It isn’t everything the rumors promised, but Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S5 smartphone on Monday, touting faster data connections, a bigger display, an improved camera, and a built-in fingerprint sensor.
The phone has a 5.1-inch display HD screen and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with a bunch of bells and whistles that are supposed to improve the experience of taking and viewing images, according to Samsung. The company revealed the latest iteration of its flagship phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. No details on pricing and availability yet, but follow along in cnet’s live blog to find out more.
“Our consumers do not want eye-popping technology or the most complex technology,” Samsung CEO J.K. Shin said at the event. “Our consumers want beautiful design and performance; our consumers want a simple, yet powerful camera. Our consumers want faster and seamless connectivity, and our consumers want a phone that can help them stay fit.”
The phone comes in new colors, is dust- and water-resistant, and features an ultra-power saving mode, according to Shin.
The new camera features include advanced auto-focus speeds for taking pictures quickly, real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR) preview mode, and other tools and effects to edit photos and video after you’ve captured them.
Like the iPhone 5S, the built-in fingerprint sensor will allow users to unlock their phones with a fingerprint scan. The Galaxy S5’s sensor also will act as password protection for PayPal payments, according to Samsung. The device supports several mobile wallets including Isis and Google Wallet. Shin said the company will discuss more about Knox, Samsung’s mobile security feature, on Tuesday.
Samsung also is promising faster Wi-Fi and “extensive” 4G LTE support for US carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS, and U.S. Cellular.
The new smartphone includes health-monitoring features with the newest version of S-Health, a health app that compliments Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The app tracks meals, heart rate, and workouts while offering nutritional planning and location tracking.
Read more about the features in CNET’s first take of the Galaxy S5.
With the fever that’s usually reserved for an iPhone launch, the Galaxy S5 caused a lot speculation as users anxiously awaited its unveiling. Possibilities of a fingerprint sensor, an iris scanner, and a metal body churned in the rumor mill for months.
by Donna Tam