With the Galaxy S5, Samsung has retained the best elements of the Galaxy S4 and tweaked the rest to create a handset that is one of the best we’ve seen thus far.
After a dizzying amount of leaks and rumors, the Galaxy S5 is official.
The device looks very similar to the Galaxy S4 from the front. The screen is slightly larger and is now 5.1 inches to the S4’s 5inch offering. The 5.1-inch full-HD screen is brighter and better calibrated to last year’s offering, and you can now set the screen brightness to “extremely dim” mode when using the Galaxy S5 in the dark. The device also features an Adaptive Display technology that factors in lighting and the content being watched to give you the best viewing conditions.
Below the screen, the S5 features a finger scanner that is embedded into the home button, just like the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5S. However, you have to undertake a vertical swipe gesture over the home button to unlock the device, which makes it that much more difficult to unlock the device when you’re using the device one-handed. Samsung has finally started using Google’s recommended layout of Home, Back and Recent navigation buttons, but the Back and Recent buttons are interchanged, with the back button to the right of the Home button.
The back cover is perforated and comes with a soft-touch finish that allows you to hold the device more comfortably. The device is available in four color variations: Black, white, blue, and gold. The Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified, which means that it can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without any issues.
The Galaxy S5 still retains Samsung’s TouchWiz skin on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but the UI has been modernized. Icons are flatter and the system settings menu has been reorganized. Samsung has introduced a kids mode that lets you password protect content on the device. The various S-branded utilities like S Voice, S Health and S Beam. However, the device does come with a built-in heart rate sensor at the back of the device. The sensor is directly beneath the camera, and can determine your heart rate once you place your finger on the sensor and leave it there for five to ten seconds.
Other hardware details on the Galaxy S5 include a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage that can be extended to 128 GB with a micro-SD card slot and a 2,800 mAh battery. Samsung announced that the Galaxy S5 comes with a power management mode that is akin to what Sony offers with Stamina Mode. With the increased battery, you can now undertake 10 hours of web surfing using LTE and 12 hours of video playback.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S5 comes with LTE Category 4 and 802.11ac MIMO. Fifth-gen Wi-Fi connectivity means that you can download at 867 Mbit/sec, and the LTE Category 4 modem allows you to download at 150 Mbit/sec while on the go.
The camera on the Galaxy S5 features a 16 MP hybrid autofocus lens and a better image processing unit. The camera features a new rich tone HDR mode that works in real-time and comes with Selective Focus that gives you more control on what elements to focus on in an image.
The Galaxy S5 will be available worldwide after April.