Ready or not, Samsung seems to think so. The Korean firm is all set to unveil a range of new Galaxy devices at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Previous reports said that the South Korean giant will be unveiling the second iteration of its Galaxy Gear as well, which is a smartwatch companion for the Galaxy Note III. In addition, we’ll also get our first glimps of its flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5. So what do we know about these devices so far?
Galaxy Gear 2
The Galaxy Gear was Samsung’s first offering in wearable tech, but the device’s features are somewhat limited, and it’s only compatible with a few select phones. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and originally, it was only compatible with the Galaxy Note III, then it was made compatible with the Galaxy S4, and S3, and later Galaxy Note II phones that have been upgraded to Android Jelly Bean.
Reports surfaced that the next Galaxy Gear will no longer be running on Android, but an HTML5 version of Tizen, an open-source, Linux-based mobile operating system led by a technical steering team composed of Intel and Samsung.
Samsung’s effort to move away from Google may be a wise one, especially when there are talks of Google building an Android platform for wearable devices that will be less open for developers. This will leave a huge hole open in the market, making Tizen a viable option for others who are looking into developing wearable gadgets.
The Galaxy Gear 2 is said to be slimmer than the original version and will have a flexible display, plus it will be compatible with more devices. No news yet if it will still only serve as a companion device, or if it will be able to function as a stand alone device.
It’s been suggested that the Galaxy S5 could come with an iris scanner, but recent reports claim that it will in fact only have a fingerprint sensor for its added layer of security. It looks like Samsung has once again copied Apple, but unlike Apple’s Touch ID users would need to swipe the pad of their finger for the sensor to read the print. Samsung is said to be introducing a new Personal Folder and Private Mode as well, which allows users to hide certain apps, messages, photos and things they don’t want others to get access to. Users can register up to eight prints and assign different tasks for each print. For instance, your ring finger could unlock the Personal Folder, or your middle finger could unlock the Private Mode. But there should be at least one fingerprint assigned to unlock the device.
Aside from the fingerprint sensor, the Galaxy S5 is said to feature an aluminum body and faux leather to give it a more sophisticated look; 4GB of RAM; an Exynos 5 Octa or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor; and a 16MP camera with a new reflector-integrated flash LED ─ the 3432 1.8t (FH341A) delivers over 165 lux at 1A and a minimum CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 80, assuring quality photos in daylight and at night.