April 16, 2014

What we expect: Samsung Galaxy S4

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As one of the most rumored and anticipated devices of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to show up in the next few weeks.  Well, at least an announcement is rumored for next month (March 15).

It’s no secret that Samsung has gone to great lengths to keep the details for the Galaxy S4 locked up and away from the public eyes. That is not to suggest, however, that the rumor mill hasn’t gone into overdrive these last few weeks. Spend some time looking around and you’ll no doubt see a handful of specs and features are out there just waiting to be confirmed.

We took the opportunity to gather up some of the juiciest and most likely rumors and put them in one place.  What you’ll find below is a growing list of things we expect or feel strongly about as it pertains to the Samsung Galaxy S4.

If you see something that doesn’t look right or something we may have missed, let us know! We will update this post as we learn more about the Samsung smartphone.

Likely

5-Inch Super AMOLED Display

Rumors have long been in circulation that Samsung will go even bigger for the Galaxy S4, moving up from the 4.8-inch on the Galaxy SIII. Much of the chatter seems to be centered around 4.99-inch or 5-inch Super AMOLED displays with a true HD (1080p) screen.

Samsung Eynos Octa 5 processor

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will likely get its power from Samsung’s recently unveiled Exynos 5 Octa processor. As the world’s first “8-core mobile processor” it offers four Cortex-A15 processor cores (high-end performance) and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores (low power consumption). Sounds awesome and drool-worthy but we don’t expect Samsung to put too much emphasis on the benchmarks. Rather, Samsung will tout the benefits for real-world usage.

It looks as if the U.S. model will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor while the international flavor gets the Samsung chipset. Why? A little something to do with the 4G LTE network in the states while the world prefers other technologies.

MALI-450 MP graphics

Gamers and heavy users will enjoy the Mali-450 MP GPU as it offers twice the performance over last year’s Mali-400. Average folks will be happy that it sips power at a slower rate than predecessors.

With many of today’s top Android phones inching upwards with battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S4 should keep pace.  And, because of a larger display and bigger CPU/GPU, Samsung will need more than the 2100mAh battery in the Galaxy S III. According to recent reports, the Galaxy S4 will boast a 2600mAh battery.

Wireless charging capabilities

Given that Samsung is in the Wireless Power Consortium we would not be surprised if the next model were to include wireless charging capabilities. It’s the sort of thing that Samsung could sell separately (extra revenue) but it’s also something that many of today’s top phones employ. To not offer this would be seen as a misstep.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

We fully expect Samsung to release the Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. This version of the platform is a few months old now so the company has had plenty of time to ready it for the new model. Going a step further, we imagine Samsung has cooked up a new take on the TouchWiz/Nature UX for the Galaxy S4.

Better eye and facial recognition

We’ve gotten comfortable with the Smart Stay technology in the Galaxy S III so we hope to see more advancements for the new handset. Rumor has it that the Galaxy S4 could offer Eye Scroll, Eye Pause, and other fun stuff  along those lines. Reportedly, the Samsung flagship will also offer (translate) touchless gestures for screen navigation.

March 15 debut

As one of the more recent rumors to surface, we’ve come to trust the source. Reportedly, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be introduced on March 15 and then released in April. Europe and Asia will be among the first markets to offer the phone, with the U.S. and others following in May or June. For what it’s worth, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin advises that the date is March 14.

Unlikely

13-megapixel camera

As much as the average person would like to equate megapixels with image quality this simply is not the case. Samsung has employed an 8-megapixel camera in the last two models of Galaxy S phone so we would expect the same for the Galaxy S4. Rumors exist of a 13-megapixel camera but we’d like to think Samsung is more focused on camera features and sensor size.

Flexible or unbreakable display

As much as we would like to see an unbreakable or flexible display in the Galaxy S4, we aren’t holding our breath.  Sure, we’ve have concepts for a few years now however we don’t think this is a retail-ready technology.

S Pen functionality

As far as the S Pen function for the Galaxy S4 goes, we’re not too quick to jump on this one. As something that differentiates the Galaxy S series from the Galaxy Note series, it seems like the sort of tech that belongs in extra large form factors.

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