With MWC Ending, All Eyes on Samsung

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MWC had a lot to offer this year, and while we didn’t get any big news of things like a PureView Lumia, we got to check out a lot of interesting hardware. One hugely anticipated phone we knew wouldn’t be making an appearance was Samsung’s Galaxy S IV, but now that the MWC is wrapping-up, our attention moves back to this Android flagship.

Sometimes it seems like those of us covering the smartphone world live in a constant state of anticipation; if we’re not counting the days until a trade show or press event, we’re looking for rumors detailing just when the next big news might finally arrive. If there’s one consolation to Samsung not bringing the Galaxy S IV to the MWC, it’s that it took the opportunity to free us from that kind of speculation, and in distributing invitations to its March 14 Unpacked event, has all but confirmed when we’ll get the official GS4 announcement.

Recently, our expectations for the Galaxy S IV have shifted a little, but we’re hardly any less excited for the smartphone as a result. Based on benchmarks attributed to some various GS4 models, and backed up by newer rumors, it’s sounding pretty likely that Samsung could forget about its Exynos SoCs entirely, and just hook the GS4 up with some Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chips. In all fairness, the idea that Samsung could have its Exynos 5 Octa ready in time for the GS4 was always a bit of a pipe dream.

Anyway, this news of a Qualcomm chip could arguably make for an even more exciting launch: with the Galaxy S IV now more closely matching the hardware specs of its direct competition, the winner will be decided less by the choice of silicon, and more by design and software.

While no one who knows for sure is saying anything, rumors have been leaving the impression that the design of the Galaxy S IV could be a bit more GS2-like than the more gradual curves of the GS3 (top image). Personally, I prefer phones with a blockier look to them, so I’m really hoping that Samsung explores going down that road; it needn’t be the very same look as the GS2, but something along those lines, maybe shrinking down the bezel a bit, could be pretty nice.

We’ve also recently heard that Samsung may have had to scrap its plans for a five-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and go with an LCD instead. Like the rumors concerning the SoC, from a Samsung purist viewpoint this sounds like something verging on sacrilege, but I’m confident that the SoLux panel Samsung is said to be using instead will be more than sufficient; Samsung’s not going to risk hurting its chief line of smartphones with inferior components.

Two weeks from tomorrow we should get the full story on the Galaxy S IV. What are your expectations for the handset? Is there anything you’re hoping Samsung learned from the Galaxy S III and does seriously differently? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!