By Daniel Bean
If you were thinking of upgrading to a Galaxy S4 this month, you might decide to pump the brakes after hearing the most recent word out of speculation city.
A new report from The New York Times speculates that the announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will be held at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb. 24-27. Event invitations for an “Unpacked 5” Samsung event at MWC were recently sent to members of the press, though the topics to be discussed there have not been officially announced. Samsung does, for what it’s worth, generally reserve the “Unpacked” title for major events, like the unveilings of Galaxy smartphones.
The invitation itself also has a 5 in it. So one would naturally expect some sort of fifth-generation device to be unpacked.
It was roughly 11 months ago that Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4. Manufacturers like Apple and Samsung tend to release new versions of their devices every 12 months; thus, we would expect the S4’s successor to show itself sometime soon, anyhow.
We’re still not certain what the overall enhancement to this year’s Galaxy S phone will be. Rumblings of things like an eye-scanning security feature, a powerful 64-bit processor (akin to Apple’s newest chip) and a larger, crisper Quad HD display have all been buzzed about. Sources cited by the NYT, however, have said not to expect those things, though the phone’s processor and camera should see upgrades.
It’s also worth mentioning that, even if the S5 doesn’t turn out to be an impressive upgrade over the S4, Samsung typically lowers the price of its previous-generation devices after a new launch. So even if you don’t end up picking up a Galaxy S5, there’s still a reason to hold off on the S4 if you can.
The NYT piece also offered hints that Samsung has chosen an understated event at MWC to hold its first “Unpacked” event of 2014 as a step back from last March’s over-the-top and slightly controversial Radio City Music Hall fiasco. The theatrics of last year’s S4 show even garnered some accusations of sexism.
So take all this speculation as food for thought. You may be better off waiting until Feb. 24 if you’re eyeing a Galaxy phone. If you can’t stand using your Galaxy S III for another few weeks, then we won’t blame you for jumping on the S4. But don’t get mad at Yahoo Tech when your buddy is flashing his new Galaxy S5 in your face a couple of months from now. We’re just looking out for you.