Samsung’s New S5 – Everything You Need To Know

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Feb 25 2014
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Samsung has just unveiled the much anticipated new Android smartphone – the Galaxy S5. Samsung claims its new “super phone” has everything under the sun – a professional camera, a powerful fitness tracker, water and dust proof, a fingerprint sensor, a heart-rate sensor and whatnot. It even has the iPhone-like gold edition to rival its competitor Apple Inc. Samsung also reveals its second generation smartwatch, the Gear 2, as well as a new wearable Gear Fit.

Samsung Galaxy S5 - S5 and Gear FitSamsung Galaxy S5 - Gear Fit

As much as you like it, the latest S5 still doesn’t have the premium feel as compared to Apple iPhone, thanks to its “plasticky body”. Heck, on the front, this S5 doesn’t look any different from S4. At best (*yawn*) S5 has only minor improvements. It doesn’t have a better display resolution than S4, or a better camera to rival the best Lumia or Sony’s Xperia Z2. It also doesn’t have a wireless charging to differentiate itself from S4 or iPhone 5S. The only “wow factor” is its water and dust resistance feature. Anyway, let’s look at the features unveiled by Samsung.



[ 1 ]  Larger Display

Samsung Galaxy S5 - DisplaySamsung Galaxy S5 - Back View

The Galaxy S4 had a 5-inch display. And when many expect the new S5 to have at least 5.5-inch, Samsung listens and delivers – a mere 5.1 inches – much to everyone’s disappointment. The resolution remains 1920 x 1080 pixels Super AMOLED, which is less than the anticipated 2560 x 1440 ultra HD display some were hoping for. S5 comes with a swappable back cover, microSD slot and removable 2,800mAh battery.



[ 2 ]  iPhone-like Gold Edition

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Gold Edition
Samsung Galaxy S5 - Gold Blue White Black

Everybody was expecting a better quality Samsung phone. If Apple iPhone is a Mercedes, Samsung looks like a Proton. So, is the new S5 made from aluminium (or other metal for that matter) to rival iPhone? Nope, the case is still made of polycarbonate – a fancy word for plastic. The back of S5 is perforated, looks similar to Galaxy Note 3. The consolation – this new S5 comes with additional iPhone 5S-like copper-gold (Boo – Samsung a copycat) and electric blue options, on top of traditional black and white colour. But the new colours are available only at a later date.



[ 3 ]  Water-resistant

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Waterproof

The new Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified (water and dust resistant), which means it can be dropped in a glass of water or in swimming pool up to 3 meters of water for up to 30 seconds without suffering any serious damage. The charging port (now USB 3.0) comes with an integrated port cover for waterproofing. Of course to be safe, Samsung only dare to advise that while you can now watch videos in bathtub, you shouldn’t submerge the phone underwater, let alone texting or sexting while snorkelling (*grin*).



[ 4 ]  16 Megapixels Camera

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Camera 

While existing S4 has a nice 13-megapixel camera, the new S5 is improved with 16-megapixel. But it’s still less than the 20-megapixel camera the Sony’s Xperia Z2 has. Samsung shortened the autofocus to 0.3 second, however, while adding some neat features, such as an artifical background blur to make photos look like they were taken with a professional grade SLR camera and lens. There’s also a real-time high dynamic range (HDR) mode that’ll let you preview what an HDR-enhanced photo would look like next to a non-HDR version of the same photo.



[ 5 ]  Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsung Galaxy S5 - KitKat

Google Android’s latest operating system, Android version 4.4. KitKat, powers the new S5. On top of that, Samsung has revised its custom interface, uncluttering the apps and the buttons so that they’re easier to find and operate. At last, Samsung is doing something about it’s super-confused and boring looking user interface. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has had a significant power boost over its predecessor, with a 2.5GHz Quad core processor compared with the S4’s 1.9GHz chip.


[ 6 ]  Less Default Apps

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Less Apps

It’s been ages that whenever you evaluate a Samsung phone, it always come pre-loaded with tons of applications, most of which are unnecessary. Now, with new Galaxy S5, Samsung decided to keep only some popular ones such as S Voice, S Health and ChatOn.



[ 7 ]  Heart-rate Sensor

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Heart-rate SensorSamsung Galaxy S5 - Heart-rate Sensor 2 

The new S5 brings more medical equipments into the smartphone, literally speaking. On the back of the phone, right under the camera sensor, there’s an integrated heart-rate monitor while works in conjunction with S-Health 3.0 – the first of its kind in a smartphone. Simply hold your finger directly on the flash area and it’ll tell you your pulse. It also acts as a pedometer and food monitor. This makes you wonder what else can Samsung smartphone does next – perhaps a MRI scanning (*tongue-in-cheek*).



[ 8 ]  Faster WiFi

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Faster WiFi

The Galaxy S5 is the first phone to sport a 802.11ac MIMO WiFi antenna, which means it can download files up to three times faster than the Galaxy S4 does. If this fifth-generation WiFi is not enough to impress you, Samsung also added a “boost” feature which allows simultaneous download using the WiFi and LTE connections.



[ 9 ]  Better Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Larger Battery

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 promises up to 12 hours of video playback and 10 hours of web browsing on LTE connection, thanks to larger 2,800mAh battery, which amount to a 20% increase of battery life. There’s a new feature – Ultra Power Saving – whereby it will shut down all but the most essential features and turn the screen to black and white, whenever the power juice is at critical level.



[ 10 ]  Fingerprint Scanner

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Fingerprint SensorSamsung Galaxy S5 - Fingerprint Sensor 2

With S5, there’s an integrated fingerprint scanner on the screen just above the home button. Again, another iPhone copycat attempt? You can unlock the device by swiping a finger to the bottom of the display, where a fingerprint scanner is integrated. That increases the device level of security since it replaces the infamous four-digit code most people don’t like to use, and will possibly allow Samsung to offer mobile payment solutions in the near future.



[ 11 ]  Availability


The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available starting April 11 in 150 countries. There’s no word on pricing as of now but initial claims say it could be priced as much as 650 Euros (about £536, US$892, AU$987, RM2,923).

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Launch

So, do you really need to upgrade to the newly release Samsung Galaxy S5? I won’t, if I’m already owning a S4. And if I’m still running iPhone 4 and found no reason to upgrade to iPhone 5S, chances are high I would be waiting for iPhone 6. The next iPhone 6 may not see a bigger size than Galaxy S5 but the excitement is probably in its new technology – Quantum Dots. Apple may use this technology to enhance features of their next-generation display.


Quantum dots are nanocrystals made out of semiconductors – they can be tuned to emit very specific frequencies of light. In short, colors can be reproduced more accurately than with traditional materials. And if iPhone 6 comes with 5-inch display together with its patented quantum dots technology, it could send Samsung a run for their money.


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