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Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor roundup

Plus some other bits and pieces, like the latest specter of a Nokia Android phone, A Google Glass app that will raise yet more concerns, and a non-specific proposal to build a privacy-focused smartphone.

By , Network World
January 16, 2014 01:33 PM ET
android-roundup

Network World - Like a frog in a cooking pot, I didn't notice that rumors about the Samsung Galaxy S5 had really hit the boil until it was too late. But now, with steaming clouds of hearsay and a distinct aroma of scuttlebutt in the air, all that's left is to hope that the results will at least prove savory for the consumer. (Side note – can any readers tell me whether frog legs are any good? I'm curious, but also a little scared.)

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The revelation, at CES, that the Galaxy S5 would be revealed in early spring seems to have been the tipping point, and the rumors have been flying thick and fast since then. PhoneArena says that the S5 will have an enhanced, fast-charging battery, which is a good thing because a widely circulated report from SamMobile says it has “confirmed” a power-hungry 2K (1440p) screen.

That particular report also says there will be a mini model (safe bet), camera-centric “zoom” model, a la the S4 (possibly), and – perhaps most interesting – says that the flagship model will be available in both a metal and a plastic version. That sounds vaguely familiar, for some reason.

None of this is certain, of course – Trusted Reviews quotes a Samsung executive, identified and on the record, as saying that “I don’t believe Samsung will go down the route of making a metal device just because other manufacturers are.” TR interprets that as a denial that they’ll do it at all, but I think it’s possible to read this as “we’re going to do it, but not just because other companies are.”

Either way, the internals ought to be pretty impressive - along the lines of 4GB RAM, powered by a 64-bit octa-core processor, depending on who you believe, though rumors of a 4K screen almost have to be groundless – a 2K screen’s already getting well into overkill territory for a 5-inch-odd screen – one would think that 4K would simply be too much added expense and power draw for minimal reward. Still, the 16MP camera with hardware image stabilization sounds very possible.

The upshot – right now, it looks as though the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the most advanced Android phone on the market when it comes out, packing a bewildering array of features (some useful, some not), the most powerful hardware, and the latest version of Android. It’ll debut at some absurdly themed press extravaganza, if history is any guide, probably sometime in March, and go on sale the next month. All of this, of course, will change when the next batch of rumors goes public next week.

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It’s tempting to lump the background radiation about a possible Nokia-designed Android device in with the other hardy perennials of the Android handset world, like the Facebook and Amazon phones – it’d be interesting for a number of reasons, we periodically hear rumors about it, it never ever happens.

Still, pictures leaking out onto Twitter are being widely identified as the long-rumored Nokia Normandy, a budget device running a heavily modded version of Android.

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