We can finally put the months of rumors to bed – Samsung just unveiled to Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We'll have hands-on for you shortly, but let's go over what Samsung is announcing first.
It's looking like some of the more outlandish rumors were way off base – the Galaxy S5 is not specced much differently than other flagship phones in recent months, and it's certainly not made of metal.
Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.
Samsung is mere hours away from announcing the Galaxy S5 to complement those new Gear smart watches, but it seems a few devices are already floating around the show. The leaked images show off a phone that looks very much like the Galaxy S4 with some Note 3 influence.
The back has a loose dimple pattern, not faux-leather like the Note 3 and Pro tablets. There is also a large camera sensor, flash, and another sensor of unknown identity.
The new Samsung smartwatches might not have Android, but that doesn't mean they will be devoid of apps. PayPal has posted a video of its new smartwatch app in action on the Gear 2. This is a cartoonish rendering, but the real app will reportedly function just like we see in the video.
Just in case you were worried there wouldn't be anything intriguing or unexpected about Galaxy S5, check this out - Spritz, a new company (launched February 23rd) looking to "reinvent reading" will be coming exclusively to the S5 and Gear 2 by way of an email app. From Spritz's news release it isn't clear whether this will be the default app on the phone or a preloaded one, but the technology itself makes it interesting either way.
Samsung released the Galaxy Gear a few short months ago, but the company has just made its second-generation smartwatches official. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have dropped more than the Galaxy branding – these devices aren't running Android at all. Samsung has made the jump to Tizen for its wearables.
While all signs point to a Galaxy S5 unveiling on Monday at Samsung's Unpacked event at MWC, we still know very little about the phone itself. Leaks have been hard to come by, and we still don't really have a definitive sense of what the device will even look like. Of course, consumers are watching this release closely - the Galaxy S series of devices is the second most-popular smartphone on earth.
We're 99% certain that Samsung's Galaxy S5 will be revealed in Barcelona on Monday. And with every new iteration of the company's flagship, Samsung has also either updated or remade their company user interface, shifting elements and aesthetics to match the new hardware. If you're a regular user of the proprietary Samsung Apps (or if you just see it in your app tray and ignore it like everyone else), you might be mildly interested to know that the app portal has been updated.