After months of speculation, Samsung has finally announced the release of the Galaxy S5; Samsung’s update to its flag-ship Android device, the Galaxy S5. Though Samsung does not seem to have changed very much despite devout androidphile’s expectations; there are a few nice upgrades to its specifications that are maybe worth to upgrade .
It’s Got the (Same) Look
Disappointingly, Samsung has not upgraded the phones design very much. Most experts expected a sleeker feel with a metal backing but this did not occur.
Samsung did make the device’s removable back battery plate pebbled for a more secure hold but it is still the same thin but sturdy plastic backing which allows for battery replacement by the consumer.
The S5 still retains the same basic shape and physical design but it’s slightly thicker and heavier than its older sibling, the S4. It does boast a slightly larger screen at 5.1 inches to the S4’s 5 inches. The same full HD Super AMOLED display graces the screen at a 1920×1080 resolution.
Under the Hood
A happy change is that the S5 has a slightly faster, 2.5 GHz quad core processor up from 1.9 GHz in the S4. Users will notice faster movements on apps and quicker, more streamlined web browsing.
The S5 is running Android 4.4.2 Kitkat based operating system. Kitkat is the much anticipated update to the Android Operating System that android users are crazy about. Owners of the new device will enjoy a user friendly interface with no lag and smooth scrolling.
There’s also a new, helpful feature that Samsung is buzzing about. Their new Power Saving Mode offers extended battery life when there is limited chance to charge your device, think concerts or outdoor festivals. The new Power Saving Mode dims the display and reduces it to a black and white display. It also limits access to only a few key apps like phone, email and net browsing. Samsung claims this power saving mode will extend the battery life of the device three to eight days (yes, days) without charging.
A feature unique to the S5 is that it is water and dust resistant. Samsung sent out a world-wide survey asking users how they use their Galaxy phones and they responded. The data helped Samsung see the need to protect their devices better and they delivered.
Samsung has coated the internal components and earphone jack in silicone to protect it from the elements. They’ve also given the power jack a new cover.
This will not save your device if you drop it in a lake but getting caught in a rainstorm or a quick drop in a puddle just got a lot less frightening.
They’ve also improved the camera in a few ways. The rear facing camera has been boosted to 16 megapixels compared to S4’s 13 MPs. The S4 already had a great camera and the pictures taken with the new S5 look even sharper.
Samsung has developed what they’ve named lightning fast auto-focus and they claim that the camera can focus in about .3 seconds. This feature is great for taking pictures of things that find it hard to stay still for very long like … oh, dogs and busy toddlers.
The S5 also sports a feature they call selective focus. This feature takes two pictures, one with near focusing and one with far. You can then choose which perspective you like better and save it.
A Touch Above
Interestingly, Samsung has added two new sensors which may seem a bit gimmicky to some … a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate monitor, but if the former lives up to the hype; it could change the way we pay for things and access our personal information.
Samsung has developed a fingerprint sensor scanner as a security measure and a way to make payments for goods and services. It works by having the user register three fingerprint samples with the device. After registering, users can open their device by swiping the bottom of the screen to the oval home key. The idea is to eventually replace passwords and codes for payments and unlocking services. Samsung has wisely partnered with PayPal to increase payment options.
The heart rate monitor works on sensor that is located below the rear facing camera. Exercise lovers can check and record their heart rates before, during and after a workout and track it on Samsung’s health app called S Health 3.0 which comes preloaded on the device.
So the upgrades are great and though there aren’t as many as first anticipated, the upgrades they did make to this phone are worth it.