20 Straits Times readers among first in world to get Samsung Galaxy S5

Twenty lucky winners walked away with the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE and a multi-function watch that connects to it. -- PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
Twenty lucky winners walked away with the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE and a multi-function watch that connects to it. -- PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Twenty lucky winners of a Straits Times Appreciates Readers contest got their hands on a much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S5 yesterday. They were the first in the world outside Korea - the tech giant's home turf - to receive Samsung's latest offering.

Clutching his brand new Galaxy S5 in hand, Mr Joseph Sia, 39, said: "This is a fantastic early birthday present. My birthday is just one month away.

"Now I can watch my dramas on a bigger screen while travelling," said Mr Sia, who currently uses an iPhone 5s.

His name was picked along with 19 others from a lucky draw bowl at a new Samsung store at Westgate shopping mall yesterday. All participants had to do was send their names to stdled@sph.com.sg for a winning chance. The competition was a tie-up between The Straits Times and Samsung to reward readers of the newspaper.

The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch display and is powered by a 2.5GHz quad core processor. Catering to gym and photo lovers, the phone also has a heart rate monitor and a faster 16 megapixel camera. This offers real-time HDR (high dynamic range) imaging technology that more accurately reproduces the lighting conditions of an environment.

The phone also comes with a new biometric sensor that allows users to access the phone with their fingerprint. In a partnership with e-commerce service PayPal, phone owners here will be among the first in the world to be able to pay for items through the service by using their fingerprint as authenticator. While Apple's iPhone 5s also has a biometric sensor, it can be used only to unlock the device and pay for items within Apple's App Store.

Along with the Galaxy S5, the winners also got a Gear 2 watch - Samsung's second attempt at a smart accessory. The Gear 2 has a heart rate monitor and comes with 4GB of storage for users to store music, which they can listen to with a wireless Bluetooth headset during a run.

"I have always wanted a smart watch but I don't have the pocket money for it," said winner S. Ashween, 16, a student. "This is going to come in handy for my runs."

Another 20 lucky winners received a $100 Samsung voucher each at Thursday night's event. The Galaxy S5 is priced at $1,068 and the Gear 2 at $398. They launch officially on Friday.