Wearables are great, but still finding their way in the world. They promise to do all sorts of great things, but one function remains pretty standard — heart rate monitoring. If you don’t want to wear something on your wrist that keeps track of heart rate, Samsung has you covered. Their new Galaxy S5 has a heart rate monitor on the back.
What previously looked to be a secondary flash for the camera is actually dual purpose. When you look at the device, the flash/heart rate monitor sit just under the camera. In their announcement of the handheld, Samsung noted that the right side was the heart rate monitor, which would give your vitals with just a finger placed over it.
Pretty slick, and something that could show some humility from Samsung. Their original Galaxy Gear wearable showed that smartwatches are just plain limited in functionality. Fitness wearables are similarly limited, with heart rate monitoring being the biggest draw so far. By cobbling it into their smartphone, Samsung may be accepting their current lot in the wearable life.
The heart rate monitor on the S5 doesn’t necessarily poach from the various wearables Samsung has, but it does signify their understanding that many of us just don’t want them. Smartphones dealt a crushing blow to watches, and got many of us away from wearing them at all. Similarly, we need more reason to have a wrist wearable now. If heart rate is all they can really offer, and Samsung can put it into a smartphone, we’ll consider it a win-win for naked wrists.