Why a premium GALAXY S5 make sense

The rumor mill started weeks and even months before the Unpacked event invitations were sent out by Samsung. If you read all those rumors, it was clear that the successor of the GALAXY S4 would be packed with some state-of-the-art hardware, like a 64-bit Exynos processor, iris or fingerprint scanner, water and dust resistance, an AMOLED display with 2K (2560 x 1440) resolution, 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, with all of this inside a thin and lightweight full metal enclosure. The phone would be running the latest version of Android, which is 4.4.2 KitKat, with an improved version of TouchWiz and a flatter design.

Now, almost a week after the Unpacked 5 event, it turns out that some of the rumors were true while others weren’t. However, I have to mention that companies like Samsung are always testing out many things for their new flagship devices, and there may be a chance that we will see some of these hardware features in future products.

Lets start with the things that didn’t make in it into the GALAXY S5, like the 64-bit Exynos processor, iris scanner, AMOLED display with 2K (2560 x 1440) resolution, and a metallic construction.

The reason why these things are not in the GALAXY S5 remains unclear. We can only guess that Samsung couldn’t (yet) implement these features in a proper manner, or they’re simply holding them back for future products. Most people from the tech industry seem to be disappointed because the GALAXY S5 still has a plastic back cover instead of a metal enclosure and that it looks almost the same like the GALAXY S4. That the GALAXY S5 looks a lot like it’s predecessor is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you like the design language which goes back to the GALAXY S III.

Keep in mind that even for a company like Samsung, it’s a challenge to switch from plastic to metal for their flagship devices. There are many challenges they need to overcome to use metal for their flagship devices, like assuring that the network reception remains the same (or is improved further), or making sure that users still have the benefit of easily putting in a new battery when you need it. Another challenge is the complex production process, which can be a problem when you have to produce a phone with a new material on a larger scale. The only other manufacturer producing a single phone on a huge scale as Samsung is Apple – you might argue that Apple uses metal without issues, but it’s different for them since they’ve always used metal, meaning they don’t have to set up a new production line like Samsung will have to in order to make a metallic device.

Some of you may know that Samsung had made a phone with almost a full metal enclosure, which was the Wave 3 back in 2011. It was the second generation bada-powered flagship device, but it was never produced in massive numbers. If Samsung is going to use the same sort of metal construction for a GALAXY S device, then they’ll have to make sure they can produce millions of units in a short period of time.


However, this is a good reason why it makes sense for Samsung to release a more advanced version of the GALAXY S5 later this year, with state-of-the-art hardware specifications and a metallic design, but in limited quantities. The standard GALAXY S5 will get the main attention from most people for whom it is a great device in line with previous flagships, while the more advanced GALAXY S5 would cater to those looking for top-of-the-line hardware specs inside a body that feels really premium and high-end.


Besides the engineering and production challenges, there’s also the matter of market share. At the end of last year, there were some signs that Samsung will focus more on the mid to low-end market in 2014. The reason for this has to do with the fact that competitors like HTC and Motorola are targeting these markets for expanding their market share. If Samsung will position the GALAXY S5 in the mid / mid-to-high market with an aggressive price, they may have a good shot at succeeding in their strategy thanks to the strong brand name of the GALAXY S line, while a more premium version of the GALAXY S5 would give them a product to compete with in the high-end market.

Let us know what your thoughts are about a premium version of the GALAXY S5.

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  1. I don’t mind the plastic, but the design this year is just simply ugly. Even the S4 looks better. Another thing I want is the 2K screen and much bigger battery.
    THat’s all I need.

    • 2k screen? Lowest I know of as an acceptable figure would be 1080p (pixel total wise) in this category but did you mean higher?

      Because if you require higher, no offense buddy but even PC/laptop OEMs refuse to play the card even at 11.6″ upwards for select models for a reason; it unnecessarily adds to the cost to be passed on to the finalized RRPs, which in turn risking a higher loss of sales.

