It is finally here. After what seems like an eternity of waiting and speculation, today during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung officially unveiled it’s new flagship smartphone: the Galaxy S5, complete with the expected fingerprint scanner and a surprise heart rate monitor.
Keeping up with Apple’s iPhone 5S in terms of strong authentication has been a big topic ever since Touch ID attempted to do away with lock screen PINs in favor of fingerprint biometrics in September of last year. The pool of rumors swelled in anticipation, with the Korea Herald citing anonymous sources throughout the half-year declaring that the S5 would feature everything from an iris scanner to a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the devices touch screen.
Today the rumors came to an end, and none of them proved to be exactly accurate. The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a fingerprint scanner in the home button of the smartphone and can store up to three different templates.
The fingerprint scanner requires a vertical swipe of the enrolled finger to unlock the phone, and through a partnership with PayPal, Samsung will be working to get this feature aiding in mobile commerce transaction authentication.
Even more surprising during the Samsung announcement was the inclusion of a vital biometrics feature. A heart rate monitor is located below the rear facing camera. It can measure a user’s pulse through her fingertip in five to ten seconds. This second biometric functionality is in support of a newly revamped S Health app that can sync with Samsung’s new line of wearable technology for fitness purposes.
No prices were announced, but Americans can expect the phone to launch on all five major carriers in April.