Samsung's rumored release of their Project KQ shouldn't surprise youEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
As you've probably guessed, I'm about to start talking about Samsung's rumored "Project KQ." If you missed the earlier report from today, go ahead and check out Alex's write-up on what Samsung reportedly has coming down the pipe. To whittle it down to the basics, though: Samsung has a "premium" flagship device incoming, one that's set to feature bullet points that will look better than what's on their current flagship device, the Galaxy S5.
Let's just get the easy part out of the way. This isn't, by any means, the first time that we've heard Samsung has a premium device headed to market. Even dating back to early 2013, we've heard rumors that Samsung has premium handsets just waiting in the wings. How many times have we heard that Samsung has a ridiculous number of variants for any particular handset? The Galaxy S 4 didn't escape this treatment, and the Galaxy Note 3 was under constant pressure to offer a ridiculous number of options for consumers.
The most steadfast of these rumors is that Samsung is going to ditch the plastic for these premium handsets, and create a smartphone with a metal design language, much like we've seen from HTC recently. That's been the most common thread of these rumors, so it's kind of interesting that the "KQ" spec leak doesn't offer any information on that particular detail.
Instead, it's mostly about the display.
The Galaxy S5 doesn't have a "premium" display, apparently. Despite the fact it's a 1080p HD panel that many, even our own Marco, has said is amazing to look at, all of this talk about "2K displays" has people itching to get their thumbs on it, and as soon as possible. Admittedly, a lot of people thought the Galaxy S5 was going to have that QHD display, with a resolution of 2560x1440, something that Oppo launched on their Find 7 recently. But that didn't happen.
Here we are just a few weeks after the official launch of Samsung's Galaxy S5 and talking about the phone that's coming next. More than that, though, we're talking about another flagship device that, if it were getting launched next year, would obviously be positioned as a Galaxy S5 successor. But, all reports suggest that the Project KQ device will see the light of day later this year -- probably positioned to compete directly with the launch of Apple's next iPhone, and even LG's G3 (which is rumored to boast the same type of display).
So, if it gets launched later this year, is it a successor? As much as I want to start waving my arms and yelling that Samsung is making a mistake here (if this device even exists, mind you), I honestly just can't help but laugh and say that I'm not surprised at all. Is Samsung making a mistake? If they launch the Project KQ device later this year, there's a real argument here that they've alienated a lot (if not all) of the Galaxy S5 buyers out there, and replaced their device a few months later.
That's a legitimate argument.
And, yes, if Samsung were to launch this particular handset next year, it would be a replacement to the Galaxy S5. But, there's no reason why these two handsets can't exist in the market at the same time. More to the point, the Galaxy S5 is a competitor to the HTC One M8, and since everyone seems to be rallied behind spec sheets these days, the Galaxy S5 may slouch behind new handsets launched later this year, like LG's G2 successor. What's the easiest way to fix that? Take a bit more time to work on another high-end device that isn't the Galaxy Note, and shove into it what you think the competitors are going to feature, too.
If LG is indeed going to launch the G2 successor with a QHD display, then Samsung will want to have a device (that's closer to the specs of the G3, and not the Galaxy Note 3 successor) ready to go to compete, head-to-head. Why? Because this is Samsung and they put devices on the market. This isn't a bad thing -- and this is something that everyone should be used to by now.
As far as I'm concerned, this makes perfect sense. Samsung has put out a device that competes with HTC's flagship for the early part of 2014. Great. So, with high-end devices launching later this year that may move the conversation away from the Galaxy S5 altogether, releasing a newer, "better" device doesn't seem all that insane. In fact, it begs the question: Why shouldn't a company release a better handset if they have the means to make one?
Waiting is the worst.
But what say you? Do you think Samsung is doing the right thing if they launch a premium device later this year, one that effectively replaces the Galaxy S5? Or is this something that would issue plenty of backlash from consumers? Let me know!