Samsung recently made their Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Korean company’s latest flagship model, available to the world.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 launched in 125 countries, making this the largest-rollout the Korean company has ever attempted. It will launch in an additional 25 markets in the coming days, bringing the total number to 150.
It is hard to point to one stand out feature that will grab the prospective user when they handle the Galaxy S5 for the first time. To many, that won’t matter, as Samsung has built a fan-base that only Apple can rival.
For those who haven’t made up their minds or are thinking of switching, here’s a list to assist you:
Running on Android 4.4.2 (KitKat), it is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset and Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU. It has an Adreno 330 Graphics Processor Unit, and other built-in features include an accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer and gesture-based selections. By having the Quad-core 2.5 GHz CPU, it makes it the fastest Galaxy device in Samsung’s current smartphone line-up.
Samsung said that as much as 28% of their users said that the camera was one of the most used functions on the previous device. For that reason, the company took to redesigning how the device takes images. At 16 MP and 5312 x 2988 resolution, the unit makes use of Phase Detection Autofocus, focusing on an object in as little as 0.3 seconds. This ensures that every subject is instantly in focus. But in post-processing, users will be able to shift the focal point of any image – even after it has been captured.
With a powerful Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery, it will give users up to 390 hours on stand-by time, or up to 21 hours of talk time. But the phone also comes equipped with a new Ultra Power Saving Mode, giving users the assurance that they will never be without a smartphone. When the battery gets to as low as 10%, the engaged Ultra Power Saving Mode turns the display black and white and shuts off non-essential functions. This mode gives users an extra 24 hours of stand-by time for every 10% that remains in the battery.
The screen size has been increased slightly compared to the previous Galaxy S4 model, coming in at 5.1 inches with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. To protect the device from scratches and small bumps, the screen is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is one of the toughest screens available. In terms of quality, the display is a Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, capable of displaying up to 16-million different colors. For size, the device measures 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm and weighs only 145 g.
Finger print scanner
On the home button on the face of the device, sits the newly-implemented fingerprint scanner. The functionality allows users to lock and unlock their Galaxy S5 by simply swiping their finger over the button. Samsung added this feature to allow for better security, and to eliminate to need to push the home button and then enter a PIN number. The device is also capable of storing up to five different profiles, including a Kids mode, and each profile can log in using their unique fingerprint. The scanner is also PayPal certified, meaning that users will be able to make secure payments by swiping their finger.
The ADH Premium covers two claims over the 24 month warranty period, including water or screen damage repairs. An additional Smart Swop or Smart Pick-up service is also included for an improved customer experience. Smart Swop is an elite benefit for GALAXY S5 consumers which allow users to receive a loan device while their smartphone is being repaired. What’s more, Smart Pick-up is a door-to-door solution, meaning the original device will be collected and returned to the consumer anywhere in South Africa.
The GALAXY S5 will be the first to offer DStv’s BoxOffice application and open a new world of convenient entertainment options to customers. The BoxOffice app is an online movie rental service available to all GALAXY S5 customers (both DStv and non- DStv subscribers), with a selection of new releases and classic blockbusters to choose from, this application puts a DVD store in the palm of the consumer’s hand.
Movies range from R25 for a new release (or R30 for non-DStv Premium subscribers) to R10 for classics and are available to stream immediately over the Internet or can be downloaded and enjoyed as many times as users like, for up to 48 hours before it expires. The BoxOffice app can be found in the Google Play Store and Samsung GALAXY S5 customers will receive a complimentary movie upon activation of the service.
The new b-there travel app has been exclusively designed for Samsung users in Southern Africa. It acts as an online travel agency that enables customers to search, select and pay for travel products directly from their mobile device. These products include local and international flights, a range of accommodation options, car rental deals and travel packages. Furthermore, GALAXY device users will benefit from limited special package deals and even higher discounts on all rates and fares. The b-there travel app can be downloaded free from Google Play exclusively for Samsung GALAXY devices.
The collaboration between Samsung and nMusic give customers the freedom to access music on GALAXY devices anywhere, anytime, even when the device is offline. By using a unique automatic cache system, even if an album, track or playlist has not been saved to offline mode, the play queued history is still available to listen to, regardless of whether the device is connected to the internet. Users can download their favourite tracks from a database of more than 20 million songs.
With Lifestory, GALAXY S5 customers will be able to order photographic prints directly from their mobile device, for delivery anywhere in SA. Through a partnership with Qphoto, Samsung users qualify for over
R1 000 worth of specials and discounts on prints every month, for a year. With a wide range of products available, from traditional postcard prints to canvas, from photo books to mugs and mouse pads – memories are brought to life and enjoyed forever. The Lifestory application can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor