The Samsung Galaxy S5 is finally official, and in just a few short weeks you’ll be able to get one from any of the multiple US carriers. We’re hearing April 11th, but the dates are still up in the air.
Now that we know all there is to know about the Galaxy S5, and aren’t going on leaks and rumors which mostly turned out to be false, we wanted to go over a few features that are being somewhat overlooked. And maybe even under appreciated, considering many users are complaining about the lack of an aluminum frame or front facing speakers, and not the overall package. There’s still plenty to love about the all-new Galaxy S5, so lets take a look.
The Galaxy S5 has a lot of great featured packed inside of a device that’s better than its predecessor in every way, yet isn’t much bigger or heavier. Add on waterproof features, better security, a new camera, and more. It’s pretty stacked. Samsung’s checked off nearly every top-tier spec box, and here’s a few fun features worth talking about.
IP 67 Certified (Water Resistant)
The Galaxy S5 isn’t the first device to be IP67 rated, and some are even IP68 (fully waterproof) but this is one major feature that many seem to be overlooking. A large part of the design probably had this in mind, which will save thousands of users from having to replace a device. The IP67 certification means the Galaxy S5 is completely dust and shock proof, and the latter “seven” means it’s water resistant. It isn’t waterproof, but it can be submerged up to 3ft and come out unscathed.
There’s a flap door that covers the micro-USB slot, which is USB 3.0 by the way, for faster data transfers, which will protect the internals from water should a drop in the toilet occur or it falls in the pool. Yes the back is still removable to access and swap the battery and micro-SD slot (which most phones don’t offer, but we expect from Samsung) but it has a water-resistant seal around the important bits. This was present on the Galaxy S4 Active, but had a few faults, and Samsung’s improved this for the Galaxy S5
Having a device that’s water resistant is extremely helpful, and many seem to be shrugging this off. In reality, the Galaxy S5 is a good looking rugged device when compared to anything else in the rugged category. We’re looking at you Casio and CAT.
Read: Galaxy S5 Hands-On Video
Ultra Power Saving Mode
Many smartphones today have battery saving or low power modes to preserve that extremely important battery, but Samsung took this a step further. The Galaxy S5 has a new Ultra Power Saving Mode (or state) that once enabled turns the phone into a feature phone for calls, texts, and some light web browsing. The kicker here though, is the 5.1-inch screen becomes black and white, is extremely efficient, and Samsung promises 24 hours off of just 10% of battery life remaining.
That’s on standby. Meaning with 10% battery your phone will last 24 hours in this mode, but if you place a few calls and receive some texts it will likely drop in half to 12. That being said, getting 12 hours of emergency usage is extremely important.
Honestly this was one of the best parts of the announcement if you ask us. Yes, we would love a bigger battery, but everyone’s been in that emergency or dead battery situation where a few more minutes for a simple message or call would be extremely helpful. While we all love the “smartphone” features of our device, there’s moments where just a call or text is needed. Ultra Low Power mode could save a life, get an important message to someone, or more, when other phones will fail and run out of juice.
I won’t use it often, but it’s a great feature that’s previously only been available by hacking and flashing custom software and kernels on your Android device.
No one seemed to mention the Galaxy S5, like the S4 and a few others, comes with an Infrared Port built-in. This can be used as a remote control and will control your entire living room, bedroom, or home theater all from your device. Not just Samsung TV’s, but a wide array of devices work great. I’ve used this feature on my Galaxy S4 since day one, and it’s being overlooked and almost just expected from Samsung, when only a few other phones offer it.
IR Blasters are nothing new, just look at some old Nokia phones, but smartphones make them so much more useful that you’d expect more manufacturers to adopt this feature. HTC and LG have, and we’re expecting more to follow. Many customers will end up loving this simple but often overlooked feature of the Galaxy S5.
Heart Rate Monitor
On the back of the Galaxy S5, under the camera and alongside the flash, is a built-in heart rate monitor. We’ve seen third party apps try and do this with the iPhone, but the Galaxy S5 has the perfect solution. Using Samsung’s S-Health app you can track your heart rate along with a variety of other things. The Fitness app tracks running, working out, cycling, hiking and more, and now being able to check your heart rate should be extremely useful for fitness enthusiasts.
In fact, I can just see the Temple Run style endless runner games coming out, where you’ll run faster with a higher heart rate. Developers can tap into this for tons of different features, uses, and fitness controls, and we can expect to see tons from this in the future. While it may seem odd to dedicate a space for a heart rate monitor on a smartphone, fitness apps and controls are growing in popularity, and Samsung is ahead of the curve.
Samsung spent tons of effort on the camera with the Galaxy S5. It comes equipped with a brand new 16 megapixel shooter that should offer some of the best quality of any smartphone. One feature that’s extremely important regarding the camera is the auto-focus, and the S5 in most cases has a speed of 0.3 seconds for AF. According to Samsung.
In actual usage during the Samsung event the camera was very, very impressive. We were in a low light studio with hardly any natural light, yet photos were extremely clear and vivid, not to mention the auto focus was one of the best and fastest I’ve used on a device to date.
And we can’t forget to mention the Galaxy S5 camera is capable of real-time HDR photos and video. It records in full 4k HD, and tons of other things like Selective Focus, video stabilization and more. Samsung touts the 0.03 second AF is the fastest of any smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is set to hit the market in early April, some are stating April 11th although that date hasn’t been set in stone. We’re hearing multiple US carriers will try to launch within the first 10 days of April, and more details can be found from our Galaxy S5 Release Date Predictions coverage.
More details and launch dates should be arriving from US carriers in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for all things Galaxy S5.