Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Date, Price & Specs Confirmed
Samsung goes “back to basics” with the Samsung Galaxy S5, looks to connectivity, imaging, biometrics and sensors for the win
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is official and – not to dampen the mood too much – it looks quite a lot like its predecessor, the Galaxy S4. The handset itself is bigger and has a 5.1in Super AMOLED 1920 x 1080 pixel display, placing it right between the S4 and Note 3, with regards to overall size and weight. Despite plenty of claims to contrary, the Galaxy S5 is – surprise, surprise – constructed almost entirely out of plastic. The only big change with regards to visuals is the dimple effect back panel, which we presume was added to aid grip.
Inside you have A LOT of new technology and sensors, tallying nicely with the myriad rumours we heard about biometrics playing a big part in the next Galaxy handset. True to the rumours, there’s a fingerprint scanner located inside the Home button, and a heart rate monitor on the back just under the camera port. The handset is also water and dust resistant with IP67 certification – which probably means there’ll be no Active version this time around.
“We’ve decided to go back to basics with the Galaxy S5 and focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers – namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly and their health and wellbeing,” said Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland. “People want a smartphone that enhances and enables their mobile life. The Galaxy S5 represents just that, and we’re excited to see the response to our latest flagship smartphone device.”
Samsung Galaxy S5 Design
“The Galaxy S5 blends iconic Samsung design with modern trends to appeal to a range of consumer tastes and interests” – That’s the official line via Samsung. Another way of looking at it is that the Galaxy S5, save for the dimpled back panel and slightly larger chassis, looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S4, which, in turn, looked quite a bit like the Galaxy S3. Expect to hear a lot of people moaning about this over the next couple of weeks.
Exact measurements are 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and the handset weighs in at 145g, making it heavier, thicker and larger than the Galaxy S4. The edges of the device feature the same familiar silver accents we saw aboard the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, but sadly no new build materials.
The Galaxy S5 will be available in a range of colours including Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. Samsung says the overall design of the new Galaxy S5 is “glam” in its press release, which, if we’re honest, just makes us think of this guy.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Specs & Hardware
With regards to overall spec and hardware, the Galaxy S5 is definitely one of those handsets, like the iPhone 5s, which will divide opinion. Samsung has bumped up the processing power, added in a slightly larger 5.1in display and kept the RAM at 2GB. Internal storage is the standard 16/32GB.
While Samsung was pretty coy about the exact processor details some sources have done a bit of digging and reports now indicate we're looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip clocked at 2.5GHz with 2GB of RAM and an upgraded Adreno GPU.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Key Specs
- Display: 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
- Processor: 2.5GHz Quad core application processor
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16/32GB
- SD: Up To 128GB
- OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- Connectivity: WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2x2); Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+; USB: USB 3.0; NFC; IR Remote
- Camera: 16MP (rear), 2.0MP (front)
- Battery: 2800mAh
- Sensors: Accelerometer; gyro; proximity; compass; barometer; Hall; RGB ambient light; Gesture(IR); Finger Scanner; Heart rate sensor
Many were expecting 3GB of RAM to match the Galaxy Note 3 and it would have helped boost performance a bit more. Shame.
Another annoyance is that Samsung appears to have made the same mistake with storage that it made with the Galaxy S4. The 16GB Galaxy S4 only had around 9GB of user-available storage by the time TouchWiz had muscled in on things.
But Maybe Not So Bad After All?
Allegedly, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will beat the S4 in storage meaning you can keep more on the newer handset, according to information from GottaBeMobile.
When hands-on with the device at Mobile World Congress a number of publications, including KYM, noted there would only be 8.65GB of storage available to the consumer after the amount of bloatware on the device.
This annoyed a lot of people but it has now been revealed the demo units on show at the event had a number of files specifically for “Unpacked” taking up more room. Without those onboard it will give users an additional 2GB of storage on the internal memory meaning you can use about 10.7GB on the handset.
Bloatware takes up a lot of space on a number of handsets and you never get what the company lists the device as being able to hold. The S5 is available in 16GB and 32GB versions according to Samsung but of course files already on the device will shorten this quite a way.
To make up for it though the company has included a MicroSD card slot which will support up to 128GB MicroSD cards meaning you could actually have a device capable of holding 138GB or 154GB of music, videos and photos.
Connectivity and Battery
Other notable additions include super-fast connectivity with global LTE support and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO (2x2). Samsung has also included something called “download booster” which leverages both LTE and Wi-Fi connections to speed up sizeable downloads of over 30MB.
