Tech

Samsung Galaxy S5 Headed to AT&T First? (Release Date Rumors, Features)

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Dec, 27, 2013, 11:07 AM
Samsung Galaxy S5.
(Photo : Screenshot/Michael Briggs/Design & Trend/Youtube/TechnoMobileable) The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be unveiled February 24 at an Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress, recent rumors suggest. Another recent leak claims Active and Rugged S5 models are also on the way.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will likely be linked up to AT&T first, as a new rumor suggests the wireless carrier is testing a device with the GS5 code name.

AT&T and Samsung have hooked up in the past, with AT&T receiving both the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 months ahead of their respective releases, Gotta Be Mobile reports. The leak comes via evleaks, who claims AT&T is testing a device code named Samsung SM-G900A, which is believed to be the S5. It would make sense for AT&T to have begun internal testing on the device based on its rumored release date, which is possibly four months away.

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Samsung has kicked off mass production of the 5.25-inch QHD (Quad HD) AMOLED display set for the upcoming Galaxy S5, according to a Sam Mobile report citing a Korean publication.

The GS5 will feature diamond pixel arrangement, which the company used in the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3, NDTV reports. It comprises of "green pixels interleaved with alternating red and blue pixels, but with each red and blue pixel shaped like a diamond for increased sharpness and pixel density," according to Sam Mobile. The new pixel arrangement allegedly improves sharpness and pixel density. The report adds that the Galaxy S5 will pack a screen resolution of 1440x2560 pixels, with a pixel density set at 560ppi.

The smartphone heavyweights of 2014 will not feature curvy designs due to limited production of these screens, according to a new report by The Korea Herald.

The Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 won't pack the curved displays shown off in the LG G Flex or Samsung Galaxy Round, with industry analysts telling the Herald Sunday that Samsung Display and LG Display are experiencing issues producing enough screens already for existing curved smartphones.

"The current capacity for flexible panels is not high enough for the Galaxy S5, which will be rolled out early next year," Kim Jong-hyun, an analyst at Seoul-based Eugene Investment & Securities, told The Herald. "Curved ones will be unveiled late next year as a Galaxy variant rather than as a flagship model."

Shinhan Investment analyst John Seo added that the same can be said for Apple, with a curved smartphone more likely to debut in 2015.

With the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 already rumored for some impressive specs, the curved screen omission shouldn't be a problem with many smartphone consumers. How does this report affect your opinion of the GS5 or iPhone 6? Do you envision yourself purchasing a curved smartphone in the near future? Let us in on your thinking with a relevant comment.

Despite recent reports that Samsung was preparing to offer smartphone consumers both a metal and plastic option for the Galaxy S5, a new report from Digitimes claims that the smartphone maker is indeed working on metal designs for 2014 smartphones—just not for the Galaxy S5.

According to the report, the reason for the metal chassis omission is due to the fact that no Taiwanese chassis makers "have started mass production of metal-alloy chassis for Samsung," which would have already kicked off for a smartphone rumored to be debuting in February. Digitimes adds that in the future, Samsung plans to "adopt chassis featuring compound materials such as fiberglass/plastic or carbon fiber/plastic for its smartphones instead of a single materials to help save costs," but is sticking to the easy-to-make plastic designs for now.

A recent iPhone 6 concept design imagined Apple's next-gen smartphone with a retina scanner. It appears the Galaxy S5 could actually make the smartphone safety technology a reality.

A new report from ZDNet Korea, which has a trustworthy history with details around unannounced Samsung devices, suggests the tech giant is preparing a high-end smartphone with a quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) display and an iris scanner. BGR notes that these specs would be a "first for Samsung and likely for the industry."

According to the report, the Galaxy S5 is set to be unveiled in February at the Mobile World Congress show with a release date following the announcement in March, which would come ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Galaxy S4.

Another recent Galaxy S5 report suggests quite a different look for the next-generation smartphone.

Recent reports out of Korea tip the S5 and the Galaxy Note 4 for LCD displays in favor of the AMOLED offerings featured in many Samsung devices. The decision was apparently made to help reduce costs, according to Sam Mobile. Samsung currently uses the ses PLS LCDs in its Nexus 10 and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets.

As the report notes, while LCD displays can offer "more natural colors and less battery drain in usage scenarios such as browsing," the change will not sit well with some consumers:

"With the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung's AMOLED panels have reached a stage where you can get a display experience that matches that of the best LCD displays, while retaining OLED benefits such as true blacks; OLED screens have also been one of the major selling points of the Galaxy line of flagships, another factor that would make the move to LCD displays a bad decision for the company."

