LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2014: Samsung unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, and chief rival to the iPhone, the Galaxy S5, with the dramatic tones of the Barcelona Opera Chamber Orchestra setting the scene.
The focus of the vast Unpacked 5 event was on giving consumers what they want rather than technology that adds little value to the user.
“Consumers do not want eye-popping technology or the most complex technology,” said J K Shin, head of the South Korean company’s mobile business.
Instead consumers want “durable design, a simple and yet powerful camera, faster and seamless connectivity, and a phone that can help them stay fit”, the executive continued.
The new device has a 5.1-inch super AMOLED full HD screen that features an adaptive display that adjusts according to the amount of outside light. The camera meanwhile has the quickest auto focus function of any smartphone, at 0.3 seconds.
This metal-bodied device is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and has a user interface that has been simplified, with larger icons and shortcuts for favourite apps. Samsung touted the fact that the device is water and dust resistant.
The S5 has a 2,800mAh battery that supports 10 hours of web browsing on LTE or 12 hours of video playback. Its Ultra Power Saving Mode can make the phone last 24 hours on standby when it has just 10 per cent battery left by turning off non-essential functions.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S5 supports LTE (Category 4 standard and covering up to eight bands) and the latest generation of Wi-Fi, and can make use of both at the same time as part of the Download Booster feature.
A fingerprint sensor can be used to unlock the phone, access certain functions and even complete payment transactions.
Samsung said the device will be available globally through Samsung’s retail, e-commerce and operator channels in April.
Looking at the fitness side of things, the new Samsung halo device includes an on-board heart rate monitor, which the company said is the first of its kind.
It also features an enhanced S Health application for use with the Samsung wearable devices announced a few days ago (the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo) and the newly-unveiled Gear Fit smart band.
Gear Fit has what Samsung claims is the world’s first curved super AMOLED screen to fit comfortably on the wrist, and can be paired with 20 different Galaxy devices.
Along with several standard features familiar to other smart bands, such as a pedometer and calorie counter, it includes a heart rate monitor. It also provides instant notifications from the user’s smartphone, including incoming calls, emails, SMS and third party apps.