back to article Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs

Samsung has announced its new Qualcomm-powered Galaxy S5 smartphone, focussing on how fashionable and fitness-friendly the thing is rather than waste time revealing specifications during its glitzy launch. Luckily, we got our hands on the device and a spec sheet so we can tell you how the mobe measures up. In your …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great, I want to buy, if only Samsung could extend TouchWiz as a fork of the original source.

    1. DrewPalmer_FL

      Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

      I think it's great to stop focusing on tech specs and more on functionality. And the article's comment regarding latency is spot on - who really cares if it takes 5 seconds or 20 seconds to download something; much more important to have that first few beats available right away, not after a half second lag for handshaking.

      I do wish more manufacturers would remember that big, heavy phones are really terrible for people without purses or bulky overcoats, and who still thinks any phone is worth flaunting?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

        There are Android phones available in a range of sizes, but most of the smaller (think 'iPhone' sized) models aren't as powerful as their 5" stable-mates. However, Sony make a 4.3" phone with the same quad-core (Snapdragon 800) chipset as this Samsung S5 (as well as the LG G2 and Nexus 5), waterproof and sporting a microSD card port. I'm not recommending it because I haven't used it, but on paper it ticks all the right boxes for some people.

        I have used a couple of phones with the Snapdragon 800 chipset, and they are lovely and fast. The £300 Nexus 5 I recommended to my techno-curious old man, and the sheer fluidity of its UI has made it far easier for him to use it without getting frustrated. The one fly in the ointment is that Google have seen fit to make the KitKat phone dialler app 'smarter' than it needs to be, which can cause him confusion.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. SuccessCase

        Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

        Well in that case, the iPhone has had multi-path TCP for a couple of generations now. Only Apple didn't hype it up because they know it is a technical advance average Joe Punter won't understand or care about. He/she simply cares the connection is more robust. Aggregating multiple channels out of the hardware side of a single TCP-IP stack for download speed is actually about half way to where Apple got to in their previous generation of handset. I know, given this is a S5 article many will find this comment challenging, but it is fair enough to point out the multi-path TCP Samsung have presented as an innovation is something Apple have already been doing since the iPhone 5. Especially when for those with an understanding of what is going on, the Apple implementation is so impressive precisely because it directly addresses your concern:

        "who really cares if it takes 5 seconds or 20 seconds to download something; much more important to have that first few beats available right away, not after a half second lag for handshaking."

        Apple have taken the multi-path TCP standard and adapted their implementation so it ensures robustness of connection at all times. So for example, if you are using FaceTime or Siri and you enter a coffee shop where you have an account, it will test the WiFi connection, ensure the path is clear (no annoying authentication process / advertorial page blocking a true internet connection) and enable and start using WiFi without breaking the LTE connection. If the connection is good enough it will stop using LTE, though if quality degrades it will wake LTE back up again. It can use two channels, one channel or briefly use two channels to switch channel, and does so in a way which preserves optimal performance and battery life.

        Being technically minded I noticed how good this was, when I first used Siri whilst exiting my flat. Due to the layout as I get out to the main road, the walk used to wreak havoc on my connection. On the iPhone 4S, as I left the front door, I would lose WiFi, but then as I walked to the main road I would have to go past the front of my flat, and I would briefly regain it, but, due to the distance from the flat, I would have a frustratingly low signal, then after what seemed like too long, completely lose the (usually unusable) WiFi again before finally getting a stable 3G connection. This would wreak havoc with a Siri request (such as, as I would often want to do when leaving the house, message someone to say "I'm on my way" or "running late" or whatever). With the iPhone 5, I was blown away to discover the request always succeed (except ending with a stable LTE connection, since the iPhone 5 supports LTE) and looked up why that would be, and only then found out about the multi-path TCP implementation.

        So when you really understand multi-path TCP it's clear Samsung are now advertising a feature Apple have had for two generations, in a more advanced implementation than Samsung are touting, and they didn't bother to tell anyone about it in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

          Nice long comment, but I'm not convinced the two implementations are at all comparable. Oh, and looks to me like Apple's MTCP implementation only came out with iOS7, barely 5 months ago.

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/01/multipath_tcp_siris_toy_isnt_a_gamechanger/

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

            "but I'm not convinced the two implementations are at all comparable"

            Nice throw-away comment from someone who has taken what The Register hacks write at face value. They often get it wrong you know. They are cynics who are always looking for the negatives. In a comment against that very article you have quoted I provided the link below which gave a thorough overview of what Apple achieved. You're right it isn't the same as Samsung's implementation (at least so far as it is possible to tell based on Samsung's higher level statements on what they are doing). By design. Simple aggregation of channels for data throughput is hardly the best use for the technology and Apple have implemented a more sophisticated pattern, of which aggregation of multiple channels is but one available tool and is used when it makes sense to use it:

            http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/09/multipath-tcp-lets-siri-seamlessly-switch-between-wi-fi-and-3glte/

        2. Internet ToughGuy

          Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

          "Samsung are now advertising a feature Apple have had for two generations" True, but let's not forget that it's only yesterday that they finally developed SSL that works (on mobile only, still unpatched on OSX) Apple are also taking a lot of credit for a fingerprint scanner, even though Motorola brought one out in January 2011.

          In truth, neither Samsung nor apple have innovated significantly in their last few iterations, but I would see the waterproof phone (Sony also announcing similar), NFC, and some of the camera technologies still putting Samsung very far ahead of Apple. IOS also has many failings when it comes to MDM (users can uninstall management unless the phone is put into supervised mode which requires physical connection to device).. Samsung Knox, on the other hand, shows that they are taking business seriously, and the new child-zone container shows advances in use as a personal device.