Samsung is also reportedly in talks to make a change to the Galaxy S5's operating system, as a Tizen-Firefox OS combo could be unveiled for Samsung smartphones releasing in the first half of 2014, according to the IB Times.

Samsung's Chief Secretary Wonsuk Lee said at an HTML5 conference that the company is working on a relationship between Tizen, its own OS, and Firefox since they are both HTML5 based. The move would allow Samsung to break free from Android. According to the report, Firefox OS would run on entry-level smartphone models and Tizen would run on both low and high-end devices.

The possibility that Samsung could skip Android 4.4 KitKat has been rumored for a few months, with previous rumors suggesting the S5 could release with a choice of Tizen or Android KitKat.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will come in two variants and launch alongside the next Galaxy Gear smartwatch, according to a report by Korean publication ET News.

The report adds that the upcoming smartphone, which has not been confirmed, will hit mass production in January 2014. The rumored Galaxy S5 option would include a high-end variant with a metal chassis and a flexible OLED screen and a plastic model similar to previous Galaxy generations.

The ET News report claims that Galaxy S5 production will hit around 8,00,000 to 1 million units in January, and ramp up to 6 million units in February, which would give the smartphone a March or April 2014 release date.

What would you think of the possibility that Samsung gives users a selection to choose from for the Galaxy S5? Let us in on your thinking with a relevant comment.

The Galaxy S5 may feature new software that would allow users to video call multiple people at the same time, according to Sam Mobile.

The smartphone would make use of the front and rear cameras and the user would be able to see all parties on one screen, with one placed at the top and the rest placed at the bottom.

A new document filed to Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service details the interface of the new feature.

The Sam Mobile report adds that the feature could either be a Galaxy S5 exclusive or come through a software update for ChatON, Samsung's messaging app.

A new set of photos of the purported upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone has leaked via French website Nowhereelse.

The images show off the smartphone's rumored metal frame and give an idea about the dimensions of the S5's display. According to the site, the smartphone is 49mm tall and about 72.27mm wide, packed with a display bigger than the 5-inch one featured in the Galaxy S4. From the look of the images, it appears the S5 features a camera port in the corner instead of the rear, while the physical buttons (such as the volume and power) appear to be placed in the same areas found on other Galaxy smartphones.

While there are no other details from the site on the phone's design, Nowhereelse speculates that the S5 will be released in February.

Samsung is believed to be developing displays with 560 pixels per inch (ppi), according to a statement made by the South Korean company's Display CEO Kinam Kim.

He also suggested that Samsung was working on AMOLED tablets for release next year. The ppi punch Samsung is prepping for future devices could very well include the Galaxy S5, according to Android Community. The displays are rumored to be 5 inches and above, with the 5-inch display featuring a 2560 x 1440 resolution, which is higher than Apple's new iPad Air tablet.

Considering Full HD displays already offer incredible-looking images and videos, the difference might not be all that noticeable. Nevertheless, it's an intriguing specs rumor.

A Samsung patent filed in May recently made available to the public also suggests that wraparound screens could be a part of future Galaxy devices. The "bended" display would wrap around all the front and sides, offering more space on the front side. With the screen, users could theoretically save links and images for later use. The development could be coming sooner than expected, as well. A report by Bloomberg last week claimed that Samsung is preparing to offer a Galaxy phone with a "wraparound screen" in 2014, leading some to believe that the display would be packed into the Galaxy S5.

The upcoming Galaxy S5 will feature a 16MP camera packed with Samsung's Isocell technology, which focuses on capturing crisp, high-quality images, according to a new report.

In an announcement of Isocell in September, Samsung said that the technology reduces pixel size without requiring larger cameras, which allows more light to pass through the pixels. According to Sam Mobile, Samsung showed a slide for a 16-megapixel Isocell sensor arriving on Samsung smartphones in 2014-2015 during its' Analysts Day on Wednesday.

Though Samsung has yet to announce the S5's existence, this report is just one of a few that already practically confirms some of the smartphone's specs.

While speculation points to some exciting new technology for the upcoming device, is there a possibility that the S5 won't be the main focus for Samsung in 2014?

According to another recent report, the flagship may be third on the pecking order for the South Korean giant next year, as the company will instead focus its efforts on pushing tablets like the Galaxy Note 12.2 and low to mid-range smartphones. While Samsung is known for its wide selection of products in varying price ranges, it seems a little absurd to think that the company would focus elsewhere. However, as Phones Review reports, the "saturation of the high-end range of the smartphone market" may be the reason for the reduced S5 attention.

While the report claims that Samsung still expects to sell over 360 million smartphones in 2014, it does not anticipate the S5 to outsell the S4 by much (or at least compared to the margin between the Galaxy S4 and S3 sales).

