The Galaxy S5 is Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone, and while the company did say at MWC that the S5 would be coming to 150 countries on April 11th, there were no specifics as to which countries those would be. Now Samsung Canada has confirmed that the Galaxy S5, along with the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit smartwatches, will be available from nearly every Canadian carrier on the 11th. While no official information has been released about the US launch, it’s safe to say that the GS5 will be available in the US on the 11th too, at least from one carrier.
The Galaxy S5, like the GS4, is more of an iterative rather than radical update to its predecessor, but it does pack a quite a few new interesting features, such as a fingerprint scanner, a heart rate sensor and IP67 dust and water resistance. It also has what Samsung is calling “Download Booster” that bonds your Wi-Fi and LTE connections for faster downloads. The rest of the phone’s specs are a 5.1-inch 1080p screen, either a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC (the faster AC variant) or a 2.1 GHz octo-core Exynos 5422 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage with a microSD slot, a removable 2,800 mAh battery and a 16 MP camera.
In yesterday’s release, Samsung Canada only said that the S5 will be coming to “multiple carriers” in black or white, but we do know that nearly every Canadian carrier will be carrying it, of course including the big-three of Bell, Rogers and Telus. In the US, the S5 is also expected to be available on every major carrier, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. We are not sure which colors will be available in the U.S., but along with the white and black, Samsung also announced at MWC that the GS5 will also come in gold and blue. It is also possible that one of the exotic colors with be a carrier exclusive.
As for pricing, Samsung Canada only said that it will be available on select 2-year plans for $230. However, Telus had said earlier this month that the pricing would be $250, so it looks like the final pricing has yet to be decided. Telus will also starting taking pre-orders for the S5 on April 1st. Rogers also announced its pricing for the Galaxy S5, which will be $250 on a 2-year term, along with a bonus for first 10,000 customers who reserve it. The Rogers Galaxy S5 will be enabled to for Rogers suretap mobile payment system, and those 10,000 S5’s will come a $50 Rogers Prepaid MasterCard (yes, in Canada carrier have their own credit cards!) pre-loaded in the phone’s suretap wallet. As for U.S. carriers, no pricing has been released, but seeing as U.S. pricing is usually a little less than Canadian for a similar term, we can expect the Galaxy S5 to be $200 on a 2-year term.
As for the smartwatches, the only carrier to confirm availability of them in Canada is Rogers, though, of course, the new Gears will also likely be on sale at major electronics retailers on the 11th too. Interesting Rogers did say in their press that the Gear 2 Neo will be “only available with Rogers”, which seems an odd choice for Samsung since you would assume they’d want the more affordable Gear to be available from as many places as possible. In Canada, the Gear 2 will come in black, brown and orange. The Gear 2 Neo will come in black, gray, and orange and the Gear Fit will only be available in black. Again, Samsung Canada did share pricing details for the Gear, but Rogers helpfully told us that the Gear 2 will be $330, and the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit will be $220. In the U.S., we expect those prices to be $300 for the Gear 2, and $200 for the Neo and Fit.
Stay tuned to Tom’s Hardware for more news on the Galaxy S5 and new Gears. An official announcement about U.S. pricing and availability can’t be too far off. You can also check out our hands-on with the Gear 2 and Gear Fit.
UPDATE: AT&T has now gone live with its pre-order for the Galaxy S5. Starting March 21st you can pre-order an S5 for $200 on a 2-year term, or as low as $25 a month with AT&T’s Next Installment plan. The AT&T site says pre-orders ship on April 8th, so taking into account delivery times, it’s clear that April 11th will also be the US launch date for the S5, at least on AT&T.
AT&T is also offering pre-orders of the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, and you can get $50 off the Gear 2 or Neo if you buy one with the S5. Pricing for the Gear 2 will be $300, and the Neo and Fit will be $200.
UPDATE 2: It looks like both T-Mobile and Sprint are joining AT&T’s party by announcing their plans for the Galaxy S5 today.
T-Mobile will start taking pre-orders for the S5 on Monday the 24th, and will have an introductory price of $0, with no contract and 24 monthly payments of $27.50. T-Mobile hasn’t said anything about the Gears or the release date of the S5.
Sprint is also offering the Charcoal Black and Shimmery White S5 to their customers for $0, with 24 months of $27.09 payments, and they are
taking pre-orders starting today. They have also confirmed the expected April 11th launch date. Sprint will be selling all the Gears too on the 11th - the Gear 2 for $300 and the Neo and Fit for $200.
Verizon has yet to release information about their plans for the Galaxy S5, other than that they will be carrying it.