The battery is still removable, which is sure to produce an audiable sigh of relief from many Samsung fans. It's been upgraded from the Galaxy S4's 2,600mAh to 2,800mAh. And Samsung's new Ultra Power Saving mode, where the display reverts to black and white when your battery gets below 10%, is likely to ensure you get even more juice from the S5.
The big changes, or the one’s Samsung wants you to take notice of, are under the hood or hidden in plain sight. Things like the fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and improved imaging and super fast network connectivity are the “Big Talking Points” according to Samsung. Whether consumers feel that way, however, is another thing entirely.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Exynos vs. Snapdragon
As predicted there’s going to be more than one version of the Galaxy S5 at launch. We know that the UK, as well as most of Europe, will be getting the Snapdragon 801 version, and the reason for this is LTE. At launch Samsung confirmed the Galaxy S5 as carrying the Snapdragon 801. In a quieter launch some 24-hours later, Samsung told Engadget that certain markets around the globe – those with little to no LTE – would be getting a different version of the handset; one with a 2.1GHz octa-core Exynos processor.
Samsung did exactly the same thing with the Galaxy S4; different chips for different regions and markets. We never saw the Exynos version in the UK, and that will almost certainly be the case this time around as well.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera
The camera aboard the Galaxy Note 3 was a very capable shooter, as was the setup on the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S5 looks to takes thing a step further with the introduction of a 16MP sensor and Selective Focus, a feature which allows you to adjust the focus of a shot after the image has been taken just like you can do aboard Nokia’s new Lumia handsets and the famed Lytro camera. Samsung has also improved the auto-focus speed, too – you now only have to wait 0.3 seconds – meaning rapid capture is on the cards.
There’s also HDR Live mode – a means of previewing an image with full HDR processing applied to it before you’ve actually captured the image. All the usual Galaxy camera app settings we know and love are present and accounted for too, as well as few added extras like Virtual Tour Shot and Shot & More. The Galaxy S5 can also shoot video in 4K – 3840 x 2160 pixels – resolution, although if you’re going to be doing a lot of this it’s probably worth investing in a 64GB or even 128GB microSD card.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Sensors & S Health 3.0
We’ve already seen the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and Samsung’s S-Health application is nothing new. The Korean tech giant, like every other big tech firm at present, seems hell bent on making sure your body is in tiptop condition. To do this Samsung has packed the Galaxy S5 out with a myriad of sensors including a heart rate monitor and pedometer, which, in conjunction with S Health 3.0 and the company’s new Gear smartwatches, will conspire to make you healthier whether you like it or not.
“It provides a comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help you monitor and manage your behaviour, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new, built-in heart rate monitor. You can further customise your experience with an enriched third party app ecosystem and the ability to pair with next generation Gear products for real-time fitness coaching,” said Samsung in a statement to the press.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Scanner
Like the iPhone 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S5 also features a fingerprint scanner. Biometrics are going to be big in 2014 and from the looks of things Apple and Samsung are, once again, going to be leading the charge. Unlike Apple’s TouchID, however, Samsung’s fingerprint scanner will be open for mobile payments (via PayPal) from the get-go, as well as providing a quick and easy way to safely and securely unlock the handset.
Samsung's Video Introduction To The S5
Samsung has unleashed an “Official Introduction” video on its YouTube account to further introduce you to the Galaxy S5. The video introduces you to all the new features whilst it floats through some futuristic white space.
The focus is once again placed on the camera capabilities of the handset including the HDR (Rich Tone) feature and the ability to blur the background of images.
It also shows off some of the connection capabilities such as LTE and Wi-Fi. The big focus again though is on the health aspects of the device. The video includes almost a minute of health features including how one accesses and uses the heart rate sensor on the back of the handset.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Price
We know it’s got a 16MP scanner. We know it has a fingerprint scanner. And we know it kind of looks just like the Galaxy S4. But what we don’t yet know is how much the Galaxy S5 will cost once it gets its April 11 release. EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 have all confirmed they’ll be carrying the handset but none, annoyingly, have talked pricing and/or tariffs. What is certain, however, is that the S5 will be available on a plethora of deals and tariffs – some of which will also likely see the Gear 2 or Gear Fit thrown in for good measure.
The handset will likely be priced similar to last year’s flagship, meaning we’re looking at around £500 offline. With two-year contracts it gets a little more interesting; the S5 will likely be free on high-end contracts and will almost certainly have an upfront fee attached on lower-priced ones. Either way – there’s sure to be plenty of choice.
