Whether you’re delighted about Samsung’s Galaxy S5, deem it too fugly to be worth a shot, or reckon it’s a solid albeit not spectacular slab of silicon, you probably know full well what’s coming. A towering marketing campaign set to squash every rival in sight as far as advertising buzz is concerned, followed by the already customary brand milking, or dilution.
Look, it’s basic math. No matter how successful would a Galaxy S5 become on its own, the launch of multiple variants increases the line’s potential and appeal. Sure, the standard model loses a few customers, however the Zoom, Active, Mini and Neo undoubtedly win them back, and then some.
Wait, do we actually expect four additional S5 versions to break cover in the foreseeable future? Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, and maybe more. Remember, an ultra-high-end Galaxy S5 Prime, aka Galaxy F, is still a possibility, though it’s becoming somewhat of a long shot with no palpable evidence it exists revealed after the original S5’s intro.
And who knows what quirky, eccentric ideas Sammy may come up with prior to next year’s S6 unveil? An S5 Round, maybe, with a curved display. Or an S5 Pro with S Pen support, although the lines between it and Galaxy Notes would then be dangerously blurred. Ooh, I know, a QWERTY-toting Galaxy S5Q. Dream on, right?
Oh, well, the S5 Zoom, Active, Mini and Neo are likely very much real, so for the time being, let’s focus on them:
Galaxy S5 Zoom – rumor roundup
Be honest, did you give last year’s S4 Zoom a second thought once you saw its appalling design? Actually, I don’t think appalling does it justice. It was ghastly, daunting, horrific. No, I give up, there are no words to describe it.
Long story short, if Samsung wants their upcoming camera phone stab to be taken seriously, they need to get back to square one, and rethink aesthetics. Which rumors out of Poland say they’ve done. Too bad there are no pictures to prove the S5 Zoom is indeed slimmer, thinner and capable of better hiding its gigantic lens.
Meanwhile, credible benchmark data confirms a number of hardware upgrades, including a display size and resolution bump (to 4.8 inches and 720p), and a RAM increase, to 2 full gigs. The reports on S5 Zoom’s processor are conflicting, probably suggesting two slightly different versions are in store. One with a hexa-core Exynos 5 chip under the hood, and the other powered by a mysterious quad-core CPU.
Of course, the key feature remains the rear-facing camera, expected to pack a 20 MP CMOS sensor, Xenon flash, 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Enough to give Nokia’s PureView Lumia 1020 a run for its money? We’ll see in May. June, at the latest.
Galaxy S5 Active preview
Since the Galaxy S5 is already IP67 certified for dust and water resistance, there’s no point in Samsung also releasing an S5 Active, right? Well, wrong, as @evleaks, who’s almost never wrong, claims the SM-G870 we thought was the S5 Mini is in fact the S5 Active.
I’m confused, and likely, so are you. But as I recently explained, there are different degrees of ruggedness. So maybe this SM-G870 headed to AT&T and Sprint “among other carriers” is set to be the first top-shelf truly rugged handheld.
With better water protection, plus, say, military approvals for things like thermal shock, solar radiation, vibration, salt and humidity resistance. It’s a stretch, as it would entail a major design overhaul and abandonment of cuteness and thinness, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.
That, or simply equipping the S5 Active with a stronger water shield while giving up a few camera megapixels, as well as the display’s Super AMOLED technology.
Everything we know about the Galaxy S5 Mini
This section is going to be awfully short, as in all honesty we know nothing for sure vis-à-vis the S5 Mini. Except it’s coming next month or the month after. There are two cryptic Samsung smartphones no doubt tied to the standard S5 we haven’t yet managed to crack, namely the SM-G750 and SM-G800.
Odds are one’s the S5 Mini and the other the S5 Neo, but how to tell which one’s which? The sure-fire way is simply wait for their stories to unravel, however patience is so 20th century. Instead, I’ll go with my gut and assume the SM-G750 is the S5 Neo, and the SM-G800 the S5 Mini.
Too bad the SM-G800 model number is joined by an extremely short list of features at the moment. Again trusting my instinct, I say the S5 Mini will measure around 4.5 inches (maybe 4.7), sport a 720p display, quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip, 2 GB RAM and 13 MP camera.
Galaxy S5 Neo – rumor roundup
The idea of offering slightly toned-down versions of your flagships for more competitive prices is not bad per se, yet so far the execution has been Samsung’s biggest problem. Take the Note 3 Neo. The big guy is rather handsome and decently punchy, but it’s so damn expensive.
So yeah, we’re excited about a Galaxy S5 Neo with possibly a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, HD screen and 13 MP main snapper, but not if it costs $600.
Who’s with me? And who thinks Samsung should altogether stop with this aggressive brand dilution? Does the world need a standard S5, Prime, Zoom, Active, Mini, Neo, Value Edition, Black, etc., etc.? Let your opinions be heard below.