Over the years, one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone series has been the premium build quality and design. However, the Android market segment has caught up and manufacturers such as HTC have proven that there is a place for the “premium build” concept in Google’s ecosystem.
What’s rather odd, though, is the fact that, while Samsung has been a thorn in Apple’s side for the past several years, the Korean tech giant hasn’t really make any effort to compete with Cupertino on the design and build quality side. In fact, the latest Samsung flagship phone has been once again created in the company’s “safe zone.” In other words, Samsung hasn’t taken any risks and launched the Galaxy S5 wrapped up in a plastic shell.
Rumors indicating that Samsung will eventually release a premium build smartphone have been circulating for years, but to date they have remained just that: rumors. This year, though, the leaks and rumors have gathered momentum, and if these bits of information turn out to be correct, then Samsung is indeed working on launching a premium Galaxy S5 spin-off very soon.
For those of you who haven’t followed the mobile blogosphere over the past several months, we’re referring to the so called Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime. The device in question has been the source of a lot of debate lately, so today we’re going to round up the most relevant leaks and rumors. Let’s see what the Prime might have to offer.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime – Latest Leaks and Rumors
While the Prime’s biggest selling point is expected to be its design, it appears that Samsung has also prepared a handful of extra goodies for the smartphone’s potential adopters. Based on the information that has surfaced last month through the official GFXBench website, the Prime (which has been associated with the model number “SM-G906S” / “SM-G906K”) will supposedly feature a 5.2 inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Indeed, the Prime is expected to become Samsung’s first QHD smartphone, able to compete with the upcoming LG G3 and the rumored HTC One M8 Prime.
In fact, earlier reports have indicated that Samsung’s initial plans were to fit a QHD display on the Galaxy S5, but due to high production costs, the QHD panel has been pushed back, and the ongoing flagship went on sale with a Full HD screen instead.
Getting back to the matter of hardware, under its hood, the Galaxy S5 Prime should feature a Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, an Adreno 420 graphics chip with OpenGL ES 3.0 support and 3 GB of RAM. The handset is also said to boast a 15-16 MP main camera with full HD video recording capabilities, complemented by a 2 MP front-facing sensor. Evidently, the device will hit the shelves with the latest version of Android KitKat out of the box, sprinkled with the most recent TouchWiz UI.
We should note that the specifications above have been initially disclosed through the GFXBench database, but the smartphone has been removed from the list since. Fortunately, a screenshot of the spec sheet continued to travel the blogosphere, but whether or not these specs reflect the final product’s configuration remains to be seen.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime – Design, Availability and Release Rumors
As mentioned above, the Prime is expected to introduce a new design language in Samsung’s smartphone lineup, and everyone expects the smartphone to feature a metal body, as opposed to one made out of “cheap-feeling” plastic. Sadly, there haven’t been a lot of leaks that would reflect the smartphone’s design, and in fact, the only leak we have at this point is an image showcasing part of the handset’s alleged back panel. The image surfaced on Reddit, and the source doesn’t have a track record. The smartphone also looks incredibly similar to the “regular” Galaxy S5, so it may be fake, or it could simply be a custom rear cover. At any rate, there’s not a lot of design-related information to discuss.
Fortunately, the smartphone’s availability and release time-frame has been discussed more than once before, and according to previous reports, the SGS5 Prime might hit the market “around June” – just in time to compete with the LG G3.
On the other hand, there have also been reports suggesting that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime could become a limited series, similar to the Galaxy Round. According to these rumors, the Prime will be manufactured in limited quantities, mainly due to the high production costs of the Super AMOLED QHD display. If that speculation proves correct, the Prime might actually see the light of day in South Korea only.
We’re obviously hoping that Samsung will manage to make the Prime available worldwide, but we can’t be certain of anything at this point. Either way, if the smartphone is indeed real and planned for a June release, then we might actually get to see an official announcement by the end of May.
What are The Diplomat readers’ thoughts on the matter? Would any of you be tempted to buy the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime? What are your expectations from a Samsung “premium” flagship phone? As usual, feel free to join us in the comment section.