Galaxy S8: First Device To Use Bluetooth 5
This week, the whole world got caught up in the excitement of Samsung’s unveiling of its two latest Galaxy devices -- the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus. The two new phablets are indeed impressive handsets and many even believe that the flagship offerings will inject renewed vigor in the world of mobile (which has suffered slowed growth in the last few quarters), and perhaps get consumers to buy new smartphones again.
But lost in all that noise is the fact that the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus are the first ever devices to make full use of Bluetooth 5, the newest iteration of Bluetooth wireless tech. For those not familiar with Bluetooth 5, it happens to be capable of achieving two times the connection speed of Bluetooth 4.2 (the previous version) and four times the range. To put that into context, Bluetooth 5 basically allows users to connect to smartwatches and other wearable devices with better responsiveness. Also, smart home devices can connect from a farther distance compared to what we are used today.
Granted, one can only truly appreciate the enhanced capabilities of Bluetooth 5 when two devices that have support for the wireless tech are connecting to each other. Still, with Samsung’s newest flagship devices firmly in on the fun, there is no doubt that other device makers should follow suit.
It also good to remember that despite Bluetooth 5’s leap in technology, it still is not perfect. To cite an example, Bluetooth 5 still not that good in transmitting higher quality wireless audio (the good news is that this is coming a year from now), which means that wireless Bluetooth headphones for now will still not improve in terms of overall sound.
Bluetooth 5 was first announced back in December of last year. Apart from delivering many improvements upon the previous version, Bluetooth 5 also has the advantage of more efficient interoperability and compatibility with other forms of wireless technology, especially long term evolution (LTE) tech.
As explained by Steve Hegenderfer, the director of Developer Programs at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Bluetooth 5 will coexist with Wi-Fi in ways never witnessed before. This coexistence is critical because of the increasing popularity of the Internet of Things. Much has been said about how the success of IoT is dependent on how well LTE can handle several connected devices, but the reality is that in a truly connected world, all sorts of gadgets will connect to each other using every option available, including Bluetooth.