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Samsung Galaxy S4 officially unveiled

Samsung Galaxy S4 officially unveiled

The Samsung Galaxy S4 - don't call it a giant S3.

Samsung has taken the wraps off its latest flagship mobile phone, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Unveiled to a huge crowd at an event in New York, the new handset has a design and feature list that largely matches many of the recent rumours that preceded its launch, but it still packs in quite a few unique features.

These features include a 5inch (4.99inch to be exact) screen with a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p), an 8-core Samsung processor and a 13megapixel camera, while the design is much like that of an oversized Galaxy S3.

However, there are still plenty of surprises. These include an inbuilt infrared transmitter, temperature and humidity sensors and a pedometer. It can also use the front facing camera to track your eyes to automatically stop and start scrolling when reading a webpage, via features called Smart Scroll and Smart Pause.

Another new feature is Air View, which lets you hover your finger over the screen to perform various functions such as preview pictures and emails. Air Gesture, meanwhile can be used to skip music tracks and scroll just by waving your hand.

A unique feature, called Dual Camera, is the ability to record photos and video from both the front and rear cameras at the same time.

Many of these features are part of Samsung's latest TouchWiz interface, which is its customised version of Android 4.2.2. In a clear sign of the company's attempts to distance itself from Google, not once was the the name Android mentioned.

Backing up these software features are plenty of other impressive hardware specs including a 2,600mAh battery, removable back with replaceable battery and microSD slot, 2GB of RAM and 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage.

The full Samsung Galaxy S4 specs are as follows:
  • Name Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500
  • Screen 4.99inch, 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED
  • Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
  • Weight 130g
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5410
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
  • Graphics processor PowerVR SGX 544MP3@533MHz
  • RAM 2GB
  • Storage 16/32/64GB + microSD
  • Front Camera 2MP
  • Rear Camera 13MP
  • Connectivity WiFi N, 4G, microUSB (MHL 2.0), Bluetooth 4.0
  • OS Android 4.2.2+TouchWIz
  • Battery 2,600mAh
  • Sensors Accelerometer, RGB light, compass, proximity, gyro, barometer, IR gesture, temperature and humidity


However, those looking for a change of design direction to a more premium device may be disappointed. The Galaxy S4 has a plastic build like the Galaxy S3 with a thin flexible back. Indeed bar a slightly more iPhone-aping flat silver band around the edge it's quite literally a scaled up S3.

Not only is the build plastic but the choice of patterned black (black mist) and white (white frost) finishes is unlikely to wow many. Certainly it's a far cry from the aluminium of the HTC One or the waterproofing and glass of the Xperia Z.

No pricing has been released yet but the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is set at April 26 for the UK, with it varying for other territories.

So has the Samsung Galaxy S4 lived up to your expectations or were you hoping for something a little more? Certainly on a raw specs front it looks like no other phone will hold a candle to it, but specs aren't everything.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
SchizoFrog 15th March 2013, 00:43 Quote
It's done EXACTLY as I would have expected. A slight change in many respects to the SIII along with the much talked about improvements of the screen, CPU/GPU and a few other things, but nothing here is radical. The reason for this? There just was no need. They have zero competition from another manufacturer and the iPhone craze is truly on it's last legs.

Main thoughts? Why, oh why won't Microsoft let manufacturers release phones with this sort of hardware?
SexyHyde 15th March 2013, 00:46 Quote
Just watched the live unveiling. There were a few things I liked, but ultimately no real big thing that made me want it. I'm more interested in the features getting into android, as I can't stand touchwiz. I can definitely, wait till next year.
kenco_uk 15th March 2013, 00:55 Quote
While the S3 is great, it just feels cheap. The S4 sounds no better. I'll stick with my HOX for a wee while yet.
alf- 15th March 2013, 01:35 Quote
If i were to buy a phone right now, the HTC one would be getting my money.

simply because of the hardware, the S4 just looks dull and the fake plastic chrome surrounding it looks tacky, whereas the HTC one looks stunning.

that may sound vain but the the way i see it, both phones are high spec, they can both do the exact same thing, they both have their own gimmicks, smart scroll, ZOE, etc, but fundamentally they are both android phones with access to the same Apps.
So the HTC one wins purely because it is much nicer looking phone.

