Samsung promises Galaxy S5 by April, with slimmer Gear

The Galaxy S5 will launch in March or April and bring with it a sleeker, better Galaxy Gear watch, Samsung's mobile boss has promised.

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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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The Galaxy S5 will launch in March or April and bring with it a sleeker, better Galaxy Gear watch, Samsung's executive vice president of mobile Lee Young Hee has revealed in an interview with Bloomberg at CES.

That would appear to make an appearance at February's Mobile World Congress trade show less likely, after a Korean official said an MWC launch sounded "about right" late last week.

Samsung's next flagship phone may be able to scan your eyes to unlock it -- one in the eye for Apple and its Touch ID fingerprint tech. "Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology," Lee said, following rumours from Korea that the S5 would feature the gimmick. "We are studying the possibility."

More definitely on the cards is an improved Galaxy Gear smart watch, Samsung's major announcement at IFA in September, which went down like a lead balloon.

"When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions," Lee told Bloomberg, "and the bulky design will also be improved."

It wasn't the watch's design that disappointed us as much as its dearth of functionality, with our own Andy Hoyle condemning its "inability to perform truly 'smart' functions" in his two and a half star review.

Lee also promises a more obviously improved design over the S4, which he admits failed to offer much over its own predecessor. A softening in demand for Samsung's high-end handsets is deemed to have contributed to its slowing profits, which have wiped 10 per cent off its share price in recent weeks.

"When we moved to S4 from S3," Lee says, "it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn't as big," Lee said. "For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover."

What do you think Samsung needs to do to make the S5 a smash hit as big as the S3? Does it need new features, or a radical redesign, like a metal case? Is eye-scanning cool or creepy? Lay out your expectations and predictions down in the comments, or head over to our eye-turning Facebook page?