Samsung Galaxy S4 – all you need to know: hardware, software, accessories and availability

March 14, 2013
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Samsung on Thursday announced the Galaxy S4 and we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the device, leaving the theatrics at the door – that’s right, Samsung, that Galaxy S4 introduction was definitely strange.

What’s important is that the Galaxy S4 is here, and ready to launch in 155 countries at the end of April. In what follows we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about the device, from specs to new software features to launch details and pricing.

From the get-go it’s important to notice that while the Galaxy S4 has some interesting hardware under the hood, Samsung actually focused more on the new software features that will be found on top of the Google’s Jelly Bean – and yes, we can say that this time around we had a pretty good idea of what the Galaxy S4 would offer both in terms of specs but also new features.

Samsung Galaxy S4 press

Hardware

We’ll certainly get to review the screen performance, the battery life, the processor’s efficiency in great detail in the future. Meanwhile we’re just going to list the full specs for the handset, reminding you once again that the leaks were almost right on the money:

Specification

Samsung Galaxy S4

Operating System Android 4.2 Jelly Bean TouchWiz Nature UI
Size 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
Weight 130g
Display type Super AMOLED
Display size 4.99-inch (12.67cm)
Display resolution 1920 x 1080 Full HD
Display density 441ppi
CPU International version

  • Samsung Exynos 5 Octa
  • Quad-core A15 (1.6GHz) + Quad-core A7 (1.2GHz)

US version

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T
  • Quad-core Krait 300
  • 1.9Ghz
GPU International version

  • PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU
  • 3-core, 533Mhz

US Version

  • Adreno 320
RAM 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB/32GB/64GB
MicroSD card slot microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 64 GB
Main camera 13MP
Front camera 2MP
Battery 9.88Wh
Networks GSM, HSPA, LTEMicro-SIM
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-bandWi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Connectivity microUSB, MHL 2, USB host, DLNAInfrared blaster
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
GPS A-GPS, GLONASS

Software

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Yes, the Galaxy S4 will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box with TouchWiz on top, but Samsung is packing a lot of other features of its own inside the phone. Here’s they are, briefly explained:

  • Dual Camera: the person taking the picture or recording a video can also be placed in either of them. It also works during video calls.
  • Sound & Shot: record audio while taking pictures and pair the resulting files
  • Drama Shot: take 100 shots in a few seconds and automatically create a collage of images
  • Eraser: take multiple shots to erase background elements that shouldn’t appear in the final photo
  • Air View: preview an image just by hovering a finger on top of it, without actually touching the screen
  • Story Album: create photo albums on the phone, and even send them in physical form ($10-30 for 10-page album)
  • Adapt Display: the screen automatically adapts based on viewing conditions and the actual content to offer a better performance
  • Air Gesture: control the phone without actually touching it
  • Smart Scroll: slightly tilt the device to scroll through pages
  • Smart Pause: pause playback when looking away from the screen
  • S Translator: translate between nine supported languages (English US, English UK, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian). The feature includes voice-to-text and text-to-voice support, and it’s able to perform translations of image contents. It works both offline and online.
  • S Health: manage your fitness exercises by pairing the smartphone with additional accessories including the S band, Body Scale or a heart-rate monitor.
  • Samsung Knox: use the smartphone as an enterprise solution and balance work and personal features in a two-phones-in-one style. The feature will be available on other Samsung smartphones.
  • Samsung HomeSync: automatically sync files between devices
  • S Voice Drive: interact with the phone via Bluetooth while driving
  • Smart Switch: backup Galaxy S4 data on computers. Support for moving between any smartphone to the Galaxy S4 is included.
  • Samsung Hub: magazine interface for buying content
  • Group Play: simultaneously play the same track on up to eight devices, and even create a 5.1 surround system. Support for multiplayer games is also included
  • ChatON: new app version supports video chat with up to three people and can be combined with Dual Camera
  • IR Sensor: control your TV with the smartphone
  • Temperature and humidity sensors

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Accessories

In addition to the S band S Health accessory we mentioned earlier you should know that the Galaxy S4 will have a variety of other accessories including cases and covers. You can expect Flip Covers in a variety of colors, but also a new S View Cover that has an opening which will let you see the screen and control the phone even while it’s mostly covered by the rest of the case.

Also worth mentioning is that the Galaxy S4 will work with gloves on, without requiring any special gloves to let you control the display in winter.

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Availability

As we have already told you, the Galaxy S4 should hit a variety of markets in late April. The handset will ship in 155 countries, from 327 carriers, but Samsung was not willing to actually reveal any exact launch dates.

Furthermore, the phone doesn’t have an official price yet, but we can tell you it will ship in three capacity versions (16GB/32GB/64GB) and two color options (black and white) initially.

We’ll be back with more details about the Galaxy S4’s launch once we have release dates for various markets.

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