Samsung GALAXY S5 in Malaysia: Drops gimmicks, goes back to basics

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Samsung GALAXY S5

Samsung GALAXY S5

The fifth generation of the Samsung GALAXY S series – the Samsung GALAXY S5, has arrived in Malaysia, bringing a refined smartphone experience which Samsung says, “goes back to basics.” Packing the fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to date, advanced camera, fast network connectivity and dedicated fitness tools and device protection, the GALAXY S5 is a worthy successor to the highly-popular GALAXY S4. Together with the new flagship, Samsung also introduced the GALAXY Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness tracker.


Samsung GALAXY S5

Lee Dong Yong, President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics officiated the big launch and said, “With the GALAXY S5, Samsung is going back to basics to focus on delivery the capabilities that matter most to our consumers.”

So no fancy AirView-type gestures, no flushing “Inspired by nature” sounds, no features users don’t really need.

With the Samsung GALAXY S5, Samsung is concentrating on five main pillars – design, camera, connectivity, stay fit and life.

Samsung GALAXY S5

Design and build

The GALAXY S5 doesn’t differ a whole lot from the GALAXY S4, although it now features a perforated pattern on the back cover which Samsung calls a “modern glam look.” International press were quick to call it “band aid” and “golf ball” when it was first revealed at the Samsung Unpacked 5 event at Barcelona. To be fair, it feels much better than it looks. More on this in our first impressions of the new flagship device later. Available colours include Charcoal Black and Shimmery White. Electric Blue and Copper Gold will be available in Malaysia soon.

Samsung GALAXY S5

Camera

Samsung is touting the GALAXY S5’s enhanced 16MP main camera, with a superfast autofocus speed of just 0.3 seconds and advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature. The new Selective Focus feature is highly impressive, allowing users to focus on the specific area of object and blurring the background.

Fastest connections

The GALAXY S5 supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2×2 MIMO and has a larger number of LTE frequency with LTE Category 4 standard. Samsung is also introducing a feature called Download Booster, an innovative Wi-Fi technology that boosts data speed by bonding Wi-Fi and LTE simultaneously.

Samsung GALAXY S5

Stay fit

Samsung gets into the fitness game more seriously with the new S Health 3.0, coupled with the new built-in heart rate sensor. S Health provides comprehensive fitness tracking tools to help users monitor and manage their lifestyle, coupled with a pedometer and diet/exercise records. The phone also pairs with the next generation GALAXY Gear 2 and Gear Fit for real-time fitness coaching.

Device protection

For the first time, Samsung is making its main flagship dust- and water-resistant out-of-the-box, instead of featured in a variant, like the GALAXY S4 Active. The GALAXY S5 is IP67 certified, which means full protection from dust, and water immersion of between 15cm and 1m.

Samsung has also jumped in on the finger scanner bandwagon, featuring a Finger Scanner built into the phone’s Home button. Swipe to unlock the phone or make secure payments via PayPal.

Additionally, a new Ultra Power Saving Mode turns the display black and white to minimise battery consumption.

Specs at a glance

  • Display: 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED
  • Processor: 2.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
  • OS: Android 4.2.2
  • Network: LTE Cat.4 (150/50Mbps)
  • Camera: 16MP (rear), 2MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, 2×2 MIMO, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR Remote
  • Memory: RAM: 2GB; Internal storage: 16GB; microSD slot up to 128GB
  • Other features: IP67 dust- and water-resistant, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Download Booster, S Health 3.0, Quick Connect, Private Mode, Kids Mode
  • Sensor: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture (IR), Finger Scanner, Heart Rate

Samsung Gear Fit

Samsung GALAXY Gear 2

Price and availability

The Samsung GALAXY S5 will be available in Malaysia from 11 April onwards through major telcos – Celcom, DiGi and Maxis, as well as all Samsung Mobile Brands Stores, at a price of RM2,399 (SRP). The new flagship will only be available in one SKU, so no octa-core Exynos version expected any time soon.

The phone is open for pre-orders from Friday, 28 March to 10 April 2014.

The Samsung GALAXY Gear 2 retails for RM899, while the Gear Fit retails for RM589.

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