          I'm not saying you were wrong in anything you said, but it's taking a very narrow view of the technologies.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

            "and the new child-zone container shows advances in use as a personal device."

            a copy of the windows phone kids feature...

          2. SuccessCase

            Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

            "Apple are also taking a lot of credit for a fingerprint scanner, even though Motorola brought one out in January 2011"

            Well fingerprint scanners have been around in one form or another a lot longer than that. The issue, clearly, is implementation. Having to swipe your print is clearly not the ideal solution and touching a sensor is clearly superior.

            Re: Apple SSL, yes a concern, which is why I was happy to note, when I read the story, that iOS on my device had already been updated with a patch. Speed of update is a real strength of iOS.

            1. thegambles

              Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

              And HP / Compaq had in 2004 with the iPAQ 2750 ... I'm really puzzled as to why people ever think this is a big thing. It worked brilliantly on the 2750 and the implementation was pretty much exactly like millions of Lenovo laptops in recent years. It worked ...

              I'm sure people will say the Apple one is cool ... but it has been hacked within a week of coming out.

              Paul.

            2. Internet ToughGuy

              Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

              "Speed of update is a real strength of IOS" - This vulnerability has been known in many circles for months, and Apple sat on it until they had a fix. It effects IOS 6 as well, so let's not pretend that it just popped up recently, it's likely to have been there for years. For any other vendor, a flaw this gaping would have been a fatal blow. Apple however, have managed to bring out a mobile phone that drops signal when you hold it in your hand, non-secure communications, bypass-able locksreens. There are also emerging reports now that the 7.0.6 update is bricking iPhone 5s and iPad Air models internationally. And despite this, the fanbois will still tell you how fantastic iPhones are, and will automatically vote down any comments that don't praise them. They have a fantastic marketing machine, but speed of updates is simply not one of their strengths.

        3. NumptyScrub

          Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

          quote: "I know, given this is a S5 article many will find this comment challenging, but it is fair enough to point out the multi-path TCP Samsung have presented as an innovation is something Apple have already been doing since the iPhone 5. "

          And channel aggregation has been available since the advent of dial-up modems, in one form or another. I used to bond 2 33k modems together to double my bandwidth, back when "mobile phone" meant something that weighed in excess of a kilogramme :)

          quote: "So when you really understand multi-path TCP it's clear Samsung are now advertising a feature Apple have had for two generations, in a more advanced implementation than Samsung are touting, and they didn't bother to tell anyone about it in the first place."

          This being different to the time that that other mobile operating systems had features that iOS was missing (e.g. copy/paste) but they made no noise about it, and that Apple took 2 years to implement in a counter-intuitive way?

          None of them are perfect, some manufacturers miss out on functionality that others think essential or even integral enough to not market it as a feature, etc. etc. This time round Samsung are crowing about something that iOS could already do, next time it'll be someone else.

          The real issue here is that the market is reaching saturation here in the West, so device manufacturers are desperately trying to find something they can use as a USP to get people to purchase their device instead of another. You can expect at least another 12 months of this frippery before they pare back and start focusing on the basics again. Like battery life, which has always been important for mobile devices, and will always be important for mobile devices, regardless of what else they actually let you do while they still have a usable charge.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

          This is due for a massive collection of down votes ! Making "Apple did it first" comments on a Droid thread is a specific offense to the droidbois; especially when you are correct. You need to remember that Apple is "teh evil" and Android is "open and hence better" is the mantra.

          1. Internet ToughGuy

            Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

            I think your downvotes will come from just being wrong. Motorola (on an android phone) released a fingerprint reader back in January 2011. So if someone looks at your "apple did it first" comment and downvote it, it won't be because they are droid zealots, but because you just assume that anything Apple do is something they invented without taking even a second to look up the facts. Apple isn't "teh evil", but they certainly aren't the above-reproach-perfect-jobswasjesus phone that the fans claim they are. SSL=USL?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

              No one claimed they did it first. They are claiming that Apple did it better.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

        "and who still thinks any phone is worth flaunting?"

        Any iPhone owner!

      4. Peter 48

        Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

        you would be surprised how portable even a phablet like the Note3 is. I can happily fit it (inside a spigen case) into my jeans front pocket without it feeling bulky. It doesn't even feel anymore bulky than the old Galaxy S2

  2. DougS Silver badge

    Heart rate monitor

    There have been heart rate monitor apps for years on the iPhone and Android working the same way it does on the S5. Somehow we're supposed to believe this is great new functionality because it is built in?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heart rate monitor

      "There have been heart rate monitor apps for years on the iPhone and Android working the same way it does on the S5. Somehow we're supposed to believe this is great new functionality because it is built in?"

      The hardware is built-in! You knew that already, your just trolling.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Heart rate monitor

        I meant the SOFTWARE is built in. At least I assume by mentioning the heart rate tracking ability they have an app for heart rate monitoring.

        If anyone is trolling, Samsung is by claiming this as a feature of the GS5. They might as well have built in the software for it to act as a level and a studfinder and claim those as features too.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Heart rate monitor

          As I read it, the HARDWARE is built in - not just the app. So you can just put your finger on the sensor and it'll read your heart rate.

          I could be wrong though - Samsung announcements are notoriously ambiguous.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @Lord Elpuss

            What I think you're missing here is that THIS REQUIRES NO SPECIAL HARDWARE. Just about any smartphone can do this with a simple app. You hold your finger over the camera, in a well lit room (i.e. doesn't work dark/dim lighting) and it can see the pulse through your skin. The 3gs I bought 4 1/2 years ago could do this,and likewise any Android phone would be able to do the same.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heart rate monitor

        If you are going to accuse people of trolling while trolling yourself, you utter buffoon, learn the difference between "your" and "you're". Where the actual living fuck do you get off accusing people of trolling? Wanker...

