Samsung unwraps the Galaxy S5 smartphone


Manufacturer unveils the device in front of thousands of people at its Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona, with most major UK retailers and operators confirming they will sell it

Samsung has launched its Galaxy S5 smartphone – the fifth generation in the series.

The device was shown off to thousands of people attending its Unpacked 5 event by president, CEO and head of IT and mobile communications division JK Shin on the first evening of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, EE, Vodafone and Three have all confirmed they will sell the device. It will be released globally on April 11, although no details have been provided on an exact release date or pricing in the UK as of yet.

The Galaxy S5 is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, runs the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system and has a 5.1-inch full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen.

It has a 16-megapixel rear camera and boasts what Samsung claims is the world’s fastest auto focus speed of up to 0.3 seconds and High Dynamic Range (HDR), which enables the user to reproduce natural light and colour in dark conditions. On the front of the device there is a 2.1-megapixel camera.

The manufacturer also claims the device offer the most advanced 4G experience and Wi-Fi performance available today as it supports the largest 4G frequency supporting Category 4. It also features Download Booster, a Wi-Fi technology designed to boost data speeds by bonding Wi-Fi and 4G simultaneously.

It is dust and water resistant and includes a finger scanner, which the firm said provides a secure screen locking feature and safe mobile payments experience. ‘Ultra Power Mode’ turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise the battery consumption.

Also included is Samsung’s Health 3.0 program, which provides a fitness tracker as well as a built-in pedometer, diet and exercise records and heart rate monitor.

Additional features include 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded by 64GB with a microSD card and a 2,800mAh battery that provides up to 21 hours of talk time.

The Galaxy S5 will be available in four colours: black, white, blue and copper gold.

Samsung UK and Ireland IT and mobile division VP Simon Stanford said: “We’ve decided to go back to basics with the Galaxy S5 and focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers – namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly and their health and well-being.”

Samsung also used the event to unveil its Gear Fit product, which it claimed is the first curved, Super AMOLED wearable device.

It adds to Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which were announced yesterday on the eve of Mobile World Congress.

The 1.84-inch screen curves around the wrist and works like a standard smartwatch in notifying the user of calls, text messages and emails when connected to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

It offers real-time fitness coaching, personalised advice and workout recommendations, featuring a built-in pedometer and heart rate monitor.

It is dust and water resistant and houses a 210mAh battery that offered 3-4 days of typical use. There will be three changeable straps in black, orange and grey.

It will go on sale globally from April. Availability and pricing for the UK have yet to be announced.