The S4 having a removable battery and expandable storage is a plus, but personally i own a 32GB phone and i haven't even used half of it, as for battery i have never had the need to remove it.
Of course this is personnel preference, and i'm sure these two features will matter to others.
KayDat 15th March 2013, 01:57 Quote
Quote:
while the design is much like that of an oversized Galaxy S3

Actually, looking at the specs it seems the S4 is slightly smaller (and lighter) than the S3.
Harlequin 15th March 2013, 07:35 Quote
M_D_K 15th March 2013, 07:53 Quote
That thing is massive its is it classed as a phablet ? I can't see myself holding this up to make a call you would feel like a muppet.
Blackshark 15th March 2013, 08:00 Quote
The big problem is that by the time any of these new phones are released - most of the new features have been known or speculated about ad infinitum.

The event last night/this morning - was embarrassing. Typically made for america - every scene was made for middle (with upper class aspirations) class white Joes. The skits were overtly sexist - yes of course Samsung and Americans - women only ever have their nails drying or wet hands or kids snot or..... It was fantastic to see a women simply unable to function as a 'garden hand' needed to remove his clothes....

I mean come on! If Lara Croft and update for the 2010s - cant we expect something a bit more realistic?

The sad fact is that America is hooked on the iPhone. Europe and the rest of world is quickly turning its back on the Apple 'we are the centre of the universe and you will comply with my authority'. But America is simply unable to stop buying that rubbish. Last nights event should have been professional. It should have shown actual people using the actual phone - not holding a device that was turned off or trying to suggest that the video shown on stage was taken 20s previously. It wasnt. Its a lie. Why should we buy tech from a company whos first act is to lie to its customers?


Grumpy old git
Xir 15th March 2013, 08:26 Quote
Quote:
A unique feature, called Dual Camera, is the ability to record photos and video from both the front and rear cameras at the same time
Whatever the heck for? :| just to add another "feature"?

The S3 is still 350pounds here, I'm somehow not tempted by new phones
Gareth Halfacree 15th March 2013, 09:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Whatever the heck for? :| just to add another "feature"?
Dunno, but if Samsung's describing it as "unique" it's going to be disappointed: the LG Optimus G Pro can record from both cameras simultaneously as well.
Maki role 15th March 2013, 09:47 Quote
It's funny, smartphones have reached a point where they're all so similar in function, that I no longer care for them. Literally none of those "upgrades" are tempting for me. Nowadays, probably the most important thing for me now is does the phone look and feel nice? I know it sounds a bit vain, but I can't help but like technology that looks good. An iPhone 5 may not have anywhere near the same functionality as some of the android phones, but personally I think it's beautiful.
GuilleAcoustic 15th March 2013, 09:48 Quote
The S5 with have a keyboard and a blueray drive at this rate xD
SexyHyde 15th March 2013, 09:50 Quote
I can hold my phone at arms length and appear along side the people in the photo. Who wants to be put on like a stamp. When they showed it instantly reminded me of weirdos in films who cut put pictures of themselves and sticky tape them onto pictures of other people.
Snips 15th March 2013, 12:16 Quote
Nokia Lumia 920 looks like the clear winner still then, guess they'll wait for the S5 for some decent competition in build quality, specs and software.
rollo 15th March 2013, 16:24 Quote
Pity its not the winner in the publics eyes which is all that matters to samsung/apple.

Samsung sg4 specs are intresting,

No more Arm GPU was the first thing that stands out going to the powervr for there graphics either suggests the Arm gpu is not launch ready or its just not quick enough.

Whats more intresting is the CPU in it the first a15 chip put in a mobile phone.

