Samsung VP: Galaxy S5 to launch by April, with “very different design” and possibly iris scanner

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 9, 2014

Samsung EVP Lee Young-hee

Samsung revealed some of its plans for the near future, including details on the Galaxy S5, wearable devices, and the Galaxy Note 4. The company is considering equipping the Galaxy S5 with an iris scanner, revealed a top executive.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, talked about the upcoming Galaxy S5 and a new wearable device that Samsung is planning to introduce in the next months.

“We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time”, said the executive, throwing water on rumors about an announcement at the Mobile World Congress in February. Still, Lee’s language is vague, so we can’t really exclude an earlier announcement with a retail release in March or April.

In line with the earlier statements of Samsung design head Dennis Miloseski, Lee said the Galaxy S5 will be accompanied by the second generation of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, “with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved”. Critics have panned the original Gear for its clunky operation and uninspiring design.

For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover

Lee also talked about the reasons why the Galaxy S4 hasn’t sold as expected – “consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big”, the executive said. The Galaxy S5 will be “very different”, and Samsung “will go back to the basics”. “Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover”, Lee said.

The S5 could feature iris recognition technology, as Samsung is “considering the possibility” because “many people are fanatical about it”. The move to equip devices with biometric identification scanners is seen as a response to Apple’s use of a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S.

Note 4 with three-sided display?

The Galaxy Note 4 may bring an even more radical redesign. Bloomberg cites Lee as saying that the device may use a three-sided display that allows users to read messages from an angle. Lee appears to be referring to the Youm flexible displays concept that Samsung demoed at CES in 2013, which included a phone with a display that wrapped around its edges.

Finally, Lee reiterated Samsung’s focus on tablets in 2014, which will be one of the company’s major focuses this year. Samsung introduced four new tablets at CES this week, including the 12.2 NotePRO and TabPRO.

The executive has not mentioned any upcoming changes in software design; a recent leak suggests Samsung is exploring a major redesign of TouchWiz, part of the increased software focus that the conglomerate’s chairman has recently exhorted to employees.

  • João Grácio

    Please gave a 4500mha battery, i´m fine with 1080p for a 5 inch display

    • ♜Donzzy™

      I’m pretty sure that your wish on the battery may be granted but not as far as 4500. However the display could be 2K res since their latest tablets sport the same.

    • [email protected]

      you can easily change out the battery on current devices but you cant get a 2k display. Also, why do you want to spoil things for the people who want progress…YMCMB.

      • João Grácio

        2K on 5 inch display is not progress is overkill, you will loose GPU and battery life to a thing that you can´t see/enjoy on naked eye IMO…
        By other words if you put a 4500mha battery on 1080p phone you phone will last for 2 days with medium usage, and i doubt that with the 2K you will have the same results

        • [email protected]

          look maaate. How do you know it’s overkill, so far every time resolution has been bumped the overall picture quality has increased. Watch a 1080p video on a 720p screen vs a 1080p screen the difference is balls deep. There’s 10000mah batterys you can buy…go buy them. This is why they wont hire you at any tech company.

          • [email protected]

            People are down voting cuase they don’t want the truth

          • yeah right!

            Actually i’m afraid you’re wong there

          • Mohammed Sahib

            People like you make the companies race in spec sheets while ignoring key corners of user experience, battery life for example.

          • [email protected]

            well I want to experience a new screen.

        • Bishop

          But we’ve seen the performance improve between the S3 and the S4 even with the increase in resolution, it never was an issue. Sure, you can even get better performance and battery life if the resolution is brought down to 720p or lower on the S5, but why would we want that? As long as the technology improves in every aspect, there is nothing wrong with increasing the resolution to 2560×1440. The cpu, gpu and battery will perfectly keep up.

          You won’t notice a difference if you watch a 1920×1080 video on a 1080p or 1440p phone because the higher resolution display can’t improve the video, but you will notice a difference if you watch a 2560×1440 video on a 1080p or 1440p phone. The video would be down converted on the 1080p phone and you will lose detail.

          They could easily offer a 4500mAh battery on the phone but remember that these companies make an emphasis on making these phones really thin, so that will not happen. Only solution is to buy an extended battery.

          • Jusephe

            Yes we saw an performance improvement because Mali 400 was very weak GPU and adreno 320 was a lot more powerful.

            But now we got screen that has 80% more pixels and GPU improvement from snapdragon 800 to 805 is just 40%. Anyway the GPU performance will be lower than last year flagships even if we use processor that is supposed to come out in the second half of 2014 !
            We need Tegra K1 to got higher performance and that is not an ideal chip for phones.

