Another year, another Galaxy S flagship smartphone from Samsung. 2013’s version of the crown jewel, the Galaxy S 4, has just been officially announced at its Unpacked event. Since we know you’re dying to find out what’s new, let’s dive straight into the details. The GS 4 features a 5-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) Super AMOLED panel which offers a pixel density of 441 ppi and the ability to use your gloves at the same time. It’s also a powerful beast: it packs 2GB RAM and will come with either a 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip or a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm, depending on your region. (Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t yet specified which Snapdragon we can expect, but we’re guessing it’s at least a 600 if not an 800.) Refreshingly, it will also come with Android 4.2.2 on-board when it launches.
Dimension-wise, the GS 4 is 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inch) and weighs 130g (4.59 ounces). The chassis itself is actually 0.8mm skinnier, 0.7mm thinner and 3g lighter than its predecessor, which is impressive given its larger screen size and 2,600mAh battery. It will launch in black and white hues, though Samsung plans to add more colors to its lineup as the year progresses. Head below the break as we continue to reveal what else you can expect from the newest Galaxy device.
Much like the HTC One, the Galaxy S 4 will also offer WiFi 802.11ac support on top of the usual a/b/g/n, and an IR blaster is included for remote control access using Samsung’s WatchON service. NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 + LE are included, and here’s one bit of good news for MHL fans: it’s got MHL 2.0 and is able to use a standard MHL connector (unlike the GS 3, which required a Samsung-branded MHL adapter to work properly).
Moving on to the imaging details, the GS 4 sports a 13MP BSI camera with f/2.2 aperture and autofocus, while the front-facing camera gets a slight bump in res to 2MP. Samsung claims that neither camera features any shutter lag, so we’ll be eager to test it out. But some of the most intriguing aspects of the camera are the new features: dual-video capture mode, which lets you record video on both cameras simultaneously (much like on the LG Optimus G Pro), and Dual Video Call mode, in which you can make video calls and show the caller what you’re looking at. Additionally, Drama Shot utilizes burst mode to create animated GIFs, while Sound & Shot can record up to nine seconds of audio to accompany a still photo.
The GS 4 will also take advantage of the same “Smart” gesture features we saw on the GS 3, and gives you a few more to enjoy. Smart Pause stops the video you’re watching if your eyes drift away. Smart Scroll will move the screen up or down when you tilt the phone and look at the screen at the same time. Air View lets you use your finger as an S Pen by giving you a preview of an email, calendar appointment, image gallery or video just by hovering your finger over it. There’s also a Group Play feature that connects networks of GS 4 devices (provided they’re in close proximity) to share music in a surround-sound mode or play games against each other.
No pricing has been set, and we’ve been told that the phone will be released globally starting at the end of April. It will come to all four national networks in the US as well as Cricket and US Cellular, and it will be picked up in other markets by Deutsche Telecom, EE, H3G, Orange, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Telefonica and Vodafone (we imagine this is only a short list of carriers for now, however).