It's been a busy day at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona but we had to wait until the evening for one of the most anticipated events of the show -- the launch of the Galaxy S5, the 5th generation of Samsung's high-end Galaxy S smartphone line.  

In terms of design, the new model is very close to its predecessor, the S4, with the same rounded corners and metal band around the edges. However, the S4's rather cheap looking glossy back has been swapped for a soft-touch "perforated" design which has more of a premium look to it. Despite the visual similarities to the S4, the new phone's shell has been improved in a very useful way: the Galaxy S5 is dust and water resistant (IP67), which means you can keep snapping under water and in a sand storm. We've first seen this feature on Sony's Xperia Z line and it's great to see other manufacturers are following suit.

From the front the Galaxy S5 looks very similar to the S4.
The S4's glossy plastic back has been replaced by a soft-touch shell.

Just like the shell, most components under the hood have been upgraded. The device is powered by the latest generation Qualcomm quad-core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon S805 processor and 2GB of RAM. The Super AMOLED screen has been slightly increased to 5.1 inches but still comes with the same 1080p resolution as before. Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) is the operating system and the 16GB or 32GB of internal storage can be expanded via a microSD slot. The S5 also supports the latest Wi-Fi and LTE standards for fast downloading speeds.

There is no real innovation to be found in the camera department. Samsung S users also still have to make do without an optical image stabilization system but the camera resolution has been increased from 13MP to 16MP with 4K video capture capabilities.  Samsung also claims the AF speed has been improved. Other new camera features include: real-time HDR processing , new user interface and Selective Focus that allows you to blur the background by taking two pictures at different focus settings and merging them. It's similar to what we've seen on the Sony Xperia Z2

Apart from the the black and blue versions, the S5 is also available in white.
The S5 also comes in a brownish tone.

As usual for a high-end Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S5 comes with a multitude of features. The upgraded S Health feature provides a personal fitness tracker, including pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a built-in heart rate monitor. There is also a fingerprint scanner for biometric screen locking and mobile payment. The device will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers in April. 

Key-specifications:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S805 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal memory, microSD slot up to 64GB
  • Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen (1920 x 1080)
  • 16MP rear camera
  • 4K video recording
  • 2MP front camera
  • Dust and water resistant (IP67) 
  • NFC
  • Finger scanner
  • Dimension: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g
  • 2800mAh Battery