The ‘gadgetosphere’*, the fetishist tech blogs and sites obsessed with the minutiae of the latest hardware, have been fairly harsh on the Samsung Galaxy S5. While Apple has previously the one to take flack for failing to reinvent the smartphone wheel, as it used to seem to do so effortlessly, it’s now Samsung that is getting grief.
Its latest flagship phone, the S5, is bigger, fatter, heavier and just too sameier* compared to the Galaxy S4, which itself wasn’t that much of a leap compared to the S3. Oh noes.
However, as pointed out quite eloquently in this GigaOm piece, the lack of radical innovation is actually quite intelligent, as it has been with Apple’s recent upgrades, and makes for a slicker, more mature product. I too got to play with the S5 briefly at MWC, and, even as a long-time Apple user, I came away quite impressed.
The display is large, without being unmanageable; the screen quality bright and clear, with vivid colours, and the back feels good too in the hand. The fast focus on the camera could prove very useful in capturing that shot and the ability to take 4K, UHD video is a good push up the quality scale. If you want to send files of that size it will also place severe strain on a network, not to say your data package.
That’s why the feature that caught my eye is ‘Double boost’, that will enable you to use both Wi-Fi and LTE at the same time, – that is – simultaneously – to deliver speeds of up to 200Mbps, on files of over 30MB. It’s a pretty-neat feature that could have significant real-world benefit.
There’s also this report that the Galaxy S5 will be offering in a special variant that will support LTE-Advanced, providing another healthy data rate capability boost when compatible networks appear. Finally, the handset is confirmed to be VoLTE-ready, which will make it the first VoLTE handset to be widely available in the Europe, ahead of its launch by some networks later in the year, or early next.
So it’s clear that while the gadget types may be less impressed by features such as the fingerprint reader and the heart-rate monitor, Samsung should take some plaudits for pushing the envelope and providing a handset that is on the cutting edge of LTE.
* not a real word
*again not a real word. I know. Don’t write in.