The Samsung Galaxy S5 continues to capture the attention of consumers across the globe thanks to rumors and details that have emerge in recent weeks. With prospective Galaxy S5 buyers scrambling for information and answers to their questions, we want to take a look at the five most important details buyers need to know about right now.
It’s no secret that Samsung has a new Galaxy S smartphone up its sleeve. In the past two years, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 have helped Samsung ascend to the upper echelon of smartphone manufacturers, putting the company on the same pedestal as Apple and its iconic iPhone. So, there was simply no way that 2014 would be void of a Galaxy S release.
Right now, the device is known as the Samsung Galaxy S5, a successor to the Galaxy S4, and a device that is currently on the mind of millions of consumers. Thanks to healthy dose of rumors and some information from Samsung itself, we’ve started to see the Galaxy S5 picture come together on the canvas.
Nothing is set in stone until Samsung sets it in stone but there are certainly some things that appear likely. Adversely, there are still some Galaxy S5 mysteries that haven’t been solved. With some many questions, and only a few answers, we’re starting to see consumer heads start to spin, something that typically happens before a major smartphone launch.
Here, we want to examine what we consider to be the five most important Samsung Galaxy S5 details at the moment. These are the details that we think every prospective buyer should have on their mind at the moment in the buildup to the eventual Samsung Galaxy S5 launch later on this year.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Launch & Release Dates Still Not Set
Two of the most important Samsung Galaxy S5 details are still missing in action though recent rumors do help to narrow things down a bit for interested consumers.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 launch date and release date are both still unknown but recently we’ve seen rumors start to home in on some specific windows.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 launch date has been rumored for late February, just ahead of MWC 2014, and in March, the same month that the company launched last year’s Galaxy S4. The originator of the most recent February launch rumor, Russian blogger Eldur Murtazin, backtracked from his statements saying that Samsung backed off a specific date. According to him, nothing has been decided though it appears that London is being considered as a launch venue.
Samsung to hold its next Global launch (S5?) event in London in a mid March date, a reliable source confirmed me.
— Flavio (@flapic) January 12, 2014
This matches up with what one insider claimed earlier this month. Italian insider Flavio claims that the device will launch in mid-March in London. He has been dead on accurate with information before and his information lines up with earlier rumors that suggested a launch in March.
The important thing to note here is that rumors have centered on February and March with March being the frontrunner. In other words, we should see the Galaxy S5 soon.
Release date rumors have just about all put the Galaxy S5 release date in April. A recent report from Bloomberg, with quotes from a Samsung executive, suggested that the device would land by the end of April. This lines up with Murtazin’s assertion that the company is targeting a release around May 1st, just like it did with the Galaxy S4.
Samsung historically has released its devices about a month after launch so at the moment, a mid-March launch and a release in late April seem to be the most plausible windows.
Design Rumors Are in Flux
A credible report from SamMobile seemed to confirm what earlier rumors had suggested. That Samsung would finally be releasing a metal Galaxy S with a metal Galaxy S5. The report also claimed that the company would produce a plastic Galaxy S5 as well. And while loose ends appeared to be tied up at last, well-known KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo put everything into disarray over the weekend.
Kuo, who successfully predicted many of the iPhone 5s features, issued a report claiming that the Galaxy S5 would be coming in plastic and plastic only. He did not elaborate on the full design. Kuo is known to make predictions based on information from sources deep within the Asian supply chain so these rumors should not be taken lightly.
Instead of two different designs, Kuo sees Samsung separating its two devices based on specs. One device he dubs Galaxy S5 Prime and the other Galaxy S5 standard. Here is what he sees as the biggest differences between the two:
- A faster Exynos processor for the Prime models
- More RAM for the Prime models (3GB vs 2GB)
- A higher resolution screen for the Prime models (2560 x 14440 vs 1920 x 1080)
So at this point, as expected, the Galaxy S5 design is still a big unknown and it could stay that way until Samsung takes the stage. The company is notorious for keeping its designs under lock and key and hidden from view.
Two Galaxy S5 Models Likely
Kuo’s predictions do help to back one Galaxy S5 rumor, however. Rumors have pointed to an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c style launch for the Galaxy S5 and Kuo has thrown his name into that hat. For those unfamiliar with Apple’s lineup, it means that Samsung is looking like it will release two Galaxy S5 variants, one aimed at the premium crowd, the other aimed at the budget crowd.
