Samsung has revealed its next flagship device – the much-rumoured Samsung Galaxy S5 – at its first UNPACKED event for the year. The successor to the highly-popular Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S5 features a bigger 5.1-inch full HD display, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, and a 16-megapixel camera rear camera.
Other internal specs include a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM, a 2800mAh battery, and either 16GB or 32GB of onboard memory with a microSD card slot. As well, the Galaxy S5 features a heart-rate monitor built-in to the device; runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat; and is also dust and water resistant (not waterproof).
As rumoured, it includes a fingerprint scanner – but the scanner is on the lower half of the screen, not on the home button like on the iPhone 5s. It will be used for authentication for payments and access to “Private Mode”, and you will need to swipe down the screen to activate.
The Galaxy S5 is a LTE Category 4 device, meaning that it can achieve theoretical download speeds of 150Mbps – but of course, this is affected by congestion and the coverage area. It will also support the Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard and 2X2 MIMO – ensuring you are getting fast Wi-Fi speeds. It also includes a Download Booster, by bonding the Wi-Fi and LTE connections simultaneously.
The 16-megapixel camera promises to have the world’s fastest autofocus speed at 0.3 seconds, and includes a new advanced HDR feature that is able to “reproduce natural light and colour” – according to Samsung; and a “Selective Focus” feature, allowing you to pick and choose which objects and blur out the background. And like the Sony Xperia Z2 announced yesterday, the Galaxy S5 can record video in 4K resolution – though expect those file sizes to be enormous since it doesn’t have H.265 compression.
Touch-Wiz still makes an appearance, but it has been refined and is reportedly less intrusive than its predecessors. We’ll have to wait and see what improvements they have made when we get the device (hopefully) in our hands to review.
However, the biggest downfall is its design. The Galaxy S5 doesn’t stray away from the traditional Galaxy design but adds a perforated pattern to make a “modern glam look” – those are Samsung’s words, not mine. To me, however, the phone still looks cheap (despite being the flagship device) and the perforated pattern on the back looks tacky. The phone will also follow the Galaxy Note 3 in having designer covers.
The device should be available globally from April. No word on Australian availability or pricing.
UPDATE: As expected, all three major carriers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – have confirmed that the Galaxy S5 will join their networks. In a quick statement, Optus said it would join their “superfast 4G networks” – which we assume that applies to Virgin Mobile – and customers can pre-register from their website. Vodafone and Telstra have also opened up pre-register sites as well.