Samsung Announces Galaxy S IV

Samsung Announces Galaxy S IV

Mar 15, 2013

Samsung’s back with the brand new Galaxy S IV, their new flagship smartphone, announced at Samsung Unpacked on March 14th. Here’s the important details.

Visually, the phone is quite similar to its predecessor, offering what seems to be a similar plasticky design along with many of the same visual cues that influenced the S3 design. Samsung has been on a major push to make a ‘look’ for their devices as seen especially by the similar-looking Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 2, and even Galaxy Tab 8.0, all with their curved design and that half-block/half-curve home button.

The requisite screen size increase is here, and interestingly, Samsung has elected to go into the 5″ range with the screen that now boasts a 1080p display. This is pushing into Galaxy Note territory in terms of screen size, could potentially scare away those who like smaller phones, and could cannibalize Galaxy Note 2 sales in part thanks to its higher resolution. Of course, an April rollout, as is planned, would be about half a year after the Galaxy Note II was unveiled, which itself was half a year after the S3 unveiling, so there’s clearly a pattern here. Processor-wise, the international version will have an Exynos 5 while the US will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro.

As always, a new Galaxy S phone means new tweaks on top of the Android experience for TouchWiz. New “Smart” features like Smart Pause, where looking away from a video will pause it, are included. The camera, which is now a 13-megapixel shooter, comes with a variety of new features that can do things like erase people walking through the backgrounds of shots by taking multiple simultaneous snaps and then making a composite image with erasable background elements. The OS is miraculously Jelly Bean 4.2.2, which is the current version of Android, though one could bet good money that a new version will be announced at Google I/O in May, so enjoy living on the cutting edge while it lasts.

For gamers, Samsung is introducing a Bluetooth controller compatible with the phone, which will support over 80 Android games and come ‘bundled’ with 8 games itself.

Those who didn’t watch the presentation were spared. It was a painful affair thanks to the overwrought announcers and actors plying up their performance a bit too much. Subtlety was a lost art with the presentation. Someone at Samsung watched Qualcomm’s “Born Mobile” CES presentation and thought that was a good idea.

The Galaxy S IV will be rolling out internationally starting this April, with US support for all 4 major carriers, as well as US Cellular and Cricket.

Samsung Officially Unveils the Galaxy S III

Samsung Officially Unveils the Galaxy S III

May 4, 2012

On May 3rd in London, Samsung finally revealed their latest phone: the Galaxy S III.

Samsung has gone with a 4.8″ super AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass, at a 720p resolution. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, the phone doesn’t use on-screen buttons, with physical buttons below the screen. The processor is a 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos, with 1 GB of RAM. Samsung has taken a step forward with the battery, providing a 2100 mAh battery by default. The phone will come in cobalt blue and white at launch.

The phone should lend more ammo to the “Samsung is ripping off the iPhone” crowd, and with good merit. The design, especially the international variant with The S-Voice feature is almost identical to Siri on the iPhone. They’ve boldly gone and implemented the “tap status bar to scroll to the top” feature from iOS in to TouchWiz. As well, they’ve introduced their own variant on AirPlay Mirroring and the Apple TV with AllShare Cast and the compatible dongle; this will allow for the display and media to be streamed to either a compatible TV or TV with AllShare.

However, the software and hardware have some standout features as well. The 8 megapixel rear camera will have zero shutter lag, along with a burst shot mode where the best photo of the burst can be saved. The front camera will boast a 1.9 megapixel resolution, and will be used for more than just video calls and self-shots. The device can use it to tell if the user is still looking at the phone, so it will not go to sleep, even if the user hasn’t touched it. The phone will also respond to the user’s voice and to specific commands, even when the phone is locked. While texting someone, users can hold the phone up to their ear and automatically call the person they’re texting. As well, Samsung is expanding on ICS’ Beam NFC technology, claiming to send files between phones at 5 MB per second, making it easy to share music and videos.

While there’s still a lot to find out about the phone’s launch plans, Europe will start getting the phone by the end of the month, and the US should get the phone this summer. Will it continue Samsung’s run of success in the Android market? Time will tell.