News Column

Samsung phone reads heart rate

February 27, 2014

LONDON: Samsung on Monday unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in, heart-rate sensor.

Taking the limelight on the opening day of the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain, the South Korean giant simultaneously revealed a connected bracelet for health-concerned customers.

Samsung made about 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the world last year, nearly twice the share of arch-rival Apple, which traditionally skips the annual World Mobile Congress.

Samsung showed off the Galaxy S5 with a light sensor on the back that gives a heart-rate reading when the user touches it with his or her fingertip.

Though the case is plastic, it is water and dust proof, and has a leathery feel on the back.

The home button doubles up as a fingerprint reader to unlock the device or manage applications.

The phone has an extreme battery-saving mode that turns the display black-and-white and retains just six key applications to keep the device going longer on the last remnants of its charge.

Global smartphone sales surged 42.3 percent to 968 million units last year, according to industry research group Gartner.

But the growth was powered almost entirely by developing markets, disguising a slowdown in mature markets such as western Europe and the US, which are the most profitable.

As a result, mobile manufacturers are showing off a series of new smart devices to try to unlock new revenue streams. - Sapa-AFP

Daily News

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Source: Daily News (South Africa)

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