Some details about the Samsung Galaxy S5 unveiling are now uncertain, as a source has slightly retracted previous reports. Days ago tech blogger and analyst Eldar Murtazin proposed a Feb. 23 launch in Barcelona for the Galaxy S5 – Barcelona is notably where the upcoming World Mobile Congress trade show will take place. But the blogger now claims that Samsung may change its initial plans to keep some mystery in its unveiling. It appears Samsung will instead showcase its Tizen operating system and accompanying devices during WMC.
Murtazin explained via Twitter on Thursday that there is now no set unveiling date for the Galaxy S5, though Samsung may be considering London for its launch location. This is not the first time we’ve seen this location proposed for the S5 launch event; an Italian freelance tech journalist by the name of Flavio also claimed recently that the upcoming device might be unveiled in mid-March in London. At the time the claim was not quite taken seriously as most evidence leaned toward an unveiling at or around WMC, but now many may take it into consideration.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 was unveiled in mid-March last year, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 was unveiled at an Unpacked event in London in 2012. Samsung executive vice president of mobile business Lee Young Hee recently told Bloomberg that the manufacturer has plans to release the Galaxy S5 between March and April, also mentioning plans to go “back to the basics” with the Galaxy S5. But currently, the exact meaning of that clue is unknown. In any event the actual unveiling date for the Galaxy S5 will likely be leaked at some point. It was Murtazin who accurately predicted the March 14 unveiling of the Galaxy S4, but that date did not surface until less than a month prior to the show.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Wider Screen For One-Handed Operation Options?
Though there is still no definitive unveiling date for the Samsung Galaxy S5, many prospective new specs are now being connected to the Galaxy S5. Reports out of the Netherlands point to two features in particular: Improved one-hand functions and a new music player. Recently published on the Korean patent information website K.I.P.R.I.S. is a patent for a functionality which resembles the Air Command feature on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Images show curved option tabs that can be displayed in any of the four device corners and provide shortcuts to notifications, apps, and favorite calls. Sources propose that the options might aid in one-hand functioning on an upcoming devices like the Galaxy S5. Such features are already on the Galaxy Note 3, including the ability to shrink the display for easier accessibility, or orient text and icons to the left or right for easier one-handed functions. December reports also indicated that a custom one-handed operation feature might be in the works for the S5, which allows users can set their preferred display orientation by sliding their fingers across the screen. Whether such settings will be included on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is not yet known, but as rumors suggest the Galaxy S5 display will be even larger at 5.25-inches, it might also benefit from one-handed operations settings.
A second recently discovered patent indicates that Samsung might have plans to update its music player interface. The app labeled “Friends Music” is pictured in screen captures and looks similar to images of the proposed updated Galaxy S5 UI that recently leaked. Sources suggest that the app appears social media focused and could be Samsung’s take on popular music services like Pandora and Spotify. There is also no telling whether this will be a definitive Galaxy S5 feature.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Other Possible Features
Another patent has leaked recently that sources have noted for the mockup image’s lack of a dedicated home button, as well as for an ominous feature on the rear panel, which some have guessed could be the finger print scanner for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Samsung devices have notably maintained a dedicated home button while many other Android devices are developed without one. Patents featuring Samsung type design mockups also tend to feature a home button; however, the image for this particular patent, which was filed on Jan. 21, has no button. This makes many wonder if upcoming Galaxy devices could mimic the button less design.
Consumers have long criticized whether the Samsung home button in necessary and Samsung has already shown its willingness to update the design of its devices with the introduction of the Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro tablets. With the new high-end tablets, Samsung has swapped the capacitive menu button for a multitasking button, doing away with another feature of which many were not quite fans. Not every Samsung flagship has included a dedicated home button; the Galaxy Nexus, a Google phone manufactured by Samsung features on screen buttons. Though the design of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is not yet known, the removal of the home screen could have its benefits, for example decreasing bezel size to increase display size without changing the overall size of the device.
In addition, the patent mock up includes an unknown feature, which some consider could be the rumored finger print scanner that may be introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Recently, a Samsung executive mentioned that the manufacturer has been "studying the possibility" of a fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5, while reports out of Korea now indicate the previously proposed Galaxy S5 iris scanner may not be ready for a commercial product. Since the release of the iPhone 5s with its Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded within its home button, other manufacturers have rushed to release their own fingerprint sensor versions. Notably, the HTC One Max features a finger print sensor on its back panel to differentiate from Apple’s sensor. That may be what has let pundits to consider that mockup feature could be a fingerprint sensor. However, sources indicate that Samsung may opt for touchscreen technology with its fingerprint sensor. Other reports have also mentioned Samsung’s work with Synaptics, a dedicated to human interface solutions company, which has developed touch controller mechanisms for the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 -- such features as Air View, Air Gesture and the Note 3's increasingly senstive S-Pen.
We think it looks like an elongated speaker, not unlike the front speaker featured on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. But again, there is no way of knowing what the Galaxy S5 will look like or what features it will possess until much closer to its unveiling.
Do you think the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be unveiled in February or March? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.