Samsung Galaxy S5 release date, price, specs, screen & features rumours

Posted: December 28, 2013 by Khobaib Monawwar in Android, Technology

We were big fans of the Samsung Galaxy S4when it launched in March 2013, but time doesn’t stand still and the company is going to have to do some pretty special things with the Galaxy S5 if it wants to keep challenging Apple for smartphone superiority. Here we’re rounding up all of the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours as they happen, so check back regularly to get the latest information.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 LAUNCH DATE

 

Smartphone companies are rather predictable, generally launching products on a yearly timescale. With that in mind, it’s pretty easy to guess when the next product will be launched. As we had the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch in March 2013, it makes a lot of sense that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be released in March 2014.

Some rumours have suggested that Samsung may push forward the release date of the S5 to February, but we’d only be talking about a matter of weeks here, and the rough timeframe should remain the same. So, until we hear otherwise we’re pencilling in an early 2014 launch for the 5th iteration of the Galaxy handset.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 PROCESSOR

 

Apple moved its entire new mobile platform to 64-bit with the launch of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini, so it’s time for Samsung to play catch-up. By all reports, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will ship with a 64-bit processor as well.

Samsung’s CEO of Mobile Shin Jong-Kyun has stated that the company’s “next smartphones will have 64-bit processing”. There were rumours that the chip would be delayed and wouldn’t appear until the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was released later in 2014, but it looks as though Samsung’s back on track.

A senior ARM executive stoked these rumours futher, telling the Korea Herald that the company had finalised a deal with Samsung to provide the Galaxy S5 with a 64-bit chip. This would make it the first Android device to support 64-bit operations.

The as yet unnamed chip is expected to be known as the Exynos 6, making it the successor to the Exynos 5 found in the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. However, previous Samsung smartphones used Qualcomm processors here in the UK compared to Exynos chips elsewhere in the world, so it’s unclear if Samsung intends to use a similar strategy for the Galaxy S5.

Of course, a 64-bit processor isn’t much good without a compatible 64-bit operating system. While Apple made the jump to 64-bit using hardware and iOS 7, Samsung doesn’t write Android, so it will need Google to write a 64-bit version.

It would be foolish to discount Qualcomm altogether, particularly followingbenchmark results were spotted online showing an unannounced Samsung smartphone with a Snapdragon 800 CPU running at 2.5GHz – a higher frequency than any other mobile device released to date.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 SCREEN

 

Even with the limited amount of information regarding the Galaxy S5’s screen available so far, we really don’t think that Samsung will go significantly above 5in in size. While there is some room to increase screen size without making a larger handset, going significantly larger than 5in with the Galaxy S5 would start to impact on the Galaxy Note phablet range.

It’s possible Samsung will go higher than the Full HD resolution of the Galaxy S4, with Androibeat reporting that roadmap slides show WQHD (2,560×1,440) screens estimated to arrive in 2014 and Ultra HD (3,840×2,160, otherwise known as 4K) due in 2015.

Samsung analyst day screenshot

That roadmap was given some substance earlier this week when benchmark scores (mentioned in the previous section) revealed a 2,560×1,440 resolution display on an unannounced Samsung smartphone using the model name SM-G900S. The results make no mention of screen size, although we can make an educated guess; Samsung’s roadmap specifically mentions 560 pixels per inch (PPI) pixel density screens, which would equate to 5.25in based on the resolution.

Samsung also recently launched the curved screen Galaxy Round in Korea, and there’s no reason that technology couldn’t make it into its high-end phone. Then, there’s always the possibility of upgraded Super AMOLED technology. However, we’re going to have to wait until we’re closer to the launch date before we start seeing some real information.

Now it appears as though the 5.25in WQHD screen has now entered production, as reported by SamMobile. With the screen starting to be produced in December, it means that Samsung is gearing up for a Q1 2014 launch, as widely expected.

As well as finding out the screen has gone into production, there are some new nuggets of information on the technology being used. Rather than switching to cheaper LCD, Samsung’s new WQHD screen will be AMOLED, sticking with the same technology as used on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

A pentile arrangement of sub-pixels will also be used, with green pixels alternated with red and blue pixels. A diamond pixel arrangement will be used, too, with diamond-shaped pixels designed to make the screen look sharper.

