After much anticipation, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially unveiled at a major event in New York City on March 14. The Galaxy S4 is Samsung’s new flagship smartphone and is set to build upon the success of its predecessor, the Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available across all major US carriers during Q2 (April to June) of this year.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Features
The first thing you will notice about the Samsung Galaxy S4 is just how similar it is to the Galaxy S3. The S4 features a near-identical form factor, but it slightly slimmer and a little lighter (130g vs. 133g) than the S3. Despite the increase in front panel real estate taken up by the new 5-inch display, the dimensions of the handset have remained essentially unchanged thanks to a reduction in the size of the bezel.
The 1080p HD Super AMOLED display offers up an amazingly clear and crisp picture, with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch – miles ahead of the 326 ppi “retina display” of Apple’s iPhone 5. On the inside, the Samsung Galaxy S4 features the world’s first eight-core smartphone processor, the 1.6GHz Exynos which is paired with an independent GPU and 2GB of RAM. In some corners of the world, the Exynos processor will be replaced with a Qualcomm chip. From a practical point-of-view, navigation on the Galaxy S4 is snappier than ever, with faster loading times than the S3 can currently achieve.
Storage-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in 16, 32 and 64GB versions – each expandable via microSD. There is also a 2600 mAh battery, which is 20% larger than in the Galaxy S3 however it is unclear at this stage whether that this will translate in to improved battery life or is required to run the larger 5-inch display and beefed-up internals.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 features a 13-megapixel camera on the rear of the device which is capable of shooting HD video as well as a front-facing camera for skype and video chat. The Galaxy S4 comes with a new addition to the camera app which allows for a ‘dual shot’ mode, which lets you see images from both the front and rear cameras simultaneously. You can overlay the front-facing image over a background, effectively putting yourself ‘in’ the scene.
New Smartphone, New Apps
The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes preloaded with Android 4.2.2 Jellybean, the latest version of the Android OS, as well as a number of new Samsung-specific apps and new technologies. Probably the biggest, and most reported, is air gesture. Air gesture lets you interact with the smartphone without ever needing to place a finger on the device. You can swipe your hand from left to right and up and down to move through the pages of a book, browser windows or a gallery of photos. You can also hover your finger above interface items to see additional information, such as the next few lines of an email notification or facebook message – without having to tap the screen.
The Galaxy S4 also boasts a number of other innovative apps, such as an automatic translation feature which enables users who speak different languages to communicate with each other in their native language. One other addition which is worth mention is the S Health app. The new Samsung health app takes advantage of a built-in pedometer as well as temperature and humidity sensors, and offers up a number of sport and fitness related functions which will be assisted by the release of accessories such as heart rate monitors, scales and activity monitors like the Jawbone UP.
Are you looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S4? Do you think Samsung have done enough to differentiate the Galaxy S4 from the S3, or is it more of the same? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[img credit: Mashable]