      Especially if we’re to talk about smaller screened devices, all this brouhaha about Quad HD are fast becoming something more along the lines of it being a mere bragging right than of any real ergonomic use in real world scenarios if you ask me.

    • FullHD screen is enough, in fact it helps in the high consumption of the screen

    • and speakers heading to the viewer not to his fingers

    • I own a Galaxy S4 and I was pissed off because they have announced Galaxy S4 active, and Galaxy S4 zoomk, and Galaxy S4 GT-19506 short after they announced the Galaxy S4.

      I didn’t feel special after they have released too many viriant of the Galaxy S4.

      They’re going to do this again trust me, they’re gonna release many varaian of the galaxy S5 which will piss off alot of customers.

      • Maybe so but remember that Samsung wants to please everyone even if it pisses one guy off. The GT-i9506 came out 6 months after the i9505. I almost bought it but figured the S5 would be a better phone. I was right.

  2. It’s not just about it being metal or premium material. They could keep the same design but it be metal and it still would be a boring design to me. It’s more then just the material. It’s detail and the actual design. The shape and what makes it iconic, unique, and we definitely know that’s so and so’s product. That’s what you need. Touchwiz is better then time around, but still not a pleasing skin to look at in my opinion. It makes no sense why it takes up so much space. It really doesn’t look consistent to me either. The settings and the actual home screen design doesn’t look like it was designed by the same company. They do to much and to little.

    Releasing a premium version would be a fail and waste of money. What for if it would be in limited fashion? All what may have been real but left out is and should be for the Note 4.

    • +10 ^^^

      To put it short, you can “metallize” the whole chassis but it’d be useless w/ the same ongoing home button at front and a single loudspeaker at the bottom or back, if anyone here can get that for a better visual argument. No point in tagging that as a premium if overall it differs less than its midrange to low end as far as total UX goes.

      HTC for all of their shortcomings got the memo (almost) when they outed One and Sony pushes the ante now for bringing Ingress Protection Rating designs which makes perfect sense for any mobile device that’s supposed to get out of users’ pockets/bags at 99% usage in an all weather supposition.

  3. i could agree with billyboy8888,not necessarily a metal body but internals also count,i believe everything samsung is doing is planned maybe.

  4. Hope so…. planning and everything. …..

  5. Samsung don’t want to be Apple-like or HTC with metal or whatever, SAMSUNG is SAMSUNG and they have their identity and they don’t want to destroy it. And keep in mind that Samsung is not so stupid to spend millions or billions dollars just to make a new factory to build those metallic phones.So enjoy these smartphones that amaze everyone or go and buy Htc or what you want. (This is for those who criticise Samsung)

  6. Metal lovers buy iphone. Plastic lovers buy galaxy phone. Metal galaxy will not sell well like iphone 5c. Metal looks better but plastic feels better in hand.

    • Especially when it is 20 degrees outside!

  7. Adding to johny – Phone and Usability lovers will stick to Samsung, as none of the phone in market are so easy at handling and apt on usability. S4 is a refined shape of S3, and is probably the apt shape in these king of devices and there is no problem keeping the design line same. IT just make is sturdier as much as you can.

  8. yes all the specs for s5 is tremendous. but battery powers should be 5500 and price should be reasonable.

  9. I think that Samsung will wait for Apple’s Iphone 6 to launch a premium device with new materials and a new design. Also, it’s necessary a 64 bit OS from google to use the Samsung´s own 64 bit processor. This is why S5 is so similar to S4. It isn’t the right time.

    • September will judges between note 4 and iPhone 6 probably note 4 going to beat iPhone 6 Samsung don’t compete with s series anymore . so i think 64bit going to be in note 4 for sure as the prime one of s5 maybe not come

  10. Aptalca şeylerden bahsediyorsunuz samsung musteri kaybediyor benim için samsung bitmiştir türkiyede samsung bitmistir

  11. Samsung doesnt need a 64bit chip. Samsung doesn’t need a metal casing to sell in millions. Android os is not a 64bit os and its applications from the play store are not 64bit so why should d galaxy s5 uses a 64bit. A user friendly and easily rooted galaxy s5 is all we need. U want a metal phone u know where to get it. #salute Samsung

    • Thank You! Couldn’t have said it better except, the Android Linux Kernel is 64 bit, the dalvik VM isn’t.

