Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint swiper, heart-rate monitor, gold option, and... a 6-month lead on iPhone 6
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has just been announced and it includes a 5.1-inch 1080p screen along with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, 16 or 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and specs aside, a swipe-style fingerprint scanner, a heart-rate monitor, and more. As you'd expect, Android Central has already posted their Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on:
Our main takeaway from our brief time with the Galaxy S5 so far is that Samsung is has been listening to customers and critics alike, and has finally gotten around to addressing many of our gripes with its build quality, software and UI. It's still a plastic phone, and a plastic phone running TouchWiz at that, but the GS5 represents a clear improvement for Samsung in a bunch of important areas. The new Samsung UI strikes us as something we might enjoy using, rather than software that's just there. And the soft-touch back feels infinitely nicer in the hand than the glossy, slimy plastic of old.
The most interesting development out of the GS5's announcement might be the arrival of waterproofing as a mainstream feature. Other Android manufacturers, notably Sony, have been doing this for a while, but a waterproof GS5 is a big commitment on Samsung's part.
It's a bummer that the fingerprint scanner seems to be old tech, but it's interesting that Samsung, like Apple, is focusing on health. Apple is rumored to be addressing it this fall with iOS 8, the iPhone 6, and the iWatch. Samsung started it last year with the Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 3, and is pushing it even further now with the GS5 and the new Gear and Gear Fit.
And like Phil says, the mainstreaming of waterproofing technology is great and I really hope it catches on and continues. One splash should not a phone cost you.
The back is perforated and has a shimmery blue, copper/gold, white, and black look, and designer covers will follow. I've never been a huge fan of Samsung's sense of style, and there doesn't seem to be much new in that regard, at least from a hardware perspective. The interface has gotten a newer, flatter look, however, and depending on how consistent that is, it could be a huge win for eyeballs everywhere.
Samsung is also smartly continuing to place the Galaxy S phones mid-point in Apple product cycle, 6 months after Apple's last launch, and 6 months before next one is anticipated. That means the Galaxy S5 will be in the news and on the shelves at a time when the iPhone 5s has faded from attention and the iPhone 6 is yet to grab much. It's worked well in the past, it'll work well in the future unless and until Apple starts to shake things up.
Android Central is live at the event, so there'll be lots more to come. If the Galaxy S5 interests you — and even if only from a competitive perspective, it should — check it all out. Then come back here and let me know what you think, and what an Apple iPhone 6 has to deliver to stay competitive?