At this year’s Unpacked 5 unveiling of the Galaxy S5 and Gear 2/Neo/Fit, Samsung actually cut things pretty short. Whereas last year’s unveiling of the Galaxy S4 included some ridiculous showmanship and paid actors, Samsung toned down the Galaxy S5 event quite a bit, giving us only an orchestra to open the ceremonies with. Samsung was also oddly brief about many of the new features of the Galaxy S5, and didn’t even bother going into detail on some sections of the new hardware and software. Thankfully Samsung has it on display at Mobile World Congress and there have been plenty of people getting hands on time for us to deduce all the new things Samsung has packed into their first 2014 flagship. For instance while Samsung talked quite a bit about the new camera and all the new features and changes they’ve brought with it they didn’t cover everything. Hardware High Dynamic Range (HDR, Rich Tone) is built into the new Snapdragon 801 chipset, and as such something that used to take a couple of seconds to process is now an instant task. You can even use HDR in burst mode, ensuring you’re going to get the most perfect shot possible without even trying. Samsung has also added some post-process blurring modes, allowing you to defocus the background of a picture while leaving the foreground in focus for extra crisp SLR-style shots. This works for action shots as well giving you the ability to give the background extra blur to incite the feeling of speed while allowing your subject to remain crisp.
Besides the camera there’s a bevy of additional UI features that weren’t covered. For instance on the notification shade there’s now a “quick connect” button that gives you many ways of interacting with other devices, be it a TV, PC or other mobile device. Want to transfer a file via NFC? Quick Connect is the quickest and easiest way to do it and it’s accessible from anywhere since it’s in the notification shade.
Samsung has also expanded its floating window tech, now adding anything you want to a little floating bubble that can be moved around your screen. We first saw Samsung do this on the Galaxy Note 3, where you could “minimize” apps to a bubble if they were supported and keep them handy whenever you needed them. Toolbox improves this by also giving you quick settings in addition to app shortcuts, and you can access it from anywhere by clicking the button in the notification shade for it.