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March 15, 2013 by Dean Quinn
The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally been unveiled to the public. After months of speculation, the Korean manufacturer launched the handset at a typically high-profile event in New York last night.
With the great and good of the tech world crammed into the main room of the Big Apple’s iconic Radio City Music Hall, J.K Shin, Samsung’s head of mobile, took to the stage to show the assembled press a device that, according to him, will “provide the perfect solution of work and play”.
The presentation itself took influence from the famous Broadway musicals, with (somewhat cringeworthy) set-pieces acted out to demonstrate some of the key features. While this split opinion among the gathered throng of tech hacks and smartphone fans, it nonetheless successfully got the point across that in the Galaxy S4 Samsung has a device that is both high on innovation and specification.
With a slim 7.9mm frame and stunning 5-inch Full HD super AMOLED display operating at 441ppi, nobody can be left in any doubt that this is a device at the very cutting edge of mobile tech. The design itself gives a very clear nod to its predecessor the Galaxy S III, however, the new textured polycarbonate shell of the Galaxy S4 offers a contrast to the plasticky feel of the former flagship.
Powering the device is the Exynos octa-core 1.6GHz processor, which takes two quad-core chips and fuses them together to make a powerful beast of a chipset. Whether this makes any difference in real terms (will app developers actually bother to build software to take advantage of it?) remains to be seen though.
Samsung has equipped the S4 with a 13 megapixel auto-focus camera which is laden with a seemingly endless list of features. Drama Shot, for example, offers a direct competitor to the HTC One’s Sequence Shot mode and can stitch together one continuous time-lapse image. Additionally, the intriguingly-titled Sound & Shot allows the user to capture images complete with audio.
The handset also features Dual Camera functionality, meaning that both the front and rear cameras can be activated at the same time to capture images. The results can then be blended together to offer a totally unique picture. How well this’ll work in real life we’re not sure, but it certainly looks exciting on paper.
In terms of software, the Galaxy S4 is carrying the latest 4.2.2 version of the Android Jelly Bean operating system, keeping it one step ahead of the majority of its competitors.
Elsewhere, the Galaxy S4 is crammed with innovative features such as Samsung Smart Pause, which automatically pauses video content whenever the user looks away from the screen, and Air View ,a feature that lets you preview images, emails and videos by just hovering a finger over the screen. Something called Group Play is also thrown in and that enables you to share music, photos and games with those around you without the need for a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. Nice.
If health and fitness is your bag then the S4 looks to have that covered too thanks to the included S Health app. By utilising series of sensors within the device, S Health automatically monitors your health and can keep track of your sleep patterns, exercise regimes and overall fitness levels. Sounds tiring.
We have yet to get our hands on an actual living and breathing (it doesn’t actually live and breathe but you know what we mean) Samsung Galaxy S4, but if the above specs are anything to go by, the handset looks like it could be a very interesting proposition indeed. Stay tuned to Phones 4u where we will have a full review on the Galaxy S4 very soon.
If you can’t wait that long though and want to be amongst the first to get hold of the Samsung Galaxy S4, click here and register your interest.
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