New phone and watches from Samsung
Technology giant Samsung has stepped up the consumer war with Apple by launching four new products in a single day.
At an event in London, the Korean company launched their latest smartphone, the Galaxy S5, which is waterproof for the first time, as well as three new smartwatches to add to their range.
The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit all became available today, greatly expanding and strengthening Samsung's position within the wearable technology market, a fast-growing sector. All three are available for £250 or less.
Apple has long been rumoured to be planning a smartwatch of its own, but now it will have four Samsung wearables to do battle with, as well as other popular products such as the Pebble smartwatch, which began life on crowd-funding website Kickstarter.
Andy Betts, editor of UK-based Android Magazine believes that this launch cements Samsung's place at the top of the smartphone market.
He said: "The Galaxy S5 is not a massive upgrade over last year's S4, but what has been improved should be more than enough to ensure that Samsung retains its dominance of the Android market.
"With an improved camera, much longer battery life and water resistance, Samsung has targeted areas that, while not necessarily producing eye catching headlines, will deliver real benefits for users."
Mr Betts did however sound a word of warning for the technology giant if it wants to retain its current position.
He said: "Samsung's watches look like the best to have hit the market to date. But they only work with Samsung devices, and only a limited selection of those. We can expect a glut of wearables to launch over the coming months so Samsung will need to do a lot more to ensure it remains competitive."
The watches have been designed to offer more focus on health and wellbeing, with fitness tracking a big part of each, including the exercise-dedicated Fit.
The key new features on the Galaxy S5 smartphone also include an emphasis on health and wellbeing with apps to link with wearables to track movement, as well as a faster processor that improves response time when using the device.
Samsung have also made the S5 water and dust-proof, as well as introducing a fingerprint scanner in a similar vain to Apple's Touch ID, which the Cupertino-based company incorporated into the iPhone 5s, released last year. The phone retails at £579.
Jeff Parsons, news editor at technology magazine T3, said: "Samsung's latest offering is facing some stiff competition. HTC has produced the excellent HTC One (M8) while Apple's still going strong with its iPhone 5S. However, Samsung has thrown everything into the Galaxy S5, including the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core processor, a fingerprint scanner and a dazzling AMOLED 5.1-inch screen.
"S Health is a great addition and a genuine alternative to other fitness and health apps out there. What's more, the camera is much improved and the interface feels cleaner and less cluttered. It's undoubtedly going to be a very, very popular phone. Over to you, Apple."
Apple are expected to unveil the next generation of the iPhone later this year, complete with their own take on the health market, as well as potentially moving into the wearable market with their own smartwatch, which has been rumoured for several years now among industry experts.
The Gear 2 is an update on Samsung's original smartwatch, which was released in September last year. The Neo is a streamlined version of the same device, with the camera removed, while the Gear Fit is the first wearable device launched in the UK to include a curved screen.