Here it is, the all new Galaxy S 4. As expected Samsung made the newest Galaxy phone official last night, and while it is a lot of what we expected, there were also a few surprise features in their announcement as well.
The S 4 will be available in sometime between April and June on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, but before that time comes here is all the info you’re going to want to know about Samsung’s latest and greatest phone.
Design and Specs
From a design perspective the Galaxy S 4 looks practically identical to the S III and even to an extent the Note II. That’s not a bad thing as it looks just as nice as the S III, and with a new polycarbonate casing it’s actually thinner, lighter and easier to hold than the S III.
In terms of specs, the rumors look to have been spot on. The Galaxy S 4 has an incredible 5 inch full HD 1080p screen that will work with gloves on (similar to the Nokia Lumia 920), a super fast processor (either a quad-core or eight core processor depending on where you live. It is unknown which version the US will get though both are extremely powerful) with 2 GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel back camera with a 2 megapixel front camera for HD video chat (we’ll get to the cameras more in a minute), IR Blaster (for using your S 4 as a remote for your TV), as well as 4G LTE support. The S 4 also will be available with either 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage (with the ability to always add up to another 64 GB through the microSD card slot).
All in all, while the design and specs of the S 4 looks great and are fitting of a superphone like this, as we mentioned in our rumor roundup post before the event, the big thing to watch for on the Galaxy S 4 was what Samsung will do software wise. And wow did Samsung do a lot.
At its core the S 4 runs the today’s latest version of Android, version 4.2.2 Jellybean. On top of that however Samsung, as expected, added a whole bunch of custom apps and tweaks.
We’ll start with the camera. Like with what HTC did with the One, Samsung made some tweaks to their camera software to make it stand out among all the competition. New on the S 4 is the ability to do things like take pictures in a Dual Camera mode. What this does is in addition to taking pictures with say, the back camera, it will also take a picture or video with the front camera at the same time and combine the two. With this you no longer have to worry about not being in the picture when you are taking the shot. In fact, Samsung made it so you can do this during video chats using their ChatOn app (their version of iMessage/Facetime, WhatsApp and BBM) so your video chats can show you as well as what you’re looking at.
In addition to Dual Camera, there are new shooting modes like Drama Shot which takes many pictures of a moving object (like a game or someone at a party) and puts them together in one really cool looking action shot. This could make for some awesome Instagram pics. There also is Cinema Photo which lets you make your own GIFs right from your phone.
Ever been with friends and were watching a YouTube video or listening to music and wanted to make the sound louder? Well, with the S 4 Samsung did something really cool. It’s called Group Play and it allows you to wirelessly sync your S 4 with your friends’ S 4’s to create a make-shift sound system, playing the sound through their phones’ speakers as well as yours.
The rumors about Samsung adding some eye tracking tech to the S 4 were true. With S 4 there are those new Smart Scroll and Smart Stay features that either allow you to scroll through emails or websites using just your eyes, or automatically pausing a video when you look away.
But that’s not all. The S 4 also has something called Air Gesture which is kind of like Kinect for your S 4. With Air Gesture you can just wave your hand at your Galaxy to answer calls, go through pictures, change songs and more. It may look weird doing this in public, but it is a pretty cool feature to show off to your friends.
Now here is one the coolest features on the S 4, S Translator. S Translator can not only translate what you want to say (like Google Translate), but also listen and translate what you hear. If you are taking a foreign language or plan to travel abroad this may be a life saver. Right now there are only about 9 supported languages (including English, Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese), but hopefully Samsung will continue adding more to make this even better.
As you can see the S 4 is a beast, and looks to take some of the best features of the S III and make them even better. It isn’t a major update like the S III was to the S II, but nonetheless this still looks to be one of the best Android phones of the year and we can’t wait to check this out in person.
Samsung unfortunately didn’t give out a price or release date for the S 4, though they did say it will be available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in the second quarter of this year (again, think somewhere between April and June).
For more info on the S 4 check out Samsung’s site here.