Gadgets / News / Tech

Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, news and features


The Samsung Galaxy S4 is here. One of the most anticipated handsets in a while, Samsung took the wraps off the device at a glittering event at New York’s famous Radio City Music Hall.

For those who weren’t lucky enough to get into Radio City Music Hall, Samsung also gave fans a chance to join the live stream from Times Square.

Needless to say the likes of the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and the now aging iPhone 5 have some pretty meaty competition, so here’s our complete lowdown on the new handset.

Samsung Galaxy S4 release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will roll out with a staggering 327 operators across 155 countries and the Galaxy S4 release date is April 26.

Want to know where to pick one up in the U.K.? Check out this list of retailers that will be selling the Galaxy S4.

Additionally, here are the full details on the Samsung Galaxy S4 U.S. carriers. For those in Australia, here’s a full list of carriers selling the S4.

We expect the Samsung Galaxy S4 price to be about £480(US$725/AUD$695) SIM-free, although the Galaxy SIV price is yet to be confirmed.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 dimensions and weight

The S4 is somehow smaller than the Galaxy S3 at 136.1 x 69.8mm. It’s a 5-inch handset, which is exactly the same height as its predecessor (5.38 x 2.34 x 0.5 inches).

It also appears to be unbelievably thin – considering the amount of tech stuffed inside – with the Samsung Galaxy S4 measuring a svelte 7.9mm.

It’s a whole gram lighter than its predecessor too, at 130g.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 design

The polycarbonate chassis is still in use, although the metallic banding around the side, is much sturdier and feels more premium – though it’s still plastic. Color-wise, there’s the choice of ‘White Frost’ and ‘Black Mist’, although Samsung says “a variety of additional color options will be available later this year”.

Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 processor and memory

With the S4, forget dual-core and quad-core. The Samsung Exynos 1.6GHz processor has a whopping eight cores! Amazing.

But while you’ll get that Octo-core Exynos 5 in some territories there will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 in others.

You also get 2GB of RAM, which is twice the amount in the iPhone 5. But, the Sony Xperia Z also has 2GB. In terms of storage it’s available in 16, 32 and 64GB variants.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 display

The Super OLED screen has a stunning 441ppi, which is more than the iPhone 5 but less than the HTC One. It’s extremely sharp for a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE and Wi-Fi

The S4 apparently supports both LTE variants – “all frequencies and standards covered” says Samsung. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is also supported, alongside the more usual 802.11b/g/n.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 OS

Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 is the software on board the Galaxy S4, with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface having been given a spruce up before being slapped on top.

Building on the Smart Stay feature found in the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, Samsung equipped the Galaxy S4 with smarter eye tracking software.

Smart Pause will know to hold things when you look away and Smart Scroll checks when you’re looking at the screen and will move the page as you tilt the phone back and forth. Air Gestures mean you’ll be able to jump to the top of lists, skip music and flick through pictures/answer calls without even touching the screen.

There’s also Samsung’s Knox security feature for separating work and play.

Samsung also unveiled S Voice Drive for the driver who loves to multitask. This feature will activate when you start your car and will read incoming text messages aloud, let you dictate text messages, or use navigation features with your voice so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.

Some features that are new to the S4 include:

  • “Dual Camera”: so you can take simultaneous photos and videos using both the rear and front cameras, then blend the pictures together
  • “Story Album”: curates content, such as SNS posts, memos, location and weather information, as well as photos and videos, to create a photo album which is personalised around your timeline of special occasions and events
  • “Group Play”: means you can enjoy music, photos and games with those around you, without requiring a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal
  • “Samsung Smart Pause”: so you can control the screen using your eyes
  • “Air View”: allows you to hover with your fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it
  • “Air Gesture”: so you can change a music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand
  • S Health” software: empowers your life by keeping you up-to-date with health and wellbeing information through a range of accessories

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 battery

The S4 packs a fairly huge 2,600MAH pack, up from the 2,100 offering we got on the S3. It will surely need it with such a powerful processor on board.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 specifications

  • Network 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz, 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz, 4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps): up to six different band sets (Dependent on market)
  • Display 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • Processor 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor
  • OS Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera Main (Rear): 13 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS, Sub (Front): 2 Mega pixel camera, Full HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
  • Video Codec MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark, HEVC
  • Recording & Playback Full HD (1080p)
  • Audio Codec MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X
  • Dual Camera Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call, Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Cinema Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports
  • Additional Features Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Document, Play Games, Story Album, S Translator, Optical Reader, Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View, Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling), Samsung WatchON, S Travel (Trip Advisor), S Voice™ Drive, S Health, Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound, Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly), Safety Assistance, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, Samsung KNOX (B2B only), Google Mobile Services Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude, Google Play Store, Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads, Voice Search
  • Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0, Sensor Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Gesture
  • Memory 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • RAM 2GB
  • Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • Battery 2,600 mAh

Samsung stepping up their game

Unlike most product launches, Samsung’s NY event didn’t show off the S4’s graphics processing or the quality of the screen. But that doesn’t mean they’ve left gamers out in the cold.

Samsung is working on gamepad for its phones and tablets that will communicate with devices over bluetooth and is compatible with recent Samsung devices like the S4 and Galaxy Note 2.

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