Samsung has finally revealed all the details of its next smartphone, the Galaxy S5. According to several of the speakers that spoke today at the company's keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it's all about giving the customers what they want.
"While we were planning the Galaxy S5, we were focused on understanding what's essential to [our customers]," said Jean-Daniel Ayme, Samsung's vice president of European Telecommunications. "We've come to the voice of our customers, and we are listening."
The Galaxy S5 comes with the usual array of features you'd expect out of a new smartphone. The camera has been bumped up to 16 megapixels and boasts a new chip set that allows the phone to autofocus as quickly as 0.3 seconds. It also boasts a better battery capacity, which Ayme said could support up to 10 hours of Web surfing over a 4G LTE network, or 12 hours of video playback. "That's a lot of cat videos," he joked.
The S5 is also incorporating a fingerprint sensor similar to that of the iPhone 5s. In addition to unlocking the phone itself, Ayme added that the fingerprint sensor could also be used as a way to confirm a user's identity for mobile payments, and for opening up a separate user profile to store private information and photos.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights and Strategies, said it seems that Samsung is letting Apple take the lead in the direction smartphones are headed. "Samsung is definitely following in Apple's footsteps," he told ABC News. "There's nothing that Samsung really has taken advantage of." He adds that even among other Android phone manufacturers, HTC or Sony could easily overtake Samsung if their next phones have "something remotely more interesting."
There is one feature that Moorhead took notice of. Beneath the camera is a small sensor that Samsung says can act as a heart-rate monitor. "It actually looks into your veins and can see your blood vessels constricting," He said. "If it works well, then it's a step forward, but it's a very difficult technology to get right."
The heart-rate monitor technology in the S5 also falls in line with Samsung's commitment to bridging its technology with fitness. The company also showed off an improved smartwatch in the Gear 2 and Gear Neo, as well as a fitness band called the Gear Fit. The devices will communicate with the Galaxy S5 and several other devices, a problem that plagued the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Though Ayme announced that the Galaxy S5 would be available in more than 150 countries on April 11, Samsung has only committed to rolling out the devices beginning in April.