Update as of February 24, 2014: Following months of horribly inaccurate rumors and speculations (detailed below), today at the Mobile World Congress 2014 being held in Barcelona, the Korean electronics giant officially unveiled its 2014 flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines

“With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics to focus on delivering the capabilities that matter most to our consumers,” shared Mr. JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung. “Consumers are looking for mobile tools that inspire and support them as they improve their everyday lives. The Galaxy S5 represents an iconic design with essential and useful features to focus on delivering the ultimate smartphone on the market today through people inspired innovation.”

According to the Korean company, Samsung Galaxy S5 combines an advanced camera, the fast network connectivity, dedicated fitness tools and enhanced device protection features as consumers stay fit and connected in style.

Capture the moments that matter

Capturing and saving precious memories is one of the most important smartphone features today. The new Galaxy S5 offers the best camera functionality Samsung has ever put in this line, featuring a 16 megapixel camera with an enhanced menu and user interface that allow consumers to easily take, edit and share photos.

The SGS5 actually offers the world’s fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds and the advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR), reproduce natural light and color with striking intensity at any circumstances. Also new Selective Focus feature allows users to focus on a specific area of an object while simultaneously blurring out the background. With this capability, consumers no longer need a special lens kit to create a Bokeh or shallow depth of field (DOF) effect.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines

Tap into the fastest connections

Samsung Galaxy S5 offers the most advanced LTE experience and Wi-Fi performance available on a smartphone today, ensuring blazing fast data speeds for unrivaled media consumption and productivity.

SGS5 actually supports the fifth generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO, and supporting the large number of LTE frequency with LTE Category 4 standard. For consumers seeking an even faster connection, the 2014 flagship smartphone now features Download Booster, an innovative Wi-Fi technology for boosting data speed by bonding Wi-Fi and LTE simultaneously. No matter where a consumer is, the Galaxy S5 will help ensure they have the fastest available connection.

Be more fit and active

With the enhanced S Health 3.0, the SGS5 offers more tools to help people stay fit and well. It provides a comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users monitor and manage their behavior, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new, built-in heart rate monitor. SGS5 users can further customize their experience with an enriched third party app ecosystem and the ability to pair with next generation Gear products for real-time fitness coaching.

Express modern, glam look

SGS5 blends iconic Samsung design with modern trends to appeal to a range of consumer tastes and interests. The Galaxy S5 features a perforated, dot matrix pattern on the back cover creating a supposedly modern and glamorous look. Its new sleek, contoured shape comes in an array of vivid colors, including Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, and Copper Gold, to complement the style of the individual consumer.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines

Essential device protection

Samsung Galaxy S5 is IP67 Certified to be dust and water resistant. It also features a Fingerprint Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature and a seamless and safe mobile payment experience to consumers. The Ultra Power Saving Mode, on the other hand, turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimize the battery consumption.

The device will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers this coming April 2014.

What Filipino Consumers Think? A few hours after the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014, I asked my TP Friends on Facebook and Twitter what they think about Samsung's new flagship smartphone. Here are some of their comments:

Raff Astor shared, "Saw the specs, some small reviews and comparison videos. Seems to me that Samsung Galaxy S5 brought only a small change in terms of overall design. The big improvement Android phone manufacturers should develop and improve is the quality of photos when they are uploaded online especially on Instagram. [...] Overall, S5 seems to be a small leap forward from the previous S series release. It's good and well improved yet it still lacks something that would "wow" every smart phone users."

Bryan Jonas Sayas added, "The heart rate monitor was a stupid move. Not everyone would use it; It's almost mainly for showing off. On the other hand, it shoots 4K and has an optical stabilization which fills what the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is lacking."

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5

Migs Canillas said, "They should have went with a metal body. Or at least a plastic body that doesn't look cheap (ala Samsung Galaxy S4). The dotted back looks weird."

According to Nikenelson Macaraig Pangilinan, "Disappointed with the design. I will stick with my Samsung Galaxy S4. If ever, I would go for the Sony Xperia Z2."

Paulo Ducut shared, "The Samsung Galaxy S3 was the game changer. SGS4 just maintained it. But the SGS5? Let's see what the market says."

To which Nico Aguila agreed, "Yes, the SGS3 was the phone that met all the expectations and more. After that, there's hardly any difference between Samsung's flagship offering compared to that of other manufacturers. With SGS5, in a sense, Samsung copied the waterproofing technology of Sony (like what we've already seen on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active) and the first generation Nexus 7 for the dimples."

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5

Quoting Nikko Manay, "Samsung Galaxy S5 is such a huge disappointment. Samsung should wake up and start thinking of new 'wow factor' features to give their smartphones and not just imitate the other brands."