  3. DougS Silver badge

    Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

    Is it one of those coatings you can get that wear off after a while? Or is it something factory applied that can be made to last for years?

    I must say I really wonder how it is possible to make a phone with a removable back watertight? It would have to seal perfectly. Maybe at first it will, but let's just say I'm skeptical that will still be true if it is removed more than a handful of times. Or is the coating applied to the inside too, including the battery?

    I will say if you take it snowboarding you might want to avoid getting the white one, as water resistance might not be your biggest worry if you lose it at speed :)

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

      Watertight seals are hardly new technology. A humble cork is removable but watertight. Or look at a tupperware box which is basically a seal of rubber/cork/whatever under compression.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

        The first of the waterproof Xperia phones, the Xperia Go, featured a removable back and battery. I don't know what the seal was made of, but it felt like silicone. Materials technology has moved on, so the days of seals rotting after a few years is largely behind us.

        True, wristwatches have to reassembled with great care after a battery change, but then they are rated to 50m submersion (though in practice they rarely see more than a couple of metres of submersion in a swimming pool) and the seals tend to be very thin and delicate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

        If you need water resistance you actually need water proof and probably have a case / pouch that meets your needs. Water resistance is like an umbrella with big holes in it. If it can't survive being dropped in a sink or perhaps 1m in a swimming pool it's going to be pretty useless.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

          "If you need water resistance you actually need water proof..."

          There's no such thing as water proof. Water is pretty darn smart, given enough time and pressure it will find its way in almost anything.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

            As Dr. Who discovered on Mars.

        2. Richard 22
          Stop

          Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

          IP67 can survive being dropped in a sink or a swimming pool. Not designed for prolonged submersion.

          I have an Xperia Z1 Compact (IP55/58) and before that had a Xperia V (IP57 - ie same waterproof capabilities as the S5, but less dust resistant), and it's very useful to be able to wash your phone in the sink if it gets a bit dirty, and to not have to worry about getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm (which is what killed my Nokia N8).

    2. petur

      Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

      "I will say if you take it snowboarding you might want to avoid getting the white one, as water resistance might not be your biggest worry if you lose it at speed :)"

      white, black, whatever... doesn't matter really, if it falls in (deep) snow it's gone. I have seen a complete ski get lost and not be found again until summer.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Anyone know what it is using for water resistance?

        Phones are slippery and have no brakes. If you dropped you phone on the wrong part of the piste it would just go - if you've ever seen a detached ski where the brake hasn't enabled scooting off down the slope, you know what I mean.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        >not be found again until summer

        I lost a Nokia 3310 snowboarding and got it back 3 or 4 months later, once the snow had melted.

        It worked.

        Contrast that with me flaunting my iPhone 3 a few years later on the top of the lift, getting a few delicate snowflakes to melt on the cover and ending up with a voided-warranty brick. Apple had had the foresight to install water sensitive litmus paper in strategic spots. Rather than having the foresight to make it water-resistant.

        Of course, my next Nokia' s UI (3670? - not cheap in any case) was so unpleasant to use that I jumped at the chance to trade in $200 and my busted iPhone for a refurbished one at the Apple store. Kudos to the Reg reader that clued me in on that program.

        Phone robustness is a big deal to me. Despite using cases, I bust screens regularly on my iPhone 4 - replacements are about $90. When I last got it fixed the shop was quoting >$200 for the Samsung S3-4 series screens and other shops were quoting the same. Something about Apple being more standardized so easier to stock.

        Getting a Nexus 5 any day now in the mail. $399 for 32GB @ Google Store was convincing. Still... quite worried about my screen. That Gorilla glass better work and I would have loved water-resistance as well.

  4. Pristine Audio

    I took my Note 3 skiing on Sunday. Fortunately I wasn't water-skiing.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      I usually take my wife, but each to his own..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I agree with Khaptain - I also usually take his wife.

  5. Schultz
    Thumb Up

    ultra-power-saving mode

    Does the ultra-power-saving mode allow incoming phone calls and does the alarm work? If yes, then this might be my perfect phone. I don't care for my phone to burn its battery while I am not looking.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: ultra-power-saving mode

      I would imagine that it works much the 'Stamina Mode' on some rivals phones... calls and SMS texts still come through, but not emails etc because the WiFi, GPS and data connections are turned off when the screen is on standby. You can also set the level of battery at which the phone will take certain actions (reduce screen brightness, turn off WiFi etc).

      Reviews of the LG G2 - that uses the same chipset as this S4 - highlight its better than normal battery life, and in part attribute this to the Snapdragon 800 process.

  6. eJ2095

    Battery

    Wish they would sort out a decent battery for these things.....

    1. chappers

      Re: Battery

      Battery tech is always going to play catch up as there is no mass produced alternative to current crop.

    2. Khaptain Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Battery

      Truck batteries are the solution.

      1 : Strapped to your back - Very portable..

      2 : Pushed/Pulled around in an old ladies shopping trolley - just add a Louis Vuitton or Guchi label to the front..

      3 : Cleverly disguise half of a battery under each shoe within the soles. ( It gives the added benefit of making you taller and instantly more manly.)

      4 : Hang around truckers parks - For a little extra "servicing" they might give you a free recharge from one of their batteries.

