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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Samsung unveils Galaxy S4, can it reclaim lead?

Whether the S4 can maintain or accelerate Samsung’s growth remains to be seen. Earlier glimpses of the phone through various leaks showed a curved design similar to the S3, with gee-whiz features such as the tracking of users’ eyes to do things like pause video playback when users turn away.

Samsung is launching the phone at a much-hyped event in New York, which is webcast here.

Samsung mobile communications president, JK Shin, started by listing the S4’s highlight features.

They include:

GALAXY S 4 Product Image (6)

Air View – a touchless interface.

Smart Scroll and Smart Pause – the eye-tracking systems, which add eye and wrist gestures to the mix of natural user interfaces. Videos stop and start when you turn away and back to the device, and it scrolls through emails by detecting a face and wrist motions.

Sound & Shot – a system that captures sound while photos are being taken. Sound clips can be added to the photo file before or after the shutter is pressed.

Samsung Knox – a security system for using the phone for work and play that was unveiled at Mobile World Congress. It divides the phone into personal and work spaces, which is one of the highlight features of the new BlackBerry.

Samsung Home Sync – for immediately syncing content from the device and storing them at home on a media server device.

S Translator- a speech-to-text and text-to-speech translator.

It’s going on sale at the end of April with carriers around the world, with global roaming and 3G and 4G capabilities. The 4G capability includes LTE and HSPA+, the latter with download speeds up to 42 Megabits per second.

U.S. carriers that will offer the S4 include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular and Cricket.

The Android-based phone does have a design similar to the S3 but is thinner and lighter, with a 7.9 millimeter thick case and total weight of 130 grams, yet it has a larger, 5-inch screen.

Samsung ups the resolution ante with the S4. The full HD Super Amoled display has 441 pixels per inch.

Inside, the phone has 2 gigabytes of RAM and storage ranges from 16 to 64 gigs, plus a memory card slot.

New sensors include infrared gesture sensors – so it senses a wave of the hand, as well as touchscreen commands – and temperature and humidity sensors. Gesture controls include waving a hand to scroll through a web page or change music tracks.

The main camera is 13 megapixels and there’s a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.

One of the cool new tricks is “dual camera” recording capability. It lets users shoot video with a thumbnail window capturing the shooter.

The camera also has an “eraser” feature that lets users tap to erase people or objects in an image. It also has a “drama” burst mode for capturing an action sequence, then choosing the best shot or shots.

galaxy2

galaxy4

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Here are the specs provided by Samsung:

Network

 

2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets(Dependent on market)

 

Display

5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi

AP

1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor / 1.6 GHz Octa-Core ProcessorThe selection of AP will be differed by markets.

OS

 

Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

Camera

 

Main(Rear): 13 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS

Sub (Front): 2 Mega pixel camera, Full HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS

 

Video

 

Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark, HEVC

Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p)

 

Audio

 

Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X

 

Camera

Features

 

 

Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call

Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Cinema Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face

Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports

 

Additional

Features

Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Document, Play Games

 

Story Album, S Translator, Optical Reader

Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View,

 

Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling)

Samsung WatchON

 

S Travel (Trip Advisor), S Voice™ Drive, S Health

Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound

Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly)

 

Safety Assistance, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring

 

Samsung KNOX (B2B only)

 

Google Mobile Services

 

Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude

Google Play Store, Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk,

Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads, Voice Search

 

Connectivity

 

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80)

GPS / GLONASS

NFC,  Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE)

IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0

 

Sensor

Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer

Temperature & Humidity, Gesture

 

Memory

16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)

2GB RAM

 

Dimension

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g

 

Battery

2,600 mAh

Comments | Topics: Android, Apple, gadgets and products

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