Samsung reveals Galaxy S5: Water resistant, biometric security, 16MP camera and more

Samsung has unveiled its next flagship device at its Samsung Unpacked event.

Samsung has revealed its Galaxy S5 will be resistant to water and dust, will feature a finger scanner and will have a 16MP camera, at Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona.

Company president and CEO JK Shin took to the stage to reveal the new smartphone. He described it as refined compared to its Galaxy S4 predecessor. ”With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics to focus on delivering the capabilities that matter most to our consumers,” Shin said.

New to the Galaxy S5

The new smartphone features hardware traits uncommon to previous Galaxy devices, such as being IP67 certified for resistance to water and dust. Now customers interested in a robust handset won’t have to make concessions on features as they did with the Galaxy Active.

The Galaxy S5 will feature biometric security with the inclusion of a Finger Scanner. The Finger Scanner can also be used to make payments, Samsung claimed, and finger prints will be stored on the handset’s hardware.

The rear camera captures photos at 16 megapixels and has advanced software features including phase detection, high dynamic range (HDR) and the ability to autofocus within just 0.3 seconds. The rear camera can also record videos that support the new Ultra HD standard.

Beneath the camera and besides the single flash is a heart rate monitor, giving the Galaxy S5 the distinction of being the first smartphone in the world to come equipped with such a feature.

Samsung has also bonded the latest Wi-Fi ac standard with 4G LTE technology for quicker file transfers. This feature, referred to as Download Booster, can enable the file transfer of a gigabyte movie in thirty seconds, Samsung claims.

Powerful specs

The Galaxy S5 will come with a 5.1in, 1920x1080 Super AMOLED display. It will run the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat software differentiated by Samsung’s refined proprietary overlay. The company claims the new look software is less cluttered and easier to use.

The flashy eight-core CPUs found in some versions of the Galaxy S4 appear to have been dropped. Now powering the latest Galaxy device is a quad-core 2.5GHz CPU, which has been coupled with 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of internal storage. The Galaxy S5 will support up to 64GB of expandable storage by featuring a microSD memory card slot.

Under the perforated back cover is a 2800mAh battery. For improved battery life, the Galaxy S5 has an Ultra Power Saving Mode. This mode deactivates superfluous features — to the extent the screen will only display black and white — to deliver up to 24 hours of standby battery from just 10 per cent charge.

Availability

Samsung’s chief executive JK Shin announced the new Galaxy S5 will be available in almost a hundred markets on 11 April, 2014. Good Gear Guide is awaiting confirmation on local release and pricing details.

Looking to buy the Galaxy S5? Check out this article for carrier availability and future plans

Update: Samsung representatives could not provide any clarification on the S5's local availability. They said in an email “Australian pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be announced at the time of the local launch”.

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