The Samsung Galaxy S4 is still one of the most powerful phones on the market, but as surely as night follows day, Samsung will be unveiling a replacement in the coming months.
So what can you expect from the Korean company’s next flagship smartphone? We’ve gathered all the latest news, rumours and other information in one place. Expect regular updates as more gossip filters through.
It will feature a metal body
Despite frequent criticism of the Galaxy S range’s shiny plastic bodies by almost everyone, Samsung has resolutely clung to its use of polycarbonate through four generations and countless “spin-off” devices. But that could be set to change with the Galaxy S5.
The Taipei Times reports that Catcher, a company that makes metal bodies for the likes of Apple and HTC devices, will be manufacturing Galaxy casings for Samsung in the first half of 2014. Magnesium and aluminium are the likely materials. If true, it’d bring Samsung in line with its competitors – currently it’s the only one of the top five smartphone makers to use plastic in its high-end models.
It will be weather and dust-proof
Samsung has form in delivering rugged, weather-proof smartphones through the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, but next year that sort of toughness could come engineered into the flagship Galaxy S5.
ETNews reports that the S5 will be resistant to dust and water, which perhaps goes hand-in-hand with the rumour above concerning a metal body.
It’s coming with a 64-bit processor
Given that Apple, Samsung’s greatest rival, has already launched the 64-bit iPhone 5S, it’s a no-brainer that the Korean company will follow suit. Samsung executive J.K. Shin revealed as much in a recent meeting, according to Korea Times.
The true value of 64-bit architecture on smartphones isn’t really known, and won’t be until more developers being creating compatible software. But Samsung won’t want to be seen as falling behind its rivals on paper, and even if the benefits of a jump to 64-bit are negligible, we can expect the S5 to feature it.
Update 04/12/13: GFXBench's leaked Galaxy S5 benchmarks point to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked to 2.5Ghz - higher than its counterparts in existing superphones like the LG G2 and Google Nexus 5.
There’ll be a super-sensitive new camera on board
Patent Bolt reports that Samsung has developed a new 13MP camera module for its 2014 generation of smartphones. While the megapixel count with the S4’s camera is the same, this module features far superior anti-shake image stabilisation. In fact, the module supports anti-shake correction of up to 1.5 degrees, while existing image stabilisation for smartphones tops out at 0.7 degrees.
The report also indicates that the sensor is drastically more effective in low light than Samsung’s current 13MP camera module, outputting an image with eight times higher brightness. That’s a huge claim, especially considering the unit is the same physical size as the current one. Take it with a pinch of salt.
Leaked benchmarks of what could be the Galaxy S5 have appeared at GFXBench, and they point to a – wait for it – 1440p display.
That's an insane 2560x1440 2K HD screen. On a smartphone.
If rumours of a 5in screen are true, that would result in an eye-melting 560ppi. Has science gone too far?
Update 10/12/13: The latest rumours whisper that Samsung is considering to drop its long-favoured AMOLED display tech for LCD, in a bid to cut costs by 20 percent. This applies to both the Galaxy S5 and Note 4, according to Koran website ETNews.
[Image: Tech Radar]
It'll stare into your eyes
Apparently Samsung isn't too fussed with fingerprint readers. Instead of the S5 scanning your fingertips, it will reportedly feature retina-scanning security instead.
That's right, the S5 will - accordings to AndroidSaS' sources - be able to unlock itself once it's scanned your eyes.
Price and release date
UPDATE 10/10/2013: The latest rumour, this time from Korean news outlet Naver (via TrustedReviews) is that the S5 will be unveiled in January – two months before Samsung's Galaxy flagships usually arrive. How come? Possibly because the 64-bit ARM achitecture that the iPhone 5s' A7 chip is based upon is available to all, and Samsung will want to be first on the Android scene to pack the technology. But that's pure speculation.
As for pricing, we'd expect the S5 to be in line with its forebears: just shy of £600 should bag you a SIM-free 32GB model.