Samsung unveils Galaxy S5: 5.1-inch display, 16MP camera, fingerprint sensor

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New Delhi:
Samsung announced the fifth generation of the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy S5, which, the company claims, combines an advanced camera, the fast network connectivity, dedicated fitness tools and device protection features.

The Galaxy S5, successor to the Galaxy S4, features a perforated pattern on the back cover. It comes in four colours – charcoal Black, shimmery White, electric Blue and copper Gold.

The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display. Powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core application processor and Android 4.4.2 KitKat, it comes packed with a 2800mAh battery. It has 2GB of RAM.

The phone comes in two variants – 16GB and 32GB. Both models allow users to expand memory up to 64GB. The phone weighs 145g.

The Galaxy S5 is dust and water resistant. It also offers a Finger Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature and a seamless and safe mobile payment experience to consumers.
Its Ultra Power Saving Mode turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise the battery consumption.

The Galaxy S5 features a 16 megapixel rear camera. It is claimed to offer the world’s fastest autofocus speed – up to 0.3 seconds. Its new Selective Focus feature allows users to focus on a specific area of an object while simultaneously blurring out the background. It has a 2.1 megapixel front camera.

The phone comes with the improved S Health 3.0, which, Samsung says, offers more tools to help people stay fit. Galaxy S5 users can further customise their experience with a third party app ecosystem and the ability to pair with next-generation Gear products for real-time fitness coaching.

The Galaxy S5 supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO, said Samsung.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers from April.

Here’s a list of most of the specs:

Screen

The phone sports a 5.1-inch display – ever so slightly larger than the S4′s 5-inch display; the screen’s resolution remains unchanged at 1080p.

Battery

Samsung promises up to 10 hours of web surfing over an LTE cellular connection, or up to 12 hours of video playback. There’s a new “ultra power saving” mode that will shut down all but the most essential features and turn the screen to black and white, so when you’re just about out of juice, you’ll be able to squeak out enough usage to communicate in an emergency. Samsung says you’ll get double what you’d get if you left the phone operating in normal mode.

Cameras

The rear-facing camera gets a slight bump, jumping to 16 megapixels (up from 13 in last year’s model). Autofocus speed has been increased, and the actual image sensor is larger than the S4′s; it’s been paired with an image processing chip as well, and it’s capable of shooting 4K video. There’s also a “selective focus” feature that lets you finesse which areas of a photo receive more focus and which are blurred more for a DSLR-like look. Finally, there’s a real-time high dynamic range (HDR) mode that’ll let you preview what an HDR-enhanced photo would look like next to a non-HDR version of the same photo.

Build

“Aluminum? Finally aluminum?!” Sorry. No aluminum here this time around. The case is still polycarbonate – a fancy word for plastic. There’s a perforated back, though, which looks somewhat similar to the Galaxy Note 3. Color options include black, blue, white and gold.

The phone is also water- and dust-resistant. Samsung says you can watch videos in the tub, for instance, but that you shouldn’t submerge the phone underwater. Tough but fair.

On the back of the phone, right under the camera sensor, there’s an integrated heart-rate monitor — the first of its kind in a smartphone. Hold your finger against the monitor and it’ll tell you your pulse.

Data Connections

The Galaxy S5 sports fifth-generation Wi-Fi (a first for smartphones, says Samsung) that can be paired with the LTE cellular connection to accelerate overall download speeds.

Security

There’s an integrated fingerprint scanner appears on-screen above the home button. You’ll have to actually swipe your finger, so it’s different from Apple’s TouchID sensor. You can use the sensor to log in to certain apps and to protect certain files and settings on the phone from others.

Software

The modifications made to stock Android look flatter and somewhat less overwhelming than past efforts, with a thin, modern font and simple graphic app circles. Things generally look more grown-up than in past years. Not too grown up, though. It looks fun but not hokey.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available starting April 11 in 150 countries. No word on pricing, but here in the U.S., it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the phone to start around $200 with a two-year contract and to be available on all major carriers.