Kitt Rebulanan tried to explain why most users felt disappointed when they say SGS5, "Everyone got let down, most probably because of all the hype. Maybe Samsung should have waited to release the new flagship 'til maybe Q3 or Q4 2014."

Jezer Garcia was very frank in saying that "Samsung Galaxy S5 is 'not worth to upgrade' [as] Samsung has already reached the tipping point where everyone is not surprised anymore."

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5

Mark of TP: For me, Samsung Galaxy S5 is just alright overall. I've compared its specs sheet and features with that of its predecessors and I think that while the upgrades aren't considerable, the increase in the screen size, the addition of the fingerprint sensor, and the updated chipset are enough to constitute an update. I think, however, that Samsung is starting to lose its edge when it comes to smartphone innards; For one, I think it's odd that the phone only came with 2GB of RAM. And whatever's happening to the company's Exynos chipsets? There was a time when their flagship releases would have the best processors in their category and we're starting to miss that. I think this is largely the reason why a lot of consumers felt underwhelmed when they saw the product's technical specifications. Also, what's up with the perforated dot matrix design? I know it's supposed to represent "modern glam" but just from looking at the videos and photos of the handset, I'm not getting that. I actually think Samsung Galaxy Note 3's faux leather back plate design looks very attractive and elegant; I would have preferred SGS5 to have the same visually arresting finish.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines, Samsung Galaxy S5

Update as of April 3, 2014: Samsung Galaxy S5 has just been launched in the Philippines; The official suggested retail price of the 16GB variant is Php 34,990, which is a tad higher than our guesstimate and more expensive than the SRP of Samsung Galaxy S4 upon launch last year. The device will be available at all retail outlets across the country and network carriers starting April 11, 2014.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Samsung Galaxy S5
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
Weight 145 grams
Available Colors Electric Blue, Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, and Copper Gold
Operating System Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat skinned by TouchWiz
Display 5.1 inches (~432 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, Full HD Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor, GPU, Chipset Quad Core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 SoC
RAM 2 GB RAM
Internal Storage Philippines: 16 GB, expandable via microSD card slot, supports up to 128 GB
Camera 16 MegaPixels, 5312 x 2988 pixels, Autofocus, LED flash, Features: Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD Video and Image Recording, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face and Smile Detection, Image Stabilization, HDR (Rich Tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot&More, Front: 2 MegaPixels
Video Capture 4K UHD 2160p 30 frames per second (non-LTE model), Full HD 1080p 60 frames per second, video stabilization, dual video recording, Front: Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second
Audio and Video Playback Video: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8,
HEVC, Full HD (1080p), UHD (depends on variant) Audio: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*), WAV(*)
(*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support
Ports microUSB v3.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity, Sharing 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), WiFi Hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth v 4.0 (LE) IR LED (Remote Control), S Beam, Samsung AllShare Play and Control, Samsung AllShare Cast (WiFi Display), Mirroring and Extention, Samsung AllShare Framework
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Hall, RGB Ambient Light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart Rate Sensor
GPS A-GPS, GLONASS
Battery Removable Li-Ion 2,800 mAh
Uptime Standby Time of 390 hours and Talk Time of 21 hours
Value-Added Features Flagship Release, IP67 Dust and Water Resistant, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Download Booster, S Health 3.0, Quick Connect
Announcement Worldwide: February 24, 2014, MWC Barcelona
Philippines: April 3, 2014
Availability April 2014 in Key Markets
Philippines: April 11, 2014
Price TP Guesstimate: Starts at Php 31,000
Official SRP in the Philippines: Php 34,990

Earlier TechPinas SGS5 Features: Leaks and Rumors

Samsung Galaxy S5 - the follow-up to last year's highly successful Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship release - has yet to be announced by the Korean Giant, however, a lot of rumors about the device's design and technical specifications are already spreading in the blogosphere.

Most of the information that we are hearing about the handset currently are plain speculation but the good news is that Samsung has already confirmed that the SGS5 will be released sometime in April this year and will be formally announced next month at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines
Artist Rendition of Samsung Galaxy S5 based on leaked information about the smartphone's design and construction.

TP friends, we want you to be ahead in knowing what to expect from the Galaxy S5 and its avant-garde features before the handset becomes official!

Innards, Screen, and Imaging Capabilities

Reports have it that the S5 will be running on a 64-bit chipset architecture albeit it will be clocked slower (or will just be generally less powerful) than that of iPhone 5S. A supposed recording in Rightware Browsermark test showed that the upcoming SGS5 got a score of 3303.88 as compared to iPhone 5S’s 3669.91 and Note 3’s 3353.07.

