The Galaxy S5 might be Samsung‘s latest high-end phone, but, according to the manufacturer, it is not one that is limited to a younger or more agile generation that has a penchant for such devices. A slew of accessibility features on the device will allow even those with visual, hearing, or physical problems to still make use of and enjoy this smartphone.
Aside from larger fonts, negative colors, and other features that make it easier for the visually impaired to see the screen, the Galaxy S5 also sports an extension to Android’s screen-reading accessibility functionality. With TalkBack enabled, such users trying to take a photo of, say, a person, will be guided in placing the recognized face in the center of the camera’s view, using a nine-grid system and voice feedback. Also, when the user is on a phone call and has to type in a number, the Galaxy S5 will automatically swtich to speakerphone mode when the user takes away the smartphone from his or her ear.
For those with hearing problems, the Auto Haptic feature converts sound output into device vibrations, making users feel the sounds rather than hear them. This works not just for notifications but also for music and games. Flash notifications, on the other hand, will trigger the camera’s LED flash instead of using audio notifications, which might be more noticeable for those who can’t hear properly or at all.
For less nimble smartphone users, the virtual mouse pad and air gesture for waking up the phone provide ease of use even for those who have less precise motor skills.
Some might argue that impaired users are probably better off with devices specifically catering to such uses, which are probably less expensive but probably also very few and not offered with carrier subsidy. It is definitely a point for Samsung for going beyond the bare minimum and providing ways for all classes of users to take advantage of its latest mobile product.