The announcement of Samsung's next flagship, the Galaxy S5, is around the corner. Here's what we know so far.
The fifth iteration of Samsung’s flagship Android phone is expected to be unveiled soon as the twelve month circle is ending soon.
The predecessor of the handset, the S4, has been one of the top selling smartphones of 2013 with over 50 million units purchased.
Though, this year’s Galaxy S phone has been discussed more than any other Samsung phone since rumors suggest that the device will have some exciting new technology on board.
Since its inception back in 2010, for four generations now, the Galaxy S line-up has been featuring a polycarbonate built, mainly to maintain the device as thin as possible as Samsung’s PR folks have previously stated.
Well, as it appears that’s about to change. There has been reports and alleged images claiming that the South Korean company has ordered aluminum jackets for the phone. Bare in mind though if the chassis of the phone is a metal that would totally rule out any possibility of flexible design.
In addition to that, in a recent report we’ve told you folks that the images showcasing a metal Galaxy S5 are actually exhibiting the Galaxy F.
So, on the one hand, you’ll have the all-metal body that gives supreme feel to the hands and on the other the old-polycarbonate cheap-ish feeling cover that features flexible back, like the Galaxy Round — Samsung’s first entry to the flexible phones market.
Various patents that have been leaked on the web showcase a more-squared edged device without a physical home button.
Korean reports also suggest that the company might come with two different versions of the phone, one metal and one polycarbonate or carbon fire, but that’s far-fetched.
Specifications and Software
The Galaxy S line is popular for the heavy specs sheet it features.
Like the Note 3, the handset will be rocking 3 gigs of RAM and Snapdragon 800 processor, housing four cores each clocked at 2.3 GHz. Another possible chip that we might see under the hood is Qualcomm’s fresh released Snapdragon 805 quad-core SoC, featuring the new Adreno 420 GPU, with up to 40 percent more graphics processing power than its predecessor. The 805 is also the first mobile processor to support 4K (Ultra HD) resolution (games, videos etc.).
Though, in order to compete with Apple’s A7 chip implemented on the 5S, the company might find an alternative to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series and include a 64-bit chip instead.
It’s quite hysterical seeing the 5S sporting a 64-bit processor made by the arch-rival of the company, Samsung while the South Korean group itself uses 32-bit processor manufactured by another company.
In terms of display, Samsung is expected to maintain the screen size at 5-inches, just like the S4, or move up 0.1 to 0.2 inches.
Regarding the resolution of the display, that’s where things are sort of confusing. Last year was all about full HD res screens while this year’s flagship phones will be featuring 2K displays (2560 x 1440 pixels). The specific resolution comes with a pixel density of 560ppi, which will essentially be quite dizzying if fit into a 5-inch display.
Like every other year, Samsung’s screen tech of choice will be AMOLED instead of a sharp LCD panel. Oh well what can you do?
The potential luck of physical home button brings the possibility of a Sapphire display on the table, meaning that behind the Gorilla Glass 3, a finger-print scanner will be built-in the display, allowing you to unlock and possibly wake up the handset by sliding your fingertip from the top to bottom.
Though, Lee Young-hee, executive vice president, mentioned in an earlier statement that it’s plausible to see Iris recognition technology instead.
Fundamentally, Iris does the same thing with the fingerprint scanner, albeit in the eyes. In order to implement this feature, the company will have to embed a second camera on the front – separate from the one you use for selfies— to get the job done. Then, duly to the fact that Iris requires a long range sensor, the handset will have a different structure in the inside and consequentially a new design. In addition, a third camera will size up the body of the Galaxy S5.
The main factor of why it’s unlikely to see Iris technology on smartphones for the next couple of years is based on the fact that fingerprint scanning is a much more developed technology that is easier to be installed and used by the consumer.
According to sources familiar with the particular story, Iris technology manufacturers denied working with Samsung for something like the above. As seen in various Korean news outlets, Fingerprint Cards AB has previously stated that fingerprint scanners for global smartphone manufacturers, including Korean ones such as Samsung, are already in the works.
The Galaxy S line cameras have never disappointed us. They are probably the most brilliant sensors one can find in the Android market.
An alleged photo sporting a resolution of 5312 x 2988, taken from the rear-sensor of the Galaxy S5, fundamentally suggest that the main camera of the handset will be 16 megapixels. Sounds logical to me. It will be also rocking the same optical image stabilization (OIS) tech as the LG G2.
Samsung has previously announced that has a new CMOS image sensor in the works that will be first seen in its 2014 or 2015 smartphones; hence we might see that in the handset’s camera as well.
So what’s new in this sensor compared to the GS4’s? The CMOS isolates individual pixels which minimizes electrical crosstalk between them, which in turn leads to higher color fidelity, for sharper, richer images.
Ultra HD aka 4K-video recording is highly probable as well, and the front-facing sensor will be 3.2 MPix.
To accumulate the 2K display, Samsung will bump up the handset with a 3,200 mAh battery, 100 mAh less than the killer battery of the One Max, thus for the first time we might actually be seeing a fair battery performance from a Galaxy S handset.
The handset will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat with revamped TouchWiz 6.0 on top. The new version of TouchWiz will feature a new more user-friendly and intuitive design, closer to stock Android and enhanced air gestures; allowing you to hover multiple fingers above the screen to perform certain actions, instead of just one digit.
Pricing and Availability
Like HTC’s M8, the handset will be announced during MWC 2014 in Barcelona instead of an individual event held after the conference.
Confirmed by the company itself, the device will be announced in the UNPACKED 5 event – guess what 5 symbolizes – on Monday, 24th of February, 20:00 CET.
The Galaxy S4 was announced in March of 2013 and hit the shelves a month later. Hence, we believe the Galaxy S5 will be available in March for the US, with countries from EU and AS to follow in the coming weeks.
Pricing wise, the handset will set you back around £550 in the UK, $650 in the US, AU$700 in Australia and €650 in Europe.