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Samsung Galaxy S5 gets firmware update, anti-theft features ahead of release

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Samsung’s new flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S5 is getting some last minute tweaks ahead of its official release date Friday. Following reports that select carrier branded Galaxy S5 phones will include anti-theft features, the device is also getting a new firmware update.

According to NDTV Thursday (April 10), a report out of Germany indicates that the South-Korean electronics giant is pushing a firmware update to the Galaxy S5. The software update enhances the phone’s stability and is labeled version number “XXU1ANCE.”

Beginning April 11, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available globally on mobile retail markets within the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and India. South Korea began selling the device last month to dodge legal penalties. It’s suggested that the stability software update will hit the international variant of the Galaxy S5, which features an octa-core processor.

While it’s unclear if the 30MB software update is also for quad-core Galaxy S5 models, the update will automatically be available for users to install out of the box. If you plan on buying the Galaxy S5, it’s a good idea to manually check for system updates under “Settings”.

News about this last minute firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes after reports about the addition of two new security features for specific carrier models. As CNET reports, Verizon and US Cellular team up with Samsung in an effort to combat smartphone theft. Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock anti-theft features arrive bundled with the Verizon and US Cellular branded Galaxy S5.

Samsung’s Find My Mobile online service can remotely track and lock a lost or stolen phone, similarly to Apple’s Find My iPhone offering. It can also wipe the phone clean and alert its owner if a thief inserts a different SIM card. Reactivation Lock requires the input of user login information after a factory reset is performed on the phone.

While smartphone security is an important factor for many consumers, aesthetics is also something people look at when choosing a device. The latest Samsung Galaxy S5 TV commercial emphasizes the new phone’s design and gives viewers an extremely close-up look at the textured exterior casing, camera and built-in heart rate sensor.

As a reminder, the Galaxy S5 features the following key hardware and software specs: 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display with a pixel density of 432 ppi, 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot (expandable to 128GB), 16MP rear camera, 2.0MP wide-angle lens front-facing camera, dust and water resistant (IP67 certified), built-in heart rate monitor, embedded fingerprint sensor for unlocking and secure PayPal mobile payments, 2,800 mAh removable battery and Google’s latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS.

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