Samsung teases Galaxy S5 details, new Gear and iris scanning

Samsung teases Galaxy S5 details, new Gear and iris scanning

Summary: Samsung is going to back to the basics in design for the Galaxy S5 but may include an eye-scanner.


A senior Samsung mobile executive has dropped a few crumbs about the forthcoming Galaxy S5, and dashed hopes the new flagship will be released in February.

Speaking with Bloomberg a few days ago, Samsung's Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of its mobile business, said the company is aiming to release the S5 around March or April — in line with previous years' flagship launches, such as the S4's March 2013. Recent rumours based on comments from a senior Samsung design exec left open the possibility for a launch at Mobile World Congress, held in Spain in February. 

Another rumour is that the Galaxy S5 will break away from the plastic mould of its predecessors and have a metal frame. Lee didn't discuss materials, but admitted public disappointment at the lack of difference between the design of the S4 and S3. Lee said Samsung will go "back to the basics" for the S5, with a focus on the display and "feel of the cover".

The company is rumoured to be working on a vastly improved screen, employing a QHD resolution screen with 2,560x1,440 pixels — about four times the resolution of HD.

A report from ZDNet Korea in December also indicated Samsung is cooking up a biometrics answer to Apple's iPhone 5S TouchID fingerprint scanner in the form of iris scanning technology. Lee doesn't say whether the S5 will include this feature, but she says "many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology" and that the company is exploring the possibility.

Samsung will however release a new Gear smartwatch around the same time that improves on what Lee said was the "bulky design" of the first one and will come with "more advanced functions".

Samsung's first Gear launched with the Galaxy Note 3 last October, and later rolled out support for the Galaxy S4, S3 and Note II with its Android 4.3 update. Samsung is expected to release the S5 running Android KitKat, and is yet to announce timing for the OS' release for its current line of devices, so perhaps it follow the same rollout path here. 

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Topics: Mobility, Android, MWC, Samsung

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • I like the plastic case of the S3 EXCEPT that it's too smooth

    The only improvement I can think of to the case of Samsung's phone is to make it of textured plastic with a higher coefficient of friction than the current models. That would make them less likely to slip out of hands, pockets, etc. and reduce the need for 'cases'.
    I've had my S3 for over a year now with about 5 drops but no damage. That's without a case. The advantage of a flexible plastic case is that it absorbs much of the impact by flexing or even popping off, thus protecting the rest of the phone from damage. Please, please, Mr. Samsung, don't go for a rigid metal case that transmits impacts directly to the more fragile parts of the phone!
  • It will be hard to top the S4

    May not have been an "iPhone killer" but came close.
  • "four times the resolution of HD"

    4x the resolution of HD (1,920x1,080) would be 3,840x2,160.