Last week Samsung unveiled what they hope will be another hammer blow to Apple’s domination of the smartphone market. The technology giant unleashed its newest flagship smartphone to the world – the Galaxy S4. It’s the follow up to hugely successful S3 released in the summer of 2012. If the S3 was the iPhone killer, could the S4 be the iPhone’s undertaker? Elysium Magazine explores a new galaxy.
Those familiar with the S3 will take a glance at the S4 and wonder what’s changed. It’s only when you get hands-on with the device that you start to notice that this new smartphone has more than a few new features to shout about. Whilst sporting a similar look and feel to its predecessor, it actually has a slightly thinner body at 7.9mm thick but with a new 5-inch 1080p full HD Super AMOLED screen.
Depending on the market you’re in, it’ll be powered by either a 1.9Ghz quad-core or a 1.6Ghz octa-core processor giving its serious muscle under the hood. It’ll run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and have 2GB of RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB storage options. This can be supplemented through the additional microSD card slot.
Cameras are a big part of the S4 experience. As well as having a 13-megapixel rear camera, there’s also a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Both cameras can be used simultaneously too which makes for all sorts of photographic fun. In the hand, the S4 has the feel of a device that means business. Gone is the plastic-like feel of the S3 which is a welcome shift for a smartphone with a premium billing.
Perhaps even more revolutionary are the gesture and haptic characteristics of the S4. A new feature called Air View lets users hover their fingers over content in certain apps – such as Flipboard – to see a preview of content before changing screens. There is also Air Gestures which are Kinect-like in style that allow users to navigate the phone and even make calls without touching the screen.
Samsung has also equipped the S4 with new Smart Pause and Smart Scroll features that lets users control content based on actions. With Smart Pause, videos will pause when the user turns away and resume once they turn back. Smart Scroll lets users scroll through browsers and email without touching the screen. These features don’t work by eye-tracking though, but instead uses facial recognition. The discerning gent better be mindful of facial expressions when using one of these!
Industry experts are speculating the S4 could be the first to outsell the iPhone. A bold claim but the new handset is a major milestone for Samsung who is already the global sales and innovation leader for smartphones right now, although its still lacks the queues-outside-the-store kudos of its iPhone rival.
The S4 will be available in the UK from the 26th April 2013 in two colours – black mist and white frost. Prices are not known right now but expect this to change as the release date approaches.