The Samsung Galaxy S8, which was launched last month, brought several new features such as an edge-to-edge display, an iris scanner and Bluetooth 5.0., the new Bluetooth standard.
Generally, we use Bluetooth for exchanging data wirelessly over short distance. The version 5.0, which was unveiled by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group at an event in London. While the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the first device to come with the technology, other smartphones expected to launch this year such as the Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will most likely come with the technology.
So, what difference will the new technology make?
Well, it is much more powerful in terms of range and speed in comparison to the previous Bluetooth standard — Bluetooth 4.0. Simply put, the new technology will make Bluetooth more integral to connected devices since it offers four times the range, two times the speed and eight times the message broadcasting capacity of Bluetooth 4.0.
Here are some of the changes it could make to everyday smartphone usage:
Better Bluetooth pairing: Generally, Bluetooth pairing is a tardy process, which makes you wait till your device is paired. If you are connecting a lot of Bluetooth devices, it really becomes a hassle. This changes with Bluetooth 5.0 — devices with the new technology will be able to transfer data twice as fast. Not only the pairing process will be quicker, there will be less delay in terms of sound transfer to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
Better connectivity due to higher range: One of the major weaknesses of Bluetooth, in comparison to technologies such as Wi-Fi Direct was the problem of low range. Previously, if you had your phone in one room, it was hardly possible to connect to a device in another room. The theoretical maximum range of Bluetooth 4.0 was 50 metres with a direct line of sight, but around 10 metres in every day usage. This means that you can’t be too far away from your phone, if you are trying to listen to music on your Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth 5.0 quadruples this range to a maximum of 200 metres with a direct line of sight and around 40 metres in general usage.
Better data transfer speeds: Bluetooth 5.0 offers 8 times the transfer speed of Bluetooth 4.0. This enables a new feature — you can now connect your phone to two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
Better Broadcasting: Broadcasting over Bluetooth is generally used by developers to make an app experience better. Bluetooth 5.0 does broadcasting 8 times faster than the previous Bluetooth standard, making it a marked improvement.