The Samsung Galaxy S4 was finally unveiled last week at a press event in New York. After months of speculation and rumour the detailed specs are now available – and all in all it’s pretty impressive.
The S4 does have a lot to live up to, however. Its predecessor the S3 was one of the most popular phones of 2012, topping many critics’ end-of-year polls, and it even outsold the Apple’s then flagship device the iPhone 4s during quarter three.
But is the S4 going to be able to take on the iPhone 5S, whenever it arrives? Let’s take a look at it, and see which rumours turned out to have substance, and which were just wishful thinking.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Processors
It was suggested Samsung was going to use eight-core chips in the phone and that’s turned out to be true, although it’s actually two quad-cores – one for high-powered stuff such as watching video or using the web, and a smaller one for more mundane, low-drain things. It’s a 1.9GHz system and is backed up by 2GB of RAM.
The hardware of Samsung Galaxy S4
As expected, the S4 has been given a five-inch, 1080p HD display, but after Samsung unveiled its unbreakable flexible display at CES, some thought this might feature on the S4. It hasn’t, but Gorilla Glass 3 is good enough.
On the back, the S4 enjoys the expected 13-megapixel camera which puts it way beyond the iPhone 5’s eight, while your snaps will also benefit from the built-in apps which are superior to those you get with Apple devices. To cope with all this processing power, Samsung has provided a bigger battery, while still managing to keep the handset as slim as ever.
The Samsung S4 uses the very latest version of Google’s Android software, 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and Samsung has worked closely with Google to come up with some pretty amazing features. Many expected eye-tracking technology and it’s here, meaning the front-facing camera can tell if you’re still looking at the screen and pause video accordingly.
That same lens also allows you to use Air View, where you can scroll around screens with gestures rather than having to touch the screen. S Drive, meanwhile, takes voice commands while you’re driving.
The S4 has lived up to the huge amount of hype that surrounded it, and even managed to spring a few innovative surprises. Overall, it’s a high-spec phone which will find favour with almost everyone, considering how well it takes advantage of Android functions, the crispness of the display and how quickly it works.
Apple will always have its devotees, but the S3 made ground on the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, and now Samsung has raised the bar again (with some help from Android, it has to be said).
Considering the fifth iPhone was largely underwhelming, Apple has plenty of work to do with the 5S to fight off the threat the S4 poses to its market dominance. As for the rest, the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z are a couple of interesting models which could hopefully revive their respective flagging manufacturers, but the battle at the top is a two-horse race.
The S4 should hit shelves in April, but you might want to pre-order for what will likely be a very popular phone.