Once a year, Samsung takes some of its best material and slaps it together into a premium flagship model called the Galaxy S. While 2014’s version — the S5 — came a bit earlier in the year than some earlier iterations, we’re no less excited to see it become the star of the show at Mobile World Congress. The device will be available starting April 11th in 150 countries. Over here in the SA, it’ll be available on Vodacom and MTN. Though it hasn’t been announced, we expect other carriers such as Telkom mobile, CellC and Virgin Mobile will support the phone too, although exact pricing and availability are still unknown. It features a refreshed design language, yet anyone who has used a GS phone recently will immediately recognize it as a Samsung flagship.
Despite its familiar design, the GS5 has a few new useful hardware features, including a fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, and a toned-down TouchWiz UI on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all, however, was that Samsung didn’t overload its prized new smartphone with a heaping dose of new S-branded features. The new Galaxy retains the same 1080p Super AMOLED panel as the GS4; it’s just slightly larger, at 5.1 inches. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the viewing experience is pretty much the same as its predecessor. Additionally, the GS5 comes with a swappable back cover, microSD slot and removable 2,800mAh battery, which has a higher capacity than last year’s model. It’s also IP67-certified, which adds an element of water and dust resistance never before enjoyed by Galaxy S users (unless you count the GS4 Active, that is). As a result, the micro-USB 3.0 port at the bottom is protected by a tab that keeps water from getting inside.
Of course, Samsung also put some emphasis on the camera as well. In this case, the GS5 comes with a 16-megapixel sensor that features UHD recording capability and real-time HDR (both photos and video) and a couple new modes that we’re excited to review once it hits our shores. The rest of the phone’s stats won’t come as any shock. The GS5 offers a top-of-the-line 2.5GHz Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM, an IR remote, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE/ANT+, Cat 4 LTE (up to 150Mbps down/50Mbps up) and your choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage; oddly, 64GB doesn’t appear to be an option, though you can add up to 128GB via a microSD card if needed.
[UPDATE] Telkom Mobile have released their comment on the GS5 in saying:
Telkom Mobile has noted with interest the announcement of various mobile devices. The company will consider ranging these Samsung devices, however, no formal decision has been made as yet to range the devices.