During MWC 2014 in February last month, Samsung unveiled their latest flagship Android smartphone to the world. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was much anticipated, as the South Korean manufacturer has a seemingly unlimited Marketing budget with enough hype on this phone.
See Also : Top 5 Smart Devices Highlights from MWC 2014
A month later, which is truly quick, last Thursday on 27 March 2014, Samsung Malaysia Electronics announced the Samsung Galaxy S5 for the Malaysian market!
Unfortunately, yours truly missed the Malaysian launch event due to work commitments. So I missed the hands-on time that I was rather excited to experience but ultimately missed. *sad face*
Hardware and Features Overview
Here’s a high level technical specs overview of the Samsung Galaxy S5:-
- 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED display (1920 x 1080)(432 ppi)
- 2.5 GHz quad-core processor
- 16 GB internal storage (expandable microSD up to 128 GB) + 2 GB RAM
- Powered by latest Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” OS (with Samsung TouchWiz UI)
- 16 megapixel rear camera (with HDR), 2 megapixel wide angle lens front facing camera
- 8.1 mm thin, weighing only 145 grams
- 2,800 mAH removable battery
- Connectivity : 4G LTE/3G HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 3.0, IR (Infrared) remote
- Available in 4 colours : Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold
Samsung listened to their consumers on the plasticky feel and build quality of their devices, changed it to the faux leather back on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and continued to change things up with the latest S5. What they call “perforated pattern on the back cover”, the dimpled back is set on top of a matte, leathery material for better grip.
While the design is indeed a twist to the Note 3’s leather with contrast stitching, this design is a welcomed change. While it may not be the all metal like the HTC One (M8), I personally like that Samsung came up with this patterned back cover. Some sites have been calling this a “bandaid” aka plaster design. How rude!
See Also : Samsung Galaxy Note 3 User Review
From a features perspective, you know that Samsung never disappoints. Thankfully though, this time round, there wasn’t crazy amounts of features cramped into this flagship smartphone. The killer features highlighted include:-
- Dust and Water Resistant – IP67 certificated Dust & Water Resistant
- Finger Scanner – secure, biometric screen-locking feature and a seamless and safe mobile payment experience
- Ultra Power Saving Mode – turns the display into black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise the battery consumption
- Superior Camera Functionality – Fast autofocus up to 0.3 seconds with advanced HDR. New Selective Focus function for better depth of field (blurred background) without special kit lens
- Download Booster – Combine LTE and WiFi speed together for faster download and blazing speeds
- More Health focused features – built-in Heart Rate Sensor, refreshed S Health 3.0 app for personal fitness tracking, and new complimentary features with Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band (more on this later)
For more information on the technical specs and features, check out the Samsung Galaxy S5 microsite at http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys5/
See Also : Samsung Galaxy S4 User Review
Samsung has toned things down a little and reduced what the public know as “feature spam” which I also noted in my Note 3 review here. This year’s flagship has cleaned up to focus on features that matters instead of bloating it with way too many fancy features.
It’s great that the S5 is now water and dustproof. This should be an essential feature for all flagships today, since Sony introduced it in their Sony Xperia series of smartphones – from Xperia Z (read my review here), Xperia Z1 (review here), Z Ultra (review here) and others.
TouchWiz is (hopefully) less bloated which should show in the speed of navigation, multi-tasking and more. Focus on performance like Power Saving mode and Download Booster is truly what’s important here. I’m sure a lot of consumers will agree.
I can’t wait to review the Samsung Galaxy S5 soon. I’m expecting the smartphone to perform much better than any of its predecessor, even though many regarded the S5 as a minor incremental update to the older brother. In fact, since Samsung Galaxy S II (review here), Samsung has not truly innovate with anything exceptional and new, right?
For your drooling pleasure, here’s a gallery of official press images of the Samsung Galaxy S5:-
Pricing and Availability
The Samsung GALAXY S5 will be available in Malaysia from April 11 onwards at selected telco partners – Celcom, DiGi and Maxis, and all Samsung Mobile Brand Stores, at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM2,399.
