After endless rumors, speculation and teasers, Samsung has officially unwrapped its latest gem… The Galaxy SIV. Today, at its Samsung Unpacked event in Times Square, we were all treated to Sammy’s(can I call you Sammy? I feel after owning the SI, SII and SIII that we’re such close friends)latest and greatest. But if you’re looking for an app munching, data crunching, Hulk smashing, laser blasting device, well… This ain’t it. But if you’re looking for a consumer friendly, Joe & Jane Average medley, aesthetically pleasing, world class device? Then this is the device for you. Let me explain…
Yes, the Galaxy SIV packs more power than most. With either a Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa-Core chipset clocked at 1.6GHz or a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor(chipset wasn’t disclosed at the event. They did say this was just Episode 1 you know), this sexy device will give any phone, app, web page or video game a run for its money. It will literally manhandle your data. Also included are 2gb of RAM to smooth things along and the promise of Android 4.2(Jelly Bean), though neither Android nor Google were mentioned at the event(curiouser and curiouser said the cat). Dubbed the “Life Companion”, this polycarbonate beauty(if polycarbonate is your thing) also has a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display that has 441 ppi, Cat 3 4G LTE , an infrared LED transmitter, Bluetooth 4.0, a 13 megapixel camera, 16-64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot and even more goodies than you can shake a stick at. The front and back camera’s are capable of recording in dual mode, which allows you to record video of one thing while also recording yourself, effectively inserting you into said video. Other included goodies are Samsung Smart Scroll, S Travel, S Health, S Translator, Group Play (for sharing your multimedia, games and memories), Air View, S Voice Drive, and more with the latest iteration of Touchwiz on top.
This device is jam packed with features. Kitchen sink included! In fact, this may be the most feature packed device we see this year. Gimmicky? Maybe? But only to the Geek(I wave my Geek flag proudly). The average consumer, which this device is clearly aimed at, will absolutely love this device. Samsung has effectively taken a page out of Apple’s book and created a device that is only moderately better than the last, but added so many new features, few will notice and even fewer will care. And the “fewer that will care” are Joe and Jane Average Consumer, which is exactly who Samsung has square in their sights. By going after Apple’s bread and butter so to speak, not only is Samsung throwing down the gauntlet with Apple, but they’re attempting to maximize their profits by going after the segment that spends the most money. The average consumer. So while the hardcore techie and Geek may complain about the SIV being too similar to the way Apple upgrades their devices, Joe & Jane Average will think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread and Toblerone chocolates. Clearly, Samsung is the NEW Apple. Just, not as crappy. Full press release below for your edification:
Samsung Introduces the GALAXY S 4 – A Life Companion for a richer, simpler and fuller life
GALAXY S 4 gets you closer to what matters in life, bringing your world together
New York, USA, March 14, 2013 – Samsung Electronics announced today the fourth generation GALAXY S, the GALAXY S 4, designed to get you closer to what matters in life and bring your world together.
Understanding what matters most to us in our lives, the Samsung GALAXY S 4 was developed to redefine the way we live and to maximize our fulfillment of life. This sleek and innovative smartphone makes every moment of life very meaningful; it understands the value of relationships, enabling true connections with friends and family. It believes in the importance of an effortless user experience, making your life easy and hassle-free; and, it empowers your life, helping take care of your well-being.
The beauty of the phone is the highly crafted design encompassing a larger screen size and battery, minimized bezel; all housed in a light (130g) and slim (7.9mm) shape. The Samsung GALAXY S 4 is slimmer yet stronger, with less to hold yet more to see. It has come up with simply unreal beauty. At launch, two color options will be available – Black Mist and White Frost; with a variety of additional color options to follow later this year.
“With the GALAXY S 4, 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 S 4 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.”
Meaningful Moments – Gives Greater Enjoyment
A rich life is one that’s filled with meaningful moments and the GALAXY S 4 captures and shares those special moments. The GALAXY S 4 has the world’s first Full HD Super AMOLED display to showcase images at their very best. Its 5-inch large screen has 441ppi for stunning viewing quality. The Samsung GALAXY S 4 also utilizes Corning’s new Gorilla® Glass 3*, making it a durable travel companion for all of life’s adventures.
Equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera, the GALAXY S 4 also boasts a ‘Dual Camera’ function that allows simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. When capturing moments, users can choose from a variety of frame effects which blend the two pictures naturally and also adjust the size of the small picture inside the big one. Users can select 8 different ways to combine the two photos taken by the front camera and the rear camera. At the same time, the ‘Dual Video Call’ function enables you to make and receive a video call with friends and family while showing what you are looking at during the call.
The camera functionality extends beyond Dual Camera, as the device is also equipped with 12 outstanding shooting modes including ‘Drama Shot’, which allows you to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse, and ‘Sound & Shot’, which uniquely stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken so those special moments are captured in the truest form imaginable, exactly as they happened.
These meaningful moments can also now automatically be stored in a photo album, with the new ‘Story Album’ function. Photos taken by the GALAXY S 4 are automatically gathered and sorted out according to your timeline, geo-tagging information, or a specific event to create a photo album. These unique story albums can be ordered and delivered as an offline photo album through a new partnership with Blurb*, so you can keep those precious moments safe to look at and share time and time again.
True Connections – Brings People Together
Samsung GALAXY S 4 enables true connections with the people in our lives. It is more than a personal device that can be enjoyed by one user – it makes the most of our relationships allowing us to easily share and experience many of life’s pleasures together with family and friends, wherever you are.
With its ‘Group Play’ function, users can enjoy music, photos, documents and games with those around them without even requiring a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal. This innovative feature enables users to connect directly with others to share, play and co-create content and entertainment instantly. Its ‘Share Music’ option allows users to have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync to create the best party atmosphere.
The GALAXY S 4 brings all people closer together by breaking down language barriers. It makes international travel a joy, with ‘S Translator’ which provides instant translation, using text or voice translation on applications including email, text message and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech to text and text to speech and ensures that you can rely on the correct information whilst abroad.
The GALAXY S 4 supports HSPA+42 Mbps and 4G LTE which means wherever you are in the world, you can rely on perfect connectivity. Especially, the LTE version supports up to 6 different band sets which allows it to function in most LTE coverage areas as well as enabling global LTE roaming. Furthermore, TDD/FDD LTE Dual Mode version will be introduced later this year.
Effortless Experience – Makes Things More Convenient
In today’s world, we are all looking for smart ways to make life easier and less stressful. The GALAXY S 4 ensures that tasks are effortless with innovative features that detect your face, voice and motions to enable screen control with no need for finger touch activation.
‘Samsung Smart Pause’ enables you to control the screen by where you look. When you are watching a video, the video pauses when you look away then it starts right up again when you are back. ‘Samsung Smart Scroll’ allows you to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen. It recognizes your face looking at the screen and movement of your wrist and then scroll the pages up or down accordingly.
‘Air View’ allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. You can even see a magnified view on the internet browser, or a phone number saved in the speed dial on the keypad. With ‘Air Gesture’, you can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.
With ‘S Voice Drive’ you can activate commands via voice control for optimization when driving. Once connected with a car Bluetooth, the phone automatically turns into driving mode converting text to speech so you can easily and safely check messages with no need to look at the screen.
‘Samsung Optical Reader’ makes life yet more effortless, by automatically recognizing text, a business card or QR code information, and providing useful functions such as translation, call, text message and search.
At home, using ‘Samsung WatchON’, the GALAXY S 4 will transform into an IR remote to control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner. In addition, you can enjoy various content including live TV, cable TV and VOD based on the rich information provided by EPG (Electronic Program Guide).
Empowered Living – Takes Care Of Your Health and Quality of Life
The GALAXY S 4 empowers your life by keeping you up-to-date with health and wellbeing information using the new ‘S Health’ software. The combination of sensors built within the device systematically and automatically monitors your health, surroundings and so much more to help improve your quality of life. Also, users can easily check their health conditions using food diary, exercise diary and sleep monitor to stay fit and healthy. (Certain functions are enabled by specific accessories.)
To further protect your wellbeing, ‘Samsung Adapt Display’ provides an optimal viewing experience, customized for each type of application, and ‘Samsung Adapt Sound’ offers an optimal level and type of sound, personalized for each user, to make the most out of life.
Samsung GALAXY S 4 will be available from Q2 globally including US, partnering with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, as well as US Cellular and Cricket. In Europe, Samsung GALAXY S 4 is partnering with global mobile operators such as Deutsche Telecom, EE, H3G, Orange, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Telefonica, and Vodafone.