“Samsung is betting big on wellness, fingerprint reading and camera autofocus, while keeping a very similar look and feel for its hardware and software. The updates are so minor that on first glance most consumers would be hard pressed to notice that it has changed from the previous version. Still, this should come as no great surprise, given the maturity of the smartphone market and the pressure on the Samsung not to mess with its winning formula. Samsung reminded us quite how successful this formula has been, noting that it has sold 200 million Galaxy S devices since launching the franchise in 2010.
“In contrast to the Galaxy S4 which was packed with gimmicky features, Samsung has focused instead on a small number of enhancements with the S5. The challenge for Samsung will be to convince users to upgrade to a handset that offers little more than its predecessor.
“What perhaps is the most interesting aspect of the device is what Samsung did not announce, effectively putting to bed a number of rumors. These included suggestions at both ends of the scale that that the device would be running Tizen OS and that it would be using a “pure” Google version of Android. That it has neither tells us both that Tizen is unlikely to see a major handset launch this year and that Google and Samsung are still operating at arm’s length.”
By Nick Dillon, Senior Analyst at Ovum Technologies