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CIO - Korean electronics giant Samsung is expected to unveil the next version of its popular Galaxy S series smartphone, the GS5, next Monday at media events in Barcelona and New York City. The company sent invites two weeks ago to the main Mobile World Congress event in Spain, and the smaller Manhattan simulcast event, and though it did not expressly state that the Galaxy S5 will be announced, the company's use of the number 5 on the invites seems to point to the GS5. Rumors also suggest the "Galaxy Gear 2" smartwatch -- or whatever Samsung decides to call its next-generation watch -- will also make an appearance.
The Internet saw no shortage of speculation around the new Galaxy S5 during the past weeks and months, particularly after Samsung's invites were distributed. (Check out this GS5 rumor roundup for a quick look at the ones that seem most likely.)
Ever since I received my invite to the "Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 1" event, I've been looking closely at my Galaxy S4 smartphone, trying to identify the features and functionality -- or lack thereof -- that bother me the most, that I want to see improved in the GS5. I came up with the following list.
1) Big Improvements Over the Galaxy S4 Camera
My biggest complaint about the Galaxy S4 is that its camera pales in comparison to other high-end devices on the market today. It's not the worst smartphone camera, but it's a far cry from the best.
I carry a minimum of two phones, and I switch devices fairly often. The devices I use most frequently are the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5S. If I have both devices on me and I want to capture an image, I always grab the iPhone. I've had a lot of time to compare the two, and though the Galaxy S4 has many more extraneous camera features and "modes," the iPhone 5s consistently captures better images, due largely to its superior light sensor. The Galaxy S4 camera actually captures more megapixels (13MP) than the iPhone (8MP), which just goes to show that more megapixels do not a better camera make.
The good news is that rumors suggest the GS5 should have a much better camera with a brand new ISOCELL sensor, which Samsung itself reportedly mentioned in the past. There's a ton of room for improvement in the GS4's camera, and I'll be disappointed if the GS5 doesn't significant step up the Galaxy S game.
2) New and Improved Galaxy S5 Design and Build Quality
The Galaxy S4 isn't bad looking. In fact, it's quite sleek, and the fact that it looks very similar to its GS3 predecessor device never really bothered me as it did some critics. The device is slim and light, with an easy-to-remove battery cover and convenient access to all your ports.
After using other high-end smartphones during the year following the GS4's release, including the iPhone 5S, HTC One and Lumia 1020, the GS4 feels kind of "flimsy." That's due largely to its plastic bezel and back cover. Samsung recently addressed the issue (sort of) by releasing a new "Black Edition" version of the GS4, with a faux leather back cover. It looks like a step in the right direction, but that plastic bezel still bugs me.