Galaxy S4 touts 5" 1080p display, tons of new features, coming April

By on March 14, 2013, 7:40 PM

Following months of rumors, teasers and leaks, Samsung took the stage in New York City this evening to unveil the Galaxy S4. As you'd expect, the device brings many improvements to the Galaxy S3 and could become the market's leading handset according to analyst chatter, with some predicting that Samsung will move over 10 million units in the first month -- a stark increase over the S3's launch performance.

If you've been keeping up with the latest rumblings, most of the event was probably spoiled for you, as a Chinese review site jumped the gun earlier this week, revealing most of the S4's key specifications:

  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1.9GHz quad-core/1.6GHz octa-core CPU (varies by market)
  • PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU
  • 5-inch 1080p display (441PPI)
  • 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 16GB to 64GB of storage
  • 2.5G, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi a-ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • IR LED (for remote control)
  • microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 2600mAh battery
  • 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • 327 carriers in 55 countries starting late April

As with most cyclical device updates, the S4 basically cranks its predecessor's hardware up a couple of notches, but the handset offers more than just a faster processor, a larger display and a sleeker chassis. Samsung touted plenty of new features including the ability to control on-screen elements by hovering fingers over the handset instead of actually touching it, which accompanies the company's revamped UI.

The company also demonstrated a new "dual camera" function that lets you use both cameras at once, inserting the front image into the rear image so the camera operator is included in the shot. In a similar vein, the S4 can record sound with pictures, so you can include an audio message with the shot. There are also various high-speed shutter features, including one that lets you erase an unwanted passerby.

Samsung showed its new "S Translator" software, which provides on the spot text to speech and speech to text translations in various languages. Unsurprisingly, the handset is loaded with sensors, including parts for measuring temperature and humidity, infrared to use the device as a remote control and the ability to pause and resume a video when the phone detects that you've looked away from the phone.

 

Meanwhile, "Adapt Display" tweaks your screen's settings to what you're doing, "HomeSync" lets you ping content back to a box at your house, "Smart Switch" lets you transfer your old phone's settings to the S4 through a PC app, "S Voice Drive" offers Siri-like functionality for hands-free control of the device, "Samsung Knox" provides enterprise security, "Group Play" lets you share media between phones, and "S Health" tells you when to lay off the Cheetos and sleep more by tracking various health-related stats.




User Comments: 31

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ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

I want one NOW! Fantastic features, more than me (an optimist) expected.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

2600mAh? with a eight core processor and 1080p screen? im curious if that works well at all.

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

@ikesmasher Android has really improve in terms of managing multi-core devices and battery life.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yeah I wouldn't mind one of those. A shame they'll be 4 billion pound a handset outside of a contract though.

JC713 JC713 said:

2600mAh? with a eight core processor and 1080p screen? im curious if that works well at all.

It is really the 1.6 GHz quad core being used most of the time, and for more strenuous tasks, it uses the 1.9 GHz quad core (not sure if they add up to 8 or just switch off.)

@ikesmasher Android has really improve in terms of managing multi-core devices and battery life.

Yeah, and Samsung further improved the OS for the GS4

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 this Fall with a 6 inch FLEXIBLE screen, 4gb ram, 16mp camera and 2ghz 8 core cpu. The bigger faster brother of the S4.

ikesmasher said:

2600mAh? with a eight core processor and 1080p screen? im curious if that works well at all.

It is really the 1.6 GHz quad core being used most of the time, and for more strenuous tasks, it uses the 1.9 GHz quad core (not sure if they add up to 8 or just switch off.)

@ikesmasher Android has really improve in terms of managing multi-core devices and battery life.

Yeah, and Samsung further improved the OS for the GS4

Lol it doesnt have two different CPUS, it either has the quad core or the eight core based on carrier/country.

doesnt change the 5 inch 1080p battery drain though.

