Samsung Galaxy S4 now official with 5″ 1080p Super AMOLED screen, 1.6 GHz octa-core CPU, 13 MP camera
It’s finally happened. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is now official, Roman numerals be damned (yes, Samsung has dropped those it seems – the teasers were in fact revealing the change to come). Almost all of the specs that were rumored over the past few days turned out to be correct, in case you’re wondering. And the handset looks exactly like the leaked Chinese version that has been doing the rounds today.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a myriad of new software features, but let’s focus on the hardware first.
Here’s what you can expect from the Galaxy S4:
- a 5-inch 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with improved damage and scratch resistance and reduced scratch visibility
- 1.6 GHz octa-core processor or 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, depending on market
- a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p Full HD video recording
- a 2 MP front camera with Full HD video recording
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 / 32 / 64 GB of internal storage
- a microSD card slot, accommodating cards up to 64 GB in size
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.0
- GPS, GLONASS
- NFC, infrared LED (for remote control features)
- Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Gesture
- 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
- 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
- 4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (dependent on market)
- a 2,600 mAh battery
- Dimensions: 136.6×69.8×7.9 mm
- Weight: 130 grams
- OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
So, on to software features then. Samsung has packed an unprecedented amount of software gimmicks and unique features into the Galaxy S4.
Let’s start with the Dual Camera. This lets you record video or snap pictures of what both the front and back cameras see – at the same time. There are 8 different ways in which to combine the outputs of the two cameras. And speaking of photos, you can take pictures with audio recordings associated with them. Sound & Shot is the name of the feature which stores sound and voice together as a picture is taken.
Dual Video Call lets you have a video call while being able to show the person or persons at the other end what you are looking at, again by using both cameras at the same time. Drama Shot creates seamless time-lapses. Story Album automatically gathers and sorts the photos you take based on timeline, geo-tagging, or a specific event to create a photo album. Such collections can be ordered and delivered as offline photo albums.
Share Music lets you have the same song playing on multiple Galaxy S4 phones in sync – useful for instant parties. This is enabled by the Group Play function, which lets you enjoy music, photos, documents, and games with those around you without the need for a Wi-Fi access point or mobile network connectivity.
S Translator is basically Samsung’s very own Google Translate-like service, which provides instant translation using text or voice (and in all possible directions – from voice to text, text to voice, or voice to voice).
Samsung Smart Scroll is real after all, but it’s not as sci-fi as rumors had it. Yes, it uses eye tracking, but only to make sure that you are looking at the phone. While you are, if you tilt your wrist ever so slightly, the text will scroll accordingly.
Samsung Smart Pause is also in, and yes, it will pause a video you’re watching if you look away from the screen. And will then restart the video once you look back at the display.
Air View and Air Gesture are what Samsung chose to call the widely rumored touchless gestures. These features let you hover above the screen to preview the content of an email, S Planner event, image, or video, without having to open it. Or, you could use gestures made above the screen to change the currently playing music track, scroll up and down a Web page, or even accept a call with just a wave of your hand.
Samsung Optical Reader is a built-in Optical Character Recognition engine for whatever you may come across and snap with the camera, and it provides many functions based on the text it recognizes.
Samsung WatchOn will be the companion app to the included IR blaster, and it will let you control your TV, set-top box, DVD, and any other IR-receiving entertainment hardware you may have. It will have an Electronic Program Guide inside.
S Health monitors your health based on the many sensors that the phone has, in order to “improve your quality of life”. Food Diary, Exercise Diary, and Sleep Monitor sound like apps that will help you stay fit and healthy. Or something like that.
Both the screen and the sound pumped out by the Galaxy S4’s speaker will adapt to your surroundings, so your eyes won’t hurt, your ears won’t explode, and you’ll never have to turn up the volume again.
Finally, S Voice Drive is going to be a specific subset of S Voice features optimized for interacting with the phone while driving. This builds atop Samsung’s already existing Siri and Google Now-like service called S Voice.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will become available from the end of April at a whopping 327 carriers in 155 countries. Initially it will be out in black and white, but more colors are set to follow later this year.
In the US, all of the big four carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) will sell the Galaxy S4, and alongside them US Cellular and Cricket will have it too.