The budget model appears to be coming with lesser specifications, just like the iPhone 5c, while the premium model is expected to feature some big time upgrades. While not confirmed, this is looking very likely as Samsung looks to compete with Apple and its two current iPhone models in 2014 and beyond.
Galaxy S5 Features Are All but Confirmed
Features are extremely important to consumers and fortunately, there are a few Galaxy S5 features that are all but confirmed at this point thanks to rumors and thanks to Samsung’s history with the Galaxy S series.
First, SamMobile, Kuo and several other sources agree on a QHD display for at least one variant of the Galaxy S5. A QHD display would offer sharper, better looking content than content found on a 1080p display. Kuo says that the display size should be around 5.25-inches, something that rumors have suggested several times.
Comments Samsung made to Bloomberg back this up. A Samsung executive was quoted as saying that the display would be one of the biggest pieces of the Galaxy S5, a sign that it won’t be sticking with 1080p resolution.
All along, rumors have pointed to a 16MP camera sensor and at this point, given Kuo’s prediction of a 16MP sensor, there is no reason to believe that the Galaxy S5 will have anything different. The biggest question at this point is about how will the camera stack up with the 13MP sensor found on the Galaxy S5.
While the exact nature of the Galaxy S5 software is still not clear, what is clear is that there will almost certainly be some major changes coming along with the Galaxy S5. Samsung always makes changes to TouchWiz, year-after-year, so it’s not going to be the same software found on the Galaxy S4.
Thus far, rumors have pointed to improvements to the device’s touch less gestures, a new interface with touchpoints in the corners that the allow users to activate shortcuts to apps and settings, and a brand new look for TouchWiz.
Samsung recently announced a new Magazine UI for its brand new Galaxy tablets and it’s that same look that has leaked out as a possible look for the Galaxy S5. It makes sense for Samsung to unify the look of its new software so a new look for the Galaxy S5 appears likely at this point.
Samsung failed to put a fingerprint reader on its Galaxy Note 3 but it appears that the company is determined to put one on the Galaxy S5 in an effort to compete with the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID sensor.
Kuo, like The Korea Herald, believes that the Galaxy S5 will feature a fingerprint reader for added security and convenience. Rumors had suggested Iris-scanning technology but as time goes on, that feature appears to be out. At the very least, Galaxy S5 owners should have some sort of added security on board, something that Kuo suggests needs to be on a “star” device like the Galaxy S5.
Lots of Smaller Unknowns
Here is a look at some of the unknowns that still are clouding up the Samsung Galaxy S5 situation. While we expect some of these to get cleared up before the Galaxy S5 launch event, it’s possible that these features could remain in the shadows until Samsung takes the stage and debuts its brand new flagship.
It’s clear that the Galaxy S5 will have a new processor, it’s just not clear what the processor, or processors, will be. Early rumors pointed to 64-bit support on board a Snapdragon 805 chip from Qualcomm or a new Exynos 6 CPU from Samsung. Kuo believes that the Galaxy S5 will offer a 32-bit chip and that it will be based on a Exynos 5 processor and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800.
SamMobile claimed that the metal Galaxy S5 would start around 800 Euros while the plastic model would be around 600 Euros. Those prices are exorbitant when converted to U.S. dollars so at this point, we consider the Galaxy S5 price point to be unknown.
Rumors have not pointed to any possible Galaxy S5 storage options and it remains a mystery at this juncture. There is certainly a lot of attention being lavished on this considering the Galaxy S4 debacle last year and the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 abolished the 16GB model.
We’ve seen a rumor point to an AT&T Galaxy S5 model in testing but other than that, we haven’t seen any carrier rumors pop up. That same model popped up in a benchmark with a 1080p display, a sign that we could see two models in the U.S.
Samsung has been delivering a number of official accessories alongside its flagship smartphones so consumers are wondering whether or not the company will deliver with the Galaxy S5.
At this point, we aren’t sure about Galaxy S5 accessories though there is talk of a completely redesigned Galaxy Gear 2 arriving alongside the Galaxy S5 later this year. This is something that Samsung seemed to confirm at CES so it appears likely.
Samsung has also been talking up its official accessory line in wake of Galaxy Note 3 KitKat issues with third-party accessories so there is reason to believe that Samsung will once again deliver.