Well it’s official folks, Samsung announced its Unpacked event on March 14 which will be held in New York City. TechnoBuffalo will of course be in attendance at the show, and we’re 99 percent certain Samsung will announce the Galaxy S IV. But what can we expect from the phone? Well, a number of rumors have provided a general idea.
A Bigger Full HD Display
Nearly every single report out there has suggested that Samsung will provide a larger 4.99-inch display with a full 1080p resolution. That means it will rival other devices with similar specs, including the DROID DNA on Verizon Wireless. Samsung has never disappointed in the display department, so we’re expecting a top-notch screen on this bad boy.
We’re expecting Samsung will provide support for wireless charging built right into the Galaxy S IV. It’s likely going to use Qi technology, the same that’s offered in the Lumia 920 and other handsets with wireless charging support, although that’s not confirmed at this point. The good news? You’ll be able to drop your smartphone right onto a pad to charge, and then pick it up and carry on with your day.
At Least a Quad-Core Processor
There have been varying reports on what processor Samsung will use in the Galaxy S IV. We think it’s certainly possible that a global version will launch with the company’s eight-core Exynos Octa chip, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see a quad-core Snapdragon version with LTE launch in the United States simply because those carriers tend to sway toward Qualcomm’s chips. This will remain a mystery until launch, but we’re hoping to see an eight-core chip so we can see how the Exynos Octa stacks up against the competition.
Wide Carrier Availability
This is an important note. Samsung has been very successful in getting its handsets on a large number of carriers. It launched the Galaxy S II on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and then followed suit with the launch of the Galaxy S III on the same carriers. It’s no surprise the phone sells well: you can get it almost anywhere. We think the same will be true for the Galaxy S IV.
No S Pen
Rumors originally suggested Samsung would include an S Pen in its Galaxy S IV. However, during briefings with Samsung over the past week we’ve learned that the company wants to separate its “Note” products from its other line of devices. As such, we think the Galaxy S IV will launch without an S Pen and that Samsung will continue to include that utensil in its Note-branded products only. In other words, we’ll likely only see it on its next Note phone, the Note III.
Samsung will likely bump its camera to a 13-megapixel sensor in the Galaxy S IV. This is a totally different path than what competitors such as HTC have taken. HTC, for example, included a 4-“Ultrapixel” camera in its flagship HTC One device because it thinks the quality of the sensor is more important than the actual measure of megapixels.
Android Jelly Bean Upgradeable to Key Lime Pie
It’s pretty obvious at this point that any new handset will launch with Jelly Bean, and we think Samsung will follow suit. The company has also been great at upgrading older devices to newer versions of Android, so we expect that the Galaxy S IV will indeed offer Google’s new Android Key Lime Pie operating system at some point.
2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of Expandable Storage
I think Samsung is going to stick with the 16GB/32GB of internal storage, although we could be surprised with a 64GB model. Samsung fans love the ability to remove the battery and add additional storage with a microSD card slot, so I imagine the company won’t move away from those options. I also think we’ll see 2GB of RAM, since that has become the new norm on high-end Android smartphones.
The Big Question
What will it look like? Well, we have a general idea thanks to leaked case designs, but we’re still not entirely sure what the phone will look like or what it’s made out of. I’m going to guess Samsung is sticking with a plastic body, since all of its products currently employ that material, although I’d love to see it venture out to polycarbonate plastic or even aluminum, as Nokia and HTC have done. History repeats itself, though, and we’ve loved the design of the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, so I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.
There are a few wild cards that Samsung will likely have up its sleeve. I’m betting we’ll see an update to TouchWiz and new capabilities for sharing, much like we saw with the Galaxy S III. I’ve told Samsung that I’d like to see tighter integration between phones and tablets, especially through NFC, hopefully we see some form of update on that front. Software and services are becoming an increasingly important role in the mobile space, and I know Samsung is well aware of that .