In a move that surprised approximately this many people: zero, Samsung has just launched the Galaxy S5 smartphone at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014.
The South Koreans say they’ve put the emphasis on “what matters most to consumers”, and thankfully the “back to basics” ethos extended to the actual Samsung Galaxy S5 launch; no Jeremy Maxwell, no tap-dancing, no Jason Bradbury, just a bunch of Samsung execs and a phone. Phew.
Before revealing the Samsung Galaxy S5, the world’s number one mobile manufacturer declared that it’s now shifted a whopping 200,000,000 Samsung Galaxy smartphones. So that’s pretty much one of each model, badum tsh! I’m here all week.
Anyway, with this back to basics thing, Samsung reckons you lot want a stylish design, quality camera, fast connectivity (so you can “share pictures around the world in a matter of seconds”, apparently), protection for your device, and lots of stuff to help you stay fit. That makes five things, y’see? Samsung Galaxy S5?
In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a perforated rear, but from the front you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a Galaxy Note 2.
As for the Samsung Galaxy S5’s camera, it boasts the fastest ever autofocus, HDR (rich tone) support, and Selective Focus (keep someone’s face in focus but blurify the background, for example). For those of you demanding numbers, we’re talking 16MP rear, 2.1MP front.
Over in connectivity town, the Samsung Galaxy S5 loves LTE Cat 4, with support for the Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard. There’s also a Download Booster, which combines the Wi-Fi with LTE to download - we're told - 1GB in 30 seconds. As Samsung joked: “Your HD movie will be ready before your microwave popcorn.”
Moving onto protection, as predicted, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has IP67 certification for water and dust resistance. That got a rowdy round of applause, but Sony fans will point out that their flagships have been laughing off water and dust for over a year now.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S5’s health stuff includes the world’s first smartphone-mounted heart rate monitor, activated by pressing your finger under the rear camera.
Other Samsung Galaxy S5 features include Ultra Power Saving Mode, which turns the display black and white while disabling non-essential features, ultimately yielding a further 24 hours of battery life in standby mode.
As rumoured, the Samsung Galaxy S5 also boasts a fingerprint scanner (encrypted and “never shared”), which can be used to further lock down personal content on your phone.
There’s also Kids Mode, which promotes appropriate content like apps and games, while Samsung Knox caters to the enterprise crowd. We’re promised more on the latter tomorrow.
Looking at plain old Samsung Galaxy S5 specs, we have a 5.1in 1080p display, 2.5GHz quad-core processor, KitKat Android 4.2.2, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB internal storage (with microSD), and a 2,800mAh battery. Samsung Galaxy S5 colours include Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold.
Fancy it? The Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is April 11, which is only, er, six weeks on Friday. Perhaps crucially, before then, we’ll get a chance to see what HTC is bringing to the table on March 25 with the HTC One Two.
What do you think? Gimme gimme gimme, or I’m away to pre-order a Sony Xperia Z2?