Samsung Galaxy S5 (GSM)
T-Mobile recently pulled back the velvet curtain to reveal Underground, a new storefront for those seeking hard-to-get devices. T-Mobile Underground is a web site where "true enthusiasts" will find limited-stock devices and accessories. In addition to exclusive and performance-centric devices, T-Mobile Underground will offer "news and reviews from the tech literati." At launch, the only device available through T-Mobile Underground is the limited-edition Samsung Galaxy S5 Gold. T-Mobile didn't say if or when other devices will be added to the Underground roster.
Samsung today confirmed it will close its Music Hub and e-book store on July 1. The Music Hub served alongside the Samsung Hub - which sold music, videos, books, games, and educational content - on last year's Galaxy S4 handset. The Music Hub was a full music store, much like Google Play Music or the Amazon MP3 Store. It allowed users to buy individual tracks and albums. The same was true of the e-book store, which duplicated Google's own offering, in addition to those of other providers, such as Amazon. Samsung didn't explain the rationale behind its decision to shutter the music and e-book stores other than to say it was "striving for service differentiation and customer value enhancement." The Samsung Hub itself will also go away, and is no longer preinstalled on this year's Galaxy S5. Instead, Samsung's surviving services - movies, games, and educational content - will remain available as stand-alone apps. Samsung's music and e-book services will still be available to consumers in its home market of Korea.
T-Mobile today announced the upcoming limited availability of a gold-colored Galaxy S5. The gold GS5 will be sold online and in select stores beginning May 30. Pricing for the Limited Edition Gold Galaxy S5 is the same as the black or white models. T-Mobile also said that it is now taking online pre-orders for Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) tablet. T-Mobile is asking for $99.99 down for the tablet followed by 24 monthly payments of $23 on T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Plan.
Samsung executive Rhee In-jong today said the company plans to increase the use of biometrics in its mobile devices and will eventually make them available to low-cost smartphones. Samsung recently added a fingerprint scanner to the Galaxy S5 as one of several security options. Owners can choose to use their fingerprint, rather than a password, to lock and protect their device. The Apple iPhone 5s also has a fingerprint scanner. Both devices are flagship models, however, and aren't necessarily affordable to everyone. Samsung wants to make biometrics available to all its devices, though Rhee didn't say just how quickly Samsung will accomplish this goal. Rhee did indicate the company is also looking at iris detection as a means of securing mobile devices. The motivation behind these efforts is to drive adoption of Samsung's Knox enterprise security platform, which Samsung believes will help it sell devices to corporate clients.
Samsung today announced that its second-generation business security suite is now available to the Galaxy S5. One of the core features of the improved software is support for split billing. Knox 2.0 can determine the amount of monthly data used by personal apps and the data used by business apps and split the bill so businesses only have to pay for the portion generated by actual work. Knox 2.0 also improves compatibility with other applications so they can be secured or sandboxed. The suite has a new series of cloud-based services, as well, such as a dedicated store for enterprise applications, and tools for IT to manage and control employee devices. Knox 2.0 is only available to the GS5, but Samsung said it will become available to more Galaxy devices in the months ahead. Samsung created Knox to help generate more appeal for its devices within businesses. It competes with BlackBerry's BES product.
MetroPCS announced the availability of the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is in stores and online beginning today. The GS5 costs $649 and can be paired with Metro's $40 no-contract plans.
PayPal today made a new version of its mobile app available explicitly for the Samsung Galaxy S5. The app, first announced in February, lets GS5 owners make payments across the web by swiping their finger on the GS5's fingerprint sensor. PayPal says the feature can be used with most online merchants and mobile apps that accept PayPal, in addition to select retail stores. Further, PayPal launched a separate app for Samsung's Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches. The watch-based app lets people save and redeem offers, check their balance, receive payment notifications, and check-in at local stores. Both the smartphone and smartwatch apps are free to download.
Samsung's Download Booster, a feature of the Galaxy S5 meant to improve file download speeds, has been removed from the device by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. The companies did not provide a reason for cutting the app. T-Mobile will be the only major U.S. carrier to support the feature. Download Booster splits file downloads between Wi-Fi and LTE in order to create faster speeds. AnandTech reports that Download Booster only works with files from apps such as the Google Play Store, YouTube, Facebook, and the browser that are larger than 30MB. Download Booster's usefulness will vary depending on local network connections.
C Spire Wireless recently revealed that it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S5 as soon as May. The company didn't share pricing details, however. The GS5 reaches most major carriers this month.
T-Mobile today announced that its variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available for preorder beginning March 24. T-Mobile is offering the device for $0 down, followed by 24 monthly payments of $27.50 (~$660 total over two years). Those who preorder before March 31 will be eligible for $120 off the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. T-Mobile indicated that more than 500,000 people have preregistered for information about the GS5, but people who actually preorder before March 31 will be the first to receive it once it goes on sale. T-Mobile didn't say when the device might ship, nor did it announce plans to carry the Gear 2 or Gear Fit wearable devices.
Samsung today highlighted some of the third-party applications it plans to install on the Galaxy S5 smartphone, and claims their total value exceeds $600. Most of the freebies take the form of limited-time memberships to web sites or services that would otherwise charge for their use. For example, the Galaxy S5 will include a six-month subscription to the Wall Street Journal and a 12-month subscription to Bloomberg/BusinessWeek. It will also include a $50 voucher for PayPal merchants, 50GB of Box storage for six months, 50GB of DropBox storage for two years, and 1TB of Bitcasa storage for three months. Several fitness subscriptions will be included, as will gaming credits. Smartphones are often sold with third-party apps and services pre-loaded. The Samsung Galaxy S5 will go on sale worldwide in April.
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5 smartphone today in Barcelona. Those expecting a great leap forward are bound to be disappointed, but the Galaxy S5 makes progress all the same. Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions.
AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile each today affirmed that it will off the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it goes on sale in April. Exact sales dates and pricing were not shared by the carriers.
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S5, the fifth-generation of its flagship smartphone. It borrows a bit from the design language of the Galaxy Note 3 in that it is less round around the edges and more square - what Samsung calls the "modern glam look." The phone is more refined, but is also clearly a member of the Galaxy S family. Samsung worked to improve the camera, which rates 16 megapixels. The autofocus function has been sped up to help improve time-to-capture, as has the HDR function which can now work with video. Samsung has added a depth of field control to help blur the background, called Selective Focus. The video camera can capture 4K Ultra HD video. The GS5 puts more of an emphasis on health and fitness with revised S Health apps and services. S Health interacts with a built-in pedometer to help track activity, and a heart rate monitor tracks the owner's heart health. Samsung also has worked to incorporate S Health with third-party apps. The phone features a 5.1-inch 1080p HD screen, dual-band Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO, and Category 4 LTE speeds. The GS5 has what Samsung calls a Download Booster, which uses Wi-Fi and LTE together to increase download speeds over the air. Like the GS4 Active, the GS5 is water and dust resistant thanks to an ingress protection rating of IP67. The device has a 2,800mAh battery and Ultra Power Saving Mode, which turns the display black and white and shuts down all but the most essential apps and services to save battery life. It is powered by a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM; NFC and Bluetooth 4.0; and it comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage. It supports microSD cards up to 128GB. Last, the GS5 adds a fingerprint scanner for biometric security and a trick swipe-to-pay feature. The device will be available globally beginning in April.
Samsung's Unpacked events are always big news, usually revealing a new Galaxy S flagship, or a new Galaxy Note. With heavy emphasis on the number five, everyone is expecting to see the Galaxy S 5 revealed. We'll bring you the news as it happens, right here.