          • Bishop

            Well this isn’t a 4K display and the jump in resolution will be similar to that of the S3 and S4. To run a 4K display, you definitely will need a much more powerful GPU, but that won’t happen until next year.

            I’m pretty sure that this phone will outperform the Note 3 and the G2, for example, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

          • [email protected]

            Oh god. I said watching 1080p on a 1080p phone vs 720p…read mofo

          • Bishop

            What? My reply wasn’t even to you.

          • Guest

            OH sorry then my lady

  • Jaun Lombard

    Samsung is going to dominate in 2014!
    Their Note launched in 2013 and is still better than phones launched at CES 2014! Their Pro range tablets are the best android tabs. Their future S5 and Note 4 sounds amazing…only LG can compete with Samsung this year as they share tech!

    • Shark Bait

      I think that’s a bit of over excitemt. Samsung is still making great things yes, but sony and motorola are serious pickup up their game, Sony is particular is doing great things.

      I see Samsung still selling the most in 2014, but not dominating. The other are catching …..

      • Alex Alexander

        I like Sony Xperia series… but Sony is far far away from Samsung in the phone market… and Motorola.

        • JonDuke19

          The HTC One was the best phone of 2013.

          The S4 wasn’t close to it. I personally tested them with my sister’s S4 and beat her on any tasks I tried.

          So, Samsung will dominate? Yes.. Because they have the best devices? No… Because, like Apple, they put trillions on marketing and advertising to make people believe that Android = Samsung.

          • Gary W

            Apple doesn’t not spend that much on advertising at all, when viewed in light of its revenue. Samsung on the other hand spends billions on advertising.

          • Mike

            They don’t have to when their cult followers will buy anything they bring onto the market.

          • Jesus

            the “Best phone” is subjective.

            …but the market prefers Samsung products, by a big margin, and that’s what counts in the end.

          • phajej

            I had one (HTC One) and traded it for my GS4. I loved it the first month and a half… Then the battery became hot and expanded and pushed my screen forward. I didn’t want shards of Chinese aluminum and plastic melted to my face so I returned it for the infamous GS4 (Costco 90 day return period). Battery was great at first, then it would last half a day, then 15 minutes, and then to it having to be constantly plugged in. HTC customer service was not so great… “Never heard of your problems before sir, we’ll send you a slip to return your phone in, you will be out of a phone for at least a week.” How about just send me a new phone!!! Aluminum backing is okay, white plastic is cheap, front aluminum panels started to become loose. Dust collected in the front camera. These are not minor issues for a flagship phone.

        • Shark Bait

          Yes at the moment, but we should all know, the mobile landscape is dramatic, and I see Sony climbing the ladder

    • Balraj

      I really liked the tab pro 8.4..compact & high specs…

      your right..LG has upped its game..
      only if they can change there UI…ppl will be like WOW
      instead of saying samsung-ish

    • Dimitar Gospodinov

      those tablets are looking very very very good…I think you are close to the truth.

    • [email protected]

      @ Motorala is going hard and there features are actually useful

      • Jaun Lombard

        Motorola is okay…we don’t get them in South Africa and if we should, it will be priced higher than a Samsung like all the LGs and SONYs

        • [email protected]

          what no Motorola in South Africa..when did this happen. I still remember the hello moto ads.

          • Jaun Lombard

            Sorry was talking about their new phones and not the old Razar crap. Maybe they are still in SA, but then Motorola is doing a very “good” job at marketing!

    • AndroidBoss

      Their tablets might look the best now, but wait like 5 months and there will be better tablets hopefully. The new Touchwiz UI looks better hopefully smoother.

  • Jacques Hragar

    By improving the display i hope they mean they will get rid of pentile and improve colour range and power effiecency instead of just increasing resolution

  • newoth

    Where’s my DNA scanner, Samsung ?

    • makisako

      Your penis scanner is ready. Pull it out from your mouth NOW!

    • Jason Snea

      Confiscated by Judge Dredd.

  • [email protected]

    Iris scanner? That’s restarted what if something flies into your eye when you’re scanning…Samsung doesn’t put enough thought into their products.

    • Jaun Lombard

      Youve put too much thought in your argument’!

      • [email protected]
        • Jaun Lombard

          hahaha that is frikkin FUNNY!!!!

    • HitokiriX

      Even if they did have it, you’d still have 6 different options of how you lock your device. It’s not like the iris scanner will be mandatory.

      • [email protected]

        how do you know?

        • HitokiriX

          Because they have all those options now. You can have no security, face unlock, face and voice, pattern, pin or password. They’re not going to drop all of these if they add an iris scanner. It will just be another option.

