Battle for smartphone features reaches fever pitch as 5-inch Samsung Galaxy S4 arrives

15 Mar 2013

In New York last night, Samsung took the wraps off its new 5-inch display smartphone, the Galaxy S4, which, as expected, comes with eye-tracking capabilities and a range of other snazzy new features. The device will be available in 155 countries by the end of April.

Samsung drove forth its promise to help make life being fuller, richer and simpler with real Broadway actresses with big hair and anything but a simple life to convey the power of its new device, namely the Samsung Galaxy S4. The obvious play being ventured, however, is NFC and its use for mass entertainment experiences such as eight devices simultaneously broadcasting tunes.

The device boasts a large 5-inch screen, is 7.99mm slim and comes in two colours: black (mist) and white (frost).

The display uses Gorilla Glass 3 and has 441ppi resolution and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

This is where it gets interesting – the battle of the features. The Galaxy S4 comes with a new dual camera function that utilises front and rear cameras to take simultaneous photos and videos.

The camera function has also been expanded to enable user to receive group video calls from friends and family using both cameras. For example, a ‘drama shot’ function allows people to see all the action from both cameras in one continuous time-lapse.

One of the outstanding new features is Samsung’s S Translator that provides instant translation for text or voice.

The 5-inch device supports HSPA+ up to 42Mbps as well as 4G LTE.

The eyes have it


Samsung’s  marketing machine has been leaking like a sieve all week now and within hours of launch rumours circulated about a new eye-controlled smart scroll and smart pause set of features. Well, guess what? For once the rumour mill was on the money and these new features exist. If you are looking at a video on the device and look away the video pauses.

As well as that if you are scrolling through a web page the phone detects your eyes and recognises their movement and allows you to move up and down the page as you’d like. Very futuristic. Except it is now.

A new ‘Air View’ scrolling feature stuns content into pause by simply hovering over the content of an email with your finger to get a preview of what is inside.

The device is powered by a 1.6GHz Octa-Core processor and boasts Google’s Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system.

Although the rear camera is 13-megapixel, the front camera is a typical 2-megapixel.

The new smartphone comes in 16GB, 23GB and 64GB configurations but is expandable up to 64GB. It comes with 2GB of RAM memory and a 2,600 mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S4, which weighs just 130 grams, will be available in 155 countries around the world by the end of April.

“At Samsung, we are restless about innovation, and are constantly striving to create unique experiences for our customers that will transform their lives,” Simon Stanford, vice president of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland’s IM division.

“The Galaxy S4 does just that. We have listened to what consumers around the world want and taken the intuitive technology from the Galaxy S III a step further. Combining this with superior hardware has led us to develop the Galaxy S4, the ultimate smartphone inspired by our customers.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years