*** Update – Watch all of the action unfold in Barcelona at Samsung’s Unpacked 5 Event ***
The Mobile World Congress is held once a year in Sunny Barcelona, Spain. The cream of the world’s smartphone and tablet manufacturers use the event as a platform to announce their latest and greatest tech. This year Samsung are expected to announce their once yearly addition to their top-end Galaxy Series – the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Unpacked 5 – Samsung’s Launch Event
Samsung has dubbed the event “Unpacked 5″ on the invitations sent out to the world’s media. Although they have yet to name their latest Galaxy phone, the name of the event is a pretty big hint that it will indeed be the Galaxy S5. Or perhaps they are releasing 5 brand new Galaxy phones? Hmmm…
In the run-up to today’s announcement, we (galaxy s5 deals) has a look at what we can expect for the Galaxy S5. At the very least, it will be interesting to see which of the rumours turned out to be true and which turned out to be nothing but hearsay. And so, without further ado…
Galaxy S5 Price And Release Date
What is the price of the Galaxy S5 likely to be? Expect it to be available sim free for around £550 / 666 EUR / $ 915. Here in the UK, the S5 is expected to be available from free on a pay monthly contract across all networks, including EE, Three, O2, and Vodafone. Judging by Samsung’s previous pay monthly phone deals, the S5 will leave your bank account at least £36 a month lighter – much the same as Galaxy S4 deals upon release.
As for an expected release date, traditionally, Samsung unveil their flagship handsets at least once a year. So it doesn’t take a leap of faith to figure the S5 will be no different. The Galaxy S4 was released on April 26th, 2013, so it’s likely the S5 will be released on or around this date in 2014 – quite possibly even a few weeks before.
More than a few detractors have slated the electronics giant in the past for their use of plastic casings for Galaxy phones. The naysayers quip that the plastic shell gives the phone a cheap feeling. Step forward the ‘all metal’ casing rumour – a common rumour that usually raises its head around new Galaxy releases.
It is without doubt, an ‘all metal’ phone (perhaps all aluminium) gives a premium feeling. An example of such is the iPhone 5s or HTC’s One. However, a disadvantage of such a metal body is that of weight. A phone with a plastic body is simply lighter, and can be just as strong given the right materials.
Water & Dust Proof? Designed for the outdoors…
Another rumour regarding the casing of the S5 is that it will go down Sony’s route of making its flagship phones water, dust and shatter proof. Samsung dropped a huge hint that this may be the case in its launch trailer. Sony’s Xperia Z was the original smartphone to go down this route; receiving a very warm welcome from both critics and public alike.
Verdict: We’re calling the metal body rumour as false. This one often comes up before the launch of a Samsung – but is usually wrong. It is however a possibility that more than one Galaxy S5 version will be announced at MWC. If this is the case then it we may indeed see an all metal body on a Galaxy series phone – so don’t discount it altogether.
However, we think the water, dust and shatter proofing – aka turning the S5 into a tough phone- is very likely indeed. This could be a big selling feature for the S5, and something that has been proved successful by Sony’s Xperia Z.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the Galaxy S5 is likely to be one powerful beast of a smartphone. Latest rumours suggest that Samsung will be using a 64bit processor under the hood. This rumour has some credence, as it was let slip by ARM that Samsung would be taking up one of their 64 bit processors this year.
Verdict: As a minimum, we expect a 64 bit, quad core processor, backed up by at least 3GB of ram. We could even see a new, 64 bit version of Samsung’s octo-core processor that debuted on some versions of the S4.
Galaxy phones are well known for their pin-sharp, vibrant AMOLED screens. The Galaxy S4 already features a full-HD, 1080 x 1920 resolution screen, with an eye-watering “try-and-spot-a-single-pixel” density of 441 ppi. So, how could Samsung make the S5 screen’s any better? Well, they might just opt for a 3840 x 2160. Known as 4k (or Ultra-HD or Quad-HD), the pixel density would be simply enormous on a phone with a 4k screen.
Verdict: Even though upping the screen resolution even further wouldn’t make much difference in terms of visuals, expect at least a minor boost in resolution. This is the one area that consistently receives an upgrade for every Galaxy iteration.
The latest version of the Android operating system out is 4.4 KitKat. So it will be of no surprise to see the Galaxy S5 running KitKat out of the box – if indeed it is running Android!
Also expect an update to Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz interface – the interface that runs atop Android.
Verdict: This one’s nailed on. Android KitKat 4.4 + revamped TouchWiz, all the way to the bank!
Multi Megapixel Snapper
The S4 sports a decent camera on its rear, with a 13 megapixel resolution. Can we expect an upgrade to the S5’s camera? The rumours surrounding this have been consistently clear – 16 megapixels is the way to go. Although this is not a serious leap in resolution, it’s certainly would be a welcome one.
Samsung has already announced that its camera on its phones will be using a new CMOS sensor in 2014. The sensor, dubbed Isocell, is specifically designed for mobile devices to give a crisper image while needing less light.
More rumours surrounding the S5’s snapper include new optical image stabilisation (OIS) technology for sharper snaps, a dedicated button for taking said snaps as well as an all new array of software modes.
Verdict: As always with new Galaxy phones, expect an overhaul of the camera. Upping megapixels along with new software features are a given. It is also likely that we will see Isocell technology debut in the Galaxy S5 – it will be very interesting to see how this improves image quality in real world testing.
Again, as with all Galaxy series phones, expect new features galore. One of the most intriguing of rumours surrounding the S5’s feature set is the use of biometric recognition technology, such as a finger print scanner or an iris recognition camera. Not only can biometrics be used for unlocking your phone, there is also the potential for use in financial transactions. Want to pay for your latest eBay purchase on your phone? No problem – simply bring up the eBay app and present your finger. All done within seconds.
Of course, we also have the regular run of the mill feature rumours such as a better battery (all those upgrades require more juice, after all), a larger screen, a sleeker handset and stereo speakers.
Verdict: We think it very likely that the new S5 will come with biometric recognition. A good possibility is for a fingerprint scanner to be built into the home button and the bottom of the handset – much like the iPhone 5S.
Will we get a revelation? This cat thinks we will…
So there you have our rumour round up for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Expect to see much of the same design-wise (albeit with the addition of dust / water / shock proofing), an upgraded, 64 bit processor, more RAM, a sharper, higher resolution screen, at least a 16 megapixel snapper, the latest version of Android along with a fingerprint recognition scanner.
There’s nothing particularly new or revolutionary here. Probably the most exciting features (the outdoor proofing and fingerprint scanner) would definitely be a welcome addition to the Galaxy range, but it must be said – they have been done before.
Launch proceedings will kick off in just a few short hours and we will be watching intently to see which of the rumours become fact. Hopefully Samsung will also through in a revelation or two into the mix!
Watch the Samsung Unpacked 5 Teaser…