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.
The Samsung Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3 (codenamed Gingerbread) and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. It is the first handset to offer Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus screen technology (4.27-inch display, 800x480 resolution), and is the company's thinnest phone at 8.49mm, with a weight of just 116g. The device also features an 8MP primary camera with 1080p video capture, and a 2MP camera in the front, as well as integrated NFC support on some versions. It also has BlueTooth 3.0+HS and HSPA+ connectivity.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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