It’s become a year-opening tradition, nay ritual to sift through countless rumors, reports and hearsay on whatever “next big thing” Samsung has in store for its ever-growing Galaxy smartphone family. But I think we can all agree “insiders” and “tipsters” have gone a little overboard this time around, with the Galaxy S5 rumor bonanza.
Instead of answering questions, each round of gossip gives birth to fresh dilemmas, leaving us scratching our heads in disbelief as we no doubt close in on the official announcement without knowing anything for sure.
But at least we can make a series of solid educated guesses. Here they are, based on our imaginary bullshitometer:
Plastic and metal? Never say never
It’s fitting to kick things off with a 50-50 situation, as the odds of the GS5 landing in both plastic and metal flavors are virtually identical to those of the flagship rocking just a polycarbonate exterior. But here’s what I’m absolutely, completely, 100 percent sure about: if an aluminum-clad S5 is due, it’ll be awfully difficult to score.
Maybe even an experimental device, like the Galaxy Round. Definitely expensive, and definitely limited to certain markets upon launch.
Exynos 6, Snapdragon 800, Snapdragon 805? Why not all?
Call me crazy, call this unsubstantiated gossip, but I have a hunch we’re going to be seeing an even grander Galaxy S brand dilution than in 2013. Active, Mini and Zoom versions are nearly guaranteed, plus metal and plastic, Exynos and Snapdragon and, possibly, Snapdragon 800 and 805 variants.
So in the processing power department, here’s how I predict things will go down. First, an S800 model not much zippier than the S4 is to roll, to ensure competitors like the Sony Xperia Z2, LG G2 Pro or HTC One Plus don’t get the early upper hand.
Then, the metal-clad, “true” octa core Exynos 6-packing beast debuts, to limited audiences. Finally, around May or maybe June, an S5 Plus, or Ultra, or Max, or something, comes with a Snapdragon 805 to fend off rivals that might hold off until then to launch their first top dogs of 2014.
As a result, tech journos will bitch and moan about cannibalization and similarly vague terms, and Samsung will again comfortably rule over the mobile world. End of story.
Display, battery, RAM, cameras – certainties and assumptions
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will sport a display made of glass, pack a battery lasting a day or so between charges, a couple of cameras with photo-snapping abilities and tiny, punchy memory modules. Jokes aside, to cover all your bases, you’re probably better off trusting nothing specific you hear in these departments.
Depending on the source, the screen is either a 5 or 5.2-inch unit, with Full HD or Quad HD (aka 2K) resolution, the battery is 2,900 or 3,000+ mAh, with or without rapid charging, the RAM can clock in at 2, 3 or 4 gigs and the main snapper could feature a sensor anywhere between 13 and 20 MP, with or without optical image stabilization.
Confusing stuff, I know, but if you really insist on me going on a limb and make a prediction, it’d sound a little like this:
- 5.2-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution screen (Full HD is a thing of the past now)
- 2,900 mAh battery tops with no bells or whistles (who the heck is Amprius anyway?)
- 3 GB RAM (4 is too much, not to mention unnecessary)
- 16 MP rear-facing camera sans OIS (Samsung shooters have always been among the best, so why fix something that ain’t broken?)
Curved display? Downright bendable? Big design makeover? Puh-lease
I’ll admit, it’s weird being one or two months max away from the thing’s formal unveiling and there being no legit-looking renders around (not even close). Yet I don’t think there’s any chance Samsung will go all bendy with the S5. Especially if they go metal.
Like it or not, truly flexible phones are still a long way from mass production, whereas curved handhelds such as the Galaxy Round will remain quirky, little, limited experiments. Meanwhile, some sort of aesthetical rehash is most definitely in the cards, but I don’t buy the rumors saying Sammy is to scrap S4’s looks altogether and build something else from scratch.
They have too much to lose, and the risks are ginormous. So yeah, I expect something along the S4 lines, with slim bezels, a rectangular, industrial overall vibe and everything.
February, March or April intro? Call Nostradamus
You know what, forecasting an ETA right now is pretty much like rolling a dice, so why not take an actual dice, pick two faces for each of the three possible outcomes and knock yourselves out? Sure, a presentation next month seems like a stretch… today, after recent rumors and “leaks”, but so did an April timeline, say, a few weeks ago.
And don’t tell me you believe all these Samsung execs are contradicting one another by chance or due to sheer stupidity. They’re doing it on purpose, people, to confuse us all, and boy, are they successful.
So there you have it, nothing’s certain until it’s certain, regardless of “rock-solid” intel and surefire “confirmations” of specs. Here’s a wild idea: let’s kick back, relax, stop with the nonsensical rumor-mongering and simply wait. Would it really kill us? No, don’t answer that.