A new exciting rumor claims that the Samsung Galaxy S5 could pack 4GB of RAM to go with its 64-bit Exynos processor, according to a new report by Korean site Digital Times.

The move would help improve the next-generation Galaxy S smartphone's processing and marketing power and give the Galaxy S5 the distinct honor of the only phone to ever be released with 4GB of RAM. The Ubuntu Edge was the only other phone to come close to releasing with that much RAM, but the phone never got enough funding to become a reality. The development could really stick it to Apple, which has 1GB still packed into its iPhone 5S, which isn't enough memory to utilize its own 64-bit. The Galaxy Note 3 features 3GB of RAM, which is extremely solid in its own right.

The Digital Times report also added the the Galaxy S5 could release in "the first half of next year," which is a little surprising considering recent release date rumors suggested the smartphone could launch as soon as January.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 hit 40 million sales in the six months since its launch, but apparently that number wasn't all that satisfying for the company's CEO.

While the device fetched 10 million sales in its first month, it picked up 30 million over the next five. Analysts expect that the device could reach 70 million sales by early 2014 following the holiday season, but according to reports, Samsung CEO J. K. Shin was expecting the device to hit the 100 million mark. Considering 40 million sales for the period is no joke, it's puzzling that Samsung would assume to sell as many handsets as they expected, especially after disappointing a good deal of consumers by launching the S4 with a plastic case.

These sales have also prompted some to conclude that the South Korean-based giant will push up the release of the next Galaxy S smartphone, the S5, to early 2014 to try to make up for some of the "lost" production.

Samsung has nearly completed development of its first 64-bit Exynos chip, according to Korean reports.

The new CPU is set for the upcoming Galaxy S5 release barring any set backs. Rumors about the chip suggest that it will be able to utilize a 14nm process and be based on ARM's big.LITTLE platform (like the Exynos 5 octa) and use Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 cores to push all cores simultaenously, which will help reduce battery power consumption, according to Phan Android.

The Galaxy S4 currently packs either a a 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor or Exynos 5420 processor depending on the country. It was announced this week that Samsung has sold 40 million Galaxy S4 smartphones, which has prompted some to conclude that the S5 will not release as soon as previously predicted.

Samsung may opt to include only official accessories for the Galaxy S5, according to a new report by Korean publication ET News.

The report suggests Samsung may fit authorization chips into the upcoming smartphone to prevent third-party accessories from working with the device, which would be both a lucrative and safe move following the news this summer that a Galaxy Note 3 with a replacement battery melted. There was also that report about the third-party USB charger that electrocuted a Chinese woman.

According to ET News, Sony and Samsung are also in an intense bidding battle to be the main supplier of the Galaxy S5's rumored 16MP camera. Samsung's 13MP camera currently offers ISOCELL technology and optical image stabilization. Sony, on the other hand, boasts "a reputation for its camera sensors used in point and shoots, DSLR and EVIL cameras and various smartphones, including the Galaxy S4," says GSM Arena.

"We have no reason not to work with Sony or System LSI Division as long as they can prove their 16 million pixel CIS performance and mass-production capacities," an insider from Samsung Electronics' Wireless Business Division told ET News. "Things will take shape around the yearend because even a camera module sample test has not been completed yet."

Previous S5 rumors indicated that the upcoming Samsung smartphone will not feature a fingerprint scanner or true wireless charging, and according to a new report, consumers can also cross off a metal design from their wishlist.

One of the most-desired features for their next smartphone up in the Galaxy S line, the metal design will instead be used on the next edition of the Galaxy F series, according to GalaxyS5Info. The report claims that Samsung is now planning on using the same faux plastic design used on the Galaxy Note 3 with the Galaxy S5. The thinking behind this is a plastic Galaxy S5 would still be a top-seller and, paired with a metal Galaxy F, would give Samsung two high-end smartphones to compete with the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.7-inch unnamed iPhones also releasing in 2014.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 could feature an eye-scanning sensor, according to a new report from AndroidSaS, which claims sources from Korea.

The eye scanner would function as an unlock feature for the upcoming Galaxy S4 successor, making it the first smartphone to feature a specs list with the tech. While the report does not elaborate on the rumor, it also claims that Samsung will include a 64-bit Exynos 5430 chip and a 16-megapixel camera with enhanced low-light performance and Optical Image Stabilisation in the S5.

While no smartphones have debuted with an eye-scanning sensor, the HTC One Max and iPhone 5S feature fingerprint sensors that allow users to similarly unlock their phones without a passcode.

A new Samsung Galaxy S5 concept design has surfaced courtesy of designer Tobi Homof that is super sleek and easy on the eyes.

