MWC 2014: Samsung Galaxy S5 focuses on five things that ‘matter most to consumers’: design, camera, connectivity, protection, fitness

MWC 2014: Samsung Galaxy S5 focuses on five things that ‘matter most to consumers’: design, camera, connectivity, protection, fitnessIn 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.

MWC 2014: Samsung Galaxy S5 focuses on five things that ‘matter most to consumers’: design, camera, connectivity, protection, fitnessOver 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?

Read more about: Android

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14 comments

mrew42  Feb. 24, 2014 at 20:51

Meh

shadders139  Feb. 24, 2014 at 21:06

The Z2 seems better in every regard- bigger and better screen, much better camera, dedicated camera button, higher grade water proofing, higher battery capacity, higher ram, noise cancellation built in, MUCH nicer to look at. I'm not sure what the S5 actually beats the Z2 in- I think the S5 battery can be removed and the Z2 can't which is advantage for S5 but that seems to be about it.

I'll wait to see what HTC bring to the table, but at the moment the Z2 seems the clear winner

shadders139  Feb. 24, 2014 at 21:08

Also the Z2 has the latest snapdragon processor- the 801. Does anyone know if this is better than the processor in the S5?

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 24, 2014 at 21:41

Meh
double meh...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 24, 2014 at 21:54

Also: the SGS5 is not waterproof like the Sony Z1. It's water- and dust-resistant...

SpeedyG  Feb. 25, 2014 at 00:03

Lol, I think this minimal upgrade could be the long road to their dominance in the mobile world finally ending.

Just run out of ideas tbh.

Treab  Feb. 25, 2014 at 06:12

16 or 32GB internal storage

So 16gb again then... whos looking forward to seeing this on watchdog with the usual i bought 16gb this has only got 7... maybe jason bradbury will give it a bad review as they didn't hire him to do some utter shocking interviewing at the launch gig...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 25, 2014 at 11:44

16 or 32GB internal storage

So 16gb again then... whos looking forward to seeing this on watchdog with the usual i bought 16gb this has only got 7... maybe jason bradbury will give it a bad review as they didn't hire him to do some utter shocking interviewing at the launch gig...


Good point. With a new finger scanner and heart monitor there's bound to be even more bloat on board. And the networks will probably only stock the 16GB version with, um, 6.37GB user-available. :p
iPhone 5S 16GB has 12 point something user-available... Go figure. Apple sucks, I guess.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:47

Also: if Samsung focus on camera, why no OIS? Nokia can do it, HTC can do it....
Compare the iPhone 5S and a Lumia and you'll know software trickery and fast processing can only take you this far...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 25, 2014 at 13:49

It seems we here aren't the only ones underwhelmed. Check out this http://androidandme.com/2014/02/opinions/the-galaxy-s5-has-me-feeling-underwhelmed/ and read the comments, too.

SpeedyG  Feb. 25, 2014 at 14:11

It's probably the reason why they want a lot of focus on the new premium F series or possibly the future S5 Prime later in the year..

Like they're shortchanging customers who bought this when it comes out.

It's not the Samsung flagship this year. More a semi-quasi one for 3-4 months till the new one comes along.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 25, 2014 at 14:33

Maybe the rumoured 'big' iPhone made them go for another incrementalist semi-upgrade?
Keep the good stuff to counter whatever Apple comes up with?
Also, it seems with the blurred line between phablet and big phone, more and more people consider the Notes Samsung's flagship, anyway - no longer a niche product.

And in fairness - there are over 15,000 Android devices. A large chunk of those are phones. How much can one do with a slab that is screen on one side and not-screen on the other?
And with half a million apps, accessories and countless online services - what more can you 'innovate'? Who, in all honesty, WHO would have predicted Snapchat's success? To give just one example.
I believe from a consumer perspective it'd be best if they stopped churning out devices because, well... because. Those new to smartphones will be in awe when first using a Moto G.
The SGS 3 would overwhelm them. Those who are experienced smartphone users see through the hype, and know how to make most any device 'theirs'...

The fitness stuff is what I personally don't get. But that could just be my age. I'd be a hypocrite if I claimed I never fell for unnecessary stuff.

SpeedyG  Feb. 25, 2014 at 14:49

Money wise, this isn't going to cost effective for a new consumer when more price friendly SGS3, Moto G and Nexus 5 can do what this years flagships can do without missing out on anything important spec wise or software wise and with less than half or a quarter even of the price...

Problem is it shows how saturated the market is.

Phones that will be available over the next few months won't be worth upgrading over last years flagships really.

SpeedyG  Feb. 25, 2014 at 14:53

On your fitness gripe, it's helpful for healthcare apps, but tbh I'd rather not carry my flagship around when in the gym/running/cycling/swimming etc for fear of it been stolen which defeats the object.

Rather carry one of those watches or a cheaper phone instead.

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