This year, the gorgeous Spanish city of Barcelona hosts one of the most prominent events for the mobile industry – Mobile World Congress. Today is the first day of the congress with some of the smartphone and tablet key presentations unveiled. Of course, Samsung is in the spotlight, and given the media buzz around Galaxy S5 that started several weeks ago, the public is good and ready to absorb the details in hungry gulps.
As much as Samsung likes to accompany its new products with a lot of fanfare, it does not like to reveal the most important detail – the price. Let us see if the intrigue is worth keeping.
All at once, the Korean manufacturer revealed four of its legitimately exciting flagships – Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear Nano and Gear Fit.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5 comes packed with a fingerprint reader on the home button to finally compete with iPhone 5s as equals. It is waterproof, indeed, and is designed to withstand 30 minutes immersed in water. The Galaxy S5 is aiming at a phablet class territory with its AMOLED 5.1-inch display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Moreover, the smartphone is loaded with a whole gallery of new sensors, such as heart rate monitor, which is located near the back camera flash. S Health 3.0 fitness monitor complements the heart rate sensor, which combined make the most “holistic” fitness monitoring software today, capable of reading your heart rate in as little as 8 seconds.
For those of you who have wondered, yes, Samsung Galaxy S5 is dustproof and water-resistant.
At the same time, there is no headline feature to push, since the Galaxy S5 comes with a pack of familiar-sounding features. It runs Android 4.4 Kitkat; features new notifications bar and lock screen.
Under the hood, the Galaxy S5 holds a quad-core Krait 2.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM and a 2800mAh battery, backed with ultra-power-saving mode, which will help users squeeze the most out of it. With power-saving mode on, you can switch to black and white screen only; quite familiar to Sony’s Stamina Mode.
Samsung claims the Galaxy S5’s camera is “the strongest on the market,” with 16megapixel sensor producing 4K videos. Other camera features include 0.3 seconds capture rate, real-time HDR and background refocus. The front camera is a 2.1 megapixel snapper for selfies.
Another feature worth noting is a speedy 802.11c Wi-Fi with MIMO, which can be combined with your LTE connection and Download Booster for super-fast downloads.
The device itself is slick and smart, measuring 142×72.5×8.1mm and weighing 145g, and comes in four colors – charcoal black, copper gold, shimmery white and electric blue.
The new Gear Watches
Rebranded Galaxy Gear, the new version is named Gear 2, with Gear Nano and Gear Fit siblings. The three smartwatches com packed with new capabilities and three times longer battery life thanks to use of Tizen instead of Android.
The Gear Fit presents the greatest interest since it could be a serious competitor to Jawbone, Pebble and Fitbit, but it will ultimately depend on the price, which Samsung won’t disclose for now. And that is one of the most annoying parts because the Gear Fit could as well cost $15.000, as much as the Galaxy S5 could come twice as expensive as the S4.
Gear 2 is for the fashionistas, Gear Neo for the productive folks while Gear Fit is clearly for the fitness geeks. The looks are absolutely awesome. Gear 2 packs with a 1.63-inch screen, all-metal enclosure and a leather strap you can remove or change. It comes with a camera right above the display, too.
Neo is colorful and plastic and comes with a swappable strap and designer support from Moschino and Nicholas Kirkwood. Both Gear 2 and Neo feature 4GB internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, IP67 water resistance, 300mAh battery and an in-built IR blaster to control your TV, when paired with WatchOP app.
Cosmetically, Samsung got rid of exposed metal screws of Galaxy Gear in favor of a seamless and sleek finish that blends into the band naturally. Bothe Gear 2 and Neo have options for user customization, a stock of wallpapers and fonts.
The Gear Fit stands apart in this trio, with a 1.84-inch curved super AMOLED 432×128 display and a specific focus on fitness and health. The Fit, too, has swappable strap, Bluetooth 4.0, IP 67 water resistance, but boasts of a battery that Samsung claims will last up to 4 days. Lastly, Gear Fit looks stylish and posh and has a potential to become really popular.
With over 100 dedicated apps and an open SDK, the Gear family will experience no shortage on the apps side. The smartwatches come pre-loaded with Notifications, Dialer, Contacts, Pedometer, HeartRate, SVoice and a large array of other native apps for sports, connectivity and productivity.
No Prices or Ship Date Revealed
This seems to be Samsung’s standard practice blowing a huge festivity for a new product and skip on the price. This is clearly an intentional marketing move to keep Samsung in the headlines as long as possible up until the moment the price is announced. In addition, Samsung does scale its pricing depending on the market.
As much as we appreciate Samsung’s high-end flagships, we have to give credit to Apple for revealing the specs and announcing the price and ship date.