Thanks to rumors from credible sources, the Samsung Galaxy S5 picture has begun to come together. And while a lot of the mystery has been sucked out of the upcoming Galaxy S5 launch, there are still some things that Galaxy S5 rumors haven’t cleared up, some loose ends that remain even now, just a few weeks ahead of its release.
For better or worse, Samsung smartphones almost always leak out ahead of time. In the case of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, we knew about most of their features prior to Samsung taking the stage. Same goes for the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 2. And those four devices just so happen to represent to four biggest Samsung smartphone launches in the last two years. Even with Samsung’s biggest launches, rarely, does a stone remain unturned.
So it has come as no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung’s rumored flagship and a smartphone that will replace the Galaxy S4, has leaked out numerous times over the past few months. It’s what Samsung smartphones do.
In the past few days, we’ve seen Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors start to shift. Features and dates that we were lukewarm about have suddenly become very real and all but confirmed. The device is almost certainly going to feature a 16MP camera. A next-generation processor. A launch in March. A release a few weeks later. Android 4.4 KitKat. And a 5.2-inch QHD display. While we still haven’t seen a Galaxy S5 announcement, many consumers likely feel like they know the Galaxy S5 already.
There are, however, some mysteries that still remain. Some of these mysteries are small, some of them are absolutely crucial to the success of Samsung’s Next Big Thing. And while we expect some of these mysteries to get cleared up in the weeks between now and the Galaxy S5 launch, we want to take a look at the missing parts and make some observations and predictions about each.
Here, we examine the seven biggest Samsung Galaxy S5 mysteries that remain.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Design
Perhaps the biggest Samsung Galaxy S5 mystery is its design. Sure, we’ve seen SamMobile claim that the device will, in fact, come in both plastic and metal but that really hasn’t cleared anything up. We still don’t know what the Samsung Galaxy S5 will look like exactly. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for those that like surprises, we don’t expect to find out about the Galaxy S5 design until right before the event or during the event itself.
Samsung does a fantastic job of keeping prying eyes at bay. In the past, the company has reportedly used dummy cases, lock boxes and more to keep design leaks from emerging. So instead of a design leaking out along with the rest of the features, it typically does not emerge until much closer to the actual event, if at all.
Normally, we see renders and images claim to show off the Galaxy S design. This year, we haven’t seen any prospective leaks so perhaps tricksters have gained some wisdom over the last year.
What we do know is this. Samsung designs have progressively gotten thinner and more lightweight and we expect the Galaxy S5 design to continue that trend.
We also don’t expect this mystery to be cleared up anytime soon. Instead, prospective Galaxy S5 buyers should remain patient as this will likely be one of the last dominoes to fall.
We still haven’t heard anything about the storage options that Samsung will provide to Galaxy S5 buyers.
Last year, Galaxy S4 buyers raised a stink about the fact that the Galaxy S4 16GB came with far less than 16GB of storage. Software needs to be stored somewhere and unfortunately, Samsung’s software takes up a ton of room. Making matters worse were the facts that the microSD card is limited with the types of files it can store and the fact that the 32GB was slow to release on AT&T and Verizon. Verizon released it many weeks after the initial release.
With the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung released a 32GB model in the United States. 16GB wasn’t even an option. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t hear any complaining, problem solved.
So far, Galaxy S5 rumors haven’t cleared this up. Will there be a 16GB model? Will there be both a 16GB and 32GB model? Will we finally see the 64GB model land in the U.S.? Will the metal design feature a microSD card slot? These are all questions that still remain on the minds of prospective Galaxy S5 buyers.
If there is no microSD card slot, the base model of the Galaxy S5 will be 32GB. If there is a microSD card slot, we could see Samsung sticking with a 16GB model though it’s less likely than past years. We just can’t see Samsung wanting a repeat of last year’s debacle. TouchWiz is still TouchWiz and it’s going to take up a lot of room.
Currently, there are two unconfirmed rumors about the Samsung Galaxy S5’s battery. One suggests that it could be 4,000 mAh in size, the other claims that it could be 2,900 mAh with fast charging capabilities.
The idea of a massive 4,000 mAh battery is nice but unless Samsung has figured out a way to slim a battery that size down, there is virtually no way that it’s going to be inside the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy Note 3’s battery is 3,200 mAh and we sincerely doubt that we’re going to see a larger battery inside the smaller Galaxy S.
Rumors of a 2,900 mAh battery are way more credible. It’s logical for Samsung to incrementally boost the battery size of the Galaxy S and necessary if it’s going to have to handle a higher-resolution display as rumors suggest.
We’re still not sold on the exact size and we’ll wait until we see FCC filings emerge before we’re confident about the Galaxy S5’s battery. FCC filings usually emerge days or weeks ahead of the launch date so we should see this mystery cleared up ahead of time.
While maybe not as important as some of the other features, many consumers do consider the color of their smartphone to be extremely important. Many people consider their phone to be a fashion statement. We haven’t seen any potential Galaxy S5 colors emerge just yet but here is what we’re expecting.
Generally, this is a feature that leaks out ahead of time so we’re expecting to hear about what Samsung has in store before it tells us what it has in store. We’re also expecting the company to offer limited colors options at launch, particularly for the metal version of the Galaxy S5.
If it offers a ton of color options, Samsung has the potential to foul up its supply lines. By sticking with neutral, simple colors like black and white, it’s less likely to encounter problems. You’ll recall, the issues that Samsung had with the pebble blue Galaxy S3 and the problems Apple had with the gold iPhone 5s. It’s not easy to produce different shades.
So while we should see Samsung offer some choice, we expect the choices to be limited at the start.
The Galaxy S5 price remains in the shadows. SamMobile suggests that the metal version will cost around 800 Euros and the plastic model will cost around 650 Euros. If converted to U.S. dollars, that means a metal Galaxy S5 over $1000 and a plastic Galaxy S5 that costs $800. It’s hard to see that happening, even if those prices are off-contract.
Samsung is reportedly concerned about slow Galaxy S4 sales. Increasing the price tag of the Galaxy S is not going to do consumers any favors. It also needs to compete with Apple’s iPhone 5s which starts at $199.99. So, we’re expecting at least one of these models to fall in at the $199.99 on-contract price point.
If there is a metal version, it’s possible that it could command a more expensive price tag, perhaps $299.99 on-contract. Anything beyond that will be considered too expensive and will open things up for Apple and the iPhone.
This is a mystery that may not be cleared up until after the launch of the Galaxy S5. Carriers are likely still making plans and it’s possible that they remain undecided about price points.
We don’t know what accessories Samsung will have in store for Galaxy S5 buyers. In the past, we’ve seen Galaxy S accessories leak pre-launch so it’s a little surprising that we haven’t heard any rumblings as of yet. Given Samsung’s penchant for releasing Samsung-branded accessories, we expect there to be at least a few official products in store for Galaxy S5 buyers.
The focus will likely be on wearables that pair with the Galaxy S5 though we would be shocked if Samsung skipped updates for products like the S-View case. The company is clearly invested in its own accessory lines and thus, we should see accessories debut on stage with the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Just don’t expect them all to arrive on day one.
Finally, the only credible Galaxy S5 carrier rumor that we’ve seen is for an AT&T Galaxy S5 model. And while the Galaxy S5 carrier situation remains a mystery, consumers should have no doubts about where the Galaxy S5 will land.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon are virtually all but confirmed given Samsung’s past launches and given the company’s need to stay on par with Apple and we should see the Galaxy S5 land for a number of pre-paid and smaller carriers including C Spire Wireless and StraightTalk.