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Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S4 619

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-stuff-is-new dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "It's been leaked, teased, accused of being a copy of its predecessor, and celebrated as the likely champion of the mobile ecosystem for 2013. Samsung has finally unveiled the next in their line of globally available smartphones, the Galaxy S4. The phone carries a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution at 441ppi, weighs only 130 grams and is no more than 7.9mm thick. On the inside, the Exynos based Octo-Core processor clocked at 1.6 GHz and the Snapdragon based Quad-Core 1.9GHz processor power this machine. Galaxy S4 is also packing 2GB of RAM and a 2600mAh battery, and its microSD slot is accessible though the removable rear panel. The S4 will include several new features, such as Air Gesture, Smart Pause, and Smart Scroll. Samsung's vice president of portfolio planning said many of the software improvements in the Samsung Galaxy S4 could make their way into existing Samsung Galaxy S3 phones."
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Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S4

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  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:37PM (#43178041)

    Didn't he say yesterday the new S4 would come out with a 1+year old version of Android? Looks like 4.2.2 is only 1 month old.

  • Re:Screen size (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:53PM (#43178203)

    Can't see the additional detail so why give up battery life to drive more pixels.

    You're making an assumption which may not be valid. First of all, the primary driver of screen battery life is brightness, not resolution. Second, if you're not doing something graphics intensive on your phone, the battery will get you through the day anyway. So your concern is mostly applicable when doing things like playing games and watching movies. Now, if you're watching a 1080p movie on a smaller resolution screen, the phone's graphics processor has to downconvert the image. So the question becomes, which is more of a drain on battery life - downconverting a 1080p movie to a 960px screen, or playing a 1080p movie on a full HD screen? This I don't know the answer to, but I suspect that it's a close call.

    smafti

  • Contract vs. Vendor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phoebe (196531) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:56PM (#43178241)
    The real question with Samsung's new phone is how the sales will perform. Samsung obviously think they're hot but that is ignoring the fact that the majority of purchasers of the S3 were iPhone 4 owners who finished their contract and the iPhone 5 was delayed. Now we are in a situation that the S3 purchasers are still in contract and not open to free choice and might not want another Samsung device.
  • Re:Eh, that's it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:58PM (#43178257)

    I have apple's latest version of iOS (on my ipad,) and it already feels dated.

    - Application icons get thrown about haphazardly upon install requiring manual sorting, even for an app you don't even use very much (whereas android stores them alphabetically so they are easy to find - even if you rarely use the app.)
    - Changing any common setting requires switching apps followed by menu navigation, whereas on android it's just a swipe and tap without any navigation necessary (e.g. turning wifi on/off, muting, orientation lock.)
    - Can't set application launch defaults, such as setting a default email client other than the stock one. (good lord...WHY? every other OS has done this since the 80's...)
    - Although apple finally made notifications stop interrupting what you're doing by borrowing the notification bar system from android, the notifications it provides aren't ever good enough to tell you what you need to know without opening them.
    - I'm not a heavy widget user, but I like having a brief display of my agenda visible on my smartphone desktop, as well as an RSS ticker on my tablet desktop. Apple offers no such capability without running an app. Every other OS, including (shudder) windows phone has managed to do this, but not apple.

    The whole point of a smartphone is having access to information you need quickly, and iOS hasn't offered many improvements in that department in years. The ones that it has added (e.g. passive notifications) it ripped from android, and it didn't really do a good job of it.

    It's kind of hard to give the "innovative" title to a company who hasn't really done anything other than incremental hardware updates. While android is also stuck in increment land at the moment, at least it increments both hardware AND software. Also android doesn't call each generation "the best iphone yet" or "the new ipad".

  • First 8 core phone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:03PM (#43178303)

    The two biggy here are the 8 core Exynos, the 2 core one was the fastest processor in a phone, now it scales to 8 cores. And the insane resolution needed to put full 1080p in a 5 inch phone.

    Oh and the gestures thing.

    Here's the sad part, where Apple? It use to be, Apple would come out with a curveball and win the game, now they're just twiddling with screen aspect ratios. It's all a bit sad.

  • Re:Eh, that's it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shatfield (199969) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:12PM (#43178399)

    441ppi is AWESOME, by the way! The "retina" display is only 326ppi! Your eyes will not be able to see individual pixels on that screen... it'll look as good or even better than print.

  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:20PM (#43178483)

    Given that my plan for my next smartphone (which will probably be an S4) has been to install a full version of Linux on it to replace using a laptop when travelling, I'm pretty happy about the 8 core processor. It's too bad it doesn't have another 2gb of RAM.

