Galaxy S4 to feature floating touch, highly efficient AMOLED display

March 8, 2013
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Samsung Galaxy Logo aa - 600px

With less than a week to launch, rumors say the Galaxy S4 will feature a highly efficient green PHOLED display and floating touch technology, similar to that on the Xperia Sola.

Another day, another Galaxy S4 leak. The Samsung gossip purveyors at Sam Mobile have just served us a steaming hot bowl of rumors about the display of the upcoming flagship device.

First off, you know those rumors about there being two different versions of the Galaxy S4, one equipped with a Snapdragon 600 chip and one with an Exynos 5 Octa? Well, today’s leak partially confirms them.

Sam Mobile’s source says that Samsung is developing two Galaxy S4 prototypes. One is fitted with an LCD display and a Qualcomm chip, while the other maintains the traditional Exynos-AMOLED combination. It’s not clear at this point whether Samsung will abandon one of the prototypes or it plans to sell the Galaxy S4 in two versions.

Floating touch

Now for the juicy part. According to the purported leak, users will be able to control the Galaxy S4 without actually touching it. Before you cry “Witchcraft!”, the technology is nothing new. In fact, Sony implemented it a while ago in the low-profile Xperia Sola.

Floating touch lets you interact with a touchscreen by hovering your fingers a few centimeters above it. The screen incorporates sensors that detect the electrical field that flows around your fingers, and accurately determine their position. Samsung already offers something similar in Air View, which makes use of the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 2. With Air View, you can interact with icons or folders, by hovering the tip of the stylus over them, much like you would do with a mouse on a PC.

Sam Mobile’s report isn’t very clear here, though. It could be that Samsung will use a different type of tech to detect the movements of your hand. The Galaxy S4 is said to come with many eye-movement detection features, such as Eye Scroll, that employ the front camera of the phone. So it’s possible that Samsung will use the front camera to detect your hand gestures. I guess we’ll just have to wait for March 14.

Here’s a video of magic touch in action on the Sony Xperia Sola:

Green PHOLED display

A bit of background: you can have two types of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) in an AMOLED display, fluorescent and phosphorescent. The difference between them is that fluorescent materials last much longer but are harder to produce and less energy efficient. So far, Samsung has used a combination of the two types in its AMOLED displays: the green and blue OLEDs were fluorescent, while the red OLEDs were phosphorescent.

For the Galaxy S4, Samsung will use phosphorescent materials for the red and green OLEDs, and fluorescent materials for the blue ones. This should ensure that the display is up to 30% more efficient than a similar LCD panel.

The use of green PHOLEDs (phosphorescent OLEDs) will not have a major impact in terms of the quality of the display, however, the power consumption should be reduced. Which is always good news.

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