Samsung Galaxy S4: Everything you need to know
The rumour roller-coaster ride is almost over. The invites are in and now, finally, we know when we will first set eyes on the next Galaxy, the Samsung Galaxy S4.
On 14 March 2013, Samsung will unveil its flagship Android phone which could, in theory, set the standard for all smartphones for the year to come. If everything goes to plan, that is. But what do we already know and what has been rumoured? Read on to whet your appetite for what is to come from Samsung.
UPDATE: We have posted a brand new feature on the Samsung Galaxy S4, now that it has been announced, which contains every single possible juicy detail you could ever want to know about the new phone.
Samsung Galaxy S4 release date
Samsung Mobile’s Twitter account gave tech fans the world over sweaty brows when it announced "Ready 4 The Show" and "Come and meet the next Galaxy".
Alongside the tweet was a press invite to a New York-based Samsung Unpacked event, with a reveal penned for 7pm ET (11pm UK time) on Thursday 14 March. Given the history of these Unpacked events, Samsung will have the Galaxy S4 on show for us to take a look at.
What we can’t be sure of is just when the SGS 4 will land in stores and in the hands of customers. The Galaxy S3 was unveiled in London’s Earls Court on 3 May and put on sale just a few weeks later on 30 May.
Samsung could do much the same thing here, especially given HTC has already played its trump card this year with the new HTC One handset. Incidentally, HTC’s phone was announced on 19 February and will hit stores and networks on 15 March, so this month will be very exciting for smartphone fans.
We'll find out the official Samsung Galaxy S4 release date at the event itself, we fully expect. You can sign up to the Phones 4u pre-pre-order page to register your interest already, the retailer has announced.
Samsung Galaxy S4 screen
Rumours point to the SGS 4 being fairly big on the display front with a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen being its flagship feature. Pocket-lint's own trusted source confirms this to be true.
READ: Samsung Galaxy S3 review
With a screen that big, things are moving closer to Note territory. A leaked roadmap also backs up this claim, with an apparent 441ppi screen shipping with the Galaxy S4.
More recent rumblings have suggested that Samsung is struggling with the manufacture of the display units at this size and may opt for LCD instead, but from what we've heard, this is highly unlikely.
Samsung Galaxy S4 processor
Processor rumours for the SGS4 are especially exciting. A 1.8GHz Exynos 5 8-core processor has cropped-up and been widely suggested.
Benchmarks of a GT-I9500 have appeared online, showing a phone with a seriously high score in the AnTuTu benchmark test. While they don't verify rumours of an 8-core handset, they do show a 1.8GHz processor.
Again, our own source also backs up claims of an 8-core processor. However, it will actually be more a 4+4-core processor, with the extra cores being utilised for power management rather than extra wellie - much like Nvidia's fifth core in its 4+1-core array.
More screenshots, this time in leaked hands-on pictures of a device a Chinese forum poster claims to be the SGS4, also show that the processor is 1.8GHz.
Samsung Galaxy S4 camera
HTC has kicked up a big fuss over how great the camera is in its new HTC One phone. Expect Samsung to be doing just the same. It seems that the 13-megapixel sensor is the norm for flagship devices, but will Samsung change tack like HTC?
Unfortunately, it seems, no. Our source says that the camera on the rear will be 13-megapixel. As do the leaked hands-on pics from China. The front-facing camera, we have been told, will be 2-megapixel.
Interestingly, it may come done to the software itself to give Samsung the edge. Samsung Orb appears to be an attempt at tweaking Google’s Android 4.2 Photosphere imaging tech for Samsung’s own phones, although it might be produced by Samsung in-house.
Whatever the camera turns out to be, expect both front and back to be HD capable, with 1080p video recording on the rear and 720p (at least) on the front.
Samsung Galaxy S4 design
A few pictures claiming to be of the Samsung Galaxy S4 have appeared online over the last couple of months, with this one still being one of the most convincing. The leak came from sammobile.com and shows what looks like a snap from a computer screen showing a picture of the phone.
The problem is that it could very easily be faked and its similarities in looks with the SGS3 also have us wondering if it is simply an enlarged version of that, with the home key removed, which we're not sure Samsung would do.
The other convincing pictures, that at least show a phone if not the Samsung Galaxy S4 itself, are those of the aforementioned hands-on by a Chinese forumite.
There's much to suggest that the person who posted the pictures is barking up the wrong tree, but we have one niggling doubt. The bezel and rear of the alleged SGS4 in the shots has the same dotted pattern design as the background in Samsung's marketing materials, both in the teaser video it has released and on the posters currently looming over Times Square in New York. Plus, Samsung Mobile has now posted an official teaser picture on its Twitter feed which, in shape anyway, looks very similar to the leaked Chinese handset. Seems it won't be a square-looking device after all.
Just for good measure, the Chinese site the leaked "hands-on" pictures appeared on - 52 Samsung - has now released a video of the phone too. Surely, with little time left to go before the official launch, this is the closest we'll get to the alleged device until then.
Following on from the SGS 4 leak, there is now new pictures of the phone which appear to show exactly the same design as prior. It looks a bit thinner however in these images than before. You also get a close up look at that gloss back, with the faux metal effect in all the plastic wrap around and covers.
Samsung Galaxy S4 eye-tracking tech
The New York Times is convinced that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will feature new eye-tracking technology. There will be several applications of this, it says, including Eye Scroll, where the phone will automatically scroll down on a web page, for example, if you look at the bottom of the screen.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 did feature a form of eye recognition, where it would stay on without going into screen standby mode if you were still looking at the screen, but this new tech will be much more advanced. Certainly, knowing Samsung, there will be several cunning software gimmicks pulled out of the bag on the night.
Video of the eye-tracking tech has now appeared online, showing something called SmartPause in action, which can essentially pause video the moment you look away from the screen. Very clever indeed.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Floating Touch
One of the new functions on the SGS4 is its ability to recognise touch inputs, without you touching the screen. Presumably this is to keep things dirt-free or to allow you to use the handset with your gloves on.
If you want to keep up to date with everything Galaxy S4 related, our news hub page can be found here. We will of course update with any information that comes along.
Pocket-lint will be reporting live from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in New York City.
Watch the event
You can Watch the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch event right here on Pocket-lint. The event starts at 11pm UK time.