US publication Bloomberg and Korean news sources have talked up the idea of the Galaxy S5 being priced competetively low ahead of launch. Now ZDNet Korea has reported post-launch that this could still be the case.
Google's tranlsation of the article is pretty damn incomprehensible, but the gist of it appears to be that although the Galaxy S5 didn't meet many expectations of a metal-built, 64-bit processor carrying revolutionary beast, the good news is that the price will match the fact that not a massive amount has changed from the Galaxy S4.
"The strategy is to keep prices competetive," it states, referencing the lack of an expected 3GB of RAM and the use of a 1080p display just like last year's model.
The only question now is do you get the S5 or wait for the HTC M8 or iPhone 6?
Available In India For €500
There’s conflicting price schemes though as the S5 comes in at €500 in India. It was even available on website Saholic for a couple of minutes but was quickly taken down once people begun ordering the handset.
What we do know from that leak is it’ll cost INR 45,500. If that doesn’t mean much to you, it translates to around £415, €500 or $745. In India that’s just a little bit more than what the S4 cost at launch, it was available for INR 41,500.
For a short time it was available on the website but since the buy it button has now been removed, if you’d like to keep checking here’s the link.
We are expecting the device to cost €600 or more in Europe and near to £500 in the UK. That’s judged on the current pre-order prices but this leak could hint toward it being over-inflated pre-order prices to ensure customers don’t get a shock on the day they have to pay up.
Only time will tell how much the S5 will really cost, we’ll be sure to let you know when we have some real solid information.
Galaxy S5 Priced in Romania at €699
We've finally got some indication of how much the Galaxy S5 is going to cost. Phone network Orange has posted a listing of the device in Romania.
The handset can be had for €699 SIM-free and network unlocked or €249 on a 24 month contract on Orange's network. Both deals come with a free flip-cover, but it's worth noting the phone is not available in the gold colour option, meaning it could be a carrier exclusive.
The listing claims it is expecting orders to be delivered by April 11, which coincides with Samsung's own release date.
Of course there's no word on the price in other regions just yet, but €699 translates to roughtly £575, or the contract price equates to around £205. We've been unable to ascertain what the monthly contract tariff price is like, however.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Includes Over $500 Of Subscriptions
In the UK the Carphone Warehouse revealed pre-registration requests on its website for the Samsung Galaxy S5 have shot through the roof and are higher than any other Samsung device. It suggests Samsung may be on to its biggest selling device in the UK.
Meanwhile in the US, Samung has revealed it has partnered up with a number of services to offer over $500 worth of free subscriptions and services. That is a lot of free stuff so is sure to entice a number of new customers over to the Galaxy S5.
Samsung has now listed what comes with the deal:
- RunKeeper: 1 year free premium service
- MapMyFitness: 6 months free premium service
- Skimble: 6 months free premium service
- Lark: 1 year premium service
- Paypal: $50 voucher on PayPal merchants
- Wall Street Journal: Free 6 month subscription
- Bloomberg Businessweek+: Free Subscription: 12 Months
- LinkedIn: Free LinkedIn Premium account for 3 months
- Cut the Rope 2: $10 in game credits
- Flick Dat: Free download of $2 paid app
- Box: Free 50 GB for 6 months and $60 value
- Dropbox: 50GB for 2 years, $100 value
- Bitcasa: 1TB storage for 3 months
- Blurb: Free $5 Coupon
- EasilyDo Pro: 6 months free EasilyDo Pro
- Evernote: 3-12 month free subscription (dependent on country)
If you look at the full list of apps it does seem to have a US-centric flavour yet the run down now states “dependent on country” under the Evernote deal. We got in touch with Samsung for comment on whether the deal, or something similar, will be coming to the UK. We’ve been trying to get a response from Samsung UK for a while now and still no official word just yet.
Surely if Sammy was offering the deal it’d be shouting from the rooftops? We will keep you updated if we get a response from Samsung UK but for now it seems unlikely.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Initial Reactions
Twitter and Facebook are already frothing with bad sentiment towards the Galaxy S5. The general consensus seems to be Samsung didn’t try hard enough in the design department; that your money would be better spent with Sony, or LG, or Google. But mostly people seemed pissed because, well, it does look a lot like the Galaxy S4. So while the mob cools down/re-sharpens its pitchforks, here’s some insight on the GS5 from Ovum:
"Samsung is betting big on wellness, fingerprint reading and camera autofocus, while keeping a very similar look and feel for its hardware and software. The updates are so minor that on first glance most consumers would be hard pressed to notice that it has changed from the previous version. Still, this should come as no great surprise, given the maturity of the smartphone market and the pressure on the Samsung not to mess with its winning formula," said Nick Dillon, senior analyst at Ovum
“In contrast to the Galaxy S4 which was packed with gimmicky features, Samsung has focused instead on a small number of enhancements with the S5. The challenge for Samsung will be to convince users to upgrade to a handset that offers little more than its predecessor."
