Samsung Galaxy S5 set to one-up iPhone with eye scanner

A new report out of Korea reckons Samsung's next flagship phone will be launched in February and feature iris-scanning technology and a super hi-def screen.

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Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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You know what's cooler than unlocking your phone by scanning your fingerprint? Unlocking your phone by scanning your eyes. And that's what Samsung has planned for next year's Galaxy S5, according to a new report out of Korea.

Our sister site ZDNet Korea quotes industry sources who reckon the company's next flagship mobile will pack an iris-scanner -- a first for any phone -- and a massively high-resolution display. These are just rumours for now, but it sounds like we could find out more sooner than we thought.

Debuting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February, according to the sources, the unnamed smart phone is almost certain to be the Galaxy S5, with the high-cost S models always the first with Samsung's most cutting-edge tech. That tallies with previous reports tipping a slightly earlier launch than last year after moderately disappointing sales of the S4.

The iris scanner is likely to work like the iPhone 5S's handy fingerprint scanner, meaning you can use your own unique biometrics to unlock your blower and pay for stuff too. A reliable, secure eye scanner would be harder to fool than a fingerprint detector, but would need a very high resolution camera.

The 'QHD' resolution screen mentioned in the report is four times the resolution of normal 720p HD, that is, 2,560x1,440 pixels. It's not mentioned how big the screen may be, but if it was applied to the S4's 5-inch panel, it'd have an utterly ludicrous pixel density of 587 dots per inch -- far beyond what the human eye can perceive at a normal distance.

Other likely specs include Samsung's new 64-bit eight-core Exynos processor (although the S4 missed out on the octo-core action in the UK), 3GB of RAM like the Note 3 and Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, although Samsung's own Tizen OS may be an option.

What would you like to see from Samsung in the Galaxy S5? What's the most important spec for it to get right? Dream up your dream phone in the comments, or over on our unbelievably high-end Facebook page.