Samsung Galaxy S5 Has a Fingerprint-Scanner Just Like the iPhone 5S

By Kat Hannaford on at

Samsung's latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, was unveiled in Barcelona at MWC tonight in a larger 5.1-inch Super Amoled screen size, but very familiar package -- like Apple with the iPhone 5S, the hardware is almost identical to the Galaxy S4, except for a new matte dimpled back. The biggest change sits on the front, with a fingerprint sensor on the home button acting as an extra layer of security, even authorising PayPal payments within the browser.

It takes eight swipes before the S5 can recognise a fingerprint the very first time, and from there you can register up to three fingerprints (useful if you fear two may face the chop for whatever reason, we're guessing?)

Inside, the S5 runs on a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM, and has the usual array of sensors: an IR remote, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE/ANT+ and Cat 4 LTE. On the storage side you have a choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, though the microSD card slot can carry you up to 128GB. The battery measures 2,800mAh -- we would've liked to have seen more, if we're honest.

Those hoping for a big step-up on the camera front may be disappointed Samsung's only raised its game to 16MP, up from the S4's 13MP. Like the Sony Xperia Z2 announced this morning, the Galaxy S5 can shoot 4K video, at 3840 x 2160 resolution. There's also a dual-LED flash, a step-up from the S4.

One nice new feature however is the addition of a Lytro-style refocus tool called Selective Focus, which is similar to the Refocus tool Nokia introduced in its Black update last year. It basically lets you focus on something in the background or foreground after you've taken the shot, drawing that area of the photo to focus as you choose. Another new camera feature is HDR Live, which will let you see what a photo would look like in HDR mode, before you even shoot it.

The S-Health app, first introduced in the S3, has been updated with a heart rate sensor, which can scan your index finger from the rear of the device and display your vitals right there on the screen in a pulsating line, in under 10 seconds. Naturally, the app can also count steps and calories too, and syncs with the Gear line-up of products, including the just-announced Gear Fit fitness tracker.

Available in black, white, blue and gold from April. See official specs below.

Network: LTE Cat.4 (150/50Mbps)
Display: 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
AP: 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 Quad core application processor
OS: Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
Camera: 16MP (rear), 2.0MP (front)
Video: UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization
Video Codec : H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
Video Format: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
Audio Codec : MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/ AAC+/ eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
Audio Format: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Camera Features: HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot&More
Additional Features: IP67 Dust and water Resistant, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Download Booster, S Health 3.0, Quick Connect, Private Mode, Kids Mode
Google Mobile Services: Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
Connectivity: WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO(2x2), Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+, USB: USB 3.0, NFC, IR Remote
Sensor: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart rate sensor
Memory: RAM: 2GB, Internal Memory: 16/32GB, microSD slot up to 128G
* Memory options may be varied by product model or available regions
Dimension: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g
Battery: 2800mAh, Standby time: 390 hrs / Talk time: 21 hrs