JC713 JC713 said:

Lol it doesnt have two different CPUS, it either has the quad core or the eight core based on carrier/country.

doesnt change the 5 inch 1080p battery drain though.

Oh right lol, didnt you explain this to me before, I must have forgotten .

Edit: after doing some research I am actually right: "The international version of the Samsung Galaxy S IV is going to be powered by the Exynos 5 Octa chipset, which features four Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, four Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.2GHz and the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU. There will be a second version for some markets, which will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset with its 4 Krait 300 cores and Adreno 320 GPU. Both versions will offer LTE connectivity and 2GB of RAM." (Courtesy of [link] ) It switches between the 2 CPUs

JC713 JC713 said:

Waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 this Fall with a 6 inch FLEXIBLE screen, 4gb ram, 16mp camera and 2ghz 8 core cpu. The bigger faster brother of the S4.

I dont think a few months is enough time to bring the flexible screen to consumers, heck it was just a concept less than a year back. Note 3 will probably have a 6 INCH screen (1920x1080), 2GB of RAM, 13MP Camera, and an updated 8 Core with a better CPU and GPU. But! Samsung brought a cover for the S4 that has a display on it, so it is all possible I guess.

ikesmasher said:

Oh right lol, didnt you explain this to me before, I must have forgotten .

Edit: after doing some research I am actually right: "The international version of the Samsung Galaxy S IV is going to be powered by the Exynos 5 Octa chipset, which features four Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, four Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.2GHz and the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU. There will be a second version for some markets, which will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset with its 4 Krait 300 cores and Adreno 320 GPU. Both versions will offer LTE connectivity and 2GB of RAM." (Courtesy of [link] ) It switches between the 2 CPUs

different cores =/= different CPUs. As far as I know.

JC713 JC713 said:

different cores =/= different CPUs. As far as I know.

Thats what I meant lol

veLa veLa said:

Total let down in my eyes, the phone should've been called the Galaxy S IIIS the way Apple names things. For me this clearly marks a slow down for Samsung. Don't get me wrong, the S4 will be a winner no doubt, but there isn't much of a wow factor since it's so similar to the previous model.

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Love the IR feature.

Love the Camera features.

love the 1080p.

love the removable battery option.

love the micro SD option.

Hate the size, it's too big. 4.7 is perfect.

It looks like plastic feel.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Oooh it's super. I wouldn't say no to one. Pity I won't be able to afford it.

highlander84 said:

Total let down in my eyes, the phone should've been called the Galaxy S IIIS the way Apple names things. For me this clearly marks a slow down for Samsung. Don't get me wrong, the S4 will be a winner no doubt, but there isn't much of a wow factor since it's so similar to the previous model.

As apposed to apple? That every single model looks like the previous with zero innovation? That's not the way to go. I give a big credit to Samsung, this phone easily stands above anything else on the market at the moment...it's rightly named S4 it's a huge step above the S3. The part that I think sucks the most is its still running Android 4.2 but when 5.0 releases I'm sure it will receive it.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hate the size, it's too big. 4.7 is perfect.

It looks like plastic feel.

The physical dimensions are actually smaller than the S3, the bezels are thinner which is definitely a good thing.

As for the plastic, I'm not a fan of it either but considering most people put their phones in a case it really doesn't matter.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Total let down in my eyes, the phone should've been called the Galaxy S IIIS the way Apple names things. For me this clearly marks a slow down for Samsung. Don't get me wrong, the S4 will be a winner no doubt, but there isn't much of a wow factor since it's so similar to the previous model.

It's similar in looks and that's about it. I'm very impressed by what I've seen so far.

Guest said:

Sorry but just about every phone you buy is a small upgrade over the previous phone. iPhone 5 was better than the 4 because of the bigger screen and much lighter due to the aluminum design versus glass. The S4 is a slight upgrade from the S3. And it does NOT stand above every other phone. The new LG and even HTC have similar specs.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Total let down in my eyes, the phone should've been called the Galaxy S IIIS the way Apple names things. For me this clearly marks a slow down for Samsung. Don't get me wrong, the S4 will be a winner no doubt, but there isn't much of a wow factor since it's so similar to the previous model.

