December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Last week, I wrote about my predictions for the new Samsung Galaxy S4. This week, Samsung officially announced its new flagship device at its UNPACKED event.
Surprisingly, for a Samsung event, there was a lot of hype. Usually only Apple keynotes are watched, recorded, and talked about. At first glance, the average Joe would not notice a difference between the S3 and S4. The design is still very similar. It's a little taller than the GS3, but not by much. The only big difference is the GS3 had a 4.8-inch display and the GS4 has a five-inch screen.
One of the things that bothered me about the Galaxy S3 was that it always felt slimy. The shell was plastic and felt incredibly cheap. If I had sweaty palms the phone would get all gross and slip out of my hand.
The GS4 has squared edges and texture that makes the phone feel less slippery and cheap.
Let's start talking about specs. That five-inch screen is pretty awesome. Behind it is a 1080P super AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screen. This is quite revolutionary, as that screen technology has never been implemented into a smartphone until now.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is ridiculously fast. It will come with a Samsung Exynos 5 or Qualcomm SnapDragon 600. The phone will come with 2GBs of RAM and will have a bigger 2,600 Ah battery. The battery on the Galaxy S3 was always a problem for me, so for Samsung to recognize that and make the phone a tiny bit taller so it could incorporate a bigger battery is a very good move.
Other GS3 owners I have talked to are in love with the device but they want to divorce the battery life. They told me they would upgrade to the GS4 just for the better battery. The phone will have three storage options as usual: 16, 32 and 64GB.
Another huge improvement for the GS4 is the camera. The rear-facing camera is now 13 mega-pixels. Wait while I catch my breath... that's a nice camera. The new camera also comes with some upgraded software components.
Have you ever photo-bombed a picture? I know I have done it lots of times. You know when that group of girls is posing for a picture and you sneak in the back an do an inappropriate gesture? Well if they are taking the photo on a Galaxy S4, you won't be there. The new camera has eraser mode, where it takes a series of pictures and erases the ones where movement was sensed. Phones are getting too smart.
The Galaxy S4 will be running Android version 4.2.2. This OS has many new features such as S-Translator, which translates emails into various languages; Air Gesture, which allows you to scroll down a web page by waving your hand up and down in the air (kind of pointless but totally awesome); Air View, which allows you to put your hand over an email to see the information behind the email.
Smart Pause & Smart Scroll are two gimmicky features that are supposed to make the screen go up and down as it follows your eyes while reading an email, web page, Twitter feed etc.
My favourite feature is S Health, a health-tracking system built right into your phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not supposed to blow your head off. I believe since the success of the Galaxy S3 was so big, they wanted to make a new device that improved on all of the other aspects to show that they are dedicated to making the best phone possible. Now I'm not saying the GS4 is the best phone you can possibly get. However, if you just read the specs and the new software features for Android, it's undoubtedly a top contender. Better screen, faster processor, much improved camera, lots of new software features.
I believe Samsung did a good job with its UNPACKED event and it also did well the Galaxy S4.
David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at iBXMediaGroup.ca. He is an active member of the YouTube community (http://www.TheDavidBell.com), with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2013 A1