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The Samsung Galaxy S5 was officially launched a few days ago, and the initial reactions to the flagship smartphone were mixed at best. Fueled by a flurry of rumors that began circulating months before the launch, expectations were running high, with many hoping for a lot more with regards to the design and hardware specifications, while others were looking forward to a complete overhaul of the software. On the flip side, some people were happy with the different design elements, camera enhancements and UI changes, and are counting down the day until they can get their hands on it.
With any Samsung flagship release, even when it seems like nothing much has changed, the company leaves us with a lot to talk about. Here’s a look at the top 5 new features of the Samsung Galaxy S5!
Water and Dust Protection
The first new feature mentioned during the keynote was the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is IP67 compliant for dust and water protection (you can find out more about the IP rating system here). What this means for the Galaxy S5 is that the device offers complete protection from dust, and protection against temporary immersion between 15 cm and 1 m, for up to 30 minutes, as far as water-proofing is concerned.
It may not be time for you to go swimming with your smartphone just yet, but it will certainly hold up against any spills and splashes, or the next time your friends decide to throw you in the pool. The complete protection from dust is also a huge plus, with even sand being kept out, so you don’t have to worry the next time you’re at the beach.
Yes, the added protection does require all ports to be covered, but this annoyance will definitely give way to relief the next time you drop your phone in the water.
While some aspects of the hardware have left a few folks disappointed, not many can deny that Samsung has made big strides when it comes to their smartphone camera technology. Android Authority’s Robert Triggs has done a fantastic job in his breakdown of the ISOCELL technology adopted by Samsung, so what we’ll do here is talk about the new software enhancements that are a part of the camera.
Somehow, Samsung has managed to add even more to what was already a feature-packed camera software of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, aided in part by the better capabilities of the ISCOCELL sensor. A few features worth mentioning are –
- Phase Detection Auto Focus – which is a feature usually found in DSLR cameras, and features advanced auto focus speeds for capturing a shot quickly, which Samsung claims can be as quick as 0.3 seconds.
- Real-Time HDR – which includes High Dynamic Range (HDR) preview mode that makes it easier to choose when to use HDR. It also enables users to capture HDR photos or videos with no shutter lag or post-processing.
- Selective Focus Mode – allows you to blur images near or far for a creative, one-of-a-kind shot.
- 4K Video Recording – Includes a time limit because of the large size of the media files, but is still a great feature to have for ultra high-quality video.
Another rumor making the rounds that turned out to be true was the inclusion of the fingerprint scanner. Integrated into the physical home button at the front of the device, this scanner uses the swipe method to register the fingerprint, requiring you to slide your finger from the top to the bottom of the home button. Functionality includes unlocking your device, entering private mode that unhides your photos, videos, and other sensitive data with your fingerprint, and is hidden from any other user, and mobile payments via Paypal.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a huge focus on fitness. The phone comes with a heart rate sensor on the back of the device, so if you’re working out, you have an easy way to monitor your heart rate mid-exercise. Knowing your heart rate is key during a cardio workout to stay within an optimal zone, and the Galaxy S5 gives you an easy way to do that.
Of course, if you don’t want to keep pulling your phone out every time you need to check your pulse, the introduction of the Gear Fit is big advantage. With compatibility restricted to the current lineup of Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy S5 is one of the few devices you can use the smartwatch/fitness band hybrid with. The wearable tech industry is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years, and the Samsung Gear Fit seems like a great place to start.
Without the battery to keep it running, all these new features aren’t much use. The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a removable 2,800 mAh battery, which, combined with the more frugal with power Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, should give you at least a full day of use. If that is not enough and you’re on your last leg, the Battery Saver Mode kicks in. Depends on your settings, this disables all non-essential battery hogs, put the phone display in grayscale, and allow just text messaging and voice calls. In this mode, the battery life is said to drop by just 10% over 24 hours in an idle state.
So there is the Top 5 features of the Samsung Galaxy S5! What feature do you like the most? Which feature do you think is the most useful? Let us know in the comments section below.