MWC 2014: Samsung unveils "back-to-basics" Galaxy S5 smartphone

By Peter Gothard
24 Feb 2014 View Comments

Samsung didn't disappoint at Mobile World Congress tonight, revealing its Galaxy S5 smartphone to the world with the kind of bombastic ceremony it's become known for.

Going for what VP of Samsung's UK and Ireland IT and mobile division, Simon Stanford, called a "back to basics" approach to the phone, the Galaxy S5 has less advanced trimmings than the S4 before it but, nevertheless, ups the quality of the tech Samsung has decided to focus on.

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A 16-megapixel camera and slightly more ‘quality' plastic shell, as a well as a purportedly better battery life are just some of the more ordinary improvements, but it's features such as the phone's ability to add 4G and Wi-Fi speeds together for super fast data downloads, or the new biometric security function, that may really make the S5 popular.

While analysts may have already pronounced that consumers "will be wary" about trusting the fingerprint-driven feature, the ability to access special hidden data silos on the phone with a fingerprint, or even carry out fast PayPal payments, could bring biometrics into the mainstream after Apple's iPhone 5 started the journey.

Of course, Samsung will have to make sure it's not as easily hackable – photographs of prints on a glass plate being found to bypass Apple's system late in 2013.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S5 features a built-in pedometer and heart rate monitor which, coupled with diet and exercise records, make the device a handy tool for those who like to keep in shape - or at least try to.

Samsung also launched yet another smart watch - the Gear Fit - but this is far too dull for Computing to cover. Suffice to say, it'll work very nicely with the S5's enhanced health and fitness features, if you're into that kind of thing.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will ship sometime in April 2014, and while the price hasn't been confirmed, is widely expected to be on the premium side. EE has already signed up as a UK carrier.

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