Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Samsung unveils Galaxy S5 reading fingerprints to fight iPhone(PICTURES AND FIRST LOOK VIDEO REVIEW OF S5)

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd unveiled a Galaxy S5 smartphone with a fingerprint reader and bigger screen than the current model as Asia’s biggest technology company tries to keep high-end consumers from Apple Inc.’s iPhones.
The water-resistant phone will go on sale on 11 April with features including a longer-lasting battery than the S4, according to Min Cho, marketing director at Samsung’s mobile unit. The device, shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, uses Google Inc.’s Android software and has a download booster for fourth-generation networks and Wi-Fi.
Demand for high-end Galaxy devices was curbed by the release of new iPhones in September, squeezing sales in the most profitable segment of the market and contributing to Samsung’s slowest earnings growth since 2011. The company announced its first wearable devices using Tizen software and plans more smartphones this year to fend off Apple and Chinese producers packing advanced features into inexpensive models.
The back of the Galaxy S5 has a leather feel, and the device will ship in black, white, blue or gold, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said. The smartphone is designed to withstand 30 minutes at the bottom of a 1m-deep pond, Samsung said.
The main camera will have a resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 13 megapixels on the S4 model, and the battery will last 20% longer than its predecessor, Samsung said.
Share slump
The 5.1-inch display is full high definition on an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AMOLED, screen.
Shares of Samsung fell 0.2% to 1,328,000 won on Monday in Seoul. The stock has dropped 13% in the past 12 months, wiping out about $28 billion of market value.
The iPhone 5s, which went on sale in markets including China, Japan and the US on 20 September, has fingerprint-reading technology.
Samsung used a more low-key approach in unveiling the Galaxy S5, sharing the spotlight with carriers and producers including Sony Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. and HTC Corp. at Mobile World Congress. The S4 debuted at an exclusive gala at New York’s Radio City Music Hall last March, yet fell short of its predecessor’s shipments as the high-end market became more saturated.
Xiaomi, Lenovo
Samsung shipped 63.5 million units of the 5-inch S4, according to the median of three analyst estimates. The 4.8-inch S3 shipped about 65.6 million units, according to analysts.
Apple sold 51 million iPhones in the December quarter alone, and last month began selling the devices through China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest carrier with 772 million subscribers.
Samsung is the top smartphone vendor in China with 19% of the market in the fourth quarter, researcher Canalys said on 20 February. The company is seeking to use the S5 to maintain that position against domestic producers including Lenovo Group Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp., which have 12% and 7% of the market, respectively.
Samsung last month posted a 5.4% rise in fourth-quarter net income to 7.22 trillion won ($6.7 billion), its slowest profit growth since 2011.
It takes photographs with no shutter lag and shoots video at higher resolution than your flatscreen TV can likely match. It measures your heart rate.
It downloads movies, emails, social networking updates and map updates at phenomenal speed. It unlocks when it recognises your finger touching it. Hold on, there was something else. What was it again? Oh yes, it makes phone calls.
It has a 16-megapixel camera which focuses in 0.3 seconds and genuinely ground-breaking features to preview HDR before you shoot (HDR takes multiple, quick shots at different exposures and combines them to create dramatic, contrasty photos).
The video camera shoots at 4K, that’s four times the resolution of HD and means that video you record now will look sumptuous when you have a next-generation TV – though it will also play back in HD now, too.
Samsung fans may be disappointed that the design is near-identical to last year’s Galaxy S4 – rumours of a metal-clad version were wrong – but this is a slick, attractive phone with a pleasantly mottled back. It’s very fast, too, especially that camera.
Water-resistance means that the charging socket has a flap to keep it dry: useful but fiddly to peel back every time you need access.

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