Samsung's Galaxy S5
might not be the utmost specs beast that the Android world has to offer, but it comes with plenty of new features, both in comparison with its predecessor, the S4
, and when measured up to the other flagships.
The heartbeat sensor, for instance, is unique for the Galaxy S5, while something like the Finger Scanner can also be observed on the iPhone 5s, but in a rather different implementation.
Samsung took the path of adding distinct functionalities, rather than shooting for superlatives like the "most", "highest", or "largest". If you want to quickly browse through all of the new features that come with the Galaxy S5, you need to look no further than the slideshow below, where we recap everything that sets the phone apart.
Samsung Galaxy S5 - all the new features
Samsung Galaxy S5 - all the new features
1. New design with perforated back pattern
Samsung introduces a brand new design paradigm with the S5 - one that still uses plastic as the basis material, but flaunts a perforated rear pattern, that is quite different than the "stitched leather" looks of the Note 3, or the PRO tablet line of Samsung. The company calls this a "modern glam look," and we can't disagree with the "glam" part, especially when it comes to the new Copper Gold color option.
2. Finger Scanner
A swipe fingerprint scanner is embedded in the home key, and provides biometric authentication for unlocking the phone, or for secure mobile payments transactions.
3. Heart beat sensor
An improved S Health 3.0 app makes a cameo with the new Galaxy S5. Besides the usual pedometer, diet and exercise recordings, it is now also paired with something really interesting - a built-in heart rate monitor, located next to the LED flash. The sensor probably works on the same principle that the optical one on the Gear 2 smartwatch does, and you can further customize the experience with an abundance of third party apps that take advantage of the combined health and fitness trackers on the phone.
4. Waterproof chassis
The phone carries an IP67 rating, just like the Galaxy S4 Active
, which warrants the grander physique. This certification means that it is completely sealed from dust, and will remain functional even after you waterboard it in up to three feet (1m) of water, for as long as half an hour.
5. New 16 MP camera
A brand new, 16 MP camera sensor, is what Samsung used for the Galaxy S5. It claims that the camera unit now provides the fastest 0.3 seconds autofocus times of all handsets - a feat made possible by the dedicated image signal processors in the Snapdragon 801 chipset. Besides 4K video recording at 30fps, the processor also allows for a few extra camera tricks, too. Selective Focus allows users to tap on objects they want to look sharp, and the rest of the background gets blurred, achieving a shallow depth of field (DOF) effect without special lenses.
6. Fastest Snapdragon 801
Galaxy S5 has the newly-coined quad-core Snapdragon 801 (Qualcomm's MSM8974-AC chipset), clocked at 2.5 GHz, powering the Galaxy S5. That's a bit higher than the 2.3 GHz MSM8974-AB processor in the Xperia Z2.
The Snapdragon 801 processor is just a step below Qualcomm's fastest Snapdragon 805, which won't be in devices before the summer, so the S5 won't feel underpowered by any means for the foreseeable future. In comparison with Snapdragon 800, the new 801 comes with 14% faster Krait 400 processor cores, 28% faster Adreno 330 graphics, and the whole reason for the 801 being - a 45% improvement in camera sensor processing speed. Snapdragon 801 also introduces hardware support for dual SIM/dual Active devices, so perhaps a dual SIM version of the Galaxy S5 won't be far behind.
7. LTE-Advanced support
The new chipset has multi-band LTE-A Cat4 support, allowing download speeds up to 150 Mbps. If your carrier can provide those, of course.
8. Download Booster
Samsung has put an innovative feature in the handset, called Download Booster, which speeds up downloads by combining the Wi-Fi/ac and LTE-Advanced connectivity.
9. New TouchWiz user interface
Samsung plastered a new TouchWiz user interface on top of the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat in the Galaxy S5. It introduces flatter, round icons, reworked menus, and a plethora of new features.
10. 4K video recording and new camera features
Besides 4K video recording at 30fps, the processor also allows for a few extra camera tricks, too. The camera unit now provides the fastest 0.3 seconds autofocus times of all handsets. That's a feat made possible by the dedicated image signal processor, and the combination of Contrast AF with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF).
Selective Focus allows users to tap on objects they want to look sharp, and the rest of the background gets blurred, achieving a shallow depth of field (DOF) effect without special lenses.
Samsung also touts that an advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography will be in store with the Galaxy S5, that lets you "reproduce natural light and color with striking intensity at any circumstances".
11. Two new color schemes for the chassis at launch
Besides the Charcoal Black and Shimmery White, the Galaxy S5 will arrive with two extra colors at launch - Electric Blue and the aforementioned Copper Gold that you can see in the pictures.
12. Ultra Power Saving Mode
There is a new Ultra Power Saving Mode, for instance, that makes the display show images in black and white, shutting down all processes and connections it deems unneccessary, which should make the phone last quite the time in that state.
13. First phone with Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO setup
Galaxy S5 is the first phone with Wi-Fi 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) setup, likely provided by Broadcom's new BCM4354 5G System-on-a-Chip (SoC). It's an alternative to the 1x1 MIMO chips used in smartphones, bringing the same multiple antenna capabilities found in tablets and home wireless networking devices, finally in phones.