First Looks: Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo & Gear Fit

Samsung Galaxy S5

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Today I had the chance to preview a bunch of Samsung’s upcoming new products, including their flagship smartphone, the S5.

I’ve got a review unit for a little while so for now, here’s some of the highlights in photos:

Quick highlights:

  • beautiful larger 5.1″ screen with an emphasis in a more natural look than the previous over-saturated displays
  • 16MP rear facing camera with one of the fastest autofocus’ I’ve seen (0.3 seconds)
  • expanded S-Health functionality with built in heart rate monitor on the rear of the S5
  • incredible ‘ultra power saving mode’ that turns off many features to give you basic phone functions (that is selectable) and internet access with a greyscale display. It’s supposed to give you 24 hours of usage standby in this mode with only 10% of your battery left
  • vertical fingerprint scanner built into the home button for security access
  • Download Booster – combines your LTE and wifi connections to maximize throughput and allow you to download files much faster than using just one network connection
  • sealed enclosure design (IP67 dust and water resistant) – this is pretty huge as it’s meant to withstand immersion in shallow water for up to 30 minutes and still work. It’s not waterproof (so no snorkelling) but if you drop it in a puddle or the toilet, it should be fine.

Here’s a few photos taken with that 16MP camera:
Cherry Blossoms

S5 Panorama

For size comparison, here’s a Galaxy Note 3, the new S5 and my iPhone 5S:
Smartphone size comparison

I also got to see the updates to the smartwatch line. Three new models that should fit with just about any need. This update seems to be more streamline and sleek. The previously chunky camera that jutted out of the band has been shrunk down and recessed into the top of the Gear 2. Also changed and moved is the strap which had the integrated mic and speakerphone which has moved to the main part of the watch making it easier to swap bands and it’s now less stiff than the older model.

I wrote previously about how I liked what Samsung was doing with the Gear watch but it was like they were trying a little bit of everything to see what people wanted. It would seem they took the initial feedback to heart and the updated Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are the results.

Gear 2 Neo & Gear 2

Gear 2 Neo & Gear 2

Gear 2 Neo

Gear 2 Neo

The Gear Fit is a new product that is less about the phone companion but rather a smarter take on the wearable measuring device like a Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, etc. A nice touch is the built in heart rate monitor on the back of the device and the slim profile. You still get all your phone based notifications and music control but it doesn’t have an integrated camera or speakerphone.

The screen is stunning and the actual band is removalable – it’s expected there will be a bunch of third parties making different bands. I’m looking forward to trying out the Fit very soon.

These devices will be available everywhere on April 11th.

UPDATE: I chatted with Steve Dotto on his radio show about the new Samsung lineup of wearables and the Galaxy S5. You can listen to the full episode here.

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