It was at the Radio City Music Hall in bustling New York City, that Samsung officially unveiled to the world their next installment in what is heralded as the most popular Android phone to date. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is here and there was much rejoicing. I concur; Samsung is the undisputed sovereign over all that it surveys–that being near totality of the Android market. I may be overstating things a bit. But the company has proved itself top dog among Android device manufacturers.
Last night’s Galaxy S 4 event did little to dissuade GS4 hopefuls and a lot to ruffle the feathers of “doubting Thomases”. Join the bandwagon “Thomases” there’s ample seating. It’s hard to argue with what’s already known. A 5-inch 1080p smartphone with 8-cores, intrigues the holy heck out us. Plus you’ll be surprised at what Samsung has heaped on top of Android 4.2.2 operating software. Continue reading as we attempt to uncover…
Samsung Galaxy S 4’s 11 Most Exciting Features
We know the display specs, 5-inch Super AMOLED display that does 1080p. Yet the pixel density has been made more so with this installment. It has gone from 306ppi on the Galaxy S 3 to 441ppi on the S 4.
Ground zero for some significant change is the pair of cameras. On the front is a 2mp and is capable of capturing video in 1080p30. That “30” represents the frames per second at which the video plays. That’s impressive stuff for a low profile camera. However, the rear camera has been bumped to an impressive 13mp. The Galaxy S 4 also features an on-screen mode dial, new scene modes and the ability to detect and remove background motion in an image.
3. Camera Feature Set
You can also take pictures simultaneously with both front and back cameras using the DualShot feature. The camera will connect or embed one image with the other. DramaShot is used for motion and fires off a series of shots to capture each stage of motion and movement. The demo shown features someone leaping from a rock, while the camera captured and layered each stage of the movement. Finally, Cinema Photo lets you turn your pictures into jigsaw puzzles where select pieces of the image can be moved around. Samsung really likes its pair of cameras.
The claim is the Galaxy S 4 will support LTE Roaming for up to 6-bands, plus FDD/TDD LTE. That should make the lives of jet setting enterprise and business users that much simpler.
5. Air View
While it may seem like a novelty to most, Samsung deserves a high-five for the effort to innovate. Air View lets you swipe in the air above the phone to scroll through pics and webpages.
6. Air Gestures
Users can hover a finger over phone content like emails, dates, text – and see the content details underneath. It could be handy but we’ll need to play with it firsthand to speak on the level of novelty Vs. function.
7. Smart Scroll & Smart Pause
Here’s Samsung’s attempt at some sophisticated eye movement detection magic. Smart Pause will reportedly pause your movie when you look away from the GS4 display, while Smart Scroll will scroll when you reach the bottom of the page. I see a few things wrong with this in a vacuum but we’ll have to go hands on before seriously speculating.
8. S Health Fitness/Activity Monitor
The Galaxy S 4’s internal sensors like the pedometer, temperature and humidity sensors converge to form a virtual fitness monitor and activity tracker right on the phone. Punch in your regular eating and sleeping behaviors and S Health will help you regulate. There is also a companion “S Band” wristband (presumably sold separately) that speaks to the phone via Bluetooth. The GS4 is a massive phone you may want to leave in a fanny pack or arm band while exercising . That’s where the S Band slides on.
9. Universal Set Top Remote Baked-In
Samsung’s WatchOn TV service uses the Galaxy S 4’s internal IR transmitter to create a working universal remote and TV Guide combo. With it you can take control of cable and other set-top boxes. Smart and handy!
10. Group Play
This one requires all participants to own a GS4. It makes it possible to wirelessly share your music, games and other content with your GS4 brethren in the vicinity.
11. NFC and Mobeam
Group play is dependent on NFC. But there’s more to it on the GS4. The new Samsung device is the first to use Mobeam technology. Mobeam uses light-based tech to send pulses that communicate to point-of-sale scanners found in 165 million retail stores. Using the GS4 Visa payment app included on all GS4 phones, owners can wirelessly use coupons, event tickets, loyalty cards, gift cards and a lot more at any retail outlet with a traditional POS scanner.
So! Are you excited? We are. The Galaxy S 3 was an excellent device and though the Galaxy S 4 shows more improvement than innovation, it’s the quality of these enhancements peppered with a smattering of the unseen that makes this one as highly anticipated as the HTC One.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.