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Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives: Everything you need to know

Jared Newman | April 14, 2014
Samsung's latest flagship phone hits 125 countries and all the big U.S. carriers.

Note that all other U.S. carriers have disabled the Download Booster function in the Galaxy S5, but T-Mobile has left it intact.

Unlocked Options

Samsung isn't selling an unlocked Galaxy S5 directly, at least not in the United States, but you can buy an unlocked model on eBay for $630. Strangely, this model is advertised as "3G Data Capable," so it's unclear whether the device would work with 4G LTE networks in the United States.

The advantage of getting an unlocked model, aside from not having a long-term carrier commitment, would be to avoid the bloatware and restrictions that carriers have forced onto Samsung's flagship phone. For instance, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all blocked Samsung's killer Download Booster feature, which combines Wi-Fi and cellular for faster data transfers.

Wearable add-ons

In addition to the Galaxy S5, Samsung is also launching the Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit smartwatches. AT&T is the only U.S. carrier selling these smartwatches, but you can also pick them up at other retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon, and they'll work with any carrier variant of the Galaxy S5. Pricing is roughly the same across all retailers, at $200 for the Gear Fit and Gear 2 Neo and $300 for the Gear 2.

 

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