Right on schedule: the Galaxy S5 is here, and we’ve got everything you need to know about the new waterproof, dustproof, fingerprint sensor-packing, HD screen flashing and rad software-toting flagship. In short? It’s awesome, and we have details for Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.
Here’s the important stuff:
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will run a Qualcomm 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB and 32GB storage variants (expandable with MicroSD). Keeping it alive is a 2800mAh battery.
The screen itself is a 5.1-inch Full HD SuperAMOLED, with a resolution of 1920×1080. On top of it is Android 4.4 with Samsung TouchWiz.
It’s packing a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2.1-megapixel front facing camera for video calls, and packs a USB 3.0 charging port which is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
It weighs just 145 grams.
The Galaxy S5 is packing a 5.1-inch Full HD SuperAMOLED screen, making it 0.1 inches bigger than the Galaxy S4 in terms of screen size.
Samsung is changing its design language for the new Galaxy S5, once again taking design cues from the enormous Galaxy Note 3. Gone are the nature-inspired finishes, sounds and imagery.
Instead Samsung is calling its new design language “Modern Flash”. Basically it’s an attempt at fusing technology with high-street glamour with shiny finishes, bright colours and unique textures. The S5 will come in four colours, branded as Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold.
New security options have been introduced into the handset, with the S5 packing a biometric fingerprint scanner under the home button.
Best of all, the S5 is now waterproof and dustproof, so you won’t get done for dropping your phone in the toilet now.
The Galaxy S5 will support 4G/LTE with compatibility spanning across 26 different markets around the world.
More importantly however, the S5 will support 802.11ac Wi-Fi and MIMO technology, meaning Multiple Input, Multiple Output for speeding up transfer speeds. Samsung is also sticking its download booster tech into the S5.
Basically, download booster mans that it uses both Wi-Fi and LTE to pull files over two different connections, which theoretically doubles your total speed.
Because it can potentially use a heap of your data across two different connections, Samsung says it’s disabled by default, but it isn’t a bad idea to boost your 4G connection however you can when you get to home, school or work.
Samsung really wants to leap ahead with its camera tech in the flagship Galaxy S5, and it’s looking at the capabilities of the compact mirrorless camera market to do it.
The 16-megapixel camera boasts phase detection auto-focus with a 0.3 second capture time.
Samsung’s new processor in the S5 also allows the camera to do real-time previews of HDR images before you capture them, rather than having to press capture and wait a few seconds to see how your photo came out.
The Galaxy S5 also has the ability to refocus an image after you’ve captured it. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the same as a Lytro light-field camera, however: it’s more like the Nokia Refocus app in the way it works.
The phone captures between three and four images and combines them into a single file. The Album app then allows you to “edit” the photo and select between Close, Near and Far focus presets. Because the Selective Focus images are four photos large, the file sizes range between 14MB and 20MB each shot.
The camera also has the ability to shoot 4K/UHD video at 30 frames per second. We can’t see any support for the H.265 compression codec, however, meaning that these file sizes will also likely be massive.
Samsung is running Android 4.4 Kit Kat on the Galaxy S5, with a less obtrusive version of TouchWiz than we’ve seen on previous devices. Odds are that the bottom dock will still be locked in the Australian software version, however, which is disappointing.
The S5 will also carry an updated version of S-Health, with support for an optical heart rate monitor on the back of the device next to the flash for measuring your pulse.
TouchWiz also has a setting that lets you dynamically switch off features to enable a massive battery life in a new feature called Ultra-Power Saving mode. Ultra-Power Saving changes the screen to greyscale, limits the number of usable applications, prevents apps from using mobile data in the background and turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. By doing so, the battery lasts for around 20 hours before dying. It isn’t meant to keep you alive with all the features you’d want, but it’s meant to give you basic phone features when you’re away from power for an extended period of time.
Samsung’s Flipboard skin, My Magazine, has been moved to the far left screen where Google Now is on the Nexus 5.
Pricing And Release Date
Pricing information for the Galaxy S5 has finally been released. It’ll be available on Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and Virgin, as well as outright through various online and bricks-and-mortar retailers. You can find all the pricing and availability info for Samsung’s latest flagship in our dedicated post.
Luke Hopewell travelled to Mobile World Congress as a guest of Samsung.
What do you think of the Galaxy S5? Let us know in the comments!