One thing seems to be off the cards, though: a curved screen. Although Samsung has the technology to produce curved displays, we haven’t seen this screens in huge volume. Given the desire and demand that the S5 will likely have, a standard flat screen, albeit one with a super-high-resolution, seems like a safer bet.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 CAMERA

 

The 13-megapixel camera was one of the highlights of the Galaxy S4, but since then we’ve seen the 20-megapixel Sony Xperia Z1 and the incredible 41-megapixelNokia Lumia 1020. It’s fair to say, then, that competition is tough and Samsung could go in several directions to up the quality of its camera.

Currently doing the rounds, reported by Samsung Tomrrow, is that the company’s ISOCELL sensor technology could be used in the Galaxy 5. This new sensor technology physically separates each pixel, minimising electrical crosstalk, producing sharper pictures with less noise.

GforGames reported that during Samsung’s 2013 Analyst day a slide revealed that a 16-megapixel ISOCELL sensor was marked for 2014 and 2015 smartphones. Although not an outright confirmation, it’s the biggest indicator yet that the Galaxy S5 will include a 16-megapixel rear camera. Unfortunately there’s no mention of optical image stabilisation (OIS), which could prove problematic if other smartphone companies up their camera technology in 2014 as well.

Depending on how quickly Samsung’s engineers make progress, the Galaxy S5 could even see a 20-megapixel camera. According to Korean news sourceETNews, the company is developing a 20-megapixel smartphone camera sensor now, with a view to include it in handsets from the second half of 2014 onwards. This would seemingly be too late for the proposed Q1 launch date for the S5, although it’s always possible the technology is perfected ahead of schedule, or the phone itself slips to a later launch date.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 EYE SCANNER

Samsung smartphones are renowned for their extra software features, with Smart Stay and Smart Pause turning off the screen and pausing videos respectively when the front-facing webcam detects you looking away. The company may go a step further, with the Galaxy S5 adding eye scanning security if a new patent filing proves accurate.

 

A detailed analysis by PatentBolt reveals how an upcoming Samsung smartphone could use a retina scanner, much in the same way as current iris scanners work now. Crucially, the patent explains that this design would be cheaper to implement than existing iris scanners, which makes us think this is one rumour worth keeping an eye on.

PatentBolt Galaxy S5 eye scanner

We’re beginning to see more smartphones put an emphasis on security, with Apple’s iPhone 5s using TouchID fingerprint sensors and the HTC One Max following suit. Samsung doesn’t like to be left behind, so we’re betting that there’s a good chance some form of extra security will make its way to the Galaxy S5.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 BUILD QUALITY

 

As great as the Samsung Galaxy S4 was, the plastic case just isn’t as attractive as the all-metal one on the iPhone 5S. So, is 2014 the year that Samsung goes all-metal? According to the latest rumours, it is, with the Samsung Galaxy F being touted as a replacement for the Galaxy S. It could just be that the F is the prototype name, though, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have an all-metal body.

However, Samsung may go a different route. It recently bought a 50 per cent share of carbon fibre specialist, the SGL Group. That suggests that Samsung will forgo metal, opting for a classy carbon fibre finish instead. That could work well for the company, as it would distinguish its products from Apple, while giving the Galaxy S5 a classy and robust case.

There are also rumours that, following the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, Samsung with make the Galaxy S5 waterproof and dustproof out of the box. It’s certainly something that the company could do, but we’re not sure that this is the killer feature that will turn people away from the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 patent

Samsung could also be working on a brand-new design, completely changing the way its phones look. Reported by SamMobile patents have been uncovered, showing a squarer design for a Samsung phone, removing the physical home button. The patents were applied for in 2011 in South Korea and 2012 in the US, so there’s no telling if or when they’ll actually be used.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 OPERATING SYSTEM

 

With Android 4.4 KitKat now released, it doesn’t take a genius to guess that this is the operating system that Samsung will choose for its latest handset. As well as faster multitasking and a new immersive mode, KitKat also has better cloud integration. It also supports, on the right hardware, the ability to be activated by voice without having to press a button first. With Samsung adding voice control on the Galaxy S3, this could be the next logical step.

There’s also a possibility that Samsung will make the switch to Tizen, its in-house operating system developed specifically for mobile devices. The company is currently trialling the OS in its NX300M compact system camera before it begins a rollout to smartphones, but if the Galaxy S5 uses a 64-bit processor and Android isn’t coded for it, Samsung may decide to push ahead without Google’s operating system.

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 PRICE

 

It’s pretty clear that the Galaxy S5 is going to cost the same as the Samsung Galaxy S4, so expect to pay around £600 SIM-free. If there’s a whole bunch of extra tech in the handset we could see the price go up, but as Apple stringently keeps the same pricing structure, we can’t see Samsung wanting to be seen as the expensive manufacturer.

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