    3. Zack Mollusc

      Re: Battery

      The phone manufacturers choose to use the lowest-capacity battery they can get away with. They could put a battery in with four times the mass and four times the volume by simply making the phones a bit thicker. There is plenty of scope for making phones heavier, my keys weigh more than my phone.

      1. PaulR79

        Re: Battery

        Phone manufacturers are stuck in the belief that the trend is for thinner devices and that people would rather have a thinner phone than one that's a bit thicker with a larger battery. Slowly, very slowly, they're starting to realise this is wrong.

        All of the flagship phones around currently have batteries above a 2000mAh rating. That would be fantastic if phone technology stood still but it doesn't so it still seems lacking. For the current crop of SoCs used 2500 - 2800mAh feels just about adequate.

  7. Jah

    128 GB

    Will accept up to 128 GB Micro SD not 64 GB

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue the selective amnesia

    Exactly as predicted, now that Apple has done it, all flagship Android phones will soon have fingerprint sensors. Anybody remember last September, when millions of fandroids were flooding the message boards saying that fingerprint sensors are 1) useless gimmicks, or 2) a huge mistake security-wise, or 3) already tried by some Android manufacturers and determined to be a market failure? Or some combination of those three?

    Thought not...

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Cue the selective amnesia

      Samsung != Android

      and yes it is a gimmick, but one that may shift a few more phones so the marketing men demand that it is put in.

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Cue the selective amnesia

      Just because Samsung have added one to their flagship Android offering, the opinions of those of us who consider such things gimmicky, etc, are not going to change. It is still gimmicky.

      It'll appeal to the less techie/knowledgeable types who believe it is a worthy addition - those types who are a bit like the true barrista-ifans, and who perhaps know barrista-ifans, and want to feel they are keeping up with them. It's probably intended to appeal to that type of person, not to the type of person likely to comment on El Reg forums.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue the selective amnesia

      "Exactly as predicted, now that Apple has done it, all flagship Android phones will soon have fingerprint sensors."

      Cue the selective amnesia, willfully forgetting that this hardware has been available on many devices for many years BEFORE the appearance of iPhone!

      Are you REALLY still playing the Apple is better game? Typical fanboi, stuck in the last decade with his phone!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue the selective amnesia

        "Cue the selective amnesia, willfully forgetting that this hardware has been available on many devices for many years BEFORE the appearance of iPhone!"

        I guess you didn't make it through my entire post and to the point where typical Android fanboys maintain that fingerprint sensors were tried by certain manufacturers (Motorola/Atrix) and it was determined to be a market failure. Simple fact is, if it wasn't for Apple, Samsung wouldn't be trying it again now.

        As for it being a gimmick, I will say that my personal experience agrees with Apple's claims, i.e., at least 50% of the people I know do not have any form of security on their phones (PIN codes, those Android unlock patterns, etc.) because they are simply too inconvenient. Out of the 7-8 people I know with an iPhone 5S, we all use the fingerprint sensor. That's 100% vs. 50% with some (any!) kind of security enabled. Regardless of whether or not you consider it a "gimmick," it's a huge net security improvement.

        As for Apple doing it better, I will point out that Samsung is now using the same sort of "swipe" scanner that has been common on business laptops for at least the last decade. The ones that are sensitive to how fast you swipe and whether or not you're doing it at exactly the right angle. I know people who can get them to work consistently and who swear by them, and other people who can't get them to work very well at all. In contrast, I don't know anybody who has had any trouble with Apple's "full frame" fingerprint sensor, which seems to be both faster and more fault tolerant. If you don't want to admit that Apple's sensors are better, then you're welcome to keep your head planted firmly in the sand. I'm certain that nothing I say on this message board will change your mind, sort of the same way some some people are adamant that the Earth is ~6000 years old even when presented with a vast array of evidence to the contrary.

        1. tony

          Re: Cue the selective amnesia

          The samsung finger print scanner doesn't have to match apples, just being there is enough so that when people scan phone differences theres nothing not ticked in the s5's columns.

        2. Irongut

          Re: Cue the selective amnesia

          Spurious stats are spurious.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Cue the selective amnesia

            He does have a point though, the reason the S5 has a fingerprint scanner is so that when a thicko chooses a phone, he doesn't choose an iphone just because it has a fingerprint scanner and the S5 does not. Sales people also like tickboxes as product differentiators.

            Admittedly, the fingerprint tech in the 5S works quite well, I'm sure it also will in the S5

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cue the selective amnesia

          "Simple fact is, if it wasn't for Apple, Samsung wouldn't be trying it again now.!"

          yeah, yeah, yeah!

          nice woolen hat you have.

        4. Internet ToughGuy

          Re: Cue the selective amnesia

          so now you're saying that Apple's sensor is better than Samsung's, even though the latter has only just been announced and you've not had a chance to test it (nor do I suspect that you would, unless someone stuck an apple logo on it). Odd that you chose to sign off with a reference to zealots, you maintain that Apple's fingerprint security is a major step forward, even though there are numerous methods posted openly online on how to bypass it. Also, you say that you and at least 50% of people you know didn't bother with a passcode as they were inconvenient. this screams that security was not a priority for you or your ilk, which would play back to the fact that these fingerprint readers are a gimmick.

      2. jecrawford

        Re: Cue the selective amnesia

        I don't believe the technology had been implemented successfully in small mobile devices like the iPhone before Apple did it. It's not always when it was done, but how well it was done.

