Samsung Galaxy S5 unleashed at Mobile World Congress 2014

Korean company’s new Android superstar revealed in Barcelona

Samsung has launched its new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was revealed at an exclusive Unpacked event at the Mobile World Congress trade show and boasts a fingerprint scanner similar to the TouchID feature on Apple‘s iPhone 5S.

Other features include a rear-facing 16MP camera capable of shooting video in 3,840 x 2,160 4K resolution - matching the Sony Xperia Z2 revealed earlier today.

Building on the phenomenal success of the Galaxy S4, Samsung has built the Galaxy S5 around a 5.1-inch, Super AMOLED Full HD screen. Underneath is a quad-core Krait 2.5GHz processor backed by 2GB of RAM.

The handset itself weighs in at 145g and measures 8.1mm thick. Following Sony’s lead, the Korean manufacturer has built the S5 with an IP67 dust and water resistance rating. So, you’ll be able to whip it out without fear of the British weather getting in the way.

The plastic and faux-leather chassis may still split opinions but Samsung is making four colour versions available at launch: white, blue, gold and charcoal.

“We’ve decided to go back to basics with the Galaxy S5 and focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers - namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly and their health and wellbeing,” said Simon Stanford, vice president of IT and mobile division at Samsung UK.

“People want a smartphone that enhances and enables their mobile life. The Galaxy S5 represents just that, and we’re excited to see the response to our latest flagship smartphone device,” he said.

Fitness fanatics may take an interest in the S5 as Samsung appears to have picked up quickly on the growing trend for health-related metrics. Inside the phone you’ll find a heart rate monitor which is activated by holding your finger over a sensor next to the camera flash for about eight seconds.

A big part of the S5’s health functionality is likely to emerge as it is partnered with the Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatch that was revealed early this morning.

The battery is a respectable 2,800mAh affair and we’ll know how this copes when we’ve given the handset a full, in-depth review. Samsung has built in an Ultra power saver mode that disables non-essential functions to eke out more power.

Undoubtedly, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will replace the S4 as one of Android’s biggest-selling handsets. It’s likely to emerge as a real contender for the best smartphone you can buy and give chief rival Apple something to think about ahead of any possible iPhone 6 release.

The Galaxy S5 will arrive running Android 4.4 but, as yet, the South Korean company hasn’t revealed exact pricing or availability. We had some hands-on time with the handset in Barcelona, so check out our initial hands-on review here and watch the Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on video below.