Furthermore, industry insiders have suggested that in a bid to minimize production costs, the SGS5 will not be sporting the usual AMOLED display in favor of Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) LCD display. The LTPS LCD is said to be faster and is more integrated than screens made with amorphous silicon substrates. Sharp might be tapped to make the screen for the S5 as Samsung has already bought a small stake in the Japanese electronics giant.

Sources have claimed that the S5 will boast a 5.25-inch display with an impressive 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and 560 ppi pixel density. It is also said that the device will have a 16-megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor, better than the existing BSI sensor among other flagships. This new imaging technology "substantially increases light sensitivity and effectively controls the absorption of electrons, resulting in higher color fidelity even in poor lighting conditions." This means improved image quality and enhanced user experience especially when taking selfies.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines

Apart from the 64-bit processor, insiders are likewise saying that SGS5 will have a whopping 8GB of RAM. Off hand, we are not sure if this is accurate as 8GB sounds like a far too big jump from SGS4's 2GB of RAM but it can be recalled that, last year, Samsung announced that they have successfully developed the industry’s first eight gigabit (Gb), low power double data rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM. This new RAM chip consumes 40 percent less energy and is capable of delivering increased speed and improved multitasking performance resulting to a slimmer phone with longer battery life. An official spokesperson for the company stated that "Samsung's new ultra-slim memory solutions will enable thinner Smartphone designs and allow for additional battery space, while offering a data transfer speed of up to 2,133 megabits per second (Mbps) per pin."

Design and Build

While the Galaxy S4 has been lauded for its technical specifications, many have criticized its plastic construction, which is - quite frankly - a tad disappointing for a flagship release. This is why many consumers chose to wait for the metal-clad iPhone 5S or - those loyal to Android - bought the HTC One for its premium build.

Some anonymous sources from inside the company are saying that Samsung will start to use aluminum for its high-end smartphones and that the S5 could be the first flagship from the company to get the full metal treatment. Note, however, that Samsung is also considering the use of lightweight materials in order to ensure mobility and portability of its future phones and tablets. In fact, the Korean Giant recently acquired carbon fiber specialist, SGL Group. The partnership between SGL and Samsung will position the latter as a leading player in the development and application of carbon fiber in mobile devices.

User Interface

It appears that Samsung is now working on a major revamp of its TouchWiz UI and we could very well see this refresh first on the SGS5. Earlier this week, @evleaks uploaded a photo of what could be the final design of this new user interface or skin for the phone's Android 4.4 KitKat OS. Just from looking at the shots, we can say that it has a flatter and perhaps more corporate look compared to the previous version.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Philippines

TP friends, some of you may be wondering if the Galaxy S5 will use a technology similar to the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S. Well, that could very well happen. Yesterday, a media outlet from Korea shared that, instead of the earlier rumored iris scanner, Samsung has opted to just give SGS5 a fingerprint scanner. If you remember, in an interview with Bloomberg television last year, a Samsung official said that "many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology. [And Samsung is] studying the possibility [of implementing it on new devices.]" Looks like we won't get that yet on the SGS5.

I know, most of you would just want to drag the days until SGS5 sees formal announcement at MWC 2014. It's definitely one of the more anticipated and exciting gadget releases this year. Now, if these speculations about SGS5 turn out accurate, I bet Samsung would continue to stay on the pedestal where it enjoys immense popularity among consumers across all markets. Stay tuned for updates!

Update as of February 13, 2014: An anonymous source has just uploaded a photo of what appears to be the bottom part of Samsung Galaxy S5's paper packaging.


It shows a table containing the key technical specifications of the upcoming device, namely, LTE Cat4 150 Mbps download speeds 50 Mbps upload speeds, 2.5 GHz Quad Core processor (which could very well be Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 8974AC variant), 5.25-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution) Super AMOLED display, Full HD 1080p video recording and playback, 20 MegaPixel autofocus camera, 2 MegaPixel front cam, GPS/GLONASS, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 3,000 mAh battery pack, and Smart Remote. But what's the OS version exactly? Samsung has just released Android 4.4 KitKat firmware upgrade for the Samsung Galaxy Note3 flagship phablet so the new SGS5 could very well run this OS version right out of the box.

Mark of TP: Since Samsung Galaxy S i9000's release in 2010, the Philippines has consistently been one of the first countries to get flagship releases from the Korean Giant. I'm expecting Samsung Galaxy S5 to land here around the last week of April with official suggested price of roughly Php 32,000 or similar to that of Samsung Galaxy S4 upon its launch in the Philippines last April 26, 2013.

Dino Prestado, TechPinas Writer Fellow#TPWriterFellows Batch 1 Member and DOST Scholar from Bicol University, Dino Prestado, is a High School Chemistry and Physics teacher. He holds a Master's Degree in Physics Education and is a Full-time technology and gadget enthusiast.