Samsung's Galaxy S5 is here, and it's real, boasting a fingerprint scanner, a new design, better camera, and more. Here's everything you need to know.
The design is the most notable difference between the S5 and the rest of the Galaxy fam. The device now has a pebbled silver back that looks like it's metal but is actually polycarbonate. Samsung calls it "perforated" and also a "modern glam look." It's shiny and—lets face it— a liiiiittle bit tacky. Apparently this is what they were talking about when they said the phone would have a "more premium feel." It is a little safer from renegade liquids too, as it has IP67 dust and water resistance, which is great. All in all: cosmetic changes aside, this phone can take more of a beating than its Galaxy forebears.
The S5 now has a fingerprint scanner on its home button, a la iPhone 5S. The fingerprint scanner is the first of the phone's special new features. It not only unlocks the phone but it also lets you access private stored data and dick pics on your phone. Conversely, it can also flip on "kid mode" so you know, your youngster is not opening your sexxxy Snapchats. Mobile payments are another layer to the scanner—Samsung has partnered with PayPal, so you'll be able to make transactions using your paw print, too.
The phone runs Android 4.4 Kit Kat, and while it still has the TouchWiz UI, it has been cleaned up to look a lot better.
Its screen is ever-so-slightly larger, with a 5.1-inch screen to the S4's 5-incher. That's not much of a detectable difference, although it is on-trend with the ever-growing size of smartphones these days. It comes with a removable back cover as well. Inside the S5 boasts a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM, an IR remote, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE/ANT+, Cat 4 LTE and your choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. Samsung is bragging that the combination of MIMO tech and Wi-Fi tech will boost your Wi-Fi so much that you'll be able to download a whole GB in just a minute. (Not to mention blast through your data cap). The battery is a hefty 2,800 mAh, and the S5 comes with some power-saving features so apparently even when your phone hits 10 percent, it can last another 24 hours on standby. Additionally the S5 comes with USB 3.0, a 2.1 MP front-facing camera, and a dual-LED flash.
The display is the same 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED screen as the S4. That's a little disappointing only in that we had heard rumors it was going to be significantly upgraded to 2560 x 1440 pixels. But less pixels also means less battery drain. The camera, on the other hand, has bumped up quite a bit to 16MP and comes with a whole slew of new features. One of those is automatic HDR, which already comes on the iPhone and plenty of Android phones. On the S5 it works on video too, and Samsung says that's a first for anybody. Another feature is Selective Focus, which lets you refocus on an item in the foreground or background after you've already shot the photo. This is pretty cool, especially for those of us who have a knack for snapping blurry pictures. However, it's worth pointing out that it's a lot like features la familia de Lumia has had for a while, but now they have a home on Android. Another new camera S5 goodie is Shot & More, which is a standard It also boasts super fast 0.3-second shutter speed, and can capture UHD video.
The S5 also comes fitted with a heart rate monitor, which is built into the back of the phone on the same part as the LED flash. Teamed up with the S-Health app, and your S5 is also a fitness tracker.
The S5 will be available in April on all major carriers, although Samsung hasn't said anything about pricing yet. We are here at a New York livestream of the S5 reveal and we'll have a hands on here in a bit.