Archive for April, 2014

The Samsung S5 is about to launch… We are wondering why they’re bothering.

 

11th April 2014 is the launch of the yet another new Samsung baby, the Galaxy S5. And I’m not sure I even care. Yes, me – gadget-obsessed, techaholic, new-shiny-loving me.

I love the latest phones, with their pretty novelty, tech advances, and shiny newness – but that is because I like the innovation that usually goes with them. When something comes out with nothing more than novelty tricks, it saddens me. Or worse… It bores me.

All that money, all the brains, all that effort, all that hype… And then they release something that is almost exactly the same. Except maybe you can sing in the shower with it.

I am cynical enough to believe this is a rather pointless addition to the Galaxy S range. It is hardly an upgrade to the S4 – it offers no technological leap, nor even a tiny extra step. Not in any way. It offers nothing new… except a handful of basic novelties. Seriously, does anyone really care that is dust- and sand-proof? Or that it’s sweat- and water-proof? Or that it has a heart rate monitor?  I can’t imagine it. But you can sing in the shower with it, and it does have a biometric lock on it… but then, that was only something genuinely advanced and interesting back in 1985.

From what I’ve seen so far of their campaign, this seems entirely geared towards appealing to extreme fitness fans, athletes, and marathon runners, health nuts – and ones with too much money at that. There is little extra for anyone else. The main thing points advertised for it are clearly geared towards anyone interested in running, or taking pictures of people running.

This phone may have had people flocking to it for these novelty factors during the 2012 Olympics. But that was rather a long time ago now, and I can’t see these mediocre fitness-focused extras as being particularly interesting to the average Joe who just wants a new phone.

 

So what tech does it have to offer?

It doesn’t offer too much that is new, but what it has is a bunch of practical upgrades that are necessary, but not really game-changers or unit-sellers. Not at the price they’re charging for it, anyway.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a fabulously hard-working battery, enabling up to 21 hours of 4G use, the latest Android Operating System, Kit Kat (yes, it’s really called Kit Kat…), and a super-fast processor – the 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 (this will mean it’s one of the fastest phones available and makes it on-par with new computers), and 2GB of RAM to run it.

Along with these points, it also has the expected staples now polished and made better: It has a  5.1” Super AMOLED HD screen (this means the screen is super clear, crisp and shiny, in 1080p with a nice 432 PPI – that’s Pixels Per Inch) – one that even adjusts to your current lighting, no less, a 16MP camera and 2MP front camera, and 16GB of internal memory – upgradable with Micro SD cards of up to 128GB.

It also has the other expected staples – it comes in different colours, it takes pretty pictures, it has 4G (if you have money to waste on overpriced plans for that too)… And, well, that’s about it, really.

Unfortunately, this not really so much as a cool new phone as it is a little toy for people who just like paying £600 for the latest shiny. It’s not for people who love tech, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s just for people who like running a lot, and they are somehow missing a bespoke phone that encompasses everything they require.

I’m beginning to think Samsung have hit the ceiling on tech advances, though, because we haven’t seen any for a while. So far, the only thing that has impressed me bout the Galaxy S5 is that it has a halfway decent battery that isn’t going to die a horrible death around lunchtime because you’ve been over-zealous in your obsession of constantly scrolling through Twitter. Otherwise, as a gadget-geek who doesn’t even run for the bus, this phone holds absolutely no interest whatsoever – and that disappoints me a lot.

 

Oh, Samsung… I did so expect better from you.