The most intresting bit i got was that the 2 biggest sellers in the smartphone sector are now moving further and further away from the stock Arm chips into fully custom designed chips to meet there needs.

Should be intresting to see where this takes us in a few years time.

Also makes you wonder how long before Samsung decides its better off outside of googles eco system and makes there own, They have been aquiring services and stuff to do it for the last year or so now.

SG5 on there own operating system maybe would still sell in the millions as id bet 95% of there customers never replace the touchwiz thats on it to begin with.

Would be nice to see an actual 3rd OS that is competitive.

Ill get one from my work as we get free upgrades to latest hardware on release as part of our contract deal.
fdbh96 15th March 2013, 16:34 Quote
Hopefully if HTC can get its marketing sorted then the S4 and iPhone 5/5S will have some serious competition. The S4 looks so bad next to the One, and at least Sense looks nice compared to Touchwiz.
sotu1 15th March 2013, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog

Main thoughts? Why, oh why won't Microsoft let manufacturers release phones with this sort of hardware?

M$ probably do. Manufacturers probably don't want to. Tiny OS support.
Snips 15th March 2013, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog

Main thoughts? Why, oh why won't Microsoft let manufacturers release phones with this sort of hardware?

M$ probably do. Manufacturers probably don't want to. Tiny OS support.

Microsoft do and they all want to as well. The 920 which is 6 months old looks and reading reviews of the S4 the 920 will feel and handle better as well.
Harlequin 15th March 2013, 17:17 Quote
actually used a mates 820 - it was not a bad bit of kit once you got used to the os
GeorgeK 16th March 2013, 15:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_D_K
That thing is massive its is it classed as a phablet ? I can't see myself holding this up to make a call you would feel like a muppet.

It's actually smaller than the S3...

My upgrade from my Galaxy S2 is due 3 days after the expected launch date... Have to wait on pricing but this looks very tempting...
Harlequin 16th March 2013, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
It's actually smaller than the S3...

My upgrade from my Galaxy S2 is due 3 days after the expected launch date... Have to wait on pricing but this looks very tempting...

both are 136.6mm tall , the S3 is 70.6mm wide and the S4 is 69.8mm wide

im sure i could tell the difference between those 0.8mm
rollo 16th March 2013, 16:36 Quote
Both Samsung and htc were offerered the windows OS.

Samsung rejected it on low sales projections, htc on cost.

Ms is asking for money for every phone OS sold similar to the windows rt.

Nokia needs a miricle similar to blackberry. Boths q1 financials should make interesting reading.
Harlequin 16th March 2013, 17:12 Quote
can see MS buying nokia when the price is right tbh
Roskoken 16th March 2013, 18:16 Quote
Its a giant S3
RedFlames 16th March 2013, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
Its a giant S3

As has been pointes out several times already the S4 is as near as makes no difference identical size wise to the S3, that's like saying a the iPhone 4S was a giant iPhone 4...

Personally I find the S3 [and by extension the S4] a touch too big to comfortably use as a phone... what i want is something a touch bigger than my Galaxy Ace, around the £200 mark that hasn't been crippled to the point of uselessness like most of the cheap end seem to be...
Ergath 18th March 2013, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames

what i want is something a touch bigger than my Galaxy Ace, around the £200 mark that hasn't been crippled to the point of uselessness like most of the cheap end seem to be...

A second hand S2? Still a good phone. If you're wanting a high res screen though you may have trouble.
Xir 18th March 2013, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
It's funny, smartphones have reached a point where they're all so similar in function, that I no longer care for them. Literally none of those "upgrades" are tempting for me.

