Just a few hours ago, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was finally unveiled at the Samsung UNPACKED event at Times Square in New York. The Internet grapevine has been abuzz with rumours over the past month with regards to the specifications and features of Samsung's flagship phone so let's see how this phone measures up to its hype.
Before I go any further, it might be apt to show you the official Samsung introduction video for the Galaxy S4. This is a rudimentary review of the phone based on what has been officially announced by Samsung thus far; it's a real pity that I was unable to get my hands on the actual set and try out some of the trail-blazing features for myself.
Needless to say, the Galaxy S4 has once again established Samsung as the leader in mobile technology. Not content on resting on their laurels, the Samsung engineers have once again pushed the boundaries of mobile phone innovation in creating this cutting-edge phone. The hardware specifications of the Galaxy S4 are a marked improvement over its predecessor, the Galaxy S3; the 5" Full HD (1920x1080 resolution) at 441 pixels per inch trumps the latter's 4.8" (1280x720) screen at 309 ppi. Whether the full-HD resolution is warranted on a mobile device of this size remains to be seen, but we can see for sure that Samsung pulls no punches in improving its flagship models. They've also included a 2600mAh battery with the new S4, a good 23.8% higher-capacity than the S3's 2100mAh. The processor is also the fastest unveiled in the market for now; the S4 will run on a 1.9GHz, quad-core Snapdragon Fusion Pro or proprietary 1.6GHz octa-core Exynos 5 Octa. The camera has also been vastly improved; the Samsung Galaxy S4 will boast a 13-megapixel rear camera capable of recording video at 1080p and a 2MP front camera. Almost impossibly, all these features have also been packed into a waif-thin 7.9mm, which makes the S4 a great phone for fans of tight jeans.
If the hardware specs have left you craving this phone, wait till you look at the list of features that Samsung has added in this lastest iteration. WatchON allows one to sync the phone's screen onto a large-screen TV, ideal for both business presentations and personal entertainment. There is a new multi-lingual voice recognition tool (S Translator) that allows you to speak in one language and have the phone translate to another on the fly. The lack of a hands-on demo does not permit me to test out this feature and its accuracy, but I can imagine it would be very useful for frequent travellers. Group Play allows multiple phones to be used as speakers through the Share Music feature, something I would be very keen to test out once I get my hands on the S4. One of the features that really blew me away in the introduction video was the Samsung Smart Pause function which automatically pauses a video when the user looks away from the screen and resumes when he/she focuses attention back on the screen. Now that's what you call an innovative feature! Another interesting addition to the gamut of features is the camera Dual Shot/Dual Recording function which allows one to take photos and videos with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously. This could spark a new trend in video-taking; a video of a baby taking his/her first steps becomes infinitely more significant when you get to see the parents' reactions. Kudos to Samsung for thinking out of the box! Air Gestures has also been introduced in this phone, whereby you do not need to actually physically touch the screen to control the phone. You can preview a video by hovering your finger over it and the familiar swiping actions for present-day smartphones can also be performed without direct contact.
Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S4 will be released from Q2 2013 onwards but gave no indicative prices. Notwithstanding the lack of information, I can already foresee a mad rush for this phone in the early days of its launch. Singapore, are you ready for the Samsung Galaxy S4?!
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