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Cool gimmicks: Galaxy S5 heart rate sensor vs a pulse measuring app

Cool gimmicks: Galaxy S5 heart rate sensor vs a pulse measuring app
Samsung went bonkers on biometrics with the Galaxy S5, equipping it not only with a Finger Scanner that lets you unlock the phone, or authorize secure payments, but also with a heart rate sensor. The optical pulse meter is situated next to the LED flash on the back, and is very ergonomic to use, as it requires a simple stretch of your index finger. The heart rate sensor is folded into Samsung's S Health app, which offers things like a step counter, via the built-in pedometer, as well as calorie counters, fitness tips, and a general worry about your wellbeing.

The S Health app widget on the home screen of the S5 has a dedicated circular launch key for the heart rate sensor now, and taking your pulse usually requires less than 10 seconds after you've placed your finger over the sensor. We decided to pit the contraption against those random heart rate sensing apps in the Play Store, which use your camera to optically read your pulse. Long story short, as you can see in the video below, the margin of error between the two methods is rather insignificant to warrant the inclusion of a dedicated heart rate sensor on the phone. Granted, it looks and sounds cool, and has that "wow" factor for bragging in front of friends or relatives, but in reality you can do a similar job with a free app on any Android device.

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posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:44 15

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

lol. Super useless thing. Sure with the S5 you don't have to smudge the camera lens, but I'm 100 percent sure that nobody will actually use that regularly. And I'm kinda surprised that the camera measured it as accurately.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:55 5

2. janis (Posts: 372; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)

they needed something for people who uses phone for everything, gaming, movies, professional photography,4k video experts, music, so now healthcare :D
they should better invest that heart rate sensor money in new design team.
but thats just my personal opinion.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:21 1

11. chunky1x (Posts: 270; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)

Or just removing many of it annoying features like region lock and Samsung's notoriously picky USB compatible devices.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 18:13 1

22. engineer-1701d (unregistered)

then they missed the music part the speaker sucks i was listening to it today next to htc and it sounds worse then my s3

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 11:18 9

15. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

they should include urine testing bcoz phone is water resistant anyway

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 12:48 1

19. kanagadeepan (Posts: 979; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

LOL... Good one bro...

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 19:19

24. Neo_Huang (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)

My dad, a computer science professor, wrote an app that can detect your heart rate accurately from over 10 feet away. Too bad its only available for medical purposes.

posted on 23 Feb 2015, 18:33

28. Edusave (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Feb 2015)

Hello Neo_Huang, what is the name of the app and how does it work?

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:57 6

3. draconic1991 (Posts: 197; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

now where is mr papasmurf....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:11 12

8. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Crying in his toilet

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:00 9

4. jad.boutary (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)

Why would I want a heart rate sensor on my phone !! They should have preinstall the app and use the money for a better thing.. maybe design ??

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:01 3

5. c.sonnen (Posts: 38; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)

They should put blood test instead..lol

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 10:22 2

14. rms.max (Posts: 95; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

Ya more like poop test.Character is a difficult thing to change.I mean why samsung has to do something like that.makes no sense .I don't know may be people still prefer gimmicks over real world performance.sad.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:05 2

6. Anshulonweb (Posts: 436; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

looks like a paid article to me....bcoz in review phonearena mentioned that the heart rate monitor is not good enough and heart rate measuring app from play store that uses camera gives similar result....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:21 1

10. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4752; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

That's basically what it says here, that differences between the monitor and the app are insignificant, or minor.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:09 8

7. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

This one is a certainly better gimmick than ultragimmickpixel. Atleast you can ignore the gimmick. How can you neglect camera lol.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 14:41

25. ToxiD (Posts: 45; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

We expected you Mr. Ultragimmickpixel boy, The ultrapixel is at least better for night photos so it is at least more useful that the heart rate useless gimmick. Deal with it

posted on 12 Oct 2014, 01:24

27. ProWreck (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Oct 2014)

Ultrapixel is barely useful for night photos. At least I can use the heart rate sensor for cardiovascular exercises.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:16 4

9. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4752; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

I said this when I first saw it, I have had the Instant Heart Rate app on my phone for a few years now. I was told that it wouldn't be as fast or as accurate, or that it wouldn't be close to actual pulse reading (fingers on the wrist method). Long story short, after ten passes it was at most 7 beats off and in some cases dead even.

What I cant understand is why spend r&d and waste phone real estate when you can use an app and your camera and get the same results. That's like having a phone with a dedicated button to launch Candy Crush Saga, and just as bad as the Facebook phone from a few years back with the physical button to launch FB. Why not spend some time focusing on something important like better reception or battery life than a gimmick that can be replaced by a readily available app.

Now if they had an onboard EKG or heart paddles, then.....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:30 3

12. newbey123 (Posts: 631; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)

Should have used the money to build a better lookign higher quality phone. Oh well, to each their own.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:42

13. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 344; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)

And his accurate heart rate is actually 78 :D

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 12:26 1

16. nctx77 (Posts: 2374; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


posted on 11 Apr 2014, 12:36 3

17. Leonis (Posts: 338; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)

A pregnancy test would have been 100% better.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 12:51 1

20. kanagadeepan (Posts: 979; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

Yes, since its water resistant already.. I hope no problem with urine too... ;p

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 12:46 1

18. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

I like how the S5 feels compared to the previous generations, and the screen is nice, but there are so many marginal or just awful "features" on it. Ars Technical had like a 50% failure rate testing the S5 against a medical-grade heart rate sensor. Almost no review has liked TW (Too many different faces and still bloated, and I haven't seen one that liked the fingerprint scanner. Couple that with the extra size, Knox, region locking, minimal upgrades, and USB hi jinks, and the phone seems like a sure-fire flop. It's a shame, because there are some things to like about it.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:41

21. The_Innovation (Posts: 632; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)

Once the 4.7 inch iPhone comes out, no one will even look at the S5. Forget the reasoning behind it or the comparison factor, I'm just stating a simple fact.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 18:20 2

23. engineer-1701d (unregistered)

why its a little bigger iphone with still a crappy screen res, apples got no wow they have no idea what to do people keep saying o steve is the best was the best no people he did not work on the ideas just told people make it work and do it faster, i can do that at work apple has people that now nothing about phones or tech and think everything on iphone is new, thats why they have people if all the other phone makers made commercials like they do believing that the normal american has no idea what a phone can do on wp or android or any other apple would be non-existent now. oooo and i forgot didnt apple say you dont need a bigger screen, now they will redac that.

posted on 15 Apr 2014, 16:16

26. The_Innovation (Posts: 632; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)

This is why I said comparisons aside. Forget logic, the iPhone is simply going to sell, as it always does. Believe me. I do understand what you're saying. I've used Android myself. I CHOOSE to use an iPhone as my personal preference. Their marketing doesn't affect me. But I'm just stating a simple fact. The phone will sell to the masses.

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