Samsung’s Newest Flagship

Chris Bunn

On March 14th, Samsung announced its latest flagship device at an event in New York. In an extremely flamboyant presentation, JK Shin, the president and the head of the mobile communications division, showed the successor of the popular Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S4. While the exterior of the device manages to maintain the same design language as the previous Galaxy, Samsung has managed to make some drastic changes under the hood.

Sporting a bigger improved 5-inch display, the Galaxy S4 manages to catch up with other competitors with an extremely sharp 441 ppi display. This makes images and videos appear much more crisp and robust than previous generations. The device also has a more sensitive screen than other Galaxy phones, allowing users with gloves and longer fingernails to navigate the device.

Despite sporting a larger screen than the Galaxy S3, the newest Galaxy manages to still keep the same body size as the S3, but with a slimmer design. While it is still a lot larger than other phones (namely the iPhone), the Galaxy S4 is still a somewhat pocket-friendly design. As with most of the other Galaxy phones, the S4 is constructed out of plastic due to benefits such as durability and the ease in manufacturing. It will come in two colors: “White Frost” and “Black Mist”.

While the newest Galaxy may keep design cues from the Galaxy S3, the internals of the Galaxy S4 is a lot more advanced than its predecessor. Depending on the model you get, the Galaxy S4 can have either a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor (for US phones) or an eight-core Exynos chipset (for International phones). The S4 also comes with 2GB of RAM, allowing the phone to be able to handle lots of open applications and whatever the user throws at it. Even the battery has seen a major upgrade, increasing it to a respectable 2500 mAh compared to the S3’s diminutive 2100 mAh. For storage, the S4 comes with up to 64 GB of storage (not including expandable storage up to 64 GB as well). On the back, the Galaxy S4 has a large 13 MP camera, as well as a 2 MP camera on the front.

The star of the Galaxy S4, however, is the amount of new software features on the device. The device runs on Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean), which allows it to have the latest features Android has to offer. Not only that, Samsung has included other features in its own TouchWiz skin that help to enhance the user experience. One of the biggest features is the multiview mode, which allows two applications to run at once. Samsung has also introduced its own S Translator app, which is embedded throughout the phone for instant translation throughout. Group play also allows the sharing of pictures, music, videos, and other files with other Galaxy S4’s using NFC. S Health offers a wide selection of tools to help keep your well-being in check, including a pedometer. It also uses the phones sensors (such as the accelerometer and barometer) to help give users a better idea of their physical activity. The Galaxy S4 also makes full use of the front-facing camera, allowing the phone to pause a video when you are not looking at it (Smart Pause) and tilting the screen up and down while looking at it to scroll the screen (Smart Scroll). Using your fingers to hover over the screen, the Galaxy S4 can move through browser tabs or preview media through the use of Air View.

In the US, all major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) will be offering the newest Galaxy S4, as well as a few smaller service providers. It will start at about $200 for the 16GB version of the device or $250 for the 32 GB version of the device. The Galaxy S4 will be available at each carrier on a different time. Hopefully, with all the improvements the Galaxy S4 shows, it can be as big of a hit as the Galaxy S3.