The Samsung Galaxy S4 launched in the spring of 2013, which means its time to start dreaming up what could be next for the tech giant’s flagship phone. The S4 continues to dominate the mobile market alongside Apple’s iPhone 5s, but what could we expect from the sequel. If some of the rumors are true, the Galaxy S5 may bring the more premium, durable design Samsung fans have been waiting for alongside some noteworthy performance enhancements. Here’s a look at what we think we know about the Galaxy S5 so far.
Apple’s iPhone 5s became the world’s first smartphone to launch with a 64-bit processor, but it certainly won’t be the last. Samsung’s mobile business chief JK Shin recently confirmed to Korea Times that the company plans to launch smartphones with such technology.
“Not in the shortest time,” he said. “But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality.”
Samsung also made a point to mention its upcoming 64-bit processing technology at its recent Analyst Day, saying that the company will start by using ARM cores and will eventually develop its own. This doesn’t guarantee that the Galaxy S5 will debut with 64-bit processing, but since the company has been publicly acknowledging its plans it certainly seems plausible. And Samsung would be wise to do so if it truly wants the S5 to be a 5s killer.
Metal, Semi-Rugged Body
Samsung is expected to ditch its signature plastic form factor for a more sturdy and attractive design. An “inside source” reportedly told Android Geeks that the Galaxy S5 will sport a fully aluminum chassis, and another report from Korea soon followed reporting the same information. At the same time, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 model could adopt some of the rugged features we’ve seen on the Galaxy S4 Active and Sony Xperia Z1. Korean news outlet ETNews reports that the S5 will be water and dust resistant.
Samsung recently revealed that its future smartphones launching in 2014 will use ISOCELL technology, which allows for clearer low-light photography and more accurate color reproduction. This would be a welcome addition to the Galaxy line, considering the S4 fared miserably in the low-light test during our Smartphone Camera Shootout. Meanwhile, TechRadar is reporting that Samsung will bump the megapixel count from 13 to 16 for the S5’s camera sensor.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Recent reports suggest that the Galaxy S5 will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering Google is likely to roll out its latest Android OS more widely over the next few months. Android 4.4 brings some notable improvements to the Android ecosystem, including faster multitasking, a new immersive mode that hides toolbars and on-screen buttons, a streamlined contacts app, built-in printing and Emoji support among other additions. You’ll also be able to perform voice searches from the home screen by saying “Ok, Google.”
January or February Release
Samsung’s new flagship could debut as soon as January, according to a report from Korea that surfaced in October. News source Naver cites Samsung insiders saying that the company plans to launch its S5 earlier than expected due to disappointing Galaxy S4 sales. Samsung sold 20 million units of the S4 within its first four months on the market, but the second quarter of 2013 wasn’t as successful for the Galaxy-device maker.
In addition to shares falling by 13 percent since April, Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have been outselling the current-gen Samsung flagship. TechRadar is also reporting that Samsung could introduce the S5 in February, although this hasn’t been confirmed.