          • [email protected]

            Samsung can make it mandatory so that it becomes widely accepted. Don’t just assume things bro.

    • oneeyebtd

      So, everyday something fly into your eye?? You must be one unlucky bast**d. hahahaha

    • oneeyebtd

      I guess you have asked a similar question like this when Apple launched the fingerprint scanner: “That’s retart.. what if someone cut your fingers/hand off when you’re trying to scan your finger….Apple doesn’t put enough thought into their products”. LOL

      • [email protected]

        wait a minute what does this have to do with apple. This is Android authority… go back to your home on the cult of mac or the verge.

        • Mitchman

          You meant “retarded” right? :)

          • [email protected]

            yes I did but facts are facts.

  • namesib

    Urghhh I have a feeling that buttonless patent design may come true. VIRTUAL BUTTONS = LESS SCREEN SPACE. NO THANK YOU.

    • jwtsonga

      All manufacturers are moving to onscreen navigation buttons now. Samsung is in the stone age still.

      the virtual buttons are transparent in the launcher…and apps now have ‘full screen’ mode in Kitkat. So its the same amount of screen space, and the device might be more compact too (edge to edge no bezel phone anybody?)

      • areyoustoned

        If reduced onscreen space is the future, I don’t want to see it.
        I assume you’ve never seen a Samsung device with onscreen navigation key?? Google: Galaxy Tab 7 Plus from 2011, stone age man

        • MrMagoo

          Ok, so I have a G2 with onscreen buttons and my girlfriend has an S4, The difference is negligible. My onscreen buttons disappear all the time and my beautiful 1080p screen is in it’s full glory! I have yet to have an issue or even notice it for that matter. I’ve had 3 HTC’s and I’m not missing the physical(or capacitive) buttons. Thought I would, but I dont’, cause the onscreen one’s aren’t always there. Being able to customize is what Android has always been about. Can’t change physical buttons. I can set up the onscreen ones any way I want. Just another plus!

      • Jesus

        If you’ve actually seen Samsung phones, their Home button is where there would be nothing on phones with onscreen nav buttons.

        So in another words, you get more screen real-estate with Samsung phones, even if other phones are similar sizes, because there are no onscreen nav buttons.

        Also, real buttons.. you can actually feel them. Big plus when you’re using it without looking, or in the dark.

        Stone age? No. Design choice? Yes. Smart choice? Yes. KEEP THE HOME BUTTON.

      • namesib

        Envision your last sentence. An edge-to-edge device is ergonomically terrible. You would have to bend your thumbs at an uncomfortably tight angle to reach the edges of the screen and the chances of accidental presses would increase significantly.

      • Dominick_7

        No thank you. It means less screen real estate space, the possibility with it being convoluted in the way it’s used from app to app and no easy way to navigate by feeling or touch unless you look first because you might be missing the navigation button.

    • Jayfeather787

      Immersive mode, allows for a larger screen with smaller bezels and full screen, and nav buttons when needed.

      • Jesus

        Yes, but you need to be in immersive mode.

        Hopefully your App has that mode.

        Otherwise, you get an ugly black strip, or the on screen buttons, reducing your screen estate.

        No thanks, but I prefer real buttons. You can actually feel them.

        • Jayfeather787

          No, in a custom ROM, immersive mode hides everything the nav bars and status bar. Let me get a screen shot later. It looks very nice. Swipe down twice for status bar, and the nav bar shows up too.

          • Jesus

            Yes… You have just defined immersive mode.

            What I am saying is that your app has to SUPPORT immersive mode.

            E.g. Chrome mobile, does not support it. This sucks how some apps don’t support it. So the usable screen size is less than the Galaxy series, with their tactile buttons (which i prefer).

          • Jayfeather787

            No, on a custom rom, there is real immersive mode, also known as expanded desktop. It hides the status bar and nav bar everywhere. Look at the screen shot I posted.

          • Jesus

            OK. In my opinion, that sucks – You need to put in extra steps to see your notification bar and home buttons. (By the way, you can do already do this using Nova Launcher, no need for a custom rom). Also you’re using a custom rom.

            I am talking about devices w/o a custom rom, w/o physical home button (e.g. Nexus). If apps want to use the FULL screen on those kind of devices, they need to support immersive mode. Otherwise, they’ll have a black bar, with the home buttons, at the bottom of the screen – lose screen real estate… etc. You know what i mean!

            What’s so bad about a physical button? It’s not like it’s taking up extra space – have a look at Samsung’s devices. The home button is where there would be a blank on the Nexus 5. You can physically feel the home button – better for usability, and easier screen orientation determination. Also you have a larger screen real estate by default. (The looks of a physical button is subjective – I prefer a slab with a button, rather than a blank slab.)

