The fact that Samsung is the world's largest seller of smartphones adds more pressure each time it unveils a new phone, which explains why the new Galaxy S5, just unveiled in Barcelona and expected in Canada this April, may seem a bit conservative. Samsung argues it focused on improving the features its customers like the most.
Here are 10 new new features to anticipate.
1. iPhone-like gold edition
The phone's form factor has not changed dramatically from the Galaxy S4, and the materials are similar: its case still is made of polycarbonate plastic, although the back panel is textured to feel more upscale. The S5 will offered in black or in white at launch, however an electric blue and an iPhone 5S-like copper-gold will join the lineup later.
The Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified, which means it can be dropped in a glass of water or in up to 3 meters of water for up to 30 seconds without suffering any serious damage.
3. Slightly larger display
The Galaxy S4 had a 5-inch display. The S5 adds a little more, at 5.1 inches, but the resolution remains 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is less than the anticipated 2560 x 1440 ultra HD display some were hoping for.
4. Uncluttered Android 4.4 KitKat
Google Android's latest version, Android 4.4. KitKat, powers the new S5. On top of that, Samsung has revised its custom interface, uncluttering the apps and the buttons so that they're easier to find and operate. That will please those who were getting tired over Samsung's aging user interface. A Qualcoom 2.5-GHz quad-core processor helps everything run very smoothly.
5. Less on-board apps
Not unlike personal computers, smartphones often come pre-loaded with a bunch of unnecessary applications and services. Samsung removed most of them, keeping only the most popular ones: S Voice, S Health and ChatOn.
6. 16 megapixels
That's an improvement from the S4's 13-megapixel camera, but it's still less than the 20-megapixel camera the Sony's Xperia Z2 has. Samsung shortened the autofocus to 0.3 second, however, while adding some neat features, such as an artifical background blur making photos look like they were taken with a professional grade SLR camera and lens.
7. Faster WiFi
The Galaxy S5 is the first phone to sport a 802.11ac MIMO WiFi antenna, which means it can download files up to three times faster than the Galaxy S4 does. Samsung also added a "boost" feature which allows to download simultaneously using the WiFi and LTE connections.
8. Heartrate sensor
Users of the S Health application like to track what they eat and how far they walk. Samsung decided to focus on that and adds ANT+ compatibility for some fitness accessories, as well as adding a heartrate sensor which can be activated by putting a finger directly on the flash area.
9. Fingerprint scanner
You can unlock the device by swiping a finger to the bottom of the display, where a fingerprint scanner is integrated. That increases the device level of security since it replaces the infamous four-digit code most people don't like to use, and will possibly allow Samsung to offer mobile payment solutions in the near future.
10. Increased battery life
Samsung's Galaxy S5 promises up to 12 hours of video playback and 10 hours of web browsing on LTE, which amount to a 20 percent increase of battery life. A new black and white energy saver mode also helps maximizing the end of the battery life by limiting energy energy consumption and the number of opened apps.