Samsung upped the ante in the smartphone wars Thursday night with the introduction of its highly anticipated Galaxy S4 smartphone at a special event in New York City.
The fourth-generation Galaxy smartphone sports a 5-inch touch-screen AMOLED display with full HD support. The device itself is slightly slimmer and lighter than previous Galaxy S models at 4.5 ounces and 0.3 of an inch thick.
As for the technical components, the Galaxy S4 also gets some major upgrades -- although this is where it gets a little complicated. The device runs on Samsung's new Exynos 5 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which boasts a 1.6GHz ARM-based processor with eight cores -- but only in certain markets. Other markets will have a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro running the Galaxy S4 instead. Samsung hasn't specified which regions are getting which processors.
Samsung's Galaxy S4 also has wireless battery charging capability, but that feature will only be available in certain markets as well, depending on which wireless carriers support the feature.
The Galaxy S4 has other improvements, such as a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Samsung's new phone comes with 4G LTE support, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage with up to 64 GB of storage. There's also a microSD slot for an additional 64 GB of storage, plus a removable battery.
One feature that will be missing from the Galaxy S4 is the rumored Smart Scroll function. According to earlier reports, the device would have the ability to track a user's eye movement and move the display up or down depending on where a user was looking. Instead of tracking a user's eyes, the Smart Scroll feature instead moves the display based on how a user is tilting the device.
The Galaxy S4 also comes with a Smart Pause feature that uses facial recognition to automatically pause a video in midstream if the device detects that a user is no longer looking at the screen. Other features include the WatchOn app that turns the smartphone into a remote control, and an Air Gesture function that enables the device to respond to a user's gestures that don't actually connect with the touch screen.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, which will run Google's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, will be available in the second quarter. Samsung has not yet revealed pricing for the device.
PUBLISHED MARCH 15, 2013