            (BTW, I have a Nexus 5. It is OK but I wish it had physical buttons. Currently, the on-screen buttons on the Nexus 5 is biased against Left-handed use. If it had physical buttons, like on many Samsung devices, it wouldn’t have this issue.) Peace!

      • namesib

        But there are still bezels that are just empty spaces in the absence of hardware buttons. I would rather have a full-screen experience by default.

        • Jayfeather787

          ok but check this out. Full screen on my nexus 7

          • namesib

            My GS4 looks like that all the time and it doesn’t have a wasted bottom bezel.

          • Jayfeather787

            But look I dont have a status bar. I have 7 full inches of screen. The status bar takes any where from .3 inches to half an inch of screen size. I don’t know, i like this, you may not, its okay.

    • Bishop

      I agree, I don’t see why on screen buttons are needed. The LG G2 is a good example of a phone that could have used capacitive buttons, the LG logo could have been the home key and to the right and left of it, to other keys. It seems as wasted space since they used the on screen buttons.

    • smokebomb

      Personally I like that the nav keys disappear when I watch videos. I’m leaning toward a note 3 but capacitive keys are pretty undesirable after having the last 2 nexus phones.

  • Jusephe

    Mostly its about display and feel of the cover.

    That “huge” difference means it will have plastic leather back and 5,25″ 1440 by 2560 LTPS LCD display.

  • Nishan Kath

    Technology is advancing in every sector except battery….

    • Amine Elouakil

      Battery is advanced just check it the battery capacity of 3 years ago and now, it’s just not advancing as fast or wasn’t, now we are getting 3.5Ah-4Ah is getting more interesseting

    • namesib

      Thickness is seen as a negative on phones (it doesn’t bother me) so manufacturers make them thin at the expense of battery life.

  • Mark Mann

    Samsung with the gimmicks instead of putting tech that is actually needed into their phones, better battery, better radios, decent customer service

    • Mitchman

      I’ll agree with you on better radios, haven’t ever had to deal with customer service, but battery life is awesome with the flagships. Not to mention decent cameras, something the other current top Android phones are lacking right now.

      • Mark Mann

        had a bad experience with their customer service division a few years ago…granted in between that time and now they may have learned…but i doubt it…when the many iterations of the original galaxy s came out, the gps didn’t work, samsung sent out an update to fix that, breaking the emergency call button in the process, sent out an update to fix that breaking the ability to transfer between phone and computer via usb…called verizon they told us to contact samsung, samsung asked us “can you still use it as a phone?” to which our reply was yes, and they told us “well if you can still use it as a phone, it’s not broken, there’s nohting we’re going to do for you” thus ruining any good feelings i had about samsung’s mobile division, and causing my boycott of same

  • cycad007

    Samsung…the only company with an airbrushed photoshopped marketing exec. Fake…just like its corporate morals.

  • Mystery Man

    Samsung should release a decent budget phone like the moto g.

  • Guest
    Crazy Specs

  • phajej

    Fix the SD card mounting issues, random rebooting, and camera issues before you push out another iteration to your phone lines. I came up from a Galaxy S to a S4, same BS from S… Only now its faster and has a better screen. My old S crashed less than my S4. Battery still heats up too, camera can’t take pics when battery is low (even with power plugged in), SD card randomly mounts and un-mounts, and it randomly reboots if I drop it on my bed a bit hard/fast or whenever it wants… I would love a pure Android experience minus all the Google and Samsung bloatware as of late… How about that higher internal storage that you never delivered here in the USA!

  • asdsad

    Just drop the shitty TouchWiz Samsung.

    No more. Just stop.

  • Mike

    The back of the Note 3 is god aweful faux leather and stitching. Samsung needs to lay off the crack pipe if they think that looks or feels good. I’m hoping they do not use that material for the S5.

  • Dominick_7

    As an artist I only care about the Galaxy Note series, specifically in this case the Note 4. But as far as retina scanners.. wtf is Samsung and their replaceable patsy/public face Lee thinking? What kind of freaks is this woman talking to that would want this crap? The banking mafia elite who salivate over oppressing, spying on and treating citizens as the enemy that needs to be taken out? Yea can’t wait to have NSA now get my retina scan registered in their database without having committed any crime.. There was at least some backlash when Microsoft tried this crap, of course no backlash really from the Apple zombies, but who in the world would want this?

  • Richard

    Got a Nexus 5 around 3 weeks ago. Impressive, but battery life could be better.
    Hopefully this is fixed on the Nexus 6.

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