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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Unveiled

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After all the talk, the world finally saw the official Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone.  The newest piece of hardware marvel was unveiled at an event held in the US called Unpacked 2013, and Samsung Philippines was kind enough to let members of the media experience the event through live streaming.  The Samsung Galaxy S 4 looked like a well-protected secret just like the Galaxy S III was, but apparently Samsung failed to keep its secret for long as leaks just days before the official launch proved to be mostly correct.

The Name

The first thing you should know about the new Samsung Galaxy phone is the official name. We have been used to using the roman numeral when referring to the versions of this phone, hence the names Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III.  Samsung has surprisingly changed it by using the number “4” for the current iteration instead of using the roman numeral “IV”.  We’ve seen the use of the number 4 in the teasers but maybe most of never knew this will have to do something with the new naming scheme.

The reason for the change is beyond me, but you know that it’s the same thing anyway. I can’t help but notice, though, that the change in the number puts it closer to the naming system used by Apple for its iPhone line.

The Design

Samsung-Galaxy-S4

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 design looks just like the photos on the leaks.  In other words, it looks just like the Samsung Galaxy S III in most respects, except for the thinner bezel and a thicker silver trimming on the side.  The design is almost unaltered, which could both be a good and a bad thing.  Samsung found success in the design of the Galaxy S III and it’s obvious that a lot of users liked it.  Samsung obviously believes that there is nothing wrong with the industrial design of the Galaxy S III, hence, the almost similar look of the Galaxy S 4.   The bad thing with this kind of strategy is the unmet expectations of the public.  The public, most of them anyway, want to see something new, especially since Samsung has been milking its current design philosophy by using it on almost all of its new mobile devices.

The finish of the Galaxy S 4 is polycarbonate, so it’s supposed to be strong, and the display is reinforced by Gorilla Glass 3 so there will definitely be an improvement when it comes to toughness and durability.

Hardware Specs

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 has a fantastic set of specs, but nothing that will make it much better than the other new phones in the market. The full HD display, for instance, is expected since a lot of new phones from other brands pack full HD displays.  It’s still nice that Samsung wants to use the best kind of display available.  The 5-inch display is of the Super AMOLED type, packing a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and a fantastic density of 441 ppi.   It is only a bit bigger than the display of the Galaxy S III, such that when you put them side by side, you will almost miss the change in size.  This of course means that in terms of ease of use, there will be no drastic difference between the two phones.

The other main specs of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 include a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2 megapixel front camera, a 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip or a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm chip,  2GB of RAM, 16, 32 or 64GB of inernal storage, LTE, NFC and a 2,600mAh battery.  These details make the Samsung Galaxy S 4 a beast of a device but as an obvious trade-off, the battery life could be crappy.  The octa-core chip and LTE connectivity, not to mention the 5-inch full HD display, will definitely consume too much power.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Hardware Specs

  • 5-inch full HD 1080p Super AMOLED Display (1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 441 ppi)
  • 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip or a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm chip (market-dependent)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16, 32 or 64GB internal storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 2 megapixel front camera
  • 2,600mAh battery
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and WiFi 802.11ac
  • IR Blaster
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • GPS with Glonass
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm

Samsung is trying to make the software as much an attraction as the hardware.  The Galaxy S 4 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box but Samsung has a lot of software features that are meant to attract buyers.  Apart from the features we already saw in the Galaxy Note II, Samsung has added Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air gestures, S Translator, S Voice Drive and camera enhancements like Dual Camera and Dual Video Call.

Software Features

  • Smart Scroll
  • Smart Pause
  • Air View
  • Dual-Camera
  • S Translator
  • Adapt Display
  • S Voice Drive
  • Dual Video Call
  • Drama Shot
  • Air Gesture

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available starting April.  Pricing and availability in the Philippines are not known yet.

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