Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone lineup is entering its 5th generation, and Samsung is giving the latest model better cameras, a more damage-resistant case, and faster wireless performance to celebrate.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a 5.1 inch smartphone with a speedy processor, a water and dust-resistant case, a fingerprint scanner, and a 6MP camera which can autofocus in 0.3 seconds or less.
The new phone has a 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, supports LTE category 4 networks with download speeds up to 150 Mbps, and has 802.11ac WiFi with MIMO 2×2, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and an IR port for remote control functions.
Samsung will offer two versions of the phone. One version will sport a Qualcomm 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU with Adreno graphics, but there will also be a version with a 2.1 GHz octa-core processor available in select markets.
An infographic from Samsung briefly mentioned the octa-core chip, but it’s since been sanitized to remove any mention of that as-yet unannounced processor.
The Galaxy S5 has 2GB of RAM, 16GB to 32GB of storage, and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of extra storage. It’s powered by a 2800mAh battery which Samsung says provides up to 21 hours of talk time or 12 hours of video playback.
The phone comes with Android 4.4 KitKat, but as usual it includes a series of Samsung customizations including the latest version of the company’s TouchWiz user interface and app suite.
Samsung is also emphasizing new software that works with the phone’s hardware — including a heart rate sensor (below the camera) which can measure your pulse and work with the company’s new S Health 3.0 fitness app to monitor your vital stats.
There’s a 16MP rear camera and 2.1MP front-facing camera. The rear camera can shoot video at resolutions up to 4K.
Samsung has also tweaked the display to allow for dimmer and brighter views — letting you view your screen in the dark without hurting your eyes or disturbing your partner, or viewing the screen outdoors in bright light.
When Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 family, the company offered a separate S4 Active model with dust and water resistant features. Now those come standard with the company’s flagship phone (although Samsung cautions that the phone is designed to withstand some splashes or time in the rain — not a dunk in the swimming pool).
One of the most unusual features of the Galaxy S5 is a new Ultra Power Saving mode. The phone supports a new high contrast, black-and-white mode to help conserve energy and extend your run time.
Thanks to the large 2800mAh battery and the phone’s energy saving features, Samsung says that if your phone’s battery drops down to 10 percent of its capacity, you should still be able to get 24 hours of standby time.
Last year Samsung introduced a 7 inch tablet for kids that features parental controls, a kid-friendly user interface, and educational and age-appropriate apps for children. Now Samsung is bringing its Kids Mode user interface to the Galaxy S5 — letting parents switch to a kid-safe mode quickly before handing their phones to a child.
Samsung’s latest smartphone should be available in 150 countries, including the United States, starting April 11th.