Last week, Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone and the new device's screen, design, and the Bixby AI personal assistant that it features, were much discussed. However, a key inclusion in the phone went relatively unnoticed — the Bluetooth 5.0.
The Galaxy S8 is the first phone to feature Bluetooth 5.0. Now, two Bluetooth headsets can be connected simultaneously to Galaxy S8 to listen to songs or podcasts, or to watch videos together.
Bluetooth 5 was first announced last year in June. Later, in December, the standard was officially launched and its specifications laid out. Two important features in Bluetooth 5.0 are the range and speed of data transfer.
The range of the connection is 240 metres or four times more than Bluetooth 4.2. Even accounting for obstacles, this should be good enough to play music through your ear buds anywhere in your home. The data rate is also double its predecessor's, reaching up to 2 Mbps on paper.
Additionally, Bluetooth 5.0's broadcasting capacity is 8 times greater, which means that the device adhering to the standard would be able to send larger packets. In practical terms, this would help in lossless audio streaming and calling, and listeners will experience little disturbance.
While all this is a big plus for phones such as Galaxy S8, it will help IoT devices in future as well, enabling them to talk to each other smartly without needing an app as a mediator. Additionally, this standard has location services embedded in it, so users can get special notifications from shops easily in open places such as malls.
While Apple has nailed Bluetooth connection implementation through it's funky though expensive Airpods, they use an older standard. With the new standard in place, Airpods and the other wireless headphones can achieve high quality without a proprietary Apple-like chip.
You can find the complete set of Bluetooth 5.0 standards on its website.