The Galaxy S4 release date was mentioned by Samsung at the unveiling event yesterday (or in the wee hours of the morning for those who live east of Greenwich), although it is more of a broad window than anything specific. The device is headed to global markets in the second quarter of the year. In the US, it will come to the four major carriers – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless – as well as US Cellular and Cricket. In Europe, a host of telecom operators have been lined up and include Vodafone, Orange and others.
So what makes the device so special? Well, for starters, it is light and slim with a minimum bezel and has a larger screen and a bigger battery. Two color options will be available at launch – black mist and white frost – and a whole range of other hues have been promised later in the year. Pushed as a ‘life companion,’ the handset is supposed to make working with it, ‘easy and hassle-free.’ The downside is that it looks a lot like the S3 and the Note 2.
That said, it does have a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 441ppi, offering visuals in 1920 x 1080p resolution. And here’s something that pushes boundaries. It comes with the new Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for enhanced protection. In a bid to seemingly outdo the HTC One’s 1.7GHz processor, the Samsung smartphone will have a 1.9GHz quad core CPU. There will also be a variant with a 1.6GHz octa-core chipset for certain markets.
As it turns out, those rumored features ‘eye pause’ and ‘eye scroll’ weren’t that far off. The company has announced that its latest in the S line will have Smart Pause and Smart Scroll. The former allows users to control the screen based on where their gaze is set. For example, when watching a video, it will automatically pause if the user looks away. The latter enables the device to automatically scroll up or down for things like browsing the web and reading e-mail.
With Air View, users can preview content without having to actually open it, with the fingers hovering just above the screen. Tracks can be changed and calls accepted by waving a hand at the phone with Air Gesture. There’s a ton of other features packed into the gadget allowing users to do all sorts of things, and include WatchOn, S Voice Drive and Optical Reader.
In terms of cold hard specs, it has 2GB of RAM and will come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal storage variants, with microSD card support going up to an additional 64GB. There is Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity along with an IR LED transforming the handset into a remote control. The aforementioned large battery amounts to a 2,600mAh power unit, while the phone measures 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 millimeters in dimensions and weighs just 130 grams.
For photography and the related, there is a 13MP snapper on the back with auto focus, flash and zero shutter lag as well as a 2MP webcam on the front, also with no shutter lag. But the story doesn’t end there. The addition of a dual camera function means that both imagers can be used at the same time. Alright, that has been seen before. But there is also a dual video call function, which, presumably, allows the view of either or both cameras to be streamed to the person on the other end.
Yes, so that was the Samsung Galaxy S4. Now we have to wait a while to see what kind of price tag the South Korean company decides to slap on the device. Expect it to run Android 4.2.2 when it is made available sometime in Q2 2013.