Samsung adds biometrics to next Galaxy S5 smartphone

The next iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range will boast biometric security.

Like Apple’s iPhone 5s, the main button on the front of the device will serve as a fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock the handset.

The eagerly-anticipated Galaxy S5 was unveiled at the Mobile World Conference 2014 in Barcelona this week.

Security was a key theme at the conference and the phone’s fingerprint scanner will also be used to power mobile payments, as Samsung has partnered with Paypal to offer payment-by-finger technology.

The scanner is also able to enable “private mode”, which is a way of storing sensitive information accessible only by using the scanner.

Principal analyst at Ovum Eden Zoller was quoted by BBC News as saying: “On the positive side, Samsung is a hugely popular smartphone brand with global reach, while PayPal is a trusted payments service provider. This is a powerful combination.”

The handset’s black-and-white mode also impressed the crowd in Barcelona. The device can save battery life by reducing the power used by the screen, meaning only essential features such as texts and calls will work.

It is expected to go on sale for £550 from April.

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