Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5REUTERS/Albert Gea

Samsung's new flagship smartphone Galaxy S5, despite getting a lukewarm reception for its modest upgrades to its predecessor Galaxy S4, has reportedly won appreciation for its anti-theft security features, ahead of global release next week.

Eric Schneiderman and George Gascon, members of Secure Our Smartphone Initiative - an international coalition aimed at combating thefts involving smartphones, have lauded the new Galaxy S5 (marketed by Verizon Wireless and US Cellular) and Samsung's decision to provide free anti-theft application 'Find My Mobile', an online service that helps to remotely locate and lock the phone, and 'Reactivation Lock', a intuitive feature where the device can detect any illegal attempt to lock the phone, which then promts the user (thief) to provide login details, even after the device is successfully reset to factory settings.

Galaxy S5 also boasts a fingerprint sensor (on home button) for secured screen unlocking, as well as online monetary transaction (PayPal) and also the Samsung's propreitary security application 'Knox', a multi-layered security through authorized software boot and real-time Kernel protection. This improves integrity, via forced data isolation and hardware-based protection with TrustZone technology. 

They stated that Samsung's move is a step forward to encourage other top smartphone companies to follow suit, in order to create effective theft deterrents for every handset sold in America.

For a long time, Schneiderman has been a strongly advocating for the 'kill switch' to be installed in every smartphone manufactured in the United States. Once activated, the switch will prevent the phone from being re-activated in the black market. A bill to make this anti-theft feature pre-requisite in every smartphone sold in America is pending for approval in the US House of Representatives and Senate.

However, there is a bit of concern that if consumers (due to lack of awareness) do not activate this application, the effectiveness of the anti-theft features will be limited.

In 2012, 1.6 million Americans were victimis of smartphone thefts, according to Schneiderman's office, reported Reuters.

The appreciation for Galaxy S5's security features seems to be well-timed for the South Korean company as reports have also emerged that the White House Communication Agency (a military unit in charge of President Barack Obama) and the technology officials have begun testing Samsung (and LG) smartphones for internal use in the house of world's most powerful person.

"The tests are in the early stages", said as source familiar with matter, and any implementation of Samsung or LG phones is still "months away," reported The Wall Street Journal. As of now, BlackBerry (modified version) remains the official communication device for the US President.

Samsung Galaxy S5 is slated for global (150 regions) release on 11 April.

Specifications of Samsung Galaxy S5:

Model Samsung Galaxy S5
Display 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with full HD (1920x1080p) resolution having pixel density of 440 plus ppi (pixels per inch)
OS Android v4.4.2 KitKat OS with new TouchWiz UI
Processor International variant: 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 series quad-core CPU (chipset: MSM8974AC);In  India, it will be packing Octa-core Exynos Processor (1.9GHz quad-core + 1.3GHz quad-core )
GPU Adreno 330
Storage capacity 16GB/32GB , expandable up to 128GB via micro SD card
Camera Main: 16.0-megapixel camera with HDR, fast (0.3-second) auto-focus (world's fastest), 4K video recording Front: 2.1-megapixel camera with full HD video recording
Battery 2800 mAh battery with Ultra Power Saving ModeTalk time: up to 21 hours

Standby mode: 390 hours

Network LTE Cat.4 (150/50Mbps)
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO (2x2)),  Bluetooth v4.0 BLE/ANT+, NFC, IR Remote
Add-ons Water-proof and dust-resistant IP67 certification, finger-print based biometric technology, Kids mode, Private mode, Download booster, S Health v3.0, Knox,
Dimensions 142.5 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
Weight 145 g
Colors Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold