Is this the best smartphone ever?

Samsung unveils its slick new waterproof Galaxy S5 that comes with super-fast Wi-Fi, a 16MP camera – plus a matching smartwatch and fitness band that monitors your heart. The flagship model was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona along with Gear Fit – a wearable fitness device. It has a 5.25-inch screen, 16MP camera and runs Android KitKat 4.4. Software and icons now look similar to Apple’s ‘flatter’ iOS design. Handset comes in four colours: black, white, blue and gold and is dust and water resistant. Prices have not yet been announced but it will be available in April.

In a world almost bursting at the seams with fitness bands, smartphones, wearables and cameras it takes something special to stand out – and Samsung hopes its new Galaxy S5 will do just that.

The Galaxy S5, dubbed the ‘superphone’ has handpicked features from its competitors and put them all into a single handset.

Samsung claims it crams in a professional camera and a powerful fitness tracker while being water and dust proof – and comes with fingerprint sensor technology, just like arch rival the iPhone 5S.

Like Apple's iPhone 5S, Samsung's latest handset has a Finger Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature, but the real innovations come inside with super fast Wi-Fi and a host of fitness functions

Like Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung’s latest handset has a Finger Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature, but the real innovations come inside with super fast Wi-Fi and a host of fitness functions

S5 SPECS

  • 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g
  • 5.1″ FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
  • 2.5GHz quad-core application processor
  • Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • 16MP (rear), 2.0MP (front) camera
  • Ultra HD  30fps video recording
  • Selective Focus camera
  • Finger Scanner, Heart rate sensor
  • Dust and water resistant
  • Ultra Power Saving Mode
  • WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2×2)
  • IR Remote
  • 2800mAh  battery – Standby time: 390 hrs / Talk time: 21 hrs

The new flagship device includes a built-in heart monitor, pedometer, fitness apps and fingerprint recognition.

Samsung¿s apps can then develop a fitness regime, including a range of activities from jogging to climbing the stairs rather than using the lift, to help people improve their health. Here, CEO J.K. Shin talks about the different fitness features at Mobile World Congress

The Galaxy S5 is at the head of a move by tech giants to turn the ever more sophisticated mobile phone into a substitute doctor and personal trainer.

Samsung’s S5 has its own health functions, but it will also connect to the company’s second generation smartwatch, the Gear 2, as well as a new wearable band device, the Gear Fit, which will play a role in measuring fitness.
The watch and fitness band can pick up the pulse through the skin on the wrist and display it on the small screen throughout a normal day, or during a workout. All of the information gathered by the devices can be used to calculate the number of steps taken, calories burned and general fitness. Samsung’s apps can then develop a fitness regime, including a range of activities from jogging to climbing the stairs rather than using the lift, to help people improve their health.
The Galaxy S5 (pictured) has handpicked features from it's competitors and taken it's lead from the professional photo industry to launch an outstanding device
Here, CEO J.K. Shin talks about the different fitness features at Mobile World Congress.

The Galaxy S5 (pictured) has handpicked features from it’s competitors and taken it’s lead from the professional photo industry to launch an outstanding device. The firm’s ‘S Health 3.0’ software creates graphs or tables of the results to track changes in activity and health over time. Samsung’s apps can then develop a fitness regime, including a range of activities from jogging to climbing the stairs rather than using the lift, to help people improve their health. Exercise, food, sleep, stress, and weight. You can monitor and track each of these areas with Samsung’s Lifestyle Coach app. Part of the S Health suite. 

‘We’ve decided to go back to basics with the Galaxy S5 and focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers – namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly and their health and wellbeing,’ said Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.

Samsung has unveiled a new flagship device (pictured) that includes a built-in heart monitor, pedometer, fitness apps and fingerprint recognition

The S5 has a 16MP camera – an improvement on the 13MP camera seen on the S4 – and features a number of advanced editing and focus tools similar to those on the 5S.

The new camera has twice as many megapixels as Apple’s iPhone 5S.

The smartphone's contoured shape comes in an array of colours, including: Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. It is dust and water resistant. The colours can be seen here on show at the event

The smartphone’s contoured shape comes in an array of colours, including: Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. It is dust and water resistant. The colours can be seen here on show at the event

GEAR FIT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Display: 1.84inch curved Super AMOLED
  • Includes: Pedometer, exercise and heart rate sensors, stopwatch and timer
  • Notifications: For SMS, calls, emails and apps
  • Strap: Changeable in three colours, the band is IP67 dust and water resistant
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v4.0 LE
  • Dimensions: 23.4mm x 57.4mm x 11.95 mm
  • Weight: 27g
  • Battery: 210mAh with 3-4 days of typical usage or 5 days of low usage

Mr JK Shin, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics said:

Samsung has been one of the major contributors of the mobile industry’s high growth. Especially, the Galaxy S series has been a key driver of smartphone growth. A total of 200 million people use Galaxy S devices. People are easily excited about technology – disruptive and breakthrough. We’re interested in meaningful innovation. It’s surprisingly simple. Our customers don’t want eye-popping technology, they want design. Our consumers want a simple yet powerful camera. Our consumers want powerful and seamless connectivity and our consumers want a phone that helps them stay for.

JK Shin unveiled Samsung's Gear Fit by simply pulling back the sleeve on his left arm. The wearable device (pictured) gives notifications about SMS, missed calls, and the like, while also serving as a way to monitor a person's heart rate while exercising.

Mr Shin unveiled a companion device to the new phone – Gear Fit – by simply pulling back the sleeve on his left arm. The wearable device gives users notifications about SMS, missed calls, while also serving as a way to monitor their heart rate while exercising. It has a 5.1inch Full HD Super AMOLED display that can be dimmed  – ‘it is equipped with a screen that fits perfectly on your wrist,’ he said.

Samsung's Gear fit (pictured) has a 5.1inch Full HD Super AMOLED display that can be dimmed

‘ONE TRUE SUPERPHONE’ – WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

On paper, the Galaxy S5 is packed with more features than any other smartphone currently available, thanks to a combination of its fingerprint sensor, heart rate sensor, clever camera tricks and waterproof design. It’s taken the most innovative features from other phones – the Xperia Z1’s waterproof design, the iPhone 5s’ fingerprint sensor – and combined them all into one true superphone.
– Esat Dedezade, Stuff

There’s no question the S5 is an iteration on the S4, rather than a complete overhaul. But they’re all iterations in strong areas. At our briefing for the Galaxy S4 we were told the then-new phone would let you scroll text up and down by tilting the phone. This time we’re told we can shoot HD videos with high-dynamic ranges applied in real-time, underwater. We’ll let the reader decide which of those two announcements is more exciting.
– Nate Laxon, Wired

The heart rate monitor might be a bit of a gimmick and even the fingerprint sensor could be considered that – but they’re good to have as extras and to add greater potential future software development options. Combined with the Gear 2 or Gear Fit the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a complete life tracker and complete life management device – we can’t wait to get our review sample to really push its apparently near-boundless limits.
– Luke Edwards, Pocket Lint

Like the new Gear wearables, the Galaxy S5 looks and feels familiar, but offers a number of improvements over last year’s edition. Samsung had a successful formula with the Galaxy S4, and for the most part, it looks like it has retained that with the S5. Things are faster, nicer feeling, and easier to use, but it’s still a Samsung smartphone through and through, and will likely be just as successful if not more so than its predecessor.
– Dan Seifert The Verge

All told, it’s very much a run-of-the-mill Galaxy S flagship, but there are enough new hardware features and software tweaks to make it feel fresh.
– Brad Molen, Engadget

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