Samsung Galaxy S4 Unveiled, Software Is the Winner. Will be Available by End of April

Samsung-Galaxy-s4

The much awaited Samsung Galaxy S4 launched in New York on Thursday will be available in 150 countries across the world at the end of April and India being an important market for Samsung, will most likely be on the list. Samsung hasn’t shared the exact dates yet.

The phone cannot be called a revolutionary change but an evolutionary one and is definitely a nice refresh to the hardware and the software found on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is now almost a year old. While there are tons of new features in the S4 these are a few of the highlights.

Hardware & Storage

The phone looks very similar to the S3 but has a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display with 441 ppi. There will be two versions of the phone, one packing a  1.6GHz octa-core Exynos 5 processor and other with a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor. The CPU with be accompanied by PowerVR SGX544MP and Adreno 320 GPU respectively. The phone will come with 2 GB of RAM. The phone weighs just 130 grams and is 7.9 mm thick. The case is made out of polycarbonate (still looks plasticky) and will come in two colors – Black mist and white frost variants. It will have a 2600 mAh battery (S3 had a 2100 mAh battery).

Camera

The phone features a 13-megapixel front camera with an f/2.2 lens and a 2-megapixel front facing camera. There are a lot of software upgrades to the camera which are discussed below.

Sensors

Apart from the sensors which are now present in all smartphones, the Galaxy S4 will come with temperature and humidity sensors. It also comes with an infrared LED which will let users control their TVs. The HTC One also comes with an IR, which we use to see standard in all phones before the smartphone age.

While there is not much to speak about in the hardware department, Samsung has improved and added on the features already present on Android.

Operating System

The phone will come with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean which is now almost 6 months old. It will have a Samsung’s skin TouchWiz on top of it which has been refined for the S4. One of the big changes to the UI is that Samsung has done away with the solid black bar on top and it now merges with the wallpaper.

Software Feature Upgrades

Dual Camera: This allows the simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. Works both with pictures and videos. Offers various frame effects which users can blend the frame effects together and also adjust the size of the images.

Sound & Shot: It captures sound along with an image. This is different from HTC Zoe which actually records 3 seconds of video.

Other Camera Features: It also has a Drama Shot feature which will click multiple pictures per second and then merge them into a single shot. Eraser helps you delete unwanted things from a photo and it can also create albums automatically based on date and location. These feature are also present on the HTC One.

S Translator: This feature provides instant translation. It supports both from speech to text and text to speech. There is support for 9 languages right now which does not include any Indian languages as of now. They have included popular phrases into the phone so it works partially offline.

Air Gesture: While this feature was present in the Note series, the Galaxy S4 now supports Air Gesture with fingers too. Users can preview images, video or emails without having to open it.
S Voice Drive:  Help users operate their S4 while driving. Users can activate via voice control for optimization when driving. The navigation system is installed on the phone.

Smart Scroll/ Smart Pause: By tilting the phone slightly one will be able to scroll through anything with text in it. Smart Pause uses the front camera to track your eyes and if it moves away from the phone screen, the video will pause and will continue playing only when you look back at the screen.

Adapt Display: This will automatically change display settings, like brightness and contrast depending on the content displayed on the screen.

Samsung WatchOn: Samsung has included an IR Blaster on S 4. So you can use it to make the Galaxy S4 an universal remote for your TV, set-top box, DVD player and air conditioner.
S Health: With the new sensors for temperature and humidity on the Galaxy S4, S Health will monitor your health and provide you with easy to read reports. It is also capable of tracking sleep patterns.

Group Play: With this feature users can share music with up to 8 devices even without an internet connection. One can even control the volume level on each device and also whether it plays from the left or right channel.

Samsung ChatOn: Samsung has also added some interesting additions to its messaging platform. Samsung ChatOn will now support video calling for up to three people. It also has dual camera and screen share support.

Samsung Knox: Samsung’s security solution will come with this device. A user can keep work and personal stuff separate and secure.

Samsung HomeSync: With HomeSync one can keep all media on the phone synced a personal cloud device (to be sold separately) that comes with 1 TB of storage. This device can be used by up to 8 users. Users can then share data with people at home and vice versa.
Smart Switch: This feature will let new Galaxy S4 users to port most of their information from pretty much any other platform, or device to their new device.

Availability

Samsung says the Galaxy S4 will be available from 327 operators from 150 countries across the world at the end of April. We can definitely expect India to be included in the global launch

Key Specs

  • Display: 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with 1920x1080p resolution, 441 PPI
  • Processor: 1.9GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor or 1.6GHz Exynos 5 octa-core processor (depending on market)
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Camera: 13MP rear camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS; 2MP front camera
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Gesture
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage: 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • Battery: 2,600 mAh