Samsung Electronics yesterday unveiled the latest generation in its Galaxy S series, the S5, for the UAE market during a special event at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai.
Also launched was the Gear Fit, a companion watch aimed at physically active consumers who are keen on monitoring their vital signs and other health-related data.
The S5 does not make any real strides forward from its predecessor. It does have a finger scanner, but so did Apple's iPhone 5S, launched in September. Also notable is that the handset still runs Android (KitKat). Samsung will also soon be launching the next generation of Gear companion watches, which run Tizen, the Linux-based open-source platform over which Google has no control.
The camera is more powerful than the S4's, at 16MP, and it has an enhanced feature set, but compared with sensors in some smartphone cameras from Nokia and Sony, the S5's model does not particularly stand out in the current market in terms of power. But Samsung does claim the camera has "the world's fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds".
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"With the Galaxy S5, Samsung has gone back to the drawing board to work on adding real value to our consumers' lives, while giving them the best-in-class capabilities on the market," said Hayssam Yassine, head of Telecommunications at Samsung Gulf Electronics.
"The intuitive technologies of the Galaxy S5 and the Gear Fit motivate and support our consumers to help them maximise each moment and effortlessly stay in control of their lives."
Other features include fitness monitoring and all the regular S-series features such as voice recognition.
The Galaxy S5 supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO, and the LTE Category 4 standard. An additional feature is Download Booster, a Wi-Fi technology designed to boost data speeds by using Wi-Fi and LTE simultaneously.
The handset is IP67 dust and water resistant and includes an Ultra Power Saving Mode that turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise battery consumption.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available across all leading retail outlets in the UAE in three models. The Galaxy S5 (LTE) 32GB will retail at AED2,899. The Galaxy S5 (LTE) 16GB will sell for AED2,699, and the Galaxy S5 (3G) 16GB will retail for AED2,599.
Fitness-oriented wearables the Gear Fit, the Samsung Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo will retail at AED799, AED1,199 and AED799, respectively.