Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone is the Galaxy S5, a 5.1-inch, water-resistant smartphone with a fingerprint scanner embedded in its home button that was announced Monday at Mobile World Congress.
Physically, the Galaxy S5 doesn’t stray too far from the classic Galaxy S design. The phone features a 5.1-inch screen, up from 5 inches on the Galaxy S4. And unlike the “2k” display that was expected, the device features 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Despite the familiar look, the Galaxy S5 is no slouch in the hardware department. It’s powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It also features a 2,800mAh battery, which Samsung estimates should provide up to 12 hours of video playback or 10 hours of Web browsing over LTE. There’s a 16-megapixel camera on the back of the phone, which Samsung claims offers the world’s fastest autofocus up to 0.3 seconds. It can also record 4K video, and supports real-time HDR.
The Galaxy S5 is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. That means in can be submerged in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes, which makes it a lot more durable than the average smartphone.
The phone features an integrated fingerprint scanner in the home button, similar to Apple’s iPhone 5s. You can use this scanner to unlock the phone, or to authenticate purchases online, which Samsung is partnering with PayPal to enable. Unlike the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor, however, the Galaxy S5 requires that you swipe your finger over it, which seems a little complicated.
Samsung is making a big push into the fitness tracking field with the Galaxy S5, placing a heart rate monitor on the back of the phone that can read your pulse in five to ten seconds. It also features an accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass and barometer. The phone works with Samsung’s new Gear Fit activity tracker to track your activity and bring phone notifications on your wrist.
The Galaxy S5 is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Samsung’s user interface has been cleaned up and refined, with new icons and features that look much improved from TouchWiz.
In case you’re worried the phone looks too similar to your Galaxy S3 or S4, there are a few physical details that separate the Galaxy S5 from previous Galaxy devices. The back panel features a perforated pattern, and the phone will launch in a variety of colors, including black, white, blue and gold.
The Galaxy S5 will be available globally in April. It will be available on all major U.S. carriers, but Samsung hasn’t announced pricing.
I’m at the Samsung Galaxy Studio in New York where I expect to get my hands on the Galaxy S5 shortly. I’ll post some images and my first impressions later this afternoon.
This post was updated many times as more information became available.