The Samsung Galaxy S4 is finally here, replacing the Samsung Galaxy S3 as Samsung’s flagship smartphone model as it takes on the likes of the iPhone 5 and the HTC One. And while the Galaxy S4 has arrived, and will be the go-to Samsung smartphone for quite some time, there are likely consumers who are already wondering about what the Next Big Thing might be, what the Samsung Galaxy S5 might be like.
Earlier this year, after months of rumor, speculation and leaks, Samsung debuted the Samsung Galaxy S4 to replace its former flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S3, a device that valiantly took on the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, the latter of which arrived in September of last year.
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a powerful smartphone, boasting current-generation specifications in just about every area. From its 5-inch display with 1080p resolution, to its Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, to its 13MP camera sensor, to the sensors inside the device that power the software, to its refined polycarbonate design, the Galaxy S4 is a device to be reckoned with.
However, there are those that will certainly call the Samsung Galaxy S4 an incremental upgrade, which it arguably is. There are those that will be frustrated that Samsung kept a plastic design. There are those that are disappointed that Samsung did not include Samsung Youm, its flexible display technology that it showed off alongside its Exynos 5 Octa processor at CES.
Smartphone manufacturers can’t please everyone. And that’s why there is always next time. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will not be the final Galaxy S smartphone, not even close. Samsung has spent years cultivating this brand into one that is recognizable worldwide and it will continue to release these flagships well into the future.
What that future holds is uncertain though we can take a look into our crystal ball and come up with some important things to know about and specifically, when it comes to the next Galaxy S.
Inevitably, Samsung will release a Samsung Galaxy S5 to replace the Galaxy S4, just like the Galaxy S4 replaced the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S3 replaced the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy S2 replaced the original Galaxy S. And while rumors in regards to the Galaxy S5 are non-existent, there are still five very important things that consumers should know about Samsung’s next Galaxy S smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Won’t Come Until Next Year
Those that are holding out for a Samsung Galaxy S5 are going to be waiting quite awhile as it’s most likely not going to be arriving until the first half of 2014.
Companies like Apple, HTC, Samsung and others stick to a yearly cycle when it comes to the release of their big name smartphones. This way, they are able to make the proper adjustments so as to make them as competitive as possible while also keeping owners of their older models content, meaning, they know they won’t get burned with a quick release.
They are also now able to keep their devices fresh by introducing new software features throughout the year. The Galaxy S4 will likely receive a big software upgrade after the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3 later on this year. This keeps devices relevant and keeps consumers happy.
We don’t expect Samsung to deviate from this cycle when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S5, even if there is strong demand from Samsung Galaxy S2 owners coming off contract later in the year. Instead, Samsung will keep the Samsung Galaxy S4 as its flagship Galaxy S model throughout the year, up until the introduction of the Galaxy S5.
Based on previous releases, don’t expect anything to arrive before the month of March.
Expect Fierce iPhone Competition
There are still consumers out there that love the display size and the smaller form factor of the 4-inch iPhone 5. However, it’s becoming clear that with the increase in content and the introduction of things like more powerful games, there is an increasing demand for large screen devices. There is a reason why Android manufacturers keep putting out devices with larger screens.
Indeed, those who love smaller displays may now find themselves amongst the minority as manufacturers find ways to increase screen size while also keeping devices relatively small and thin. And from the sound of things, Apple, one of the last beacons for those smaller flagship smartphones, may cave in 2014.
Rumors suggest that Apple may be working on an iPhone 6 with a larger display. It’s not clear just how big it might be but measurements of 4.7, 4.8 and 5-inches have all be thrown around. For his part, Apple CEO Tim Cook has not dismissed a larger screen iPhone outright, instead leaving the door open for when the company is ready.
Apple typically waits until it can perfect a technology before releasing it. Case in point, 4G LTE. 4G LTE didn’t arrive on the iPhone until the iPhone 5, several years after Android phones got it. Of course, Android users also had to deal with LTE outages and lack of coverage something that iPhone owners haven’t had to endure.
What this means is that while companies like HTC and Samsung will rule the big screen smartphone roost this year, the Galaxy S5, which will likely have a large display, will likely have some serious competition from Apple next year as Apple perfects a larger screen device.
Flexible Display Possible
At CES 2013, Samsung showed off its Samsung Youm flexible display technology that will be coming on Samsung smartphones of the future. It’s unclear exactly when Samsung will have the display primed and ready for arrival but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that it will be able to put one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, thought to be coming in September.
If Youm winds up not coming on the Galaxy Note 3, it’s possible that the Galaxy S5 will be the first Samsung smartphone to feature one. This wouldn’t be surprising given that it’s Samsung’s flagship smartphone. If the Galaxy Note 3 does have Youm on board, then it would be surprising to see the Galaxy S5 without one.
Given that Samsung introduced the technology on stage next to the Exynos 5 Octa processor at CES, a processor that is now in the Galaxy S4, we can assume the company is close to getting Youm ready.
Any way it’s sliced at this point, a flexible display on the Samsung Galaxy S5 remains possible and in our eyes, extremely likely.
Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Appears Likely
Another likely feature of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Initially, Google was thought to be coming out with Android 5.0 at this year’s Google I/O which kicks off tomorrow at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, however, it’s not looking like it will introduce Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an incremental upgrade.
What this likely means is that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie won’t debut until later this year, likely at an event for the Nexus 5. If Google follows a similar pattern, that could mean an introduction during the month of October ahead of the holidays.
Assuming Samsung introduces the Galaxy S5 in the first half of the year, that likely means it will arrive with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as its operating system rather than Android 4.3 or Android 4.2.
Features of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie remain unknown but it’s likely going to be the biggest upgrade to Android since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean arrived last July.
Finally, the last thing to know about the Samsung Galaxy S5 is that it will almost certainly feature a new design, one that differs from the Samsung Galaxy S4 and all previous Galaxy S smartphones.
Each Samsung Galaxy S smartphone has seen a tweaked design with the Galaxy S3 representing the biggest design jump from one model to the next. At the very least, it’s a sign that Samsung will do something to separate the Galaxy S5 from the Galaxy S4 but just what that might be is unknown.
Rumors have suggested that Samsung may be looking into a metal design for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It may not come with one, but the company is likely exploring it at the very least.
Samsung has taken flack for its plastic designs in a world that now offers prolific designs like those of the iPhone 5 and the HTC One and it could be that the it makes the major change with the Samsung Galaxy S5.
At the very least, it will feature something different from the Galaxy S4 which means those that are unimpressed with the Galaxy S4 design and are content on waiting until next year, can do so if they wish.