Samsung Galaxy S5 Features ‘Kill Switch’ to Curb Smartphone Thefts

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Samsung Galaxy S5
A new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is seen on a display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 23, 2014. Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smart watch and fitness band along with the latest version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.Picture taken on February 23. Reuters/Albert Gea

Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5 houses quite a lot of interesting features and it gives strong competition to HTC One M8, Xperia Z2 and iPhone 5S. But there is one epic feature that distinguishes Galaxy S5 from the rest. It is the built-in 'kill switch' that users can employ to make the smartphone shut down entirely in case the phone goes missing.

If the Galaxy S5 smartphone is stolen, it will automatically be locked by authorized accesses and the personal data can be deleted remotely by the owner when requested, says the Korean ZDNet (via BGR).

Notably, Galaxy S5 is not the pioneer in bringing this feature to smartphones/phablets; Galaxy Note 3 had a similar feature when it was launched. Following the trend, LG might also introduce its own kill switch for smartphones this year.

Smartphone usage is increasing by leaps and bounds and so are the thefts; hence the future battle for smartphones might revolve around the best handsets that can prevent smartphone thefts.

Samsung Galaxy S5 also has 2 other anti-theft features, "Find My Mobile" and "Reactivation Lock" which can be activated for free.

The company said, "Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions."

The kill switch announcement comes after the U.S. law enforcement officials, San Francisco District Attorney and New York Attorney General demanded that handset manufacturers feature kill switches in order to fight the surge in smartphone thefts across the U.S. This law, if passed, would require handset manufacturers to include kill switch feature in all the smartphones starting next year.

Samsung's new kill switch inclusion will set a trend in the wireless industry to make the smartphone experience much safer for the users. According to Financial Post, the prosecutors have given the handset manufacturers a June deadline to find solutions to control smartphone theft.

The prosecutors said, "More work needs to be done to ensure that these solutions come standard on every device, but these companies have done the right thing by responding to our call for action. Manufacturers and carriers need to put public safety before corporate profits and stop this violent epidemic, which has put millions of smartphone users at risk."

It is worth noting that, last year Apple introduced an "activation lock" feature for iPhones, a feature much appreciated by users and critics alike.


According to CTIA, a trade group for wireless providers said introducing a built-in kill switch has its flip-side, including the possibility of hackers gaining control of the smartphone and disabling the device altogether. This problem will not only affect individual smartphone owners but also the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement.

What do you think of built-in kill switch? Feel free to leave a comment.

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