Samsung is rumored to be announcing a new Galaxy S5 in a few weeks. Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors have been surfacing at an almost dizzying pace and so here’s a quick but detailed roundup of all of the latest, credible rumors surrounding the device that could potentially be the company’s “Next Big Thing.”
While nothing is set in stone quite yet, it has become clear that Samsung is getting close to its yearly Galaxy S smartphone launch. Since the tail end of last year, we’ve seen Galaxy S5 rumors pour out of Korea, conventions and out of thin air, teasing prospective buyers with tales of a Galaxy S4 successor.
Unsurprisingly, these rumors suggest that the Galaxy S5 will be more than an incremental upgrade to the Galaxy S4. Instead, it’s looking like Samsung will make making some major changes to its Galaxy S line in an effort to better compete with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and the rumored HTC M8 and iPhone 6.
That said, here’s everything we know thus far about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5.
What Will Samsung Call It?
Over the years, we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S, the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Samsung Galaxy S III, and the Samsung Galaxy S4. If we had to guess, we’d say that based on precedent alone, the next Samsung Galaxy S will be called Samsung Galaxy S5.
Our guess is backed up by evidence secured from the well-known leak artist Evan Blass, also known as @evleaks, who recently leaked what is believed to be the street name for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5. The name? Samsung Galaxy S5. It looks like Samsung is going to be sticking to its roots with the 2014 edition of its flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Date
There are two important dates when it comes to the unreleased Samsung Galaxy S5. The launch date, the day that Samsung takes the stage and announces the device and the release date, the day that the Galaxy S5 lands on shelves. We’ve already heard a lot about both, ahead of Samsung’s event.
Flavio, an Italian journalist, who leaked out last year’s HTC One launch date, reports that the Galaxy S5 launch will take place in London in the middle of March. This lines up with a SamMobile report that says that the Galaxy S5 will launch in March. Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin recently claimed that the Galaxy S5 would land on February 23rd ahead of MWC 2014, but he quickly took back his comments, saying that Samsung remains undecided.
Samsung historically has waited a month after its launch date before releasing the actual phone and unsurprisingly, Galaxy S5 rumors point to a release date by the end of April. A Bloomberg report suggests that very thing, Murtazin claims that late April is likely, and Gotta Be Mobile has learned that a late April release, perhaps in the second to last week of the month, is possible.
So, for the moment, it looks like the Galaxy S5 will launch in March and get released in April, just like the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Here’s what a Samsung executive told Bloomberg earlier this month:
When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big.
For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.
This appears to hint at design changes. Samsung typically changes its designs every year though rumors suggest that we could see more than just the usual tweaks.
SamMobile believes that Samsung will offer two Galaxy S5 models, one premium and one budget. The premium model will evidently utilize a metal design instead of a plastic one. The budget model will apparently use a plastic design. The site did not elaborate on the form factors and we haven’t seen the Galaxy S5 leak to confirm the rumors.
Respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Cho Kuo, the man who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s’ features, recently released his Galaxy S5 predictions and he believes that while there will indeed be two Galaxy S5 models, both of them will be plastic.
Needless to say, Galaxy S5 design rumors are in flux but at the very least, it’s looking like we will see some changes from the current Samsung Galaxy S4 design.
All along, Galaxy S5 rumors have pointed to a 16MP camera on board the Galaxy S5. Kuo and SamMobile agree and a recent photo leak suggests that a 16MP camera sensor is likely to be on board. Kuo believes the 16MP sensor will extend to the budget version of the smartphone as well.
PhoneArena thinks the device will have a fast-charging 2,900 lithium ion battery that is capable of holding 20% more charge than other batteries its size. Kuo thinks the battery will be 2,850 mAh though he does not suggest that it will have any special qualities.
Galaxy S5 processor rumors have not firmed up with SamMobile pointing to a Exynos 6 or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip, possibly with 64-bit support on board. We know that Samsung is interested in putting 64-bit processors on board its smartphones but at the moment, one is not confirmed for the Galaxy S5.
Kuo believes that the device will use 32-bit processors across the board with the budget model featuring a Snapdragon 800 processor and the premium model coming with a Samsung Exynos 5 chip. All of these would offer a significant bump from the Galaxy S4 in the performance department, including graphics.
Finally, sources have agreed on a 5.2-inch Galaxy S5 display. Samsung told Bloomberg that the screen size would be “different” but would not elaborate. The Galaxy S4 used a 5-inch display. Reports also peg the premium version as having a QHD display, or, 2560 x 1440 resolution. If true, it would mean extremely sharp looking images and video. The budget Galaxy S5 is expected to feature a 1080p display, same as the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Android & TouchWiz
In what should come as a surprise to no one, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is reportedly coming with Android 4.4 KitKat and from the looks of things, software that could offer some significant changes from Samsung’s current version of its TouchWiz software.
