Samsung announces the Galaxy S5 -- 'goes back to basics'

Today at the Unpacked 2014 event at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Samsung introduces the latest iteration of its flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S5 is, as you’d probably expect, evolution not revolution. The smartphone looks like a more polished update of last year’s S4 and comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Samsung’s user interface and S-branded apps.

The device is slightly larger than the S4, at 5.1 inches, with a 1080p Super AMOLED panel. It sports the same plastic surround, but with a new perforated look, and is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, and so can survive being submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. There's a new home key below the screen with an integrated fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock the phone and authenticate mobile payment purchases online.

The Galaxy S5 offers a 16 megapixel camera that delivers what Samsung says is "the world’s fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds". It also offers a new selective focus feature that lets users focus on a specific area of an object while blurring out the background.

The phone supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO, and LTE Category 4 standard. It also comes with Download Booster, which speeds up downloads by bonding Wi-Fi and LTE simultaneously. Internals include a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a larger battery the promise of 20 percent extra life. The device also offers a new Ultra Power Saving Mode that switches the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimize the battery consumption.

For anyone who relies on their smartphone to keep them fit, the S5 has a lot to offer. S Health 3.0 provides a comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users monitor and manage their behavior, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and built-in heart rate monitor which looks really cool.

The full list of specs is as follows:

Network 

LTE Cat.4 (150/50Mbps)

Display 

5.1” FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)

AP

2.5GHz Quad core application processor

OS 

Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)

Camera

16MP (rear), 2.1MP (front)

Video

UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization; Video Codec: H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8; Video Format: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Audio

Audio Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/ AAC+/ eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC; Audio Format: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA

Camera

Features

HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot&More

Additional

Features

IP67 Dust and water Resistant
Ultra Power Saving Mode
Download Booster
S Health 3.0
Quick Connect
Private Mode
Kids Mode

Google Mobile Services

Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube

Connectivity

WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2x2); Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+; USB: USB 3.0; NFC; IR Remote

Sensor

Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart rate sensor

Memory

RAM: 2GB; Internal Memory: 16/32GB; microSD slot upto 64GB

Dimension

142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g

Battery

2800mAh; Standby time: 390 hrs / Talk time: 21 hrs

"With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics to focus on delivering the capabilities that matter most to our consumers”, said JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung. “Consumers are looking for mobile tools that inspire and support them as they improve their everyday lives. The Galaxy S5 represents an iconic design with essential and useful features to focus on delivering the ultimate smartphone on the market today through people inspired innovation".

The Galaxy S5 comes in a range of colors, including "charcoal Black", "shimmery White", "electric Blue" and "copper Gold". It will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers from April.

So what do you think of Samsung's new flagship smartphone? Are you excited by it, or disappointed? Leave your comments below.

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