We met up with the fine folks at Samsung yesterday to have a look at their upcoming flagships in the mobile sphere. Most notably, we got to see the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5, which was originally unveiled to the world at MWC in February and it will be launching in Canada on April 11. We also get our hands on the new family of Gear smartwatches from Samsung, including the Gear 2, Gear Neo and the Gear Fit.

Getting back to the phone for a moment, there have been some grumblings that the Galaxy S5 is an incremental improvement over the Galaxy S4. There is some truth in that. We still get a 1080p Super AMOLED display, but they’ve tweaked it to provide for a more “natural” look rather than the super saturated appearance that we’ve come to expect from Samsung. The camera on the back has gained some megapixels and it has a faster autofocus. That being said, Samsung has introduced a number of new features too.

For instance, there is now a heart rate monitor on the back, just below the camera module, and this integrates with the updated S Health software. One great feature is the Ultra power saving mode. This turns your screen to grayscale, restricts background data, strips down the UI, and turns off unnecessary connections. The net result is that you can go a full 24 hours with just 10% of battery left. Naturally, this mode is designed for emergencies when you can’t find a charger. On the flip side, you’ll also find a mode where you can effectively combine LTE and WiFi to take advantage of all available bandwidth for super fast downloads. The Galaxy S5 is also rated at IP67 for water and dust resistance.


In addition to the new Android smartphone, Samsung also showed off its new family of smartwatches. The top-of-the-line Gear 2 builds upon the original Galaxy Gear, taking in much of the feedback that Samsung has heard from the community. The design has been very much streamlined, moving the camera and speakerphone modules away from the strap and into the unit itself. It also has its own music player now, as well as an IR blaster.

Slotting below that is the less expensive Gear Neo, which loses the camera and music player, though it retains much of that core smartwatch functionality. And finally, there’s the fitness-oriented Gear Fit with its curved display. The features are further simplified, but it definitely goes above and beyond what you’d normally find in regular activity trackers.

Watch the video below for our full hands-on session with the new Galaxy S5 smartphone, as well as the new family of Gear smartwatches. There’s also the photo gallery below that with more shots of the upcoming devices. We expect to get the Galaxy S5 in our labs within about a week, so stay tuned for our full, in-depth written review of the new Android smartphone very soon.

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