Yep, resolution is getting a bit ludicrous (on the screen and on the camera) the only thing that moves me is batterylifetime and possibly OS upgradability.
(My pet peeve is Samsung not offering Androidupgrades for 1 year old phones)
Harlequin 18th March 2013, 16:13 Quote
which 1 year old android phone dont samsung update for?

they`re declared policy is 3 major system upgrades and so far , thats what they`ve done?
Xir 19th March 2013, 14:30 Quote
The S+ which was released AFTER the S2. (it was sold mid 2011 till mid 2012, that's one year back)
Had one upgrade, from 2.3.3 to 2.3.6 woohoo!
Harlequin 19th March 2013, 16:34 Quote
could allways stick JB on it ;)

but samsung `technically` see it as an end of line to get rid of them S1 ; so `technically` it started with 2.1 eclair :(
Snips 19th March 2013, 16:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Both Samsung and htc were offerered the windows OS.

Samsung rejected it on low sales projections, htc on cost.

Ms is asking for money for every phone OS sold similar to the windows rt.

Nokia needs a miricle similar to blackberry. Boths q1 financials should make interesting reading.

Actually wrong on all accounts:-

Samsung ATIV S is a WP8 release and they had quite a few WP7 and 7.5 releases as well.

HTC 8X and 8S as well as WP7 phones that proved popular.

These variants are selling now and are selling well and advertised better than the droid versions at present.

I think it's a case of bad mouthing the unknown seems to be the rule of thumb on these forums when it comes to the anti-Microsoft brigade.
Harlequin 19th March 2013, 16:56 Quote
and snips your wrong as well

the ATIV S is a tablet whereas rollo (and this thread) are about phones

but your right about the htc phones- although alot of comments about it doing well in the USA stem from `its free` rather than paying $100 for the lumia`s
RedFlames 19th March 2013, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
and snips your wrong as well

the ATIV S is a tablet whereas rollo (and this thread) are about phones

but your right about the htc phones- although alot of comments about it doing well in the USA stem from `its free` rather than paying $100 for the lumia`s

The Ativ S is described as a phone by Samsung themselves

Source: Product Page
Harlequin 19th March 2013, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
The Ativ S is described as phone by Samsung themselves

Source: Product Page

aha! in that case i fully apologise - must have been looking at the ATIV page (sans S)
Xir 20th March 2013, 06:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
could allways stick JB on it ;)

but samsung `technically` see it as an end of line to get rid of them S1 ; so `technically` it started with 2.1 eclair :(

"Technically" it's completely different from the S1 and launched with 2.3.3, but I see what you mean.

Of course there are ways to push it to 4.2, but appearently Samsung puts a lot of mask in front of it's android, and not everything will work.
Harlequin 20th March 2013, 08:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
"Technically" it's completely different from the S1 and launched with 2.3.3, but I see what you mean.

Of course there are ways to push it to 4.2, but appearently Samsung puts a lot of mask in front of it's android, and not everything will work.

looking at the specs , in a few area`s its actually worse than the SGS1 oO but both have the same limitation (and why samsung didnt officaly stick ICS on it)

internal storage - with 512mb there wasnt alot of room for ICS and touchwiz (its touchwiz thats the bloaty part)

root it and stick JB on it :P - although when i had JB on my SGS1 it wasnt the fastest in the world and on the SGS3 its alot nicer
Xir 21st March 2013, 09:37 Quote
It's CPU is a lot faster actually, but I suppose the GPU is inferior to the S1
Harlequin 21st March 2013, 10:38 Quote
sadly a moot point as samung have binned support :(


seems a 2 year life is what they give (and sicne they say its an S1 then they counted it in the S1 support life)

better though and iOS6 on an iphone3 - thats a painful experience
damien c 21st March 2013, 11:24 Quote
Just found out that the UK version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will not feature the Octa (8) Core cpu.

http://hexus.net/mobile/news/android/53181-samsung-galaxy-s4-octa-core-exynos-uk/

It will instead have a 1.9Ghz Quad Core.
Xir 22nd March 2013, 07:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
sadly a moot point as samung have binned support :(
seems a 2 year life is what they give (and sicne they say its an S1 then they counted it in the S1 support life)
I'm still within warranty, how about that
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