Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone is here – same size and weight as its predecessor, Galaxy S3. Well, actually the new S4 is less than 1-millimeter thinner and a few grams lighter, if you can really notice the difference at all. To be precise, S4 is 69-mm wide, and 7.9-mm thick, and weighs just 130 grams. However the display has ballooned from 4.8-inch to 5-inch with a 25% larger battery (2,600 milliamp). Galaxy S4 remains a polycarbonate, white or black plastic phone, for the time being. For those Samsung fanatics who believed that S4 would have a “bendable” screen, well, the technology may not allow it to be available yet. The new S4’s 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED, 1,920 x 1,080 screen, at 441 pixels per inch, is both bigger and higher resolution than the iPhone 5.
Another mind-boggling technology feature rumoured to be unveiled is also not here – the ability to scroll text automatically (Smart Screen) by tracking readers’ eyes movement. The consolation cool feature is Smart Scroll – if the phone senses someone is looking at the screen, the user can tilt it forward or backwards to scroll up and down a web page. If that is not enough to persuade you to upgrade, S4 will pause videos you’re watching when it detects you’ve looked away from the screen, and will restart when your eyes come back to the screen (*pretty cool eh*).
And don’t assume drivers to be mad talking to himself / herself because chances are he/she might be using S4’s voice recognition capability to dictate, reply, forward and save messages using only verbal commands. Ladies with inches of nails would have another reason to upgrade to S4 – the new Samsung phone comes with a screen that now senses fingers hovering just above the screen, thanks to Samsung’s Air Gesture technology. Since users can control some other applications by making gestures in the air above the phone, messy fingerprints may be a problem of the past.
The Galaxy S4 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa processor but certain regions will ship with only a quad-core processor. It comes with 2GB of RAM – double that of the iPhone 5 – and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of on-board storage (plus a microSD slot if you want to add more). If you’re a heavy camera user, S4 camera application can now use both the front (2-megapixel) and rear (13-megapixel) cameras simultaneously, and can insert a picture of the photographer even as he or she is capturing the scene in front of them. It also has an “Erase” feature, which allows the phone to take several pictures of a subject, then create a composite of the images to remove an unwanted photobomber. Beware Anwar Ibrahim – you may be subject to more sodomy charges (*grin*) once your enemies equipped themselves with this smartphone.
Running on the already-available Android Jellybean 4.2.2, S4 comes loaded with plenty of smart apps such as the new Samsung Translate (a realtime translator that supports 9 different languages) and Samsung Health, which will ostensibly track your steps, calories burned and other fun facts to keep track of your daily fitness. Also, the new phone comes with improved Samsung Voice Drive’s GPS driving capabilities. It also sports a built-in IR transmitter for controlling your TV (not limited to Samsung brand TV) and other devices in your entertainment center.
Availability – in the U.S., the S4 will be sold by all four national carriers namely Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA, as well as by smaller ones US Cellular and Cricket. The new Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to be available by the end of April and rolled out to 327 carriers in 155 countries. Pricing – although Samsung did not reveal the pricing, the new S4 can be expected to start at $200 with a two-year contract in the U.S.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) may begin to feel the heat without contribution from late Steve Jobs. The perception that Samsung, which has sold 100 million Galaxy S phones since they first came out in 2010, is nothing but an Apple’s clone and copycat is slowly going away. Samsung is gapping away with enough legitimate Samsung-only features. If Apple iPad Mini was any indicator, Apple may had begun play the role of a follower rather than a leader in the smartphone market going forward. Now that Samsung has raised the bar in terms of hardware and has packed in tons of new software features, the ball is now at Apple’s court to counter-offer with more goodies in its’ next iPhone release.
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