Samsung Galaxy S5 "Prime": Quick! Do Something!
So as public reaction to the Galaxy S5 is not exactly all that positive (our quick straw polls in the office, on Google+ and on Facebook all show overwhelming preference for the Xperia Z2, when given the choice of flagships), it seems Samsung may have a back-up plan in place.
According to a Tweet from oft-reliable source @evleaks, Samsung's Galaxy S5 "Prime" handset, which was rumoured previously, is "back on the table", and could be arriving as early as May.
— @evleaks (@evleaks) February 26, 2014
In all likelihood the device would have been planned all along and is well into developement, but the sudden emergence of this rumour after all the negative feedback to the Galaxy S5 does have a whiff of panic about it.
Our best guess is it would be a re-jig with a Snapdragon 805 chip, which is due to appear around that time. It may also be the so-called "Samsung Galaxy F" premium edition we heard about (and saw benchmarks and certifications for) previously and it may show up with that rumoured metal body that's missing from the regular Galaxy S5.
It's all up in the air for now though.
Samsung Galaxy S5 consumer interest "vastly" overtakes Galaxy S4 on pre-orders
While there's a lot of negative press surrounding the Galaxy S5 launch, it seems the latest flagship could still prove more popular than its predecessor.
According to Carphone Warehouse, pre-registration for the Galaxy S5 has "already vastly overtaken" figures for the Galaxy S4.
"In the first three days since announcement, the Samsung Galaxy S5 had already received 130% more pre-registrations than the S4 received over its entire ten day pre-registration period," reports the retail chain.
Carl Cowling, Managing Director at Carphone Warehouse, said, “If these early pre-registration figures are anything to go by then customer interest is extremely high. Samsung has clearly built up a very loyal fanbase and the Galaxy S5 looks set to become one of the biggest selling handsets ever."
The Samsung Gear Fit – A Nike FuelBand For Galaxy People
Samsung also confirmed the Gear Fit, a new type of fitness band that can be used – much like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo – to monitor your fitness levels. The Gear Fit features a curved Super AMOLED display that, when connected to your Galaxy S5, will send notifications through to your wrist. It’s sort of like an advanced Nike FuelBand that also hooks up to S-Health and the sensors aboard the Galaxy S5.
“We’re excited to be expanding our Gear product portfolio with a range of unique devices so there is something for everyone, irrespective of their different lifestyles, interests and needs,” said Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.
“The new range includes the Gear Fit which we’ve designed specifically to help those of our customers that want to live a more fit and active life but don’t want to sacrifice their own personal style or ability to stay connected on the go.”
Samsung Gear Fit Product Specifications:
1.84” Curved Super AMOLED (432x128)
Pedometer, Exercise, Heart Rate, Sleep, Stopwatch, Timer
Notifications (SNS, Call, E-mail, Apps)
Schedule, Smart Relay, Media Controller
IP67 Dust and Water Resistant,
Bluetooth® v4.0 LE
Accelerometer, Gyro, Heart Rate
23.4 x 57.4 x 11.95 mm, 27g
Standard Battery 210mAh
Typical Usage 3~4 days, Low Usage up to 5 days
The Gear Fit and the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in stores and direct from Samsung from April 11, 2014. Samsung has yet to discuss pricing, however, although we'll be sure to update this article as soon as we know more.
More Galaxy S5 Versions To Come?
Could there be more Samsung Galaxy S5 devices which we haven’t seen yet? A number of benchmarking programs are bringing forth figures which suggest there are indeed more Galaxy S5 variants on the way.
One benchmarking tool, AnTuTu, discovered a 5.2-inch Quad HD display device with an Exynos 5420 processor.
Another handset is dubbed the catchy SM-G900H which features a 1080p 5.2-inch display and doesn’t have the same processor which was unveiled at MWC 2014. This isn’t new for Samsung, it has released handsets with different processors several times in the past. Could these new Galaxy S5 variants do more to satisfy consumers than the much-criticised model unveiled at MWC?
There are also rumours of a “luxury” F-series of devices which are said to come with metal back panels and even better specifications inside. Rumours originally hinted at these devices landing in May, a month after the release of the Galaxy S5.
Check Out All The Pre-Launch Rumours On Page 2