both and unfortunately doesn’t come with a lot of distinguishing features.

If you’re a Samsung exec or fan, its easy to say that today wasn’t the best day of your life. The reaction to this announcement has been decidedly underwhelming, with many people questioning the lack of innovation factor in the phone.

Of course, you could’ve said the same thing about Sony’s flagship which isn’t exactly ground-breaking but unlike Sony, Samsung is a front runner. It is the company after all which embraced HD and Full HD displays with open arms and is known to experiment and implement. What happened now?

Ultimately, the most-puzzling thing is that the Galaxy S5 can’t be declared the best phone that Samsung makes right now, as the Note 3 is ahead in a number of ways. The Galaxy S5, then, is while a respectable addition to the company’s flagship lineup, not exactly properly distinguishable.


  • Eli Ehsan

    And We laughed at apple for not being INNOVATIVE enough after iPhone 4…….. still beats me Why Android can’t find a Better Flagship manufacturer then Samsung dung…..

  • Geekpk

    Lame.

  • Geekpk

    Lame

  • Jazib

    Oh boy. If you had asked us a few hours back whether Samsung, the
    world’s largest phone-maker, was going to announce its next flagship
    today, we would’ve said “Heck no”. But believe it or not, its here and
    alive: the new Galaxy S5.

    You honestly mean to say that you have
    no idea the S5 was going to be launched at MWC, despite all their
    advertisements and mobile world buzzing with it?

    • KaKa

      Kuch na kaho yaar… He operates ProPakistani from Tora Bora (I guess!).

  • Azi

    failed!

  • shumaila

    not impressive at all. I will still stick to my Nexus 5

  • Mani

    Man where do u live if didnt know S5 was coming. U shudnt be writing this atleast if u are not aware of updates. :(

  • ahmiq

    what a lame review.

  • Rizwan Yaqoob

    Someone should introduce an award: “Ugliest smartphone of the year” and give it to Samsung.

  • Saad Naeem

    The “S” line of Samsung is said to be flagship but the reality is the “Notes” are way better.
    Just wait for the Note 4 and i am pretty sure that it would be a beast.
    And by the way where is the deisign team of Samsung.

  • Kazim

    fake metal, fake leather, fake stitching, and now even fake coverage of their unpacked event, My LG G2 still better then S5.

  • Omair Ahmed

    Irrespective of each and everything it will have guaranteed best dev support out there. Even S1 (i9000) released on 2011 has better dev support (10+ andriod 4.4 roms) than 95% of the phone out there.

  • Asif

    It Sucks!

  • Bilal Iqbal

    just like Harnam Singh.. then Pernam Singh… etc S3 > S4 > S5 ..

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    So S series is over? I guess they are just making money over first few versions of S series phones. Liked that part about “heart sensor on back”. But then again putting phone back to back on your heart, it would be harmful due to those electromagnetic high power waves. Specially if meanwhile a communication with network going one, i.e. an SMS coming to cell, thats the time when the communication wave is fully strong.

    Btw 16MP camera, 4K video, fingerprint sensor are the things prevent this phone from looking too bad.

  • mohammad

    Not that bad guys. 16Mp 2.5ghz 440dpi 4k video. Water proof.all this also means innovation. What will be innovation in your view?

  • Saad

    Previous Samsung Flagships stood way out of other choices. With S5 its quite difficult to choose between S5, Z2 and Note 3.

  • spec wize good but battary is not good because 2800 mah is not enough but overall very nice mobile and also have heart rate sensor so now see how many people rate it.

  • Aussie

    The age of smartphones is over… thats y companies are not investing much on innovation.. rather investing on the next new big thing…

  • FACT

    any suggestions which one should be bought comparing S5 & note3? Should buy new or used?
    And which colour?
    Any practical suggestion would be appreciated!