Good news, if you can’t wait to get your hands on time with the SGS5, because there are currently preview units available at selected telco partners and Samsung Mobile Brand Stores.
When you have decided to get the flagship smartphone, you can pre-order the device from any of these telco sites from now until 10 April 2014:-
- Celcom product page HERE (no plans/pricing yet) and Registration of Interest page HERE
- DiGi plans with device from RM 1,199 HERE
- Maxis plans with device from RM 1,399 HERE and Pre-Order HERE
So, who’s already pre-ordered or thinking about getting the Samsung Galaxy S5?
First impressions and Hands-On Reviews from the Interwebz
Yes. That, my friend, is Samsung produced “Hands On” video of the Samsung Galaxy S5.
In case you want to read more about the Samsung Galaxy S5 before the official availability of the smartphone globally in a couple of weeks, here are some (long) reviews and hands-on posts from the Interwebz for your reading pleasure:-
- The Next Web : Samsung Galaxy S5 review: Incremental is the new cool
- TechRadar : Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S5 review : Can Samsung reinvent the wheel… again?
- Know Your Mobile : Samsung Galaxy S5 Review: Hands On & Initial Impressions
- Brighthand : Samsung Galaxy S5: Hands-on Preview
- Engadget : Samsung Galaxy S5 preview: simpler in some ways, more ‘glam’ in others
(Also Announced) Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit
During the Malaysian launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Android smarphone, Samsung also introduced us to 2 complimentary devices in their wearable tech gadget line – a refreshed Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch and the new Samsung Gear Fit fitness band.
The Samsung Gear 2 is the 2nd generation of the Samsung smartwatch. While some people felt that the original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch seemed like a rush job and didn’t have any compelling features to be truly competitive in the market, Samsung has now made some changes and updated the smartwatch.
Available on sale from 11 April 2014 onwards, at an RRP of RM 899 in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown or Wild Orange colours.
Some of the key features include:-
- Powered by Samsung’s own Tizen OS – instead of Android in its predecessor
- Larger display for easier communications – still can answer calls and receive notification, paired with your smartphone
- Discreet 2 megapixel built-in camera – no longer does the lens stick out and is easily scratched
- Better fitness tracking – Heart Rate Sensor, better S Health integration and fitness tracking
- Standalone music player – to connect Bluetooth headphones for music on the go
- Dust and Water Resistant with IP67 certification – under 1 metres of water (just like the phone)
- WatchON remote with built-in IR – infrared sensor to control your TV from your wrist
- Better compatibility with Samsung Galaxy devices and other 3rd party apps
See Also : Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch User Review
Samsung Gear Fit on the other hand, is a fitness band, that has a curved body that fits on your wrist as a wearable fitness tracker that you can wear all day. Other than the usual Fitness tracking, it also has a Heart Rate Sensor and allows simple notification and control that’s paired with your compatible smartphone.
In the day of smart fitness bands like Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, Garmin Vivofit, Nike Fuelband, and many more, Samsung Gear Fit is now a serious contender.
Available on sale from 11 April 2014 onwards, at an RRP of RM 599 in Charcoal Black colour (but with optional coloured bands, sold separately).
Some of the key features of Samsung Gear Fit includes:-
- Connected Notification – paired with your smartphone with simple gestures to reject calls, quick replies and set alarms
- Fitness tracking – Heart Rate Sensor and other fitness tracking functions
- Wearable all-day – with IP67 water and dustproof
- Better compatibility with Samsung Galaxy devices and other 3rd party apps
For more information, check oout the Samsung Gear microsite for Samsung Gear 2, Samsung Gear Fit and Samsung Gear 2 Neo at http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/gear/index.html
What do you think about smart fitness bands? Are you a fitness buff, marathon runner, active sportsman, etc – that you think a device like this would be interesting to you? Seriously, I’d like to know…