Samsung has just officially announced their latest flagship, the Galaxy S4, just a little over 2 hours ago at Radio City Music Hall. It’s really an awesome smartphone. Samsung has managed to push beyond simple mediocre upgrades that seem to have plagued many other smartphone launches in the last year. This is quite possibly going to be the most spectacular smartphone launch of 2013.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 (SGS4) is smaller, thinner and lighter than its predecessor Galaxy S III (SGS3). Make no mistake, there’s no trickery there in what is meant by “smaller”. The SGS4 is actually smaller, measuring 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm at 130g, compared with the SGS3’s 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm at 133g.
Despite being actually smaller, thinner and lighter, the SGS4 has a larger 5″ display and 2600 mAh battery. That seems to be quite an achievement. The display boasts 1920×1080 resolution with a 441ppi pixel density, far denser than the retina resolution introduced by Apple in their iPhones.
The main camera is 13 MP, and 2 MP for the front facing camera. Both support 1080p@30fps video recording. The main camera can take 100 shots in 4 seconds, from which you can choose the best shot to keep, or make a collage of several great shots.
There are 8 sensors in the SGS4. The usual accelerometer, RGB light, digital compass, proximity, gryo, barometer sensors are now supplemented by infrared gestures, and, temperature and humidity sensors.
Apart from cellular 3G and 4G LTE, the SGS4 will also have 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and it will bring back infrared port that has gone missing in most smartphones.
The Smart Stay feature from last year’s SGS3 is now supplemented by a whole slew of new stuffs: Smart Pause automatically pauses a video you’re playing when you look away, Smart Scroll scrolls the page when your reading near the end of it, and Infra Gestures lets you turn pages by waving your hand over it (you don’t need to touch the screen!).
There are many more features that are in the software. For example, Eraser removes unwanted subjects from your photo, Home Sync to share your media, the ability to playback music across up to 8 SGS4 devices (think surround sound), and S Translator (which translates between 9 languages).
There is also the new Knox feature first announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, which separates your “work space” and “personal” space in your phone. So, for example, your company can have a “relationship” with work space to sync files, but they cannot access your personal space. This feature builds on security enhanced Android developed by the U.S. government.
Samsung is quite clearly demonstrating their prowess in software features and services, and their ability to differentiate and add-value above the standard Android operating system.
The phone will be available from end April, but only for the 3G version. The 4G LTE version will come later this year. Users looking to get the 4G version, unfortunately, will still have several more months to wait.
Watch the recording of the Samsung UNPACKED 2013 event on Youtube. It’s really quite a good show. Instead of the usual technical and marketing presentation, Samsung has done something quite awesome with this event, turning the second part of it into somewhat of a drama/play, quite befitting of their choice of venue at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.