Samsung Galaxy S4 preview: Take two
Number four was unveiled last week to set a new kind of fever brewing, after briefly easing some of the pre-announcement tension. Carriers are tripping over themselves to secure deals, while customers have been forming mile-long virtual queues at stores already taking preorders.
As for us, we were lucky to finally get some quality one-on-one time with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and run a few proper tests. We were impressed at the announcement event, and the S4 looks quite comfortable with the weight of expectations. But millions of people will settle for nothing less than the ultimate upgrade, and the stakes are rarely higher than that.
Samsung Galaxy S4 at a glance:
- General: Quad-band 2G/quad-band 3G/Optional LTE connectivity
- Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
- Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm, 130 g
- Display: 4.99" 16M-color Super AMOLED HD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi)
- Chipset: Exynos 5410 Octa / Snapdragon 600
- CPU: 1.6 GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 / 1.9GHz Krait 300
- GPU: PowerVR SGX 544MP3 / Adreno 320
- RAM: 2GB
- OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Memory: 16/32GB/64GB storage, microSD card slot
- Still camera: 13 megapixel auto-focus camera, face detection, touch focus and image stabilization, Dual Shot, Cinema Photo; 2MP front facing camera, video-calls
- Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL features (TV Out, USB host), GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Infrared port
- Battery: 2600 mAh
- Misc: TouchWiz UI, Impressively rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, Smart stay and Smart rotation eye-tracking, Smart pause, Smart scroll, S Health, Air Gestures, humidity sensor, temperature sensor
There's little on the outside to suggest a massive upgrade over the Galaxy S III. On the other hand, the spec sheet implies a significant leap forward, improving on just about every aspect of the hardware and adding plenty of new software features. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between and our job today is to put a finger on it.
Samsung Galaxy S4 live photos
With the competition hardly sitting on their hands either, the Galaxy S4 is in for a fierce battle if it's to keep the Android crown in the Samsung trophy cabinet. The Sony Xperia Z is doing well to capitalize on the head start, while the HTC One has a wicked unibody design and no less impressive specs. A massive challenge indeed, but the Koreans have never been afraid of those.
Let's see how this one pans out - the hardware inspection begins right after the break.