Preview: Samsung Galaxy S5

Preview: Samsung Galaxy S5

You can’t make everyone happy—but you can definitely make most of them happy with a bigger, more beautiful screen, plenty of customization options, and even (gasp) the famed fingerprint scanner.

That seems to be the idea behind Samsung’s new Galaxy S5, available April 11 (no word on price yet). Several reviewers have pointed out their disappointment in the phone‘s plastic case (like the GS4), whereas HTC Ones and iPhones (minus the 5c) are all metal. Frankly, though, if this new phone was made of metal, it would weigh something close to a brick.

See, the GS5 is big. Its screen is 5 mm taller, 3 mm wider, and slightly (about .2 mm) thicker than the GS4, which was also a pretty big phone. In this case, bigger means a faster processor—the Snapdragon 801 quadcore 2.5 GHz, which supposedly rivals Apple’s iPhone 5’s.

For fit guys, there are a few extra perks outside of size and speed. The phone has a built-in heart-rate monitor. And the “weak” plastic shell? Samsung opted to make it water resistant for adventuring (or just drops in the toilet). The phone syncs seamlessly with the Gear 2 and Gear Fit, both upcoming smartwatches that can track your fitness. And, like the GS4, the GS5 comes with a built-in micro SD slot for extra storage. Currently, the phone comes in only 16 GB and 32 GB models.

Trapped in the woods with no charger in site? Samsung has built in an ultra-power saving mode that kills your apps outside of messages and calls. Supposedly, when ultra-power saving mode is on, you can last about a week without charging the phone. The camera comes with a 16 megapixel boost and a built-in autofocus app that can change the focus of a picture after you’ve taken it.

But let’s remember: This is a phone that runs Android. and the focus is, at least partially, on fun. There’s no end to the number of games you can play, or the customizations and slick designs that the platform comes with (no wonder their OSs are all named after candy).

This is the big flagship smartphone for Samsung, and we can’t wait to see it…and who will pick up the gauntlet.

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