By Stephen Schenck | March 14, 2013 7:19 PM
A little over ten months ago, Samsung revealed the Galaxy S III to the world, and in the months that followed we saw the smartphone spread to carriers across the globe and become a sales juggernaut. Samsung’s hoping to catch that lightning again, and today it ushered in the era of its next Android flagship, announcing the Galaxy S IV at its Unpacked event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, with one of the biggest presentations we’ve ever seen.
Samsung’s JK Shin started things off by describing some of the GS4′s key features: Dual Camera, Sound & Shot, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air View, Group Play, Samsung Knox, and Samsung HomeSync. The GS4 is being positioned as a “life companion.”
There will be both 3G and 4G versions of the Galaxy S IV, supporting networks in countries everywhere.
The GS4 measures 7.9 millimeters thick and weighs only 130 grams. The phone features a 441ppi Super AMOLED full HD display, and despite all the 4.99-inch business, Samsung is calling it a solid five inches.
Color options include black mist and white frost.
Samsung has confirmed the main thirteen-megapixel main camera, alongside a two-megapixel front facer. The phone will have 2GB of RAM, and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB internal flash (all with microSD support).
That Dual Camera feature mentioned earlier lets you record video with your main camera, while also getting footage of yourself, taken with the front-facer. It also works with regular still shots. Sound & Shot is just what it sounds like, letting you add audio annotation to pictures. Drama Shot lets you shoot 100 still pics in a go, and Eraser lets you remove moving objects from the rear of still photos.
Samsung is calling its floating touch implementation Air View, and it works just like Note II owners are used to, only with no stylus required.
S Translator is a Google Translate-like app, doing voice-to-text and text-to-voice. It also supports OCR for translating signs and menus. Adapt Display tweaks the AMOLED’s settings to optimize viewing for varying ambient conditions, and Story Album lets you organize your photos and even have them bound into physical albums.
S Voice Drive is a pared-down version of S Voice, offering a simpler interface to help you avoid distractions when behind the wheel. Samsung Smart Switch is PC-based software to help you move your info from an old phone to the GS4.
Beyond just sensing fingers above the screen, the Galaxy S IV’s capacitive sensor is able to detect input even when you’re wearing gloves.
Samsung Knox both provides protection against malicious apps, as well as allows you to divide your phone into separate business and personal spheres. Group Play allows you to beam music to multiple phones, all playing the same content in concert, and also works with sharing photos.
Air Gesture lets you navigate through content with just a wave of your hand, and even lets you answer calls with a gesture. Smart Scroll and Smart Pause work just like we’ve heard, using the phone’s camera to track eye movements and react accordingly.
S Health uses the phone’s sensors to help you track exercise, and links up with external fitness accessories.
As for accessories, The S View cover is a new take on the flip cover, giving you a window through which to see phone content even while it’s closed.
Like had been rumored, different markets will get a Galaxy S IV with different SoCs. Some will see a phone powered by a 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon, and others will get the phone with a 1.6GHz Exynos 5 Octa. No matter where you are, the GS4 arrives running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.