Never ones to rest on our laurels (Samsung’s laurels, really), we’ve already started thinking ahead to next year and what the Galaxy S IV will bring — before the launch presentation for the S III is even over. After all, we realized that there are engineers who are designing that device at this very moment, trying to one-up themselves on a phone which itself is inching closer to perfection. So what will the next, next Galaxy look like? We’ve got a few ideas.
To start off with, we doubt that its processor will add any more cores; instead, we have a feeling that Samsung will simply clock the current quad-core Exynos even higher, perhaps up to 2.0GHz. As we’ve learned from the head-to-head competitions between the quad-core Tegra 3-based HTC One X and dual-core Snapdragon S4-powered HTC One XL, more cores are not always better: there’s a lot that goes into a CPU besides the ability to churn out cycles. In fact, we’ll probably look back at the brief reign of dual-core processors as something of an anomaly, as quads still have plenty of room to mature.
The easiest prediction is the operating system: the Galaxy S IV will undoubtedly run the latest Android OS available, be it JellyBean, Key Lime Pie, Lollipop, or what have you. TouchWiz is only going to get more sophisticated and embedded deeper into the platform, so don’t expect naked Android around these parts anytime soon.
When it comes to the screen, we’d be surprised if Samsung didn’t go full HD with a 1080p display; next time around, they’ll also probably try to incorporate a SuperAMOLED Plus screen instead of the regular old SuperAMOLED found on the Galaxy S III. The size of the display is a little harder to predict. On the one hand, screens have been getting bigger with each iteration of the Galaxy family; on the other hand, not everyone wants to carry around a Galaxy Note. We suspect that Samsung will attempt to shave even more precious space from the phone’s bezel, so that it can eke out a little more screen real estate without significantly increasing the size of the handset.
It’s pretty much a given that RAM and storage will also increase, probably to 2.5GB/3GB and a maximum of 128GB, respectively. Hopefully the company will also be able to keep the microSD slot around, which seems fairly likely as expandable storage gives the Galaxy bragging rights over the static capacity of the iPhone. Speaking of the iPhone, it’s also probably a safe bet that some of the Galaxy S IV’s features won’t be finalized until Sammy’s engineers have a chance to look at Apple’s next flagship; it’s pretty clear that the enhanced voice control on the S III is a direct attempt to combat the advantages of Siri.
As for the camera, we’d expect a 12-megapixel rear shooter with the same basic features as the S III; that being said, it also behooves Samsung to enable 3D capture at some point, seeing as how that feature is a major selling point on some of its television sets. The problem with 3D capture on phones is that you need the screen to do 3D playback as well, and Samsung may not want to sacrifice overall quality for the tradeoffs imposed by 3D on smaller displays. With its new “seeing eye” feature, we can probably expect the front-facing cam to gain resolution as well.
Basically what we’ve presented here isn’t very far fetched: next year will bring more of the same, only a little better, we think. That’s been a tried-and-true strategy in consumer electronics for a long time, and while there are occasional breakthroughs in the category, next year’s model is almost always just a little faster/bigger/thinner than this year’s. So what do you think, is the Galaxy S IV going to follow that same path, or will the iPhone 5 introduce such groundbreaking advances that Samsung will be forced to play catch up in new and unexpected ways?