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Samsung S5 unveiled, dubbed the world’s smartest phone ever


In a world almost bursting at the seams with fitness bands, smartphones, wearables and cameras it takes something special to stand out – and Samsung hopes its new Galaxy S5 will do just that.

The Galaxy S5, dubbed the ‘superphone’ has handpicked features from its competitors and put them all into a single handset.

Samsung claims it crams in a professional camera and a powerful fitness tracker while being water and dust proof – and comes with fingerprint sensor technology, just like arch rival the iPhone 5S.

The new flagship device includes a built-in heart monitor, pedometer, fitness apps and fingerprint recognition.

It will go on sale in April, although prices have not yet been announced.

The Galaxy S5 is at the head of a move by tech giants to turn the ever more sophisticated mobile phone into a substitute doctor and personal trainer.

Samsung’s S5 has its own health functions, but it will also connect to the company’s second generation smartwatch, the Gear 2, as well as a new wearable band device, the Gear Fit, which will play a role in measuring fitness.

The watch and fitness band can pick up the pulse through the skin on the wrist and display it on the small screen throughout a normal day, or during a workout.

All of the information gathered by the devices can be used to calculate the number of steps taken, calories burned and general fitness.

The firm’s ‘S Health 3.0’ software creates graphs or tables of the results to track changes in activity and health over time.

Samsung’s apps can then develop a fitness regime, including a range of activities from jogging to climbing the stairs rather than using the lift, to help people improve their health.

‘Exercise, food, sleep, stress, and weight.

‘You can monitor and track each of these areas with Samsung’s Lifestyle Coach app. Part of the S Health suite,’ the company said.

‘We’ve decided to go back to basics with the Galaxy S5 and focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers – namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly and their health and wellbeing,’ said Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.

 ‘People want a smartphone that enhances and enables their mobile life.

‘The Galaxy S5 represents just that and we’re excited to see the response to our latest flagship smartphone device.’

The S5 has a 16MP camera – an improvement on the 13MP camera seen on the S4 – and features a number of advanced editing and focus tools similar to those on the 5S.

The new camera has twice as many megapixels as Apple’s iPhone 5S.

The camera has phrase-detect as well as contrast-detect autofocus, which Samsung claims is the fastest autofocus in any smartphone.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has got better battery life than its predecessor.

Even when the battery is on 10 per cent, it has 24 hours of time left before it gives up the ghost.

The smartphone is also the first with Wi-Fi MIMO, which Samsung claims nearly doubles Wi-Fi connection speeds.

The Galaxy S5 features a perforated pattern on the back cover creating a ‘modern glam look’.

Its new contoured shape comes in an array of colours, including: Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. It is dust and water resistant.

Like Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung’s latest handset has a Fingerprint Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature.

VP of electronic communications at Samsung, Jean-Daniel Amye, said: ‘The finger scanner uses your fingerprint as the ultimate password to your identity.

‘All it takes is a simple swipe of your finger to make secure payments.

‘Also finger scanner unlocks Private mode where secure files can be stored. I can now keep my passport in a secure way’.

Mr JK Shin, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics said: ‘Samsung has been one of the major contributors of the mobile industry’s high growth.

‘Especially, the Galaxy S series has been a key driver of smartphone growth.

‘A total of 200 million people use Galaxy S devices, he added.

‘People are easily excited about technology – disruptive and breakthrough. We’re interested in meaningful innovation.

‘It’s surprisingly simple.

‘Our customers don’t want eye-popping technology, they want design.

‘Our consumers want a simple yet powerful camera.

‘Our consumers want powerful and seamless connectivity and our consumers want a phone that helps them stay for,’ he said.

Mr Shin unveiled a companion device to the new phone – Gear Fit – by simply pulling back the sleeve on his left arm.

The wearable device gives users notifications about SMS, missed calls, while also serving as a way to monitor their heart rate while exercising.

It has a 5.1inch Full HD Super AMOLED display that can be dimmed  – ‘it is equipped with a screen that fits perfectly on your wrist,’ he said.

The Samsung Gear Fit is designed to ‘comfortably contour to the wrist while offering a vivid Super AMOLED display,’ Samsung said.

The company claims it provides ‘much more’ than other fitness bands as it keeps users up to date with incoming calls, emails, SMS, alarm, S-planner and third party apps while they are on the move so they can stay connected.

For style-conscious wearers there are changeable straps in black, orange and grey and it’s water resistant.

Weighing just 27 grams, the Gear Fit will offer real-time fitness coaching and personalised workout advice when it goes on sale in April.

The Gear Fit is compatible with 20 Galaxy devices.

Interestingly, there are built-in heart rate monitors in both the Gear 2 and Gear Fit and the company admitted that users would have an ‘overload’ of sensors if they had both the Gear 2 and Gear Fit.

Mr Shin said: ‘Gear 2 and Gear Fit – quite a team.

‘Well, if you buy both and the S5, you’d have an overload of heart rate monitors.

‘Surely one is sufficient.’

While there appears to be a fair amount of overlap with Samsung’s new products, it’s clear that the firm is making each one marginally different to attract the widest range of users as possible.

It’s unlikely one customer will buy all three but Samsung is undoubtedly hoping that by attracting a new user to one or two of its devices it will develop a loyalty that will last into future releases.

The Gear 2 smartwatch, unveiled at the weekend, lasts three times longer than the first watch, which was criticised for being chunky and expensive at £300.

However, experts say the phone maker could still struggle to persuade users to upgrade.

The updates are so minor that on first glance most consumers would be hard pressed to notice that it has changed from the previous version,’ Nick Dillon, senior analyst at Ovum said.

‘Still, this should come as no great surprise, given the maturity of the smartphone market and the pressure on the Samsung not to mess with its winning formula.

‘Samsung reminded us quite how successful this formula has been, noting that it has sold 200 million Galaxy S devices since launching the franchise in 2010.’

-DailyMail online

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