Everyone that is enthusiastic and passionate about smartphones is currently awaiting the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is due to occur in under two weeks’ time. On February 24 at Barcelona we will see the next Samsung handset being revealed to an expectant public, at an event that the corporation has already dubbed ‘Unpacked’. But in the meantime, Samsung fans continue to seek any new information that can be gleaned at this point in time.
Thus, lots of people will be intrigued today by the latest development in the Galaxy S5. This is such a massive event that fans of the Korean manufacturer will be able to observe the unveiling on the Internet via live streams. While previously these had been confined to streaming sites and such, the Galaxy S5 will apparently launch live on YouTube.
New Galaxy S5 UI resembles iOS 7
An invite to the event published in Twitter, though, suggests another interesting detail that will certainly garner a lot of attention. The invite indicates that a new TouchWiz UI will be launched as part of the Galaxy S5. The right-hand side of the invite that has been leaked features a series of nine icons which suggest that the new TouchWiz UI will be decidedly similar to iOS 7 in appearance.
Aside from this revelation, a few more details are also discernible from these recent leaks. Firstly, there is clearly a small green Fitness icon visible, which appears extremely similar in appearance to the mooted S Health app, which has already been seen in leaked screenshots. This has been rumored to launch with and be part of the Galaxy S5 for some time, so this appears to be a promising sign for that notion.
The leaked UI images also suggest that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has refined its Touchwiz UI to give it a less cartoonish appearance. With the Korean manufacturer having established itself as the clear competitor to Apple, they have already signaled their intent to overtake the iPhone manufacturer this year, and it seems that part of their strategy for achieving this is to give their flagship smartphone a more mature look.
Aside from the leaked UI features, it also appears that the Galaxy S5 may feature an HTC BlinkFeed style homescreen, which has been hinted at by previous screenshots.
Samsung moves to counter criticism
While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been renowned for creating the most intuitive and slick software in the smartphone market, Samsung’s smartphones have hitherto been slightly criticized in this department. While previous iterations of the Galaxy have been widely praised for the solidity and quality of their hardware, one niggle with the overall Galaxy package has been the TouchWiz UI which Samsung lays over the top of Android. This has been criticized for being rather lumpen and unattractive, but it is clear that Samsung has listened to such complaints and updated it significantly for the Galaxy S5.
Samsung has already indicated its apparent intention to dispense with another not particularly relished aspect of the Galaxy, namely its plastic casing. Leaks have indicated previously that at least a premium version of the Galaxy S5 will feature a metallic body, while other notable innovations include a rumored 16-megapixel camera and the first 2K display to be included in a mass market smartphone.
Share price reacts to rumors
Although Samsung’s stock has performed pretty unevenly in the last twelve months:
It was up over 3% today on the news of these latest details about the forthcoming Galaxy S5:
There will be huge pressure on Samsung to deliver something truly outstanding with the Galaxy S5, particularly as the corporation has already set itself some massive targets by hoping to usurp Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). They certainly have the opportunity to gain some momentum in this regard by releasing the Galaxy S5 months before the iPhone 6 is expected to hit the market, but in order to maintain their recent gains on the iPhone manufacturer then they will need to deliver something of real quality, which makes an instant impact on users.
This has been a strong element of Apple’s products for many years, certainly for over a decade since the first iPod was released, yet the feeling persists that Samsung misses the mark slightly in this department. Their Galaxy devices have been very well received, but somehow lack the slickness and sheer class of the iPhone, despite the fact that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) packs its flagship smartphone with spec.
They intend to do just this again with the Galaxy S5 based on the specifications that we’re already hearing for the smartphone, but just as important will be the perception that consumers develop. In an industry in which first impressions count profoundly, if the Galaxy S5 is to become the world’s most popular smartphone then it will have to improve on some of the perceived failings of previous Samsung handsets. The new TouchWiz UI seems to be the first step in this process.