Samsung wheels out latest Galaxy
S5 includes finger scanner, 16MP camera, but breaks little ground
Samsung Electronics last night wheeled out the fifth generation of its flagship Galaxy S series, the S5, at a special event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The S5 does now make any real strides forward from its predecessor. It does have a finger scanner, but so did Apple's iPhone 5S, launched in September. Also notable is that the handset still runs Android (KitKat). Samsung had only the day before launched the next generation of Gear companion watches, which run Tizen, the Linux-based open-source platform over which Google has no control.
The camera is more powerful than the S4's, at 16MP, and it has an enhanced feature set, but compared with sensors in some smartphone cameras from Nokia and Sony, the S5's model does not particularly stand out in the current market in terms of power. But Samsung does claim the camera has "the world's fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds".
"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 and 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."
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Other features include fitness monitoring and all the regular S-series features such as voice recognition.
The Galaxy S5 supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO, and the LTE Category 4 standard. An additional feature is Download Booster, a Wi-Fi technology designed to boost data speeds by using Wi-Fi and LTE simultaneously.
The handset is IP67 dust and water resistant and includes an Ultra Power Saving Mode that turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise battery consumption.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available globally from April, but no precise details are available on availability and pricing for the Middle East.