Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 – We take a closer look

By Steven Hawthorn on 19/03/13

Samsung Galaxy S4It was as expected at Samsung’s grand announcement of something to do with something about something completely secret.

These grandiose presentations are starting to slacken a little in terms of the surprise subject matter.

We all know which phone is coming next, and the only shock comes when Apple announces the mildly disappointing release of their latest ‘not quite worthy of a new number in the name’ iPhone upgrade. Or the ‘S’, if you prefer.

So, this aside, we can all feel fairly chipper about the prospect of the Galaxy S4. Its predecessor was an absolute beast, and remains one of the best you’ll get. However, Samsung knows that this relatively quick (rushed?) appearance of a new flagship needs to have some pretty stunning qualities to usurp the last incarnation.

Samsung has given us plenty of details to ponder, embrace and ultimately consider worshipping, should such activity be required.

Design

The Galaxy S4 will continue with the manufacturer’s glorious flawless history with design, and you won’t be surprised to find that the S3 seems more than a little influential here. The rounded edges, phone shape and home key are familiar, but the S4 is actually lighter, at 130g, and thinner, measuring 7.9mm in depth.

Screen

The screen will probably instigate some kind of religious following, uniting the world in loving alliance. Even if that doesn’t happen, it is stunning. The S4 will proudly sport a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen, so that’s 1,920x1,080, in case you weren’t sure.

As if that wasn’t enough for the screen, you can operate it by hovering your finger over the display – a very tidy innovation indeed. The Air View feature allows you to hover over content to preview without opening, like emails or photos, whilst Air Gesture allows you to scroll a web page, answer calls or change music tracks – all without actually touching the phone.

Camera

The phone boasts a 13-megapixel camera, as expected, and it’s packed with features. You can use Dual Camera to operate both front and rear cameras at the same time, and the results look excellent.

Processor

So how fast is this behemoth of a phone? Well, there is a little uncertainty on specifics here, but rest assured it will be immense. There will be an Octa-Core Samsung Exynos 5 processor in the 1.6GHz model, with a 1.9GHz Quad-Core alternative also made available. The one which will make it to the UK is not clear yet, but, as you can imagine, eight-core is as ridiculous as it sounds, and will probably be the one we get. Fingers crossed.

Battery

The battery will be a stark improvement on that of the S4. It will be 2,600mAh, and it is removable so you can carry a spare. The increase is largely down to the demands of 4G capability, and will likely prove essential in order to avoid multiple charges within a 24-hour period.

Release Date

The release date will be around the end of April, although exact dates will depend on country. We will keep you posted, but everyone is pretty confident we will be one of the first places to get Samsung’s latest, and clearly ultra-impressive, effort.

Price

You can expect to be paying between £30 and £40 for the phone on contract, although if you take a 4G deal then it could easily be more. The outright price is expected to be in the region of an eye-watering £499.

It’s a top-range phone, so none of these figures are really a surprise, and it is expected to be a little cheaper than the iPhone 5 from most networks and retailers, whilst potentially being a better phone overall.

The S3 and iPhone 5 are still oustanding phones of course, the very best around alongside the HTC One and LG Nexus 4, but based on what we've seen, the S4 doesn't so much raise the bar, as take the bar and hurl it out the window whilst laughing at the saddened and confused faces of the opposition.  We await our own S4 model to play with, nibble and possibly take to lunch, and will post our review as soon as possible.

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