Samsung Galaxy S5: Everything We Know

With only a day to go before the alleged Samsung Galaxy S5 launch, we want to take a look at everything we that know about Samsung’s rumored Galaxy S4 successor including its hardware, software, and the elusive Samsung Galaxy S5 release date.

For months, Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors have rained down upon consumers, touching upon everything from the device’s display, to its processor, to its design to its release date. And while nothing is confirmed, we’re fairly certain that during Samsung’s Unpacked 5 Episode 1 launch event tomorrow, the company will introduce its brand new Galaxy S5 smartphone, or Galaxy S5 smartphones, depending on what you believe.

Update: Is this the Samsung Galaxy S5?

Samsung hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy S5 for tomorrow’s event but there is reason to believe that it will play host to the first big smartphone launch of the year.

The Samsung Unpacked 5 event will start early on February 24th.

The Samsung Unpacked 5 event will start early on February 24th.

The New York Times claims that the Galaxy S5 will launch alongside the Galaxy Gear 2 on February 24th. Samsung always uses Unpacked Episodes for big name Galaxy devices, not small mid-range devices. It’s also hosting a launch event in New York City and it would be strange to see the company burn those kinds of resources on a smaller launch.

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The number “5″ is everywhere and Samsung extensively used the number “4″ during its Samsung Galaxy S4 launch last year. And, the teasers for tomorrow’s launch event don’t explicitly confirm what will be announced but there are some signs.

If and when the Samsung Galaxy S5 is announced, it will likely be splayed out for the world to see. That means hardware specs, that means a look at its software and that means carrier and release date details as well. Fortunately, all of these things have been rumored a hundred times over before launch and that means that we have a pretty good idea about what to expect from tomorrow’s announcement.

Here now, we present everything that we currently know about the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the ever important Galaxy S5 release date.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Date

If you’re at all interested in the Samsung Galaxy S5 then you’re probably wondering about the Galaxy S5 release date, or, the day that it will come out. Well, we expect Samsung to divulge those details tomorrow as it usually does, but those interested in information ahead of time are in luck because there are some credible bits out on the Galaxy S5 release.

Up until this past week, the Samsung Galaxy S5 release looked like it would arrive in April. All signs pointed to a release date starting in the second quarter. Samsung typically releases its devices about a month or so after launch so of those months, April seemed to be the most likely candidate. And while April is still a possibility, it looks like the first Galaxy S5 release could arrive much sooner than that.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Features - 7

GSMArena claims that the Galaxy S5 will arrive in mid-March, just a few weeks after its announcement. If true, it would be an extremely quick turnaround, faster than previous Galaxy S releases. It’s not clear what regions would benefit from such a quick release and we usually see Galaxy S releases staggered by region.

From the looks of things, this may not be the only Galaxy S5 release date either. Credible rumors point to the arrival of two Galaxy S5 devices. One of them is being called Galaxy S5 “Prime” due to a case listing on Amazon, while the other is simply being called Galaxy S5.

Both ETNews and OLED.at claim that a premium model will arrive later in the year so it could be the lesser of the two that arrives first. Android Authority says that a T-Mobile Galaxy S5 will arrive in June and given the timing, it could be the premium model. Murtazin says that it could be just a few weeks before the premium model arrives.

Whatever the case may be, it’s looking more and more like we’ll see one version of the Galaxy S5 release early followed by another release in the weeks after.

Design

We’re expecting changes from the design found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. A Samsung executive recently told Bloomberg that it believes the Galaxy S4 didn’t resonate with consumers because it didn’t offer much of a design change from the Galaxy S3. The company says that it has put focus into the cover of the Samsung Galaxy S5 which hints at some changes.

Those changes remain extremely difficult to pinpoint. Samsung is well known for clamping down on design leaks ahead of launch which means that there is a very good chance that we’ll see the Galaxy S5 for the first time on stage in Barcelona. That said, rumors have tried to piece things together and here’s what they say.

A new Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor shows a possible design and dimensions.

A new Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor shows a possible design and dimensions.

A schematic leaked by the reliable Sonny Dickson shows an unknown device that he thinks could be the Galaxy S5. The schematic offers dimensions for the smartphone, including a frame that’s 8.2-inches wide. The design matches up with the one that Spigen used to promote its unreleased Galaxy S5 cases on Amazon. This could mean that the schematic was delivered to accessory manufacturers ahead of time. It’s also possible that Spigen is simply using the leak and nothing official from Samsung.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 3.23.47 PM

The other is a possible leak inside of Samsung’s latest teaser. We discovered an unknown device lurking inside the teaser but it’s impossible to say what it is. It could be the first glimpse at the Galaxy S5, it could be nothing. Other than those two leaks, we have no pictures, we simply have words. Lots of them.

An early SamMobile report claims that the premium model will come with a metal design. South Korean brokerage firm KDB Daewoo Securities also thinks that the Galaxy S5 will come in metal. It’s not clear what the metal design might look like though SamMobile suggests it will feature a metal back.

However, there are those that do not agree. Respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that both the premium and non-premium model will both come with plastic designs. A recent report from Android Geeks goes even further and says that at least one Galaxy S5 model will come with a design that is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Z10′s rubberized back. That could be the cover change from the Galaxy S4 that Samsung is talking about.

BlackBerry Z10 Review -  002

ZDNet Korea claims that the Galaxy S5 will have a design that mimics the Galaxy S4 Active in that it comes with water and dust resistant properties. This would make the flagship Galaxy S more rugged than ever before and give it a little bit of an edge on devices like the iPhone 5s. Samsung’s latest teaser, singles out the word ‘Wet’ which could be a possible hint at such a design.