        1. Internet ToughGuy

          Re: Cue the selective amnesia

          @jecrawford - you've obviously tried it then? Let's be honest here, if everyone wanted fingerprint readers, the Motorola would have been a success. The fact that fingerprint readers are a must-have after Apple implemented one has nothing to do with Apple's implementation being better (which would imply that everyone had Motorolas and ditched them when the better reader came along). What actually happened is that people who had older iPhones bought newer ones, and then liked their fingerprint reader. Anyone who had an Atrix and then iPhone 5s, please feel free to correct me. Any other downvoters, well, you're just doing your fanboi duty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cue the selective amnesia

            "Let's be honest here, if everyone wanted fingerprint readers, the Motorola would have been a success."

            That's some spectacularly twisted logic. Are you really saying that nobody wants the new, good thing because they didn't buy the old, bad thing?

            And I don't have to try Samsung's "new" sensor to know it's not going to be radically different from the other swipe sensors that are already in millions of laptops, and phones like the Atrix. I mean, you still have to swipe the SWIPE sensor, right? And Engadget is already reporting that they had some trouble with the sensor when their swipe speed or angle was a bit off.

    4. Internet ToughGuy

      Re: Cue the selective amnesia

      Oh!! The Irony. Your selective amnesia (although I suspect that as a fanboi you actually just never bothered to look it up and assumed that Apple invent everything they have made) has forgotten the Motorola Atrix released in 2011, long before Apple ever "invented" it, or made their screens bigger, or made their OS look more like Android. Check your footing before taking the high ground.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue the selective amnesia

        "Your selective amnesia (although I suspect that as a fanboi you actually just never bothered to look it up and assumed that Apple invent everything they have made) has forgotten the Motorola Atrix released in 2011, "

        Wow, just... wow. I addressed this in general in my original post and even mentioned the Atrix specifically in a follow-up post and yet several of you are still somehow too dense to notice.

        Actually, maybe you guys are bots that are programmed to reply about the Atrix every time "iphone" and "fingerprint" appear in the same post. That would make much more sense.

      2. jecrawford

        Re: Cue the selective amnesia

        It may have been in the Matrix, but I never heard anyone talking about how great it is/was. Until they want to knock Apple back!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue the selective amnesia

      Since motorolla Atrix did it in 2011, pda's did it In the 90's, Apple had to have it.

      Biometrics is becoming standard.

      Samsung are using it for secure purchase, multi user access,

      And much more, rather than just a slow way to get to the pin unlock screen.

  9. carl_cdk

    think ill pass

    I have a galaxy s3 and to be honest ill keep it.. and until i break it or something so revolutionary comes out im not changing.. no point.. all ive seen in the s4 and s5 is minor changes and nothing really amazing in them either,no curved screen or bendy wrist band phone.. think ill wait for the S6.. or start looking at other companies..

    1. Peter 48

      Re: think ill pass

      try one out when they become available, you would be surprised how big the difference actually is. Whilst the S3 is a great phone, the compounded changes in the S5 will mean better screen quality and readability, especially in daylight (the equivalent Note 3 works brilliantly in bright sunlight) increased durability and much better camera.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: think ill pass

      I have the S4, same reaction, why can't they build it with better materials though? the silver on my S4 has worn off already...

      Considering switching to the Xperia Z2 though, the screen is my only hold up, the Z1 was disappointing...

      1. PaulR79

        Re: think ill pass

        I'm going to seriously look at the Z2 as well but I'm very curious to see what HTC pull out in March. The USA only (currently) 2 year update promise would be a massive pull for potential buyers if they could just get a removable battery in there and SD card to shut up those that care about such things.

    3. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: think ill pass

      I'll see your S3 and raise with an S2. No, seriously, I still don't see even the S5 being capable of something I care to do but cannot with the S2 - others might well, mind you, but I just do not. It is already running Jelly Bean, and there's no such thing as LTE coverage around here anyway. And don't even get me started on the suite of Samsung "features" that are supposed to make the difference - I just don't have a use case for any of them.

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: think ill pass

        > I'll see your S3 and raise with an S2.

        I only replaced my S2 with an S4 to get the bigger screen (getting short sighted as I get older). Other than that, as you say, the S2 did all I wanted.

        I did find that the HP16C emulator runs better on the S4.

        Other than that, its a phone, live with it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heart rate monitor!

    Really? That's the thing we all been crying out for?

    Save the money on the heart rate monitor and work on...

    1. An o/s not sponsored/monitored by a multi-national corporation with 'agreements' with the security agencies.

    2. Longer battery life.

    3. A phone construction that can cope with the rough and tumble of normal daily life without it being wrapped up in cotton wool a.k.a., screen protectors and phone covers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heart rate monitor!

      Anyone who genuinely needs / wants a heart rate monitor will almost certainly already have one - they are great for training but you are more likely to buy a Polar / Garmin with a proper chest strap or use a Bluetooth 4 chest strap with your iPhone.

      I really like that to make the battery last longer they restrict it's usage to just basic phone + text - bit of an admission that they do not have the power efficiency that Apple have.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Heart rate monitor!

        >I really like that to make the battery last longer they restrict it's usage to just basic phone + text - bit of an admission that they do not have the power efficiency that Apple have.

        Its not really an admission of anything other than human nature. No matter how big our fuel tanks, some of us will sometimes find ourselves driving along with the needle in the red, trying to cruise at 50mph in 5th in the hope we spot a fuel station soon.

        Sony phones have had this sort of feature for a couple of years now.

      2. Yoshi Mcguire

        Re: Heart rate monitor!

        God forbid they would give you the option to reduce your battery usage in situations where you are stuck without charger. I know options are scary for apple users. How is that an admission of anything?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Heart rate monitor!

