Samsung Electronics Co will unveil its highly-anticipated flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone later this month at its special event. The event will take place in Barcelona at 8pm local time, making it the evening of Mobile World Congress’ first day. The invitation names the get-together as Unpacked 5.
The mysterious part of the announcement is the “Episode 1” text. That could be some kind of a reference to another global unveil event in March or April, or the Galaxy Note 4, which is expected around mid-year.
The 2014 Unpacked will be a key moment for Samsung, which received mixed reviews of its current Galaxy smartphone model (S4) and missed analyst expectations in its recent financial results. Although previous flagship Galaxy smartphones became best-sellers, the S4 didn’t have as much luck, although it still performed well, says Mashable.
Rumours had previously been circulating in the Korean press that manufacturing of the Samsung Galaxy S5 would begin in Vietnam in January 2014, with a view to releasing the handset at the end of the quarter.
Back in early January, Samsung executive Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg that Samsung will be sticking to its launch schedule for new flagships.
“We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” Lee told Bloomberg at the time.
The S5 is widely expected to feature a bigger screen, probably of 5- to 5.2-inch size with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, as well as an improved rear 16-Megapixel camera and biometric functions such as iris recognition or a fingerprint scanner. It may also come with an improved Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
The smartphone is also rumored to come in two versions, one “Prime” and one “Standard,” but nothing is confirmed at this point. However, it is very unlikely that it will be curved or flexible like the recent Galaxy Round and LG G Flex.
Back in September, Samsung’s co-chief executive Shin Jong-Kyun told journalists in South Korea that the company’s next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality, like Apple iPhone 5s, but it is not known whether this will arrive with the Galaxy S5. Other leaks have pointed to octo- or even quad-core chips instead. 4GB of RAM has also been tipped, writes The Telegraph.
The launch at the annual industry gathering is set to reflect a new emphasis on costs, marking a departure from the glitzy marketing Samsung has deployed in the past, including the use of actors and a full live orchestra to launch the S4 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall last year.
Samsung is the second major manufacturer to announce an MWC event – Nokia was the first, and it’ll be showing its new devices earlier on February 24 – and with less than three weeks to go, we don’t have long to wait before all is revealed.
Unpacked 5 is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and livestreamed for those not attending the show.