As we get closer to the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in April, we’re starting to see new information trickle out about Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S smartphone. Here, we take a look at what we think are the most important things that prospective Galaxy S5 buyers need to know right now, ahead of launch.
Last month, after months and months of rumor and speculation, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5, its brand new flagship that will be coming to take on the likes of the iPhone 5s, HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. As expected, the Galaxy S5 is a high-end smartphone that offers powerful hardware in addition to useful software. At its launch event, Samsung also detailed the device’s release date, setting an April 11th release in stone for 150 countries around the world.
While Samsung and its carrier partners divulged many of the key Galaxy S5 details, there are also some big question marks that remain ahead of launch. For instance, we still don’t know exactly when U.S. carriers will release the smartphone and consumers have no clue how much they will charge for the new flagship. Rumors say that it could be cheaper than the Galaxy S4 was when it launched last year, but that remains unconfirmed at this point.
As we get closer to April, consumers are looking to absorb as much information as they can. Here, we take a look at the the most important details thus far and attempt to answer some of the questions that Samsung and its partners have yet to answer ahead of the Galaxy S5′s release in April.
April Galaxy S5 U.S. Release Dates
Maybe the most important, and recent, Galaxy S5 detail that prospective buyers need to know about is that the Galaxy S5 release date in the United States is looking like it will arrive in April as planned.
Carriers still haven’t announced specific dates, they tend to leave those announcements until the date itself is much closer, but we now know that the five biggest Galaxy S5 variants for the U.S. are closer to launch.
Smartphones need to pass a series of hurdles before they are released. In the United States, devices must pass inspection at the FCC before they can be released to the public. Fortunately, the five major Galaxy S5 variants in the United States have seemingly passed through the FCC’s clutches. They are now ready, or at least close to being ready for release.
MetroPCS is also expected to deliver the Galaxy S5 in April but we have not spotted it yet. Same goes for the Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile versions of the Galaxy S5. Boost and Virgin claim that they will release the Galaxy S5 in Q2 which means anywhere from April to June.
Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders remain out of reach for consumers in the United States but the same can’t be said for those in the United Kingdom. Samsung UK today announced that it will begin taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 on March 28th, just a few weeks ahead of the device’s April 11th release.
On Friday, March 28th, consumers in the United Kingdom will be able to pick up the device from selected retailers, Samsung’s e-store and the Stratford Westfield Experience Store.
This doesn’t mean that all Galaxy S5 pre-orders will begin on March 28th but it’s a sign that we could see pre-orders arrive in other parts of the world ahead of April 11th. U.S. carriers typically offer a pre-order in the weeks ahead of flagship smartphone release dates so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung USA and its partners announce pre-orders in the near future.
Release Date Set in UK
In addition to confirming the pre-orders, Samsung UK also confirmed the Galaxy S5′s release date in the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, it will be April 11th, the same day that the Galaxy S5 will land in other regions around the world.
16GB & 32GB
Good news for future Galaxy S5 shoppers in the United States. Thanks to intel acquired by TMoNews, T-Mobile is confirmed to be offering both the 16GB and 32GB Galaxy S5 models. It says that the 32GB model will be sold online and online only.
This is a departure from last year’s Galaxy S4 which arrived in 16GB form only. AT&T and Verizon were the only major U.S. carriers to offer the Galaxy S5 in 32GB form. This doesn’t confirm the availability on other U.S. carriers though it does make it more likely.
And yes, the leak also confirms compatibility with up to a 128GB microSD card. This means that users have the potential to get up to 160GB of total storage on the Galaxy S5.
Color Options Have Shown Up
T-Mobile’s website also confirms the arrival of at least two Galaxy S5 color options. Samsung announced four Galaxy S5 colors at Mobile World Congress including blue, black, white, and gold. Carriers in the United States still haven’t announced which colors they will be offering though T-Mobile’s website hints at two colors at least.
Both the white and black options have shown up on T-Mobile’s website which all but confirms those for release. The blue and gold models remain in the shadows, at least for the moment.
Samsung and its carrier partners have a long history of exclusives and delayed arrivals when it comes to different colors so it’s possible that the other two colors could be absent at T-Mobile on release day.
Galaxy S5 Compared
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be taking on a number of big name smartphones when it arrives. Two of those devices will be the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy Note 3 remains a flagship and like the Galaxy S5, boasts a ton of firepower. The Galaxy S4 on the other hand will be come a superb budget option.
We took a quick look at how the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 compared to the Galaxy S5 back in February but a new video from Romeo White from Mobile-Review offers a closer look with the PR people and without the crowd noise.
The nearly eight minute video is in Russian, which means that users will have to turn on captions, but it will give buyers an up close and personal look at how the Galaxy S5 compares to Samsung’s current flagships.
In an effort to boost awareness about the benefits of the Galaxy S5′s 16MP camera, Samsung has posted a video talking about the benefits of ISOCELL technology.
We have yet to put the camera to the test but it looks like it’s going to shoot high quality photos and video in low light environments, something that manufacturers have been trying to perfect inside smartphones for years.
The device’s ISOCELL CMOS sensor has a lot of potential and it figures to be one the more marketable Galaxy S5 features in the United States and elsewhere.
Galaxy S5 Accessories
Those who do wind up buying the Galaxy S5 next month will have an absurd amount of accessories to choose from. We’ve already seen a ton of Galaxy S5 accessories emerge and now companies like Case-Mate have thrown their products into the fray.
The case maker says that it will have a number of quality Galaxy S5 cases available in the near future though the company is careful not to attach a specific release date on its lineup. We imagine that these cases will become available right around April 11th, the day that the Galaxy S5 should arrive in the United States.