As Mobile World Congress approaches, it appears to become more and more evident that Samsung has chosen the Barcelona event later this month as the venue to launch the Galaxy S 5. This morning, the New York Times has confirmed through its sources that this will indeed be the case, and it's going to be quite a bit different from last year's Galaxy S flagship launch. Whereas last year's controversial show featured Broadway-style antics and blatant stereotyping, the NYT reports that "Unpacked 2014 Episode 1," the launch event, will be much more low-key.
The publication also mentions a few details about the device itself. The GS5 will reportedly feature some design enhancements and spec improvements, such as a fancier camera and better processor (we'd wager that we'll see a 16MP camera and a choice of Exynos 6 or Snapdragon 805), but it sounds like Samsung plans to dial back the number of new firmware features. Curiously, the same sources tell the Times that the S5 oddly won't come with a bump in display resolution to Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440); if this is indeed the case, it likely means we'll be seeing a 1080p screen on two Galaxy S flagships in a row. We find this a bit surprising, but we wonder if supply constraints could be a reason why Samsung is holding off for now. The report also claims that we won't see an eye scanner this time around.
Finally, the Times reports that Samsung isn't going to wait for its usual yearly product cycle to launch a new Galaxy Gear -- apparently, the second version of the smartwatch is also on the Unpacked agenda just a few months after its predecessor arrived. The product's quick turnaround would certainly be a huge surprise, but given its relatively poor reception and reportedly low sales, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the company wants to push out a new and improved version as soon as possible.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Gear 2