The Galaxy S4 touts what is being described the world’s first full HD Super AMOLED display, with a screen size boosted from the S3’s 4.8 inch display to a full 5-inches. The Gorilla Glass 3 display also has a pixel density of 441ppi, apparently a world-first in smartphones.
One of the more innovative features of the new flagship is a ‘dual camera’ function that allows simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. When capturing moments, users can blend the two pictures naturally and also adjust the size of the small picture inside the big one. Awkwardly finding someone to take a photo of yourself and your friends seems like it’ll now become less of a problem.
Another nifty camera feature is the new ‘dual video call’ function which enables you to make and receive a video call with friends and family while showing what you are looking at during the call. Pretty cool stuff indeed.
The phone itself is extremely similar in look to its S3 predecessor, in fact users might have a hard time differentiating between the two at first glance. The S4 is slightly lighter however, at 120g, compared to 133g on the S3, and at launch, two color options will be available - Black Mist and White Frost; with a variety of additional color options to apparently follow later this year.
Other new features include a bulked-up 2600mAH battery, S Translator, a global translator service with nine different languages, and Smart Pause and Smart Look, which essentially allow you to control your phone with your eyes.
The phone is also the first to utilise Samsung's Knox feature, which effectively splits the phone into two entirely separate sections - personal and business, in a move to attract BlackBerry and Apple's enterprise customers.
“With the Galaxy S4, Samsung is again going to enhance the way we live,” said JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung.
“All the innovative features of Galaxy S4 were developed based on the insights and needs we found from our consumers all around the world. Following the successful Galaxy S series, this phone is yet another great proof point of people-inspired innovation. At Samsung we’ll never stop pursuing innovation conceived by people, so we can inspire them in return.”
Telstra has already confirmed its plans to release the phone later this year, saying it a statement, “We’re excited to confirm that we will offer the new Samsung S 4 on the nation’s largest 4G network when it comes to Australia. Pricing and availability will be confirmed closer to launch but for now, customers can register their details to receive more information as it’s released at www.telstra.com.au/s4”
Virgin Mobile also confirmed its intentions, with a Facebook post reading “Yep, we’re getting the new Samsung Galaxy S4.”
Jan Dawson, chief telecom analyst at Ovum, was cautiously optimistic about the new phone's chances.
“As anticipated, the device features a slightly larger screen, an improved camera, and beefed up processor power and memory," Dawson said.
“The improvements to eye tracking and the additions of S Translator and the hover feature and so on are good steps, but they can be seen as gimmicks rather than game changers. At this point, Samsung appears to be trying to kill the competition with sheer volume of new features – there should be something here for everyone, even if most of these new features won't be used by most users.
"For now, Samsung can likely rely on its vastly superior marketing budget and the relatively weak efforts of its competitors in software to keep it ahead. But competitors will catch up (as Samsung has caught up in many ways with Apple) and Samsung will need to continue to stretch."
Full local availability and pricing details will be posted on iTWire as soon as they're announced. For full specs and pictures of the S4, see page two.