Samsung Australia’s Arno Lenior held the stage – dominated by a large screen – for most of the presentation, introducing guest speakers to cover specific details of the Korean giant’s new product offering.
While we already knew much of the information from last month’s global launch event, it’s clear that Samsung sees the nascent mobile payments as a huge target for the Galaxy S5 in Australia with the phone’s NFC functionality offering integration with Westpac’s and Commonwealth Bank’s payment systems.
Samsung also had PayPal Australia Managing Director Jeff Clementz take the stage to speak about the opportunities PayPal sees in the space. The PayPal app will take advantage of the built in fingerprint reader in the Galaxy S5, providing what Samsung and PayPal say is the most secure way to make a payment online.
Arno also emphasised Samsung’s focus on fitness and wearable devices this year with the local launch of the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit devices. Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, Australian Snowboard Cross World Champion was also at hand to speak about what the product range meant to him and demonstrate S Health and the new devices’ heart rate monitors later in the night.
While we’ve covered Australian pricing of the devices already, in the demo area we saw a small selection of cases – S-View and standard – but little else in the way of accessories, and staff on hand unfortunately weren’t able to give us any pricing or availability information.
Samsung had demo stations set up around the room to show off the Galaxy S5′s headline features. Members of the Bondi Rescue team happily covered the device with sand and submerged it in water to demonstrate its IP67 rating, while Pullin and others demonstrated the heart rate monitoring features of the Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 smartwatches on treadmills and other exercise equipment.
There was also a Martini Bar where you could get a demonstration of the Tap and Pay features from friendly staff in order to buy a drink.
A Fashion on the Field station that invited participants to dress up for a trip to the races to demonstrate features of the Galaxy S5′s camera like selective focus. Naturally, the hat I chose was stunning, but sadly no photographs were saved so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Besides the feature demo stations, there were also a number of units available for demonstrations from curious onlookers, with Samsung staff at hand to guide them through the devices.
Try it yourself
As this evening’s launch event got underway, workers outside were constructing a demo tent in the park near the Museum.
If you’d like to be one of the first to check out the Galaxy S5, head down to First Fleet Park at the Rocks in Sydney. The tent should be there for a few days, but we’ll check with Samsung for specifics.
The Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit devices all go on sale in Australia on April 11. View full pricing details here.
Will you be upgrading to the Galaxy S5? Will you be buying a Gear 2 smartwatch? Let us know in the comments!