In the Android landscape, Samsung is an unrivaled titan, sitting atop the highest possible perch of smartphone glory and supremacy. Over the past few years, the company has gone from tepid challenger to olympic gold medalist. The Samsung Galaxy S sparked a revolution back in March 2010, and four iterations later, the Korean company is releasing its biggest Galaxy product ever—probably its biggest gadget across every product lineup it offers—the Galaxy S 4. Finally, at last, it’s here.
Samsung describes its new super phone as one that will get you close to what matters in life, designed in a way to heighten the user experience. It’s not a thing you only hold and look at and occasionally make calls on; the S 4 is, according to Samsung, something that understands the value in relationships… believes in the importance of an effortless user experience… empowers your life, helping take care of your well-being.
The overarching theme, you see, isn’t a focus on specs—they are decidedly next-gen, as expected—but how software and technology can improve your experience in a positive way. So there are features like Dual Camera, Dual Video Call, Story Album; Group Play, Share Music, S Translator, Smart Pause, Air View, Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, S Voice Drive, Optical Reader, WatchON; S Health, Adapt Display and Adapt Sound. That’s an enormously overwhelming laundry list of new features, all designed to make everyday use seem more natural and painless.
It’s a mature approach to the world of Full HD, when everything is like everything else—except maybe the HTC One, which will stand as huge competition for the S 4, especially on the design front. Samsung has done its homework adding in the specs people want, while improving in the areas people hadn’t even thought of. Or, at least, didn’t think were possible. Channel your inner Jedi by controlling the screen where you look, and even scroll in the browser and email without laying a greasy finger on the display.
Want to preview content in an email? Air View allows users to do so by simply hovering over the screen with their fingers. Now all your ten (or less) digits can act as S Pens. There’s also Air Gesture, which lets users change the music track, scroll up and down on a Web page and accept a call by waving your hand. This is definitely the droid you’re looking for, it seems.
Telecom companies are already praising the unreleased handset. “Impressive.” “Great.” It certainly sounds amazing: Android 4.2.2, 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display (441 ppi, same as the DNA), 13-megapixel camera (2-megapixel front), 1.9GHz quad-core processor (U.S. version), 1.6GHz octa-core processor (International), IR LED, 16/32/64GB (microSD expandable up to 64GB), NFC, 2GB of RAM, 2,600 mAh battery, all wrapped in a svelte 7.9mm—the iPhone 5, by comparison, is 7.5mm thick. The S 4 also supports HSPA+ 42Mbps and LTE (up to 6 different band sets).
Right now, Samsung is pulling the familiar song and dance, omitting the actual release date—Q2 is the global target, including in the U.S. on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, US Cellular and Cricket. Elsewhere, in Europe, the S 4 will hit Deutsche Telecom, EE, H3G, Orange, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Telefonica and Vodafone. Enough carriers, at least to begin with, to align Samsung as the undisputed champion of the world. No price was announced.