It has become a ritual now, with Samsung announcing a new Galaxy S flagship every year and later, the phone getting sold in record breaking numbers. Samsung must be hoping this year to be no different, for the Galaxy S5 is here and it brings some big changes over its predecessor.
Galaxy S4 was undoubtedly a good phone. With Galaxy S5, Samsung has worked upon improving that user experience, as well as addressing important shortcomings. Let’s get to the hardware first. The Galaxy S5 comes with a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display. Unlike the rumors though, the display is still 1080p. The phone has also been given a Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.5GHz, along with 2GB RAM. Then there’s 150Mbps LTE, 16/32GB storge options (no 64GB this time) and IP67 certification of water and dust resistance. The phone’s battery has also been upped to a 2,800mAh capacity unit. On the back is a 16 megapixel camera with UHD recording capabilities, while at the bottom is a microUSB port.
Two important new hardware changes include a fingerprint scanner present on the Home button (yes, physical keys are still there) and a heart rate monitor at the back. The fingerprint scanner if more of a direct copy of Apple’s Touch ID, although it does a trick or two extra. It works by swiping down your finger on the Home button. Besides unlocking the phone, the scanner can be used to access a private data locker on your phone, as well as make online payments using PayPal.
The heart rate monitor on the back has been built in the same module as the flash and works by placing your finger on it. The tech works in conjunction with S Health app, although Samsung will be opening up the SDK for developers.
As far as the design and the looks the, the phone is a welcome change from the pebble design that was so apparent on Samsung’s entire lineup in 2013. The phone features a faux leather back like the Note 3, although this time it resembles the divots on the original Nexus 7. The sides have a metallic finish made out of polycarbonate and fiber glass.
The phone runs on Android 4.4.2 with the new TouchWiz UI skinned over it. Although, it doesn’t look like what we saw in the leaks a few weeks back. The phone will go on sale in the coming months in Black, White, Blue and Copper. Samsung hasn’t revealed anything on the pricing front.