Samsung launches Galaxy S4 Black Edition with Note 3-like faux leather finish

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 31, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S4 Black Edition (1)

Samsung Russia unveiled a new Galaxy S4 version that takes design cues from the Note 3.

Dubbed Black Edition, the new Galaxy S4 comes with the faux leather finish that Samsung introduced on the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 (2014) back at IFA and extended with the NotePRO and TabPRO line at CES this year. The look is complete with faux stitching going round the back cover’s edges and the speaker opening on the back. The all-black look extends to the front, giving the device a somber look that will surely contrast with the exuberance of TouchWiz.

Back at IFA, we asked a Samsung rep if the company planned to introduce Note 3-style back covers for the S4, and, while that’s probably a pipe dream, the next best thing is the Galaxy S4 Black Edition. Not everyone is sold on its leathery look, but we think it’s leaps ahead of the glossy look that the S4 launched with.

Besides the new black garbs, the Galaxy S4 Black Edition (GT-I9505) remains unchanged – you get a Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, a 5-inch Full HD screen, and a 2,600 mAh removable battery. Check out our review of the original model.

To go with the S4 Black Edition, Samsung announced an S4 Mini Black Edition, that sports the same look as its larger sibling. Everything’s packed in a smaller package, with mid-range specs, starting from the equivalent of $460.

galaxy s4 mini black edition

The Galaxy S4 Black Edition will become available in Russia from next month for the equivalent of $660. No word of international availability or pricing yet, but with the Galaxy S5 coming and lots of impressive competitors on the market, Samsung may have a hard time selling it, unless the price is attractive enough.

  • João Grácio

    This is how the S4 should be in the first place.

    • VladUK

      I agree with you 100%

  • Ben Jowett


    The ‘premium leather’ is tacky… And well feels like crap.
    Glossy Plastic > ‘Premium Leather’
    (Based off of a Testra Note 3/10.1 2014 display unit and my father’s GS3.)

    • thartist

      I’m with you in that it feels tacky as f*ck, worse with the black front. It screems ‘cheap and pretentious’.

      • Ben Jowett

        Its so cheap and flimsy IMO. I mean, the GS3 has fine glossy plastic which isn’t even slippery AT all
        I guess these people who say its slippery must have canola oil all over their hands… =P

        No offence, Josh :P (’bout the slippery bit)

  • wat

    Looks so fat, horrendous

  • 12345

    Is it possible to buy the back leather plate alone and replace it with my S4’s plastic back plate?

    • ehndrew

      don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to

    • rubbaluvva

      search for “s4 leather battery door” on ebay they sell very similar items :) , item no. 190901631932 is really nice

  • Jermaine Smit

    Took them long enough!!! This is how the the s4 should have bin made… But honestly… The roundness seems different? But anyway the first thing i thought when Samsung released the note 3… Why does someone not make the same backcover for the s4?

  • Luka Mlinar

    OMG i never thought i would say this but the S4 looks damn good! Hot even. Sich a simple mix yet it does so much.

  • Balraj

    Wow looks beautiful….
    I hope s5 gets black at launch & I wouldn’t pay extra for colors
    That’s wasting money…

  • VladUK

    I wouldn’t mind owning this at all, first time I like plastic in this case black.

  • VladUK

    I would be happy owning this lovely designed phone never mind it’s made of plastic.

  • Jayfeather787

    Looks cool. It also looks a little different from the regular S4s in that it is a little bit more rounded at the top and bottom.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    A little late to be launching another s4 version. Still looks nice tho

  • Xavier_NYC

    This just proves to me that the GS5 will not have faux leather. Why put something on your old device that you are planning to put on your new device?

    • Absolutely it won’t have leather. I think Samsung learned it’s lesson from the GS4.

  • Looks so much better than the glossy back of S4. Hope S5 steers clear of a plastic body.

  • rubbaluvva

    hmm looks great but i would still keep it in the case as i dropped mine within one week of having it and took a chunk out of the metal side strip , i now keep it in s-view type case which i made that gives it 100% protection its too fragile to leave exposed.

  • koprty

    That looks awesome. Some people criticise the fake leather, but having real leather would be stupid given moisture would destroy it over time.