Samsung debuted the original Galaxy S in 2010 and a newer version every year after that, each being greater than the last. The Samsung Galaxy S II picked up steam for the line, and then S III came in and knocked out of the park. It was fast, new and innovative. It drove Samsung all the way to the top to become one of the best phones of the year and make Samsung the biggest smartphone manufacturer. The Galaxy S III has been the poster boy for Android and now a year is almost up and the GS4 is upon us. This phone has a lot to live up to. Anyone will agree that the S4 will need top notch specs combined with a great design and powerful software. So, let’s check out what the next the big thing may offer us.
The Samsung Galaxy S was a particularly difficult phone to physically describe because there was an international version and four other variants for each major carrier in the US. The GS2 was better with a more unified design, but still a little fragmented when it came to carriers. The GS3 is when everything came together as a single design for everyone. There where still some internal change, but we’ll talk about that later. The Galaxy S III has a a good design, which is cleaner and different when compared to the other traditional designs. Samsung described it as being “inspired by nature”. It was a good design, but it got a lot of hate because of Samsung’s decision to use plastic everywhere. It made the phone lighter and more durable, but lead to a cheap feeling phone when compared to the iPhone, the One X and the Nexus 4. The current rumors point to a shape similar to the GS2 with some S3 styling present. It will still be plastic on the front and back with an aluminum band around. Still mostly plastic, but premium feeling thanks to the aluminum. It could work. It seems like the logical move with a lot of Android manufacturers moving towards more premium builds, for example the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. There’s been a leaked image of the press shot.
The Android display size keeps getting bigger and bigger, and the norm now seems to be 5-inch 1080p displays. Samsung did show us a 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel at CES, which seems to be the one that will most probably be present. There have been some conflicting rumors too. Many are saying that it will be a 5-inch panel, but with SoLux tech instead of Samsung’s proprietary Super AMOLED. The 5-inch Full HD screen should have a pixel density of 440 PPI, but surprisingly enough the leaked screenshots from the GS4 show differently. It mentions a 480 PPI display, which means it should be a display of 4.6-inches in size, not to different from the Galaxy Nexus. Maybe Samsung is staying away from the bigger is better mantra to go for the most suitable size, as HTC felt it did with the 4.7-inch HTC One. This one is a hard rumor to believe, but it makes sense if you consider the idea that Samsung may want to reserve 5-inch plus screens to the Note line. There’s also a slight possibility that there will be a green PHOLED display, which is much more battery efficient and the most interesting is that it could be capable of Floating Touch similar to the Wacom-based hover actions in the Note II and Note 8.0.
This one’s a hot topic, the guts of the new GS4. There have been a lot of confusing rumors all around the place about which processor the Galaxy S IV will use. Th obvious choice would be the Exynos Octa chip Samsung showed off at CES, but some rumors point to the Snapdragon 600 chip being used because of the advantage of onboard LTE. The 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 could be for the US variant with the rest of the world getting in on the 8-core goodness. It’s a mixed bag because I expect Samsung to start supporting LTE in other territories of the world. I’m sure Samsung will choose a chip that stands well against the competition and supports future Android software. The will definitely be 2GB RAM because anything more is overkill and anything less doesn’t leave breathing room for Android 5.0/4.3. Storage options will be 32GB and 64GB with the microSD card slot that S3 fans love. The battery wild definitely be removable and rated at somewhere around 2600mAh to give you a great long lasting phone. Don’t hope for an S Pen because it wouldn’t make sense and Samsung has shot down any chance of it through an official statement. I’d like to see NFC used more and 802.11ac WiFi. There’ll definitely be super wide carrier availability with the Samsung Galaxy’s great sales as a driver for carriers to pick it up. I’m looking forward to seeing some Qi-charging (pronounced “chee”) that’s all wireless. Nice little touch.
The Samsung Galaxy S III had a decent camera, which performed admirably in most cases, but it just didn’t hold up against the Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and the newest one, the Z10. I just wanted to mention that the Nexus 4′s camera is utterly abysmal. The rumor is that Samsung won’t be going the HTC way with Ultrapixels and instead upping the ante with a 13-megapixel (4128 x 3096) camera (with an ƒ/2.2 aperture), which I hope will have a good sensor. It’s up to the software to control the wild LED flash. Expect a new Image processing chip to support all kind of photo shooting modes, and HDR video! We may even be surprised by Samsung if they choose to throw in the Galaxy Camera’s sensor minus that chunky 24x zoom. Maybe 1080p HD video with an option to switch to 720p to get 60fps. I just want it to be great!
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The GS4 will come with Android 4.2 and maybe a new version of TouchWiz. It will also, most probably, be upgradable to Android 4.3/5.0 *insert dessert treat*. Samsung’s TouchWiz has always added a ton of features which make it better than stock Android, but the sore point of TouchWiz has always been the way to looks. It’s very cartoonish and baby-like, but many may argue that it makes the phone more approachable. There’s a good set of features and there may be a rebranded version of PhotoSphere called ‘Samsung Orb’. I also want to see the dual view come to the Galaxy S IV. It could be possible that there may be touch less gestures. I would love to see onscreen buttons instead of the usual capacitive and physical buttons. There may be a lot of use of the front camera to recognize what the users gestures and actions, for example Smartscroll which will basically follow your eyes and scroll the webpage. The S3 already had something like this with SmartStay which kept the screen from dimming as long as you were looking at it. I also want to see better integration among all of Samsung’s devices like their TVs and other appliances.
Samsung Galaxy S IV
The Samsung Galaxy S IV is a huge phone that everyone in the industry is looking forward to as it will the phone that needs to carry on the now famed Galaxy S series. There are big expectations for this phone as it is a follow up to a titan. Don’t expect there to be as many new features as added to the S III, but enough to beef it up for the next year. I’m very much looking forward this phone and I’m very excited. Tune into our live blog and live stream of the event. Continued to stay toned for a great post event coverage.
UPDATE: There have been some leaked shots of the eminent Galaxy S IV from a Chinese Forum.