  • It's a feature (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:47PM (#43178665)

    Lucky you. I have an original Apple iPad and it won't let me update to the latest version of iOS.

    I have a first gen iPad that won't let me update to the latest version AND I have a newer one that would. But I haven't updated because I don't want Google Maps updated to Apple Maps ... be happy.

  • by bjwest (14070) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:47PM (#43178671)

    Why in the hell is induction charging not a standard feature for phones yet? Battery life would be less of an issue if we could just set the phone down on a charge pad and not worry about having to plug the thing in all the time. I'd be more than happy to have several charge pads around the house and at the office.

    Hell, toothbrushes have had this technology for years.

  • That's OK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arielCo (995647) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:08PM (#43178823)

    I've an S3 too, and we can't even accuse Samsung of wanting you to upgrade on every launch; you just buy whatever is fresh at the time you need it, so it'll last you as long as possible. I expect the S6 to be out by the time our S3's are severely obsolete.

  • Re:Eh, that's it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sd4f (1891894) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:32PM (#43178987)

    Every analogy has its problems, but the point i'm making is that, you had to change critical criteria to get good functionality, the phone i had, it wouldn't make calls reliably, it wouldn't get good internet connections at times, you could lock the screen and the SoC would keep on ticking away as before, sucking the guts out of the battery in 4 hours, the phone was very unresponsive. A reboot was required almost daily, just to get the phone to do something. Sometimes it would even crash when booting, and restart, other times, it would literally take 10 minutes to get out of the startup screen.

    My car analogy works in the sense that, the touchscreen computer is a minor thing to a car, people don't look at the touchscreen and decide whether the car is the best thing made on the planet, it has to do its car functions well. Compared to the phone, data connection, battery life, and OS responsiveness are not minor things to a smartphone; to compare it with a car, it's the car equivalent of one which has very little power, poor fuel economy, uncomfortable seats, and poor handling. You can't patch those out with firmware in a vehicle, fortunately, you can with a phone, but that's irrelevant with what i'm saying, because it's criteria relative to what is being examined

    Credit goes to where it's due, it's not samsung who made the phone a good one, credit belongs to the aftermarket community, who provide better firmware. I just couldn't be bothered dabbling with it, and thought better to just buy a phone from a competent maker. It was my first smartphone, and i more or less got the worst possible experience. Some people told me that google phones were better due to updates. I wasn't too fussed about updates, because if the phone worked, big deal, my previous phones never got updates, and they were fine. I was very wrong about that for two reasons, bugs, and the fact that the update platform is so woefully inadequate. Had the phone worked, i wouldn't have been as concerned that it was stuck on gingerbread, but being a buggy mess, coupled with no updates, really put me off samsung and to some extent android.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @11:55PM (#43179501)

    You didn't point to any curveball and that's what's sad.

    That's because that part was never true.

    There never was a curve ball. Just a really good product people liked to use.

    And that's what Apple is still doing, as evidenced by sales.

  • by dell623 (2021586) on Friday March 15, 2013 @02:13AM (#43180045)

    The sales will depend more on marketing as usual, but..

    1) That display is awesome, AMOLEDs are getting better and we're finally beyond retina density for AMOLED displays (the S3 had a pentile display which lowers the effective dpi a bit)

    2) The 5" screen is not what decides the dimensions. This is actually narrower than the S3. It's a milimeter wider than my Nexus 4, which I could live with. When I bought the Nexus 4 I was wary of a 4.7" screen but it's surprisingly usable and I don't have large hands. I wouldn't want to go back to a smaller display for anything. Narrower bezels are a long needed advance, and Apple hasn't caught up yet - the Motorola Razr M for example squeezes a 4.3" screen in an iPhone 5 sized device.

    3) It is slimmer and fits a far higher capacity battery than the S3. The effect on power consumption from the screen and new processor/GPU isn't known yet, but I bet this will do better than the HTC One.

    4) Forget the lame launch, there are some genuinely cool features in there.

    5) Not launching a 4.3 inch S4 Mini with top of the line specs is a huge and stupid omission from Samsung.

  • Re:Eh, that's it? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexus[ ]org ['uk.' in gap]> on Friday March 15, 2013 @03:56AM (#43180309) Homepage

    I would have skipped the 3GS and the 4S.

    I would've skipped the original iPhone - it was a major step backwards in functionality from most smart phones, and I can't think why anyone would want a smartphone _without_ 3G...

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