After what seems like many months of speculation and rumour, Samsung has officially revealed the Galaxy S4, arguably the most anticipated Android smartphone yet. It’s the follow-up to the best-selling Galaxy S3, which is a hard act to follow, so does it live up to expectations?
It’s safe to say it does, and Samsung has made a real effort to update, upgrade and tweak not only the hardware features, but the software too. In fact, the software on the Galaxy S4 is so important, it was the primary focus for the hour-long, Broadway-musical style launch event, which simply has to be seen to be believed.
More on that later, but first here’s what the Galaxy S4 is all about. It has a 4.99-inch, 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, which has a 441ppi pixel density. This matches the Sony Xperia Z and beats the Apple iPhone 5′s Retina Display. The processor inside the phone has eight-cores, twice that of the Galaxy S3, and the camera has been upgraded to 13 megapixels. Samsung has also squeezed in a 2600mAh battery to ensure it has the energy to power all this impressive tech.
The feature list continues with 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, NFC, GPS and a choice of either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage memory. The design of the phone is similar to the Galaxy S3, but Samsung has slimmed the device down to 7.9mm thick and it weighs 130 grams, making it thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S3.
Software rules on the Galaxy S4
While the specification is good, it’s the many software features Samsung has added to the Android 4.2.2 operating system which makes the phone standout. The list is huge, but the most interesting additions include S Translator, which uses speech to text, and text to speech to translate conversations into nine languages. Smart Scroll lets you scroll pages of text by tilting the phone, while Smart Pause pauses video playback when you turn away from the screen.
The camera gets Sound & Shot, where still images are given audio clips, plus Dual Camera records video with both the main and the secondary cameras, then puts them both into one video ready to be played back. There are also several new wireless sharing features, for both documents and images, plus music too.
You’ll be able to buy the Galaxy S4 in either black or white colour schemes, and it’s going to be able to connect to both 3G networks and EE’s 4G LTE network in the UK. Samsung has said the phone will go on sale at the end of April, while retailer Clove Technology has tweeted it’ll have the phone up for pre-order on Friday March 15.
If you didn’t stay up for the launch event and would like to see what all the fuss is about, we’ve included the video of the show below. We’d say, “enjoy,” but it doesn’t seem very appropriate, as it’s so cheesy!