          "God forbid they would give you the option to reduce your battery usage in situations where you are stuck without charger. I know options are scary for apple users. How is that an admission of anything?"

          YUP!

          iPhone is perfect for those who can't handle options. That's why iOS is fisher price easy. It's not a proud thing to say that you need to use an over simplified/limited UI.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heart rate monitor!

        "I really like that to make the battery last longer they restrict it's usage to just basic phone + text - bit of an admission that they do not have the power efficiency that Apple have."

        Its always fascinating how people can read something and get it completely wrong. Two sides to a coin!

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Heart rate monitor!

      1. Android is open source, though the app store, maps and many APIs (location services, in-app purchasing etc) are Google's own propriety parts (and Google are encouraging more 3rd party app developers to hook into the proprietry APIs). Samsung would rather do without the closed Google bits, and has a Plan B (its own app store and its own equivalents to Google's mail, maps, notes etc apps) up its sleeve, but so far it hasn't taken the plunge as Amazon have done. Samsung also have a Plan C - Tizen - but its Open Source status is a bit fuzzy.

      2. Battery life is a function of two things - the capacity of the battery, and the power draw of the rest of the phone. The newer Qualcomm chipsets, built on a smaller process, have been found to be more frugal than previous generations. True, some users would benefit from bigger batteries (some Motorola phones offered model variations with bigger batteries) but that obviously carries a size penalty. Personally, I get on quite well with little Li-ion battery packs.

      3. Durability? They've made it waterproof! Other people here can give you an idea of how scratch/chip-proof the screens on previous Galaxy phones are. As for drop-resistance, this varies from user to user. If a phone is designed to be used by people who spend most of their day in carpeted rooms, yet you work on a building site - stick a case on it. It's physics- there is no escaping that protection against drops means adding thickness to the device, so it's better to let users add the level of protection that suits their situation.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    I like the look of the Galaxy Gear Fit I think I'll definitely be buying one of them if the price is right and it works with the S4, but there's not enough about the S5 to make me consider upgrading from my S4. The waterproof / dust proof aspect is good, but you could get a waterproof S4, so it's just a merging of two models, which Samsung needed to do as they are in danger of having too many Galaxy models.

    Still only 16gb or 32gb models is disappointing. I know it's got micro SD, but you'd think we'd be up to 64gb as standard by now. Not everyone wants to do everything in the cloud.

    Anyone know if this updated version of Touchwiz for Android 4.4 will be coming to the S4 or if we'll get Kitkat, but with the old Touchwiz still in place?

  12. RikC

    Was opting to go for a SGS5 to replace my aging SGS2. This was because it is one of the few top spec. lines of telephones remaining of which the battery is replaceable. And I also really like the AMOLED screens. Went instead for a SGS4 after Samsung introduced a cashback rebate (in the Netherlands). I immediately replaced Samsung's bloat with a Google Edition based custom rom... a big improvement even though TW might seem snappy at first sight. Not a moment of regret that I didn't wait for the SGS5 (and I would have removed or disabled the fitness nonsense anyway... It's all about the specs in relation to the phone's price for me: that Samsung man can keep talking about people not buying stuff for the specs his competitors and potentional customers like me will likely disagree ;-) )

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Brilliant

      No, Samsung is differentiating.

      There is a market for whatever bling Apple produces (I don't believe anyone is buying the Iphone 5s because it's 64-bit) just as there is a market for the biggest screen around, the loudest phone or the bestest (sic) camera. The S5 is more of a gradual improvement on the S4 than anything revolutionary but comes with all kinds of goodies (waterproofing is important to a lot of people) to encourage existing S3 and S2 owners to go for it (or, presumably the mini version when it becomes available).

      When it comes to 64-bit wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung and others release a phone once a 64-bit version of Android is available, but as I said above, it's hardly what the market is crying out for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brilliant

        The S3 was decent but the S4 and S5 are just fractional improvements. Yeah fingerprint sensor - there's a surprise. 64 bit is not a big deal to Androidphiles now because they don't have it but as soon as they do it will be 'of course Android does 64 bit and wow wow wow'.

        Samsung are slipping behind Apple and making mis-steps like that sWatch thing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brilliant

          "Samsung are slipping behind Apple and making mis-steps like that sWatch thing." as opposed to the vapourwear iWatch?

          1. Silver
            FAIL

            Re: Brilliant

            "Samsung are slipping behind Apple and making mis-steps like that sWatch thing." as opposed to the vapourwear iWatch?

            You might want to read up on the definition of "vapourware".

            Vapourware is software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

            In case you hadn't noticed, Apple have not made any kind of announcement or advertisement about the iWatch.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brilliant

              "You might want to read up on the definition of "vapourware".

              Vapourware is software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

              In case you hadn't noticed, Apple have not made any kind of announcement or advertisement about the iWatch."

              so ner, ner na ner ner then?

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Brilliant

      Tell me. What can you do with a 64-bit phone that you can't with a 32-bit one? More bits likely draw more power, and more RAM probably isn't needed for at least another generation. Sure, mapping storage would be neat, but isn't the flash the bottleneck?

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Brilliant

        More bits also mean more registers. More registers means doing things in less cycles. Doing things in less cycles mean less running the processor at full speed. Less running the processor at full speed saves battery.

        Sorry if I went too fast..

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Brilliant

          More bits also mean more registers. More registers means doing things in less cycles. Doing things in less cycles mean less running the processor at full speed. Less running the processor at full speed saves battery.

          Depends on where the information comes from to begin with. If you have to fetch stuff from memory, then you take the hit no matter what, either with one 64-bit swipe or 2 32-bit ones (and it's only natural that energizing 64 wires takes more energy than energizing 32 of them).