Like Apple, Samsung always upgrades its software when it releases a brand new smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to feature Google’s latest version of Android, paired with some major changes to Samsung’s UI.
Two recent leaks from @evleaks hinted at major design changes. The leaks point to a changed appearance that could be based on the Magazine UI that debuted on Samsung’s new tablet line at CES 2014. It can be seen running on the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 in the video below.
Those rumors were thrown into flux earlier this week thanks to a report from Recode that suggests that Google has pressured Samsung into dropping some of its applications and moving closer to stock Android. According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, it appears that the company used Google Maps licensing as leverage. Samsung does not currently have its own Maps application, making it reliant upon Google Maps.
The report specifically states that Google was, and is, unhappy with the Magazine UI so it’s possible that the company will make changes before the Galaxy S5 is released.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A report from etnews suggests Samsung locked in Synaptics as the supplier of the touch portion of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 screens which will bring improved Air View, Air Gesture and S Pen support to the new Samsung Galaxy smartphones in 2014.
A new leak from Kipris, discovered by GalaxyClub.nl, shows a new interface with touchpoints in the corners that the allow users to activate shortcuts to apps and settings. If real, it would allow users to make better use of the phone while using one hand.
More recently, we saw a collection of possible Galaxy S5 apps emerge thanks to SamMobile. The three apps include a redesigned WatchON application, a life logging application called Life Times, and a new S Voice app that seems destined for the Galaxy S5.
Given Google’s stance on Samsung’s software, it’s not clear if these will make the final cut.
Based on previous Galaxy S launches, there is reason to believe that the Galaxy S5 will cost the same as its predecessors. Samsung’s Galaxy S price, like the Apple’s iPhone price, has remained static for several years now.
Thus far, the only Galaxy S5 pricing rumor that we’ve seen comes from SamMobile. It suggests that the Galaxy S5 will come in at two different price points, mirroring Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
The publication says that a premium Galaxy S5 will cost about 800 Euros while the budget model will cost around 650 Euros. When converted to U.S. dollars, the premium model would be over $1000. That’s simply not happening which means that the Galaxy S5 price remains a mystery.
Consumers in the United States should look forward to a widespread launch. Early Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors pointed to a launch on AT&T. More recently, we saw a possible Galaxy S5 photo sample from the Verizon Galaxy S5 emerge.
Shortly after that, SamMobile unleashed an extensive list of model numbers that reportedly pertain to the Galaxy S5.
- SM-G9006V_CHN_CHN (China)
- SM-G9008V_CHN_ZM (China)
- SM-G9009D_CHN_CTC (China)
- SM-G900A_NA_ATT (AT&T)
- SM-G900D_JPN_DCM (Japan)
- SM-G900F_EUR_XX (Open Europe)
- SM-G900H_EUR_XX (Open Europe)
- SM-G900I_SEA_XSA (Asia)
- SM-G900J_JPN_KDI (Japan)
- SM-G900K_KOR_KTC (Korea)
- SM-G900L_KOR_LGC (Korea)
- SM-G900M_LA_VF (Vodafone)
- SM-G900P_NA_SPR (Sprint)
- SM-G900R4_NA_USC (US Cellular)
- SM-G900S_KOR_SKC (Korea)
- SM-G900T_NA_TMB (T-Mobile)
- SM-G900V_NA_VZW (Verizon)
- SM-G900W8_NA_BMC (BMC)
This isn’t confirmed but it falls in with the naming scheme that Samsung used for its Samsung Galaxy Note 3, attaching the first letter of a U.S. carrier name to the model number as an identifier.
Galaxy S5 Accessories
At past launch events, Samsung has taken the stage and detailed not only its flagship smartphones but also a number of accessories as well. The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 launches both saw extensive accessory announcements including the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that debuted alongside the Galaxy Note 3 ahead of IFA.
Earlier this month, during CES 2014, Recode got a Samsung executive to cough up some of the goods. According to Dennis Miloseski, head of studio for Samsung Design America, the company has not abandoned wearables after a dreadful Galaxy Gear launch and will instead be announcing new products, side-by-side with its new flagship devices. Miloseki specifically mentioned that a spring Galaxy S launch this spring as a probable launch pad.
Industry sources recently told ZDNet Korea that a Galaxy Gear 2 will deliver a completely new experience when it arrives in March or April, presumably alongside the Galaxy S5.
A majority of the details aren’t clear but it looks like one of the big changes will be the addition of a flexible OLED display. As we pointed out, the Galaxy Gear features a bulky display area that some users found too large and not fashionable enough despite multiple color options and finishes.