Samsung S5 launches

As you probably know, the Samsung S5 finally launched today, 24 February. So, how did it live up to the hype and rumour?> What are the main new features and talking points?

Fingerprint Scanner

The first key new feature is a fingerprint scanner. There was some speculation that iris scanning technology, which is much more secure, might be included. But it seems Samsung decided the technology was not quite there and/or economical.

The move will be seen as most as a response to Apple’s Touch ID technology and therefore that Samsung, in this security area at least, is a follower rather than leader.

Heart Rate Scanner

Health and fitness has emerged in recent years as a key driver of mobile technology. Fitness wristbands such as the Nike FuelBand and smartwatches such as Pebble and Samsung’s own Galaxy Gear have found a good following, partly due to they ability to track health and fitness. They are particularly popular with runners and other athletes due to their ability to monitor such things as heart rate.

Well, Samsung have decided to incorporate the technology into its Samsung S5 too. Owners can now obtain heart rate readings by placing their finger next to an sensor on the back of the phone. Its own app, S-Health, can be used to monitor performance over time and offer tips on how to improve.

We don’t know whether this will be as popular as some of the other solutions, particular with active people. Wrist bands and watches work on the move – often in conjunction with a phone via bluetooth – whereas a runner is required to stop and place their finger near the sensor for 30 seconds to obtain a reading. OK for the end of a run – to measure recovery time – but not very practical.

It’s also another defensive measure.

Other upgrades

Most of the other features are (welcome) upgrades to other aspects of the phone.

The battery, camera, build, screen, connectivity and compute power all get a leg up.

Conclusion

The Samsung S5 is an awesome beast of a phone. If you, like us, loved the Samsung S4, you’ll love this oven more.

However, the new phone seems more like a Samsung 4.1 than a full upgade. There’s no wow factor redesign or new feature set that made the S4 blow its competitors out of the water.

Sure the upgrades are great. And this will be a thing of beauty to own. But it won’t we think, keep Apple Execs asleep at night worrying about how they are going to combat the phone.

Perhaps that will come with the Samsung S6. Let’s hope so.

 

(Image Credit: Andrew Hoyle/CNET) 

 

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