  12. yes all the specs for s5 is tremendous. but battery powers should be 5500 and price should be reasonable.

    • Buy a 5600mAh battery and rear cover. The GS5 should cost more than the iPhone 5s simply because it is 10x the phone the iPOS is.

  13. boooorrraaaaazzzzjjjjjaaaaaannnn best

  14. bigger RAM maybe? redesign TouchWiz to be smoother and lighter? and ofcourse bigger battery! that is all i need to jump for it

    • If you buy the International unlocked version like I did with the GT-i9505 GS4, there is no bloatware or carrierware. No BS running in the background. My GS4 battery @ 2600mAh lasts all day. Tonight it is 11:15 pm and I still have 67% after hours of phone calls, texts and maybe a dozen pictures of cloud formations that were 5-6 MB files. If you don’t buy the unlocked version directly from Samsung, you are getting screwed by the carriers.

  15. I had the S2, S3 and now S4. The S3 blew me away with the design change coming from the venerable S2 which I still have. I did however buy the GT-i9505. I rooted it, have SuperSU installed and it is more powerful than my laptop. I bought the dock and have a nice ViewSonic 21 inch HDMI monitor, mouse, keyboard and 2 TB backup drive and a Wacom Intuous drawing pad. It reads every USB device I connect. Access and reads/writes SATA and IDE NTFS Win 32/64 bit OS files, every flash drive, GoPro cameras, any DSLR that has USB, SD Cards, XD Cards, CF Cards, it also powers 5V SATA laptop drives and virtually any USB device that is “Slave-able”. The camera is phenomenal. Period.
    I have removed just about every Samsung App but S-Health and S-Voice. I also bought an HM 7000 BT earpiece. I rarely need to take the phone out of my pocket and the HM 7000 also works perfectly with Google Now. In fact I keep S-Voice (Sierra is her wake up name) running continuously and just tell it to “Open Google Now” when I need contextual searches.
    The only reason I want the S5 is for the camera. I found tons of sample images on the web most likely all from the MWC and some of them were “jawdroppingly” perfect. The FP Scanner is awesome especially since you can lock down files with it. Not a fan of Knox either and hopefully chainfire continues to do his magic with CFAutoroot. I will not buy the S5 if it is not rootable.
    I am currently still using 4.2.2 JB. I have installed several different ROMs for testing but always end up back at my modified TW stock ROM.
    Couldn’t care less about plastic or metal. I use a UAG case. Have dropped it 50 times at least in 11 months and it is perfect. IP67 is cool but also, I have dropped my GS4 in a sink full of hot water. Nothing happened but I shut it down and when I pulled off the back cover, not 1 drop of water was inside. c|net.com did a dunk test and the GS4 passed 10 minutes under water before it shut down. They dried it and it restarted without issue. The iPhone 5 they were testing it next to died after 11 seconds and never restarted.

  16. The perfect phone for me:
    - amoled full hd
    - IP67 (Since Galaxy S5) (I now place my S2 in a plastic bag before biking, and use sports BT headsets)
    - Exynos
    - Mali (Really, my nexus 10 at 2560×1600 runs circles around the ouya with the tegra 3 at 1920×1080. And not only is it faster, but the color rendering looks better too.
    - Full plastic body (like all Galaxys so far)
    - bezel around the screen (not having the bezel gives a higher chance of the screen getting broken when thrown on the pavement).
    - 3G memory
    - Ant+ (Since Galaxy S4)
    - USB3
    - AOSP with seperate TW packages and Samsung store. Yes I love TW, but I hate that I cannot upgrade my phone to CM and then loose TW and the Samsung store.

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