Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX:005935) released its latest Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone on Friday in 125 countries, including the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and most Asian markets. Along with the new handset, the South Korean tech giant also launched a set of wearable devices, including the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear 2 Neo smart watches, and the Samsung Gear Fit health tracker.
The Galaxy S5 is said to be powered by the fastest processor on the market, while also offering many built-in features such as an advanced camera with the rapid autofocus, dedicated fitness-oriented tools and IP67 dust-and-water resistance. The new handset is available in four colors -- charcoal black, shimmery white, electric blue and copper gold.
“The refined design and technological innovation of our new Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear devices are the direct result of Samsung listening carefully to what consumers wanted in the next generation of mobile technology.” JK Shin, CEO and president of IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung, said in a statement.
Here are a few more things that users should know about the new Samsung smartphone:
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PayPal Fingerprint-Secured Payment
On Friday, PayPal announced the availability of its fingerprint-based authentication system in 25 countries. The service, which was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, is now supported on the Samsung Galaxy S5. The company has also announced apps for the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit.
Users can use the service by swiping a finger over the Galaxy S5’s home button to authorize payments and perform other operations. The Galaxy S5 is also the first smartphone to include the FIDO authentication standard, developed by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992).
“Customers can use their finger to pay with PayPal from their new Samsung Galaxy S5 because the FIDO Ready software on the device securely communicates between the fingerprint sensor on their device and PayPal’s service in the cloud,” John Lunn, global director at PayPal, said. “The only information the device shares with PayPal is a unique encrypted key that allows PayPal to verify the identity of the customer without having to store any biometric information on PayPal’s servers.”
Galaxy S5 Developer Edition For Verizon Coming Soon
The Galaxy S5 developer edition for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has appeared on Samsung’s website, saying that the device will be made available to customers “very soon.”
While Samsung has not mentioned the price tag for the device, a report from SamMobile suggested that consumers may have to pay anywhere between $599 and $699 for the handset. An unlocked bootloader will be the only difference between the developer edition and the standard model of the Galaxy S5.
No Download Booster On Verizon, AT&T And Sprint Variants
One of the hyped features of the Galaxy S5 is the Download Booster, which allows users to download files faster on their phone using both Wi-Fi and LTE connections simultaneously.
However, Verizon, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Sprint variants of the Galaxy S5 are missing the feature, with no specific reasons for the move known so far. T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS) is the only major U.S. carrier that has not removed the feature.
According to SamMobile, the removal of the Download Booster could be related to “the carriers wanting users to limit their use of LTE data, or perhaps to make them use more mobile data rather than offloading parts of a download to a Wi-FI connection.”
Galaxy S5 Firmware Available To Download
The firmware flies for Galaxy S5’s Snapdragon-powered variant (SM-G900F), Exynos variant (SM-G900H) and Canadian variant (SM-G900W8) are now available for download. These firmware files could be useful for users who would like an easy way to return to the stock firmware after modifying their phone’s software.
Download links are available here.