We're almost certainly about to see Samsung's Galaxy S5 superphone next week, the long-awaited followup to the company's Android flagship. With competition heating up from the likes of Motorola and HTC, will it be enough to stay near the top of the heap
While there wasn't a huge difference between the S3 and S4
The display that body houses will reportedly be a slightly larger 5.2 inches. Emphasis on slightly, as the S4 measures up at 5 inches, but the size bump makes sense given the general embiggening-of-phones trend.
Let's get the obvious out of the way first. The Galaxy S5 will have a sharper screen. Duh. This is almost a guarantee, because you expect that screens will keep improving. But just how much better? According to @evleaks, a smartphone rumor-tweeting account with a fairly reliable track record for actually getting things right, it will have a QHD 2K display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. That's a pretty good upgrade next to the S4, which had a 1920x1080 Super AMOLED display, and it would give the S5 an edge over the Nexus 5's
Next up? A significantly better battery, reportedly coming in at 4,000 mAh to the S4's 2,600 mAh power pack. Battery might not be one of the most exciting specs, but it's certainly one of the most important, and it's one area where we've really started to see Android phones excel. And with other Google operating system-running phones on the market boasting batteries that can last two days on a single charge (the Droid Maxx
While there had been some fleeting rumors about iris recognition, a more reliable report from SamMobile says that the S5 will actually have a fingerprint scanner similar to the iPhone 5S. It would be on the home button and be able to register up to eight different paw prints. Apparently, you'd also be able to assign different tasks or open apps based on what finger you're pressing with, which sounds so batshit and unnecessary that it just might be true. Despite contradictory rumors that the phone will ditch all of is onscreen buttons, it seems likely that fingerprint recognition will play at least some part in next week's announcement.
It's also pretty much a gimme that the S5 will have a better camera. Accordingly, the rumor that's been kicking around for a while is that the fifth-gen Galaxy guy will sport a 16-megapixeler. The last Galaxy had a 13MP lens, whereas, say the iPhone 5S has 8 megapixels. But megapixels really don't matter so much as what the shutter speed is like, or how a camera deals with low light, and camera software overall.
Lastly, there are a few miscellaneous rumors kicking around. Apparently the phone will have 64-bit Exynos processor or a Snapdragon 800 chip. The S4 was powered by a Snapdragon 600 chip, so an 800 seems like a logical upgrade, especially because that's the chip that the good recent Androids (like the Xperia Z1
One of the rumors we're more hopefully on is that Samsung will finally tone down
According to a recent interview given to Bloomberg
However, there's a pretty strong chance the S5 will rear its head earlier than that. Next week is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Samsung is hosting Unpacked, an event it'll also livestream in New York. Most tech press seem to agree this is the place Samsung will Vanna White the S5. Now, there's a chance that it's round two of Galaxy Gear, or even something else entirely. But we'll see come Monday.
Okay, so the purported specs of the S5 might not be much to write home about, but what if the phone was $100 on contract, half the price of its forebear? There have been rumblings via Bloomberg that it might be. But there's also a chance that this is just analyst wankery. However, you can be sure it won't be more than $200, which is where the S4 started.