          If you can optimize your routines to use additional registers, OK, but there's also the tradeoff of having more registers in use at once (again, energizing a maximum 64 registers vs. a maximum 32). Also, some operations can't be optimized well to use the registers, perhaps because it's memory-heavy or is otherwise of a nature where a ton of registers isn't going to be so useful (sorta like how GPGPU computing is not ideal for video encoding--it's process-divergent and memory-heavy).

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: Brilliant

          > More bits also mean more registers. More registers means doing things in less cycles.

          The two are entirely independent of each other.

          That's just the path that Intel chose. The same is not necessarily true of ARM.

          ARM doesn't necessarily have the same cruft that x86 did. Probably doesn't in fact. The x86 was ugly and primitive compared to a lot of it's contemporaries.

    3. Yoshi Mcguire

      Re: Brilliant

      Yes, with it's 1GB of RAM it's a true "master strike" (I think you mean stroke). The 64bit processor is completely usless. My Note 3 has 3GB of RAM and it would not make use of a 64bit processor. You have been sold marketing hype with absolutely no benefit. The S4 is a better phone than the 5s, the S5 is just gravy.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brilliant

      Mr average (your chump mobile user) does not even know what 64 bit means or what benefit it brings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brilliant

        "Mr average (your chump mobile user) does not even know what 64 bit means or what benefit it brings."

        Hardly an argument against it. Probably most people even today don't have more than 4GB of RAM in their desktop computers but they are likely using a 64 bit processor and 64 bit OS. Just because they don't understand the benefits that it brings doesn't mean they should switch back to a 32 bit processor from 2003.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brilliant

          "Hardly an argument against it. Probably most people even today don't have more than 4GB of RAM in their desktop computers but they are likely using a 64 bit processor and 64 bit OS. Just because they don't understand the benefits that it brings doesn't mean they should switch back to a 32 bit processor from 2003."

          Keeping it nice and simple! Figures.

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Brilliant

          > Just because they don't understand the benefits that it brings doesn't mean they should switch back to a 32 bit processor from 2003.

          The benefits you are blithering about have actually little to do with the "bit-ness" of the CPU. A lot of that advantage comes from the original crapulence of the x86 CPUs when compared to their competitors 30 years ago. Those aren't exactly qualities you can expect to be relevant in an entirely different architecture from a different manufacturer.

          Chances are that an ARM from 2003 doesn't suffer from those problems.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peak Smartphone

    This is proof that samrtphone technology has reached a plateau.There is only so much hardware one can cram into a phone this size.

    The only way left for them is add gimmicks and apps, of which there are aplenty anyways.

    And yet they would want to charge upwards of £500 for this handset, which is not much better than its predecessor.Ditto Apple, with an S added at th end and this shitty sensor thingy for the fanboys to get a hard on about.

    About time the prices become realistic (as Goolge & the chinese have shown). between £150 to £200 as the sweet spot.The WOW factor has long gone.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Peak Smartphone

      To be honest, the new features in the S5 (waterproofing) seem less gimmicky than the new features that the S4 introduced (er, Eyeball tracking for pausing videos).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peak Smartphone

        "To be honest, the new features in the S5 (waterproofing) seem less gimmicky than the new features that the S4 introduced (er, Eyeball tracking for pausing videos)."

        be real, if Apple had actually invented this, fanboi would be frothing at the mouth to proclaim how oh-so-brilliant apple is! This just doesn't wash.

        1. jecrawford

          Re: Peak Smartphone

          Surprisingly I feel that this Anonymous Coward is almost frothing at the mouth himself. Full of cheap, nasty put-down remarks.

    2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Peak Smartphone

      > This is proof that samrtphone technology has reached a plateau.There is only so much hardware one can cram into a phone this size.

      Then they should damn well full their fingers out and get on with developing something more.

      Me, I want a smart phone about the size of this thing, but which I can plug into a bigger screen screen when I want a tablet and plug into a dock when I want a laptop or desktop. One central unit which can do all these jobs, perhaps with scalable CPUs so that plugging into a bigger box gives a bigger punch, but does it seamlessly. Then I wouldn't need to have a smart phone and a tablet and a selection of laptops and the on going problem of where did I put X...

      Surely this isn't too much to ask for. Now product production companies please sort this out and make it snappy!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got to be about the most boring release every - water resistant not water proof so what does that mean - you can perhaps use it if it's raining ever so slightly. People want to know whether it would survive being dropped into the sink / a pint which I suspect is a no.

    If you want heart-rate monitoring with any decent utility / accuracy surely you would have a bluetooth chest strap - anything else is basically a gimmick but that probably describes this phone quite well.

    1. Yoshi Mcguire

      Your question can be answered by combining your access to the article with the power of reading. Yes, you can drop it in water, or a pint. IP ratings are an international standard and are simple to look up with google if reading before posting proves to trying for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "anything else is basically a gimmick but that probably describes iphone quite well."

    3. Peter 48

      I agree on the HR monitor

      I agree on the HR monitor built in. This seems to be of more use to hypochondriacs than anyone else, but the using the term "water Resistant" vs "Water-proof" is found on the vast majority of products on the market, especially watches. You will find only a small minority of those are actually water-proof. This means the phone will withstand short periods of complete submersion in water down to 1m. In theory it means you are guaranteed you could strap it to your arm and go for a 30min swim without any issues, however the actual protection will probably last longer.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I agree on the HR monitor

        Casio used to be fairly clear about their definitions... water resist didn't mean waterproof. Most of their watches (the calculator model aside) were at a minimum 30m water-resistant, and the manual said not to use the buttons whilst it was under water. Then come the 50m models - using the buttons underwater us just fine, apparently - then 100m and 200m waterproof G-Shocks. Of the G-Shocks, some were advertised as being specifically mud-proof, which always puzzled me (maybe mud can get stuck behind the buttons and stop them working?).

