Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung’s event finally happened yesterday, but since it started at 1 am here, I had to wait to talk about it until today.

First of all – the specs!

It has an octo-core processor (8 cores!) if you buy it anywhere outside of the US, whereas there you’ll only be able to get it with a quad-core processor (first world problems, anyone?).

2 gigs of RAM, as expected.

2600 mAh battery. Not bad.

Chose between 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage space, with the option to expand it up to 64 more GB with a Micro SD card. So basically, Samsung has kind of beaten Apple in the race to create a >100 GB phone.

LTE (because we live in 2013) and Android 4.2.2 (latest version),

Accelerometer (motion control), compass, proximity sensor (shuts the screen down when you hold it up to your ear), gyro (more accurate motion control), IR blaster (means there will be TV remote apps) and… a barometer? Why would you need a phone with a barometer? This phone will have the newest weather features yet…

And, as rumored, a 5-inch 1080p screen (441 ppi (pixels per inch)) which, from the videos I’ve found, looks AMAZING.

The design is very similar to the old Galaxy S3, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Now is when I get into the gimmicky features.

One of which is called AirView. AirView lets you swipe and navigate the screen just by hovering your hand over the phone. I guess this is kind of useful if your hands are dirty or wet, but overall, definetly a gimmick.

Another one is eye tracking. We already saw some of this in the S3, but the S4 brings it to a new level by pausing the video you’re watching when your eyes move away from the screen.

Group Play lets you connect to nearby S4s and stream content live across all of them. All I want to say is that this feature had better not use the processor of just one phone.

S Health is the next generation of smartphone fitness apps. The S4 will be released with the S band, Body Scale, and HRM, which can connect to your S4 to bring you the most up to date information on how you’re doing.

S Translate is probably the most useful of the gimmicks. It is basically just a translator app, where you can input text or speak to your phone, it will spell out or speak that to someone else in another language, then that person can input text or speak to your phone, and it will spell out or speak back to you in YOUR language.

On to the cameras. This phone will have a 13 MP rear-facing camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera, but the most impressive features are found in yet more gimmicks.

Dual record lets you record video (or take still pictures) using both cameras at the same time. I guess this could be useful if the person holding the phone wants the person they’re talking to to be able to see what they’re seeing, as well as seeing the person holding the phone.

Cinema mode will allow you to take still pictures with moving backgrounds,

Sound & shot lets you add audio to a still image.

Last but not least, the accessories.

The View Cover is like any other smartphone cover, but this one will have a small cutout at the top so you can read notifications without opening it.

The yet-unnamed Bluetooth controller is to optimize gaming experience. Let me just say, it looks an awful lot like an Xbox controller.

Overall, this is more of an upgrade from the S3 than a brand new phone. So if you already have an S3, don’t bother.

Read more in this article from The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/14/4105806/samsung-officially-announces-the-galaxy-s4

@TheTechNorth on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thetechnorth

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