Samsung Galaxy S5: all you need to know


Ladies and gentlemen, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has officially arrived, and while it might not have been able to meet the sky-high expectations, it's treated us to a ton of new features. 

Here, we have summed up all that you absolutely need to know about the new Samsung flagship, along with specs and links for further reading.

The new design and new features

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. 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.

The Galaxy S5 uses a 5.1" 1080x1920-pixel Super AMOLED display and while the resolution has not changed from the S4, Samsung has improved the display making it go brighter at peak brightness (great for outdoor use) and dimmer at the lowest levels (great for night-time viewing). 

The newly-coined quad-core Snapdragon 801 (Qualcomm's MSM8974-AC chipset), clocked at 2.5 GHz, is what's powering the Galaxy S5. The new chipset supports fast 150 Mbps LTE-Advanced download speeds, and Samsung claims that the S5 will support up to 8 LTE Cat4 bands on all global carriers. There is also an innovative feature in the handset, called Download Booster, which speeds up downloads by combining the Wi-Fi/ac and LTE-Advanced connectivity.

The 2800 mAh battery unit in the Galaxy S5 can thankfully be swapped out, in the best of Samsung's design traditions. It is rated for the respectable 21 hours of talk time on a charge, and 16 days of standby. Samsung bragged that the Galaxy S5 can endure up to 10 hours of web browsing, and up to 12 hours of HD video playback, which are impressive numbers indeed.

Rugged and sporty with a heart-rate monitor

The Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified, rugged, which means that it is completely sealed from dust, and will remain functional even after you dunk it in up to three feet (1m) of water, for as long as half an hour.

The other big new feature is the swipe Finger Scanner embedded in the home key. It provides biometric authentication for unlocking the phone, or for secure mobile payments transactions. On its back, right below the camera the Galaxy S5 features a heart rate monitor.

New camera: bokeh and improved HDR

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. Since we have the same 1.1 micron pixels, the sensor has become slightly larger, at 1/2.5", to accommodate the increase in pixel count.

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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.

Samsung also touts that an advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode that goes for both photos and real-time video capture. The 16MP shooter also boasts f/2.2 aperture, and Samsung's new ISOCELL technology, which should bring better exposed and blur-free photos in low light.

Samsung Galaxy S5: release date, carriers and price

The Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is set for April 11 across an impressive 150 countries worldwide. Price is not yet announced, but if we had to guess we’d say $199 on contract and around $600 full retail. Below, you'd find a list of the carriers and retailers where the S5 will be available.

  • T-Mobile
  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • MetroPCS

Pending confirmation:
  • Verizon 
  • U.S. Cellular

  • Best Buy
  • Sam's Club
  • Radioshack
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Costco

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