Samsung Electronics Co. launched the Galaxy S4, the latest version of the leading competitor to Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York. J.K. Shin, president of Samsung Mobile, introduced the new device as "a life companion for a richer, simpler life." Is it a legal companion?
The Galaxy S4 is slimmer than its predecessor, the S3. The S4 has a depth of .31 inches, stands 5.38 inches high and 2.75 inches wide, weighing in at 4.59 ounces. It has a larger 5-inch, full HD Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 441 pixels per inch (1080 x 1920 pixels). While its standout hardware feature is its 13-megapixel camera, its removable Lithium-ion battery now has a longer life at 2,600 milliamp hours. The new phone has added built-in sensors including infared gesture and temperature and humidity. It runs on Google Android Jelly Bean, and its polycarbonate housing is available in two colors: Black Mist and White Frost.
With a new dual photo feature that brings the phone's powerful back-end camera and 2-megapixel front-end camera into play, users can capture their own images while taking photos or shooting videos and insert their images into the final photo or video. Users can also use the dual view to see their own image during an ad hoc videoconference when using the S4's ChatON feature. You can also share your screen with ChatON to let people see what you're looking at, such as a document that they can add notes to.
Its most attractive software feature for enterprise in the age of bring your own device may be Samsung Knox, announced at the Mobile World Congress. It enables users to configure their devices to segregate data into secure profiles for business and personal use. Knox is built on top of the National Security Agency's Security Enhanced Android and debuts on the S4.
The event also showcased the device's navigation features. By hovering a finger over an email inbox or photo gallery, users can preview an email or a photo. Users can also scroll through web pages, songs, or photos by swiping their hand over the device but without touching it. While users can't yet scroll with their eyes, the phone will scroll up or down when it's tilted backwards or forwards. And the S4 can sense through the 2-megapixel camera if someone is looking at the screen and pause a video when the user looks away.
The phone also features a translator application, which can translate 9 languages from speech to text or text to speech. It also has an optical recognition feature that can translate a menu or a sign in an airport into text.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will operate on a 3G or 4G LTE cellular network, and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. It uses 2 gigabytes of RAM, maintains from 16 to 64 gigabytes of internal memory, and has a microSD slot that supports up to 64 gigabytes of additional memory. Rumors of the two quad-core processors on the Exynos 5 Octa system on chip were not substantiated during the launch ceremony. The phone will be available at the end of April.
Full specs available at GSMArena.com.
Michael Roach is LTN's associate editor. Send email.