There are two huge smartphone launches for everyone to look forward to this year, and though the sixth Apple iPhone possibly at the absolute pinnacle of them, the iPhone 6 is due to be released in the fourth-quarter of 2014. But Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s Galaxy range has managed to achieve a status which is almost the equal of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iconic handset over the last few years, and consumers have been anticipating its release to a similar degree as the iPhone. The expectancy was particularly heightened by the fact that the Galaxy S5 was expected to be released a full six months ahead of the iPhone, with analysts penciling it in for a release date around April this year.
And the media is awash with reports today that the Galaxy S5 might hit the high street in exactly the month that has been suspected for some time. The source of this information is the tech blogger and analyst Eldar Murtazin, who has stated that the launch could be set to coincide with the World Mobile Congress. If this is the case we will get a chance to see the next generation Samsung handset for the first time on February 23.
Analyst reveals details for Samsung Galaxy S5
Murtazin’s Twitter feed has suggested that this huge tech release could be unveiled in Barcelona in due course, with the Galaxy S5 likely to be similarly priced to its predecessor. The latter of these rumors would seem to be a pretty solid piece of guesswork, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) likes to launch its new mobiles at the same price point as previous iterations, and Samsung has explicitly proclaimed its desire to overtake the iPhone producer this year.
Although there is no word from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) themselves yet, the murmurings originating from Murtazin must be taken seriously, as he has called previous Galaxy unveilings accurately in the past. For example, the Russian blogger, analyst and tech commentator correctly predicted that the Samsung Galaxy S4 would be unveiled on March 14 of last year.
Meanwhile, other credible sources have also given further indication that the February 23 unveiling date is set in stone. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) executive vice president of mobile business Lee Young Hee has told Bloomberg that the manufacturer plans to release the Galaxy S5 sometime around March and April. Obviously this would be consistent with a February unveiling.
User interface overhaul
However, it is not only the release date of the Galaxy which has been hitting the media over the last few days. Previous reports have indicated that the Samsung Galaxy’s user interface was due to be extensively updated, well now leaks from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) have actually given explicit indication of precisely what this new UI may look like. Pictures shared by @evleaks show a tiled interface which significantly resembles that of the Windows Phone.
In accordance with this rumor, the aforementioned Murtazin asserted that the Galaxy S5 will see the “next step in TouchWiz evolution” and that the forthcoming smartphone will introduce a completely new UI environment for users to enjoy. It is also possible that the new system could be given an entirely new name, to indicate that this is a revolution in Samsung’s smartphone operation, not a minor rejig.
Fingerprint scanner rumored
The other big news breaking with regard to the Galaxy is that it could include a fingerprint scanner. This actually completely contradicts previous reports, which had consistently suggested that the S5’s security portfolio would be focused around iris recognition technology. It was only a couple of days ago that the Korean Herald reported the complete opposite. This conclusion seems to have emanated from comments originating from Samsung which stated that they were investigating the possibility of including an iris scanner with the Galaxy S5, but evidently this possibility has been investigated and scrapped!
In terms of details on the fingerprint scanner, the International Business Times is one of a raft of publications that suggest that the Galaxy S5 will scan fingerprints through its display, rather than using a sensitized home button which is the method utilized by the iPhone 5S. Samsung has been attempting to improve touch controller mechanisms related to the Galaxy S5 with the assistance of Synaptics; a firm involved with human interface solutions.
The Jakarta Post also quotes a source close to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) who suggests that in order to effectively install iris recognition technology in the S5, Samsung would have to include a secondary camera. Whether this was considered a logistical headache or prohibitively expensive isn’t entirely clear, but it’s likely that both of these considerations impacted upon Samsung’s decision to ditch iris tech.
While the specs of the Galaxy S5 are yet to be officially confirmed, rumors regarding their make-up are becoming increasingly solid and certain. Murtazin states that these include a 5.25-inch 2K display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and 3GB mobile RAM. It would seem based on the revelations of the last 24 hours that we only need to wait another month to find out for sure.