Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced this morning in Barcelona and make no mistake this is going to be a top phone.
However, the key thing I noticed in the offering is that this year Samsung have spent less time including amazing features with loads of wow factor, and more time including helpful, productive features you are likely to use every day.
This is a change in the way phones are being sold. No longer are we interested in AMAZING features that we are unlikely to use. There is so much competition around now that we can pick something else and probably spend less money doing so. The big event is still there, but the message from Samsung was clear – they are going to sell a flag ship handset with lots of cool technology, but they want you to use all of it, every day.
Key things to look for with the S5 include the new ultra power saver battery feature. Once activated the phones screen switches to black and white, and the bulk of functions are reduced. However with only 10% power remaing the phone can last another 24 hours in this mode. So you can still access your phone if need be. The alternative is you carry a battery backup charger with you, but who remembers to do that!
The camera includes lots of new features like a fast auto focus feature, a shallower focal point for images, larger image sensor and more. A better camera is expected and appreciated by all, but the results are still going to need to be explored when the phone is released.
Heart rate monitors are not something most would spend money on, but Connected Health is a booming space in tech so Samsung by equipping their S5 with a heart monitor will offer users the ability to dabble in this area. Now when you exercise the practice of checking your heart rate post exercise and recording it will become part of your training.
Connectivity to companion products, particularly in the health space will allow you to dive deeper into the connected health space. The new Gear 2 and the Gear Fit accessories will offer a specialised set of fitness features meaning increased flexibility for health focused people. How successful this will be for Samsung will be interesting as almost all Connected Health devices offer smart connectivity via an app or a cloud based solution.
Finally, kids mode is going to mean you can hand your phone to your children, and you can get it back half an hour later without your phone being ‘child enhanced’. Locking the handset to display child friendly content and not having your key information exposed will be a life saver for many parents.
Other included features will act as a catch up for Samsung with dust and water resistance bringing the S5 into line with Sony Xperia Z (and recently announced Z2). ALst year Samsung brought out the GalaxyS4 Active with this feature, but it didn't appear to get much traction. Now with the S5 all cutomers will be able to have protection from water and dust. Also finger print scanning will bring the Galaxy into line with the iPhone 5S.
Lots to be excited about here in April when it launches. It is more evolution than revolution, but its an evolution you will likely find lots of use for.