Samsung Galaxy S5: Waterproof, fingerprint sensor, heart-rate monitor, 4k video and more
The Samsung Galaxy S5 was unveiled last night at Samsung's Unpacked Event in what was undoubtedly the biggest smartphone launch of 2014 so far.
Our first glimpse at the Galaxy S5 was a touch disappointing because the design is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4. It didn't feature the rumoured premium aluminium design, with the only major design changes being the slightly larger 5.1-inch form-factor and the new perforated pattern on the back cover.
However, our fears were quickly put to bed when the Galaxy S5's features began to be revealed.
To start with Samsung have followed Sony's lead and made the Galaxy S5 both waterproof and dust-proof (IP67 certification). That means you can submerge the smartphone for 30 minutes in water up to 3m in depth and it'll be perfectly fine afterwards, and it's also totally protected against dust.
The 16 mega-pixel camera can also take snaps and record videos underwater, but the touch-screen will no longer be usable. As a word of caution the smartphone can only be submerged in fresh water because salt water (such as that in the sea) will damage the smartphone.
Fingerprint sensor and Heart-rate monitor
Then we learnt that, as expected, Samsung have included a fingerprint sensor, which is built into the smartphone's home-screen button. It can record up to 3 fingers and can register up to 8 gestures which can be customised to do different tasks: from unlocking your smartphone, to putting the device in power-saving mode and authorising payments on Paypal.
Every new flagship smartphone needs an innovative feature and Samsung's Galaxy S5 is the first smartphone to feature a heart-rate sensor. The optical sensor, contained next to the flash on the rear of the smartphone, detects a users heartbeat by scanning their fingertip.
4K video recording
The other big new feature is support for 4K video record, which is four times as sharp as full HD (or 1080p). The 16 mega-pixel camera can record in slow-motion and is capable of "selective focus", enabling you to adjust the focus of a picture after shooting which is a feature normally reserved for expensive dedicated cameras.
The Galaxy S5's camera also features a 'hybrid autofocus', which includes contrast detection and phase detection. That ensures pictures come out excellent every-time and is another feature normally reserved for dedicated digital cameras. And guess what you also can record videos and take pictures underwater!
Other Specification Improvements
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED touch-screen display running at a 1080p resolution (1920*1080 pixels). It has dimensions of 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and weighs 145g, which makes it bigger, thicker and heavier than its predecessor.
However, on the inside it's a vastly improved smartphone, which is powered by a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor backed up by 2GB of RAM. It comes with a larger 2800mAh battery and a 16 mega-pixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing 2 mega-pixel snapper.
Samsung's flagship also supports Cat 4 LTE (or 4G) offering potential download speeds of up to 150MBps and it also comes pre-loaded with Android KitKat (4.4.2). It'll be available in a choice of 16/32GB of on-board memory, which is expandable by another 128GB using microSD cards.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available to buy in April and comes in a choice of charcoal Black, shimmery White, electric Blue and copper Gold.
Our thoughts: We love the new features, but we can't help being disappointed by the same-old plastic design and we're also not overly keen on the new patterned back-cover. What are your first thoughts about the Galaxy S5? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.