        There used to be a range of G-Shock phones about ten years ago, but they seemed to for be Japan only.

  16. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Question. About this heart rate monitor? Is it more or less an infrared sensor that does it much like an app I've seen in the Play store that can use the camera's ability to see infrared to do the same trick?

  17. VinceH Silver badge

    "Got to be about the most boring release every - water resistant not water proof so what does that mean - you can perhaps use it if it's raining ever so slightly. People want to know whether it would survive being dropped into the sink / a pint which I suspect is a no."

    Try reading the article next time: 30 minutes under one metre of water. That's a bit more than "raining ever so slightly"* and, indeed, quite a bit more than dropped into the sink.

    In fact, that's probably the one thing about this phone that is a potential selling point to me - but not enough of one, so I'll stick with the S3.

    * Unless you live in Somerset.

  18. Steve Foster

    Silly Question...

    I still have an S2. It does what I need. Why would/should I upgrade? (this isn't necessarily aimed at the S5 per se, but the latest crop of phones in general)

    1. Bernard

      Re: Silly Question...

      Or the latest computers, TVs, cars?

      When features (or much more occasionally entirely new products) come out which capture the public imagination and command a big premium that starts an innovation race where huge sums are poured in and regular iterations are put to the public to provide new features and test the continuing premium the market offers (which is essentially the monetary value of their interest in continuing innovation).

      From smartphone sales figures and the increasing frequency of questions like yours I'd say the innovation race is easing off and sensible firms will be quietly ratcheting down the R and D on mobile specific features while looking for the Next Big Thing (TM) to get ahead in. They'd never say it very loudly to consumers because they still have a pipeline of new features to try and sell you across a couple more iterations of phone, but after that the work on further iterations may well slow considerably unless this fitness angle or something else captures the public imagination.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silly Question...

      You should buy one because it will make you cooler, you will be more attractive to ladies, all your friends will worship you and your gentleman's sausage will increase in length and girth.

      Or you could just get one because you want one..... or not bother if you don't.

    3. Peter 48

      Re: Silly Question...

      Readability in direct sunlight is a good option for one. I found my S2 rather poor in that respect. Much better camera is another good reason. Having a much better screen resolution is anther good reason, it makes reading websites a lot easier. Being water and dust resistant is just the cherry on the top.

  19. 404 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The Absolute Best Thing About The Samsung Galaxy S5 is:

    <drumroll>

    It will drive the price of the Samsung Note 3 down, which is what I'm after to begin with.

    ;)

    1. Dcope

      Re: The Absolute Best Thing About The Samsung Galaxy S5 is:

      Same here, looked with interest but will be seeing what deal 3 can come up with for a note 3 , my note 1 is still going strong tho.

  20. PaulR79

    Uninspired design, barely an upgrade

    I'm struggling to see any real benefit of the S5 over the S4 which itself wasn't a massive leap over the S3 and so on. Incremental upgrades are fine if it's a six month refresh but not for your new flagship. Are Samsung starting to lose their way? The back of the phone reminds me, and others, of the first Nexus 7. I didn't like it on that and tolerated it for the device at the price it was available but this is supposed to be a premium product.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uninspired design, barely an upgrade

      "I'm struggling to see any real benefit of the S5 over the S4 which itself wasn't a massive leap over the S3 and so on. Incremental upgrades are fine if it's a six month refresh but not for your new flagship. Are Samsung starting to lose their way? The back of the phone reminds me, and others, of the first Nexus 7. I didn't like it on that and tolerated it for the device at the price it was available but this is supposed to be a premium product."

      Same can definitely be said for iPhone which sees NO incremental benefits from one year to the next. Christ even budget droids have NFC FFS!

  21. JDX Gold badge

    Confusing name

    So people are expected to choose between a 5S and an S5 now, and both have fingerprint scanners?

  22. Piers Drake

    ANT+

    Galaxy S5 also has ANT+ capability built-in,as did the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 (post 4.3-update).

    Shame this great feature is kept so quiet by Samsung as it allows compatibility with a wide range of heart-rate, cycling cadence/power and other fitness sensors and apps.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple struggling to find new features = Samsung struggling to find new features to copy.

  24. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

    Oh FFS, what a load of territorial urination.

  25. roger 8

    Bring out a phone with 2 sim slots and illicit mode. no need for 2 mobiles then

    unlock phone on way and your in normal everyday mode. unlock it with a different code and your in illict mode. you can check the messages and calls you dont want the other half to know about.

    Dual mode the ability to to uses both sims at same time. recieve calls and txt on either sim at same time

    A thicker phone with dual batteries

  26. alun phillips

    Fingerprint scanner crap

    It was a crap idea when ipaq did it and it still is now, I want a phone with more memory than my S3 and a better battery, seems someone was listening so I'm upgrading to the Xperia Z2 wouldn't touch this S3ss with a ten foot pole.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would be willing to bet it could take a 128ggb (or even 256gb micro sd card if they exist) however 64s are currently the biggest easily available. My s2 was advertised as only being able to handle a 32gb card but happily takes a 64 gb one

  28. Frank N. Stein

    So much for all of the rumors and such about the S5. Won't be till the end of the year that we see what the Note 4 will be like. THAT is the one I'm waiting to hear about.

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