I've said this about Apple too because they're phones are so similar to each other. If it's not broken, don't fix it. The iPhone is a widely recognized design, as is the SIII. If you make your new phones look similar then someone will be able to recognize your phone from a distance. It's good marketing for potential buyers to be able to see your product being used by others.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next few Samsung phones look similar to the SIII too. The Note does. Even the New Galaxy Tab 8 looks like a giant SIII.

Guest said:

The physical dimensions are actually smaller than the S3, the bezels are thinner which is definitely a good thing.

Yep:

Galaxy S3 = 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Galaxy S4 = 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sorry but just about every phone you buy is a small upgrade over the previous phone. iPhone 5 was better than the 4 because of the bigger screen and much lighter due to the aluminum design versus glass. The S4 is a slight upgrade from the S3. And it does NOT stand above every other phone. The new LG and even HTC have similar specs.

My suspicions are that most manufactures don't do their own manufacturing! I know, a shocker right? So this leaves a list of common off-the-shelf parts available to companies developing their products. LG makes some of the Apple iPhone 5 displays for example. The main difference is in the design and less to do with the hardware: shape and features. Which is where I think the Samsung phones are beating the market. They're fantastic phones and well equipped.

Guest said:

Impressive features, not so impressive looks. Also not a fan of Android's cartoonish appearance either.

cmbjive said:

AWESOME. I guess I'm going to have one mad wife come April.

I also like the look of the phone. I don't know why people don't like but to each his own.

SCJake said:

Give me nexus style clean android and ill crap myself over this beauty.

as far as the cpu discussion/argument goes. There will be 2 separate models. One will use a quad core. The other will use 2 "separate" (used loosely) cpus. a quad A15 set, and a quad A7 set. no one really knows how exactly this will work, but I assume that the A7 will stay on always and only switch on the A15 set. I doubt the A7 set will turn off as it's very hard to hold a system in a chip then move the whole thing over to another when the second set pops on. They would almost definitely have to be separate chips (doesnt really matter because most phone boards are all one piece anyway) due to the fact that they are clocked differently and have different cache pools. Keep in mind all of this is my assumptions based on what I know about x86 hardware. ARM is a whole different ballpark

Guest said:

Nice piece of plastic. xperia z is the phone to beat

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

5" is WAAAYYYY too big... the iphone 5 size is the largest I'll go. any larger and its in tablet country...

features and hardware are great though! shrink it 15% and I'm there!

JC713 JC713 said:

Love the IR feature.

Love the Camera features.

love the 1080p.

love the removable battery option.

love the micro SD option.

Hate the size, it's too big. 4.7 is perfect.

It looks like plastic feel.

The dimensions are the same, the screen just extends to the bezel, you just need to get used to it.

Azama Azama said:

Question: will the 1080p resolution be a noticeable jump from 720p at that screen size? Will it be worth the hit on battery life? I mean I already think 720p (My Galaxy Nexus) is plenty and I strain to see every last detail, So I think 1080p is overkill.

kissx kissx said:

I have the Galaxy s2 for a year and half now. Still love it. Contract up in may.Gs4 is mine!

roxxas2 said:

Yeah I wouldn't mind one of those. A shame they'll be 4 billion pound a handset outside of a contract though.

What the hell are you talking about man? That thing will probably only weigh a few ounces!

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yeah I wouldn't mind one of those. A shame they'll be 4 billion pound a handset outside of a contract though.

What the hell are you talking about man? That thing will probably only weigh a few ounces!

Pounds = British Sterling = Great British Pound

But I am sure you already knew that

OT: Might be getting this one, let see what the 5s or 6 is all about and possibly Note3

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