With rumors suggesting Samsung is finally ditching the plastic design used on the Galaxy S line with the January-February rumored S5, Homof's take certainly looks like the sort of upgrade consumers have been waiting for. Reception of the design has been positive so far, with the smartphone's silver finish on a uni-body design complementing elements including the phone's edge-to-edge display and a fingerprint scanner, which unfortunately may not be featured in the smartphone based on recent reports (more on that below).

The Galaxy S5 may be missing the boat on another big upcoming feature being developed by Samsung if it's released by its rumored January-February date, according to a new report by ETNews.

Samsung is reportedly working on a form of true wireless charging called magnetic resonance wireless charging, but the feature is likely to debut in the second half of 2014. The charging option would allow a user to charge their device from longer distances without having to use a charging pad.

This would be the second important feature the S5 will not include, as previous reports indicated that the S5 will not pack the fingerprint technology that rival Apple recently placed in its flagship iPhone 5S.

Waterproof and Dust-proof S5?

A new report claims that the Galaxy S5 could be a rugged, waterproof and dust-proof device right out of the box.

ET News' sources claim that the Galaxy S5 will be similar to the Galaxy S4 Active, which debuted shortly after the release of the standard Galaxy S4. Customers also apparently appreciated the metal design of the S4 Active in comparison to the less appealing S4's polycarbonate plastic body.

Previous rumors have also indicated that the Galaxy S5 will feature a uni-body metal design. According to an earlier report by ET News, Samsung plans to use a metal chassis for the Galaxy S5, with production set to begin by the end of this year. With competitors Apple and HTC already shifted to metal designs, it would make sense for Samsung to release the S5 with a metal chassis. According to ET News, a sample has already been created in Europe and sent to Vietnam, where the chassis will be mass-produced. The report also mentions that Samsung is doing a lot of pre-production testing to make sure there won't be problems with radio interference. The article does not specifically call the smartphone an S5, but the early 2014 release date mentioned falls in line with Samsung's Galaxy S upgrade cycle.

It is unknown whether the smartphone will include a removable battery or a uni-body design, like the HTC One. While some smartphones with metal designs restrict users to a storage limit, it is possible that Samsung could deliver the S5 with the additional storage capacity consumers enjoy. The Galaxy Wave 3 features an airbrushed metal design that allows users to access a Micro SD card slot.

Fingerprint Tech in the S5

The Galaxy S5 will not feature the fingerprint sensor technology made popular by Apple's new flagship iPhone 5S, according to a report by the Korea Herald.

The Galaxy Note 3 did not feature the technology, which is not expected to arrive for Samsung devices until the second half of 2014, or after the Q1 release date the Galaxy S5 is pegged for. The fingerprint sensor could debut in the Galaxy Note 4 or another premium device later in 2014, depending on the speed of the sole Korean firm that is working on developing the competing product to Apple's tech.

Early rumors suggested that the Galaxy Note 3 could get the security feature, but the Korea Herald report claims that Samsung skipped its inclusion in the smartphone because it was not up to Samsung standards yet.

In the report, an unnamed Samsung executive states, "We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system and Knox for Galaxy Note 3 for security functions. We are not yet developing the technology." However, with "leaks hinting at biometric access details inside code for Samsung's smartphones, it may be that Samsung is not developing it internally, but instead relying on a Korean firm," according to Gotta Be Mobile.

ISOCELL technology Rumor

Samsung is working on their own camera technology that could be featured in the Galaxy S5, according to a report by Gotta Be Mobile.

ISOCELL will be used to help the camera "capture more light and retain increased sharpness, boasting superior performance to the backside illuminated, or BSI, sensor technology that's often utilized by rival Sony in its Exmor imaging sensor," according to the report.

The ISOCELL tech will help smartphones like the S5 capture images in low light without using flash, which would help the smartphone compete with Nokia's Lumia 920, Lumia 925, and Lumia 1020 smartphones as well as the HTC One, LG G2, Moto X and iPhone 5s. (Read the full details on the tech at Gotta Be Mobile.)

Check out this Galaxy S5 concept design photo gallery!

Tizen OS?

The Galaxy S5 could run Samsung's own OS, Tizen, instead of Android, according to a report by the IBTimes.

While it's possible the S5 will run Tizen, it's more likely that the smartphone will come in both versions rather than just Tizen. While sending out the Galaxy S5 with Tizen would help cut down on costs (every phone Samsung sells it sends a cut to Google for its Android OS; money spent on apps, games, movies and music from the Google Play online store also go to Google), it would make the most sense for Samsung to offer consumers the opportunity to choose—at least while Tizen is still new and features less apps, games and services that Android.

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