Samsung’s new flagship includes a fingerprint scanner, is water- and dust-resistant.
The Galaxy S5 is finally here, and Android fans the world ’round should be impressed by at least a few of the new device’s specs.
The S5 continues the increment movement that’s prevalent throughout the Galaxy lineup — a little faster, a little bigger, a little leaner. The hardware is exactly what you would expect in a 2014 Android flagship, complete with a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB of storage (with microSD expansion), and a 16MP back camera.
The display, a 5.1-inch AMOLED display, is 1080p, naturally, and the removable battery has been given a bump to 2,800mAh. While Samsung kept the Galaxy S4 very close to the S3 size-wise, the S5 is a bit taller than the S4, although it’s not as big as Samsung’s Note series.
The most interesting piece of new hardware on the Galaxy S5 is the included fingerprint scanner, which is built into the S5’s home button. Following in Apple’s footsteps, the scanner can be used to unlock the phone, as well as secure data in encrypted folders. More and more third-party apps will include compatibility as well, with PayPal being the first official partner. Other new hardware includes a heart rate sensor, and its all wrapped up in IP67-compliant water- and dust-resistant housing (including a small cover for the micro USB port).
The S5 will ship with a skinned version of Android 4.4 (KitKat), although Samsung has reportedly toned down its TouchWiz UI this time around. While it’s not going to be a stock Android experience, reeling TouchWiz back in is only good news for Android enthusiasts. Also toned down for the S5? Branded “S” apps, although S Health (for use with the heart rate monitor) is new. The toned down UI and S apps are direct results of Google pressuring Samsung to bring its products closer to the former’s own Android experience.
The Galaxy S5 will be available in April — North America included — but details are sparse on pricing and carrier availability. With the S4 launching on all four major carriers in 2013, it wouldn’t be crazy to expect the same this time around.