Samsung definitely wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with the Galaxy S5 but Samsung’s mobile boss J.K. Shin still thinks that you’re not giving it nearly enough credit for being innovative. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Shin said that “despite the lack of any eye-popping technology,” the Galaxy S5 delivers new features that its core customers want and love.
So why should you see the Galaxy S5 as innovative? Here are all the reasons Shin listed in his interview:
- “Galaxy S5 is the only water-resistant smartphone with a detachable back cover on the market.”
- “We redesigned all of the components and applied new materials — from the back cover, USB port, earphone jack, touch screen and even the antenna inside.”
- “The power-saving mode was possible because of Samsung’s OLED [organic light-emitting diode] display which doesn’t require an additional backlight.”
In a lot of ways, the criticism of Samsung for allegedly not being “innovative” in the smartphone game just goes to show how hard it’s become to make a phone that’s truly differentiated. Apple has been hounded by criticisms for years that it’s essentially been selling gullible customers the exact same smartphone since 2007, and like Samsung it’s released new devices that don’t change the game so much as refine and tweak it.
And really, Samsung is in a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation here: The company tried to pack a ton of new software features into the Galaxy S4 last year and it was accused, with considerable justification, of larding up its phone with bloatware gimmicks that practically no one ever used. At this point in the game, the best established smartphone manufacturers can really do is to just further refine their flagship devices and add a small number of key new features that they think will really make a difference.