Monday, February 24, 2014

Samsung releases Galaxy S5 smartphone to take on Apple

SAMSUNG has finally taken the sheet off its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone device in its continuing war against Apple for smartphone domination.

The new smartphone, which is due for worldwide release on April 11, packs in a 5.1-inch full-HD screen, 16-megapixel camera, quad-core processor, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and either 16GB or 32GB of storage.

The design of the Galaxy S5 has finally started to lean away from the cheap plastic feel of previous Galaxy devices, incorporating a new textured polycarbonate rear that comes in four “Modern Flash” colours - Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. Although the new material is much nicer than the old plastic, it still would have been nicer to have a metal design.

The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is interesting after Apple’s iPhone 5S included one when released last year. The Galaxy S5’s fingerprint function requires you to swipe down on the home button and can be used to not just unlock your phone but to also lock and unlock certain files and apps.

The big deal with the scanner is Samsung’s new partnership with online payment company PayPal, allowing you to use your fingerprint to buy anything through PayPal on your Galaxy S5 device.

Samsung has also packed in a heart rate sensor to complement both its new S-Health app and pedometer to help you stay healthy and see whether your workouts are actually doing anything for you.

The updated camera on the Galaxy S5 has been touted as a key feature, with Samsung claiming the camera to be the best on any phone. It has been upped to 16-megapixels, but the main new features include the insanely quick autofocus, realtime HDR mode and a selective focus functionality.

The 0.3 second autofocus speed is comparable to that of some DSLR cameras and will certainly help eliminate blur when trying to take quick pictures. If a bit of blur is your thing, the selective focus mode allows you to pick where you want the photo to focus and can blur the rest of the photo, resulting in some pretty nice pics. The realtime HDR function allows for better low-light pictures and deeper colours, which worked quite well but it doesn’t bring the lower-level photos to the same quality as an HTC One or iPhone 5S.

Battery life has been another big consideration in the Galaxy S5, with a 20 per cent increase in battery size and the addition of a new Ultra Power Saving mode that limits your phone back to basic functions with a black and white screen to conserve battery.

The IP67 water and dust resistant rating means that the phone can cop a bit of water with no worry, being rated to survive under 1m of water for 30 minutes.

Samsung’s new interface is also much, much nicer than ever before, doing away with the cartoon style and adopting a sleek, modern interface that aligns much closer to Google’s Android operating system.


5.1-inch full HD Super AMOLED display

Android 4.4 KitKat

Qualcomm 2.5GHz quad-core processor

16GB or 32GB of storage

16-megapixel rear camera/2.1-megapixel front camera

2800mAh battery

21-band 4G LTE

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