Although the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona isn’t done yet, probably the announcement everyone had their eyes on was with Samsung’s Unpacked5 event, in which the Korean tech giant finally unveiled as expected the most talked about 2014 MWC smartphone release–the Galaxy S5. Samsung did not just give the new Galaxy S flagship an aesthetic refresh, but internal tweaks and new features as well, compared to its predecessor. The SGS5 even boasts features that are present with other phones from different brands, but is definitely new for the Galaxy line.
Over the past couple of weeks (even up to months), the internet has been a witness to tons of rumors, leaks and unofficial analyses from different sources about the Galaxy S5. From an initial plan on including an Iris scanner to a home button based fingerprint scanner, as well as opposing rumors from different analysts about the S5’s screen size, processor, camera and other features–things we have all written about on previous posts.
Now that the Galaxy S5 is finally official, many are curious if the new Samsung flagship is worth all the hype, more so for Galaxy S4 owners. After all, Is the new Samsung Galaxy S5 worth an upgrade for?
Upfront, there isn’t much difference between the Galaxy S5 and the S4–even the S3, except for the fact that the new flagship has a slightly bigger screen, a fingerprint reader on the home button and is relatively (and obviously) bigger in dimensions while the S4 and the S3 are more curvier. Flipping onto the devices’ back is a different story. With the S5, Samsung has decided to go with a sort of semi-perforated back finish just like what the 1st generation Nexus 7 tablet sported, which reminds us that of a band-aid, especially for the Copper Gold, and an over-all plastic body. We would have loved to see a metal body for the new flagship, or even a faux leather finish on the device’s back, just like the SG Note 3. Then of course there’s the improved camera of 16 megapixels, faster autofocus time and a new element seated right beside the camera flash module: a unique, dedicated heart rate sensor, which will be discussed later into this article.
What Samsung missed with the Galaxy S5 are a couple of specs and features people were hoping to see with the device, which pretty much caused all the hype for the next generation Galaxy S phone. Despite the fact that a KGI analyst outed in a report that the S5 would still sport a 32-bit chip, many still hoped for a 64-bit Snapdragon 805 processor, a step which could have surely “future proof” the device, just like what Apple did with the A7 chip found on the iPhone 5S. There were also hopes that the S5 would sport a higher display resolution to up to 4k. Not that the Snapdragon 801 and 2k resolution aren’t good enough, but maybe we just all wanted for Samsung to give us more.
But the biggest miss for us (and for sure a lot of people will agree with us on this) is that Samsung decided to equip the new flagship with a 2 GB of RAM, when the Galaxy Note 3, which has been around for roughly 5 months, sports a more generous 3 GB worth of RAM. Aren’t flagship phones supposed to come with all the top notch specs a company has to offer?
On a lighter note though, we think that Samsung did well with the inclusion of a dedicated heart rate monitor, especially when there’s a lot of people already into fitness and living a healthier lifestyle. The Galaxy S5 also comes with a fingerprint reader built right into the home button for unlocking the device, a feature Apple’s iPhone 5S is well known for. Knowing Samsung, they of course improved the feature by making it PayPal certified, which would soon let S5 owners authenticate payments made through PayPal on their device by scanning their fingerprints, as well as hiding and accessing personal stuff.
Lastly, the Galaxy S5 is now IP67 certified–meaning the phone is dust and water resistant to up to 1 meter and 30 minutes. The feature isn’t really new for flagship phones, as Sony is very much known for making water resistant high-end phones, just like what the company did for the Xperia Z’s.
To wrap this up, we think that the new Galaxy S5 is definitely worth an upgrade–well, that’s if you’re using an S3 (or equivalent and earlier models). But, if you’re with the Galaxy S4, then we say it depends on your preference. If you want to get into the trend of fingerprint readers, fitness and health-related features on your phone, then the Galaxy S5 is worth the upgrade. But if you think can live without these features, then you might just want to wait for what HTC has to bring next month with the announcement of the all new HTC One (2014 edition) or, the bigger Galaxy Note 4, which we expect to see later this year.
What are your thoughts? Let us know by hitting us through the comment section below. 🙂
Samsung Galaxy S5 official full specs:
- Android KitKat 4.4.2
- 2.5GHz quad core Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 5.1 inch ( 1920 x 1080 pixels ) Full HD Super AMOLED display at 432 ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 or 32 GB of ROM
- microSD card support to up to 128 GB
- 16 megapixel (1/2.6” sensor, 1.12 µm pixel size) AF main camera with LED flash, 2160p video @30fps, 1080p @ 60fps
- 2 megapixel front camera, 1080p video recording @30fps
- dual band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, DNLA, NFC, 3G/HSDPA/HSUPA, Cat 4 LTE
- PayPal Certified Fingerprint Reader, IP67 certified, Heart Rate sensor, Air Gestures
- Wireless Charging (Market dependent)
- 2800 mAh Li-ion battery
- Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Copper Gold
- 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145 grams