SamMobile recently went into detail about the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5 and it looks like it will be a swipe sensor that’s baked into the device’s physical home button. Early reports suggested that the device would have a bezel-free display but it looks like Samsung will keep the physical home button board.

Unsurprisingly, it also looks like the Galaxy S5 will come in gold to rival the gold iPhone 5s. This isn’t confirmed and earlier rumors only pointed to white and black models.

As for staples like a microSD card slot and removable battery, well, they remain up in the air. We did see a Sprint User Agent Profile hint at a microSD card slot but that remains unconfirmed.

Display

Every single Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor pointed to a 5.2-inch display and that screen size is all but confirmed thanks to a recent Bloomberg report that alluded to that very size. If true, that’s .2-inches larger than the Galaxy S4′s 5-inch display though we could certainly see Samsung slim the bezels down in an effort to keep the overall size of the phone about the same.

Right now, rumors point to two different displays on the Galaxy S5. Both ETNews and OLED.at say that the premium Galaxy S5 will come with a QHD display. If true, that would mean a display with 2560 × 1440 pixel resolution with a density of 560 pixels per inch. The display type has shown up in an alleged Galaxy S5 benchmark and has been rumored numerous times in the past. Even Kuo believes that at least one model will use the technology.

A high-resolution 2560 x 1440 resolution display could be a flagship feature.

A high-resolution 2560 x 1440 resolution display could be a flagship feature.

However Kuo thinks that one model will utilize a full HD 1080p display, just like the Galaxy S4. His prediction mirrors the report from The New York Times, benchmark leaks, and User Agent Profiles that depict known Galaxy S5 model numbers on Samsung’s website. Samsung told Bloomberg that it would offer a sharper display with the Galaxy S5 and a QHD display would provide exactly that.

So, from here, it’s looking like we could see two models with completely different displays emerge in Barcelona.

Specs

We’ve examined every single credible Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor and pulled all of that information into two possible specification sheets for the Galaxy S5 variants.

Premium Galaxy S5

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805/800 (Kuo), Exynos 5 (Kuo)/ Exynos 6 (Exynos Infinity?)
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.2-inch QHD Display
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16 GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB (KDB)
  • 3.2MP (KDB)/2MP (Kuo) front-facing camera
  • 16MP rear facing camera (SamMobile)
  • 2,850 mAh (Kuo), 2,900 mAh (PhoneArena), 3,200 mAh (KDB)
  • WiFi
  • Fingerprint Reader in Home Button

Non-Premium Galaxy S5

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon800 (Kuo), Exynos 5
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.2-inch FHD Display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB (KDB)
  • 3.2MP (KDB)/2MP (Kuo) front-facing camera
  • 16MP rear facing camera
  • 2,850 mAh (Kuo), 2,900 mAh (PhoneArena), 3,200 mAh (KDB)
  • WiFi
  • Fingerprint Reader in Home Button

Software

Everything that we’ve see out about the Samsung Galaxy S5 points to the inclusion of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the latest version of Android from Google. This isn’t surprising given that Samsung recently rolled out the update to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. Android 4.5 is rumored for the summer and it’s possible that Android 4.4 KitKat will stay current until then.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Features - 4

Of course, the software found on a Samsung device is a completely different version of Android thanks to Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. And from the looks of things, the Galaxy S5 could be bringing some major changes to Samsung’s software.

What we’re seeing is a flatter overall design to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI that could borrow from the card layout popularized in Google Now. The image below shows a possible Galaxy S5 Touchwiz screen shared by @evleaks.

Galaxy S5 Software

The software looks similar to the Magazine UI that Samsung introduced back at CES, the same UI that Google reportedly told Samsung to change.

There are also said to be extensive changes to the features including improvements to S Voice, the Galaxy S’ version of Siri and a ton of improvements to the camera application that will make one of the best camera apps even better. Rumors also hint at improvements to the touch less gestures that arrived with the Galaxy S4 and allow users to take advantage of features like Air View.

Thanks to SamMobile, we also expect Samsung to overhaul the Camera app with even more camera modes then ever before.

Carriers

All signs point to the usual launch inside of the United States. Rumors currently point to an arrival on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon and we should see the device land for smaller regional and pre-paid carriers in the United States as well.

Price

Rumor has it, the Galaxy S5 might come cheaper than the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3 did when they first launched. According the Bloomberg, Samsung is considering a price drop for the Galaxy S5. It’s not clear how much cheaper than $199.99 it might get.

The U.S. Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will likely bring deals of close to 25% off on a contract.

The U.S. Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will likely bring deals of close to 25% off on a contract.

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We doubt that the price drop would arrive for the “Prime” model given the specs so it could be that it’s for the other Galaxy S5 variant that’s rumored for arrival in March.

Comments

  1. Stan Tihomirov says

    KPN Netherlands info:
    Wat we tot nu toe oppikten uit de geruchten belooft veel goeds. Op alle fronten wordt het een krachtiger smartphone dan zijn voorganger:

    5,25 inch scherm met HD resolutie van 2560×1440 pixels
    3 of 4GB LPDDR4 werkgeheugen
    Samsung Exynos 6-chipset
    2900 mAh-accu
    16 megapixel camera
    Android 4.4 KitKat
    Dat betekent nog scherper beeld op een groter scherm, snellere apps en een batterij die langer meegaat.

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