Samsung Galaxy S4 announced

galaxy s4 smallerSo, it’s finally here – after much ado, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was revealed at Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York last evening. If you didn’t stay up to watch the festivities, here’s what was announced:

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy S4 looks very close to the Galaxy S3, just slightly larger and thinner. The phone has a five inch 1080p display at 4.99″, and that display has the same super-sensitive technology as the Lumia 920 that allows it to work with gloves on.

The phone is powerful too, with a eight-core big.LITTLE processor (in certain territories) that should eclipse anything we’ve seen on a mobile before. This is backed with 2 GB of RAM and a choice of 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage. There’s also the option for microSD storage, up to 64 GB extra. This is powered by a 2,600 mAh removable battery.

The phone supports the standard array of connectivity features – LTE, Bluetooth 4 and NFC. It also supports Wireless AC, the second phone to support the new standard after the HTC One. The sensor suite also includes two new additions – a temperature and humidity sensor and an IR blaster.

The phone is 7.9 mm thin and weighs 130 grams – not much given its size. You can pick it up in a black or white colour scheme, with a similar texture to the Galaxy S3. Of course, you can also pick up a wide range of Galaxy S4 cases in various colours too.

Software

Samsung have really gone to town with new software features, layering a lot of new functionality on top of Android 4.2.2 and the TouchWiz interface. Perhaps the start of the show is S Health, which is a surprisingly comprehensive fitness and diet tracking software.

The camera software is also very fully featured – there are lenses and filters from the Galaxy Camera, on top of new features like ‘Sound and Shot’ to record five seconds of audio before or after a photo is taken, ‘Drama Shot’ which takes 100+ shots in four seconds then allows you to select some of these as a composite, as well as ‘Dual Shot’ which allows you to record video or photographs from the front and rear cameras simultaneously.

S Translator is another useful looking app, allowing you to do text to speech and speech to text translations between nine different languages. That app also includes a library of stock phrases that work offline. Similar technology is used in S Voice Drive, which will read out your text messages when you’re on the go and allows you to dictate responses too.

Finally, there is a lot of eye-tracking going on. You can now scroll through text or a webpage when you’re looking at the phone and you tilt the phone up or down. If you look away from the phone during a video, it’ll be paused for you.

There are plenty more software features than this, but I think they’d need a whole article to themselves to all fit!

Conclusion

So there you have it – the Samsung Galaxy S4. It will ship for a ‘premium price’ in the second quarter of this year, so between April and July.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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