Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs and everything else you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs and everything else you need to know

Samsung Galaxy concept phone
The Next Galaxy from Samsung is almost here and it’s already shaping up to be the year’s most highly anticipated smartphone launch. In this comprehensive run down we’ll be detailing all the nitty-gritty to prepare you for the fourth flagship kit’s imminent debut. So grab some popcorn, sit back and read on…

Samsung Galaxy S4 release date UK

Samsung has sent out press invites to one of its Unpacked events in New York on March 14th where it’s certain to officially raise the curtain on the Galaxy S4.
The actual release date is still a tightly guarded secret. However, a reliable source close to a major UK retailer has revealed that it should go on sale sometime between April 15th and April 22nd.
Pre-orders for the handset should begin at least two weeks before it hits shop shelves. So you should be able to reserve your unit as early as late March or early April.

Samsung Galaxy S4 specs and features

If months and months of insider leaks and industry forecasts are to be trusted, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be crammed with some of the most cutting-edge technology ever to grace a smartphone.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the best features and specs expected to be on board.
Samsung Galaxy S4 placeholder

Samsung Galaxy S4 camera

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is tipped to feature a 13-megapixel camera that you can expect to take stunning photos and record videos in full high-definition at a silky smooth framerate that would give even digital SLRs a run for their money.
Also expected on board is a two-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and self-portraits in HD, and numerous features on the camera application itself, including the ability to take 360-degree panoramic shots of your surroundings and share them instantly on Facebook.

Samsung Galaxy S4 processor

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is mooted to debut the tech giant’s latest, most powerful system-on-chip yet, the Exynos 5 Octa.
This is a state-of-the-art eight-core processor that comprises four high performance cores and four power-saving cores to handle multitasking with real sense of snap, while conserving battery life when carrying out everyday tasks.
Based on ARM’s ‘big.LITTLE’ architecture, the Exynos 5 Octa ensures a perfect balance of power versus power efficiency and consumes up to 70 per cent less energy compared to the current chip designs.

Samsung Galaxy S4 screen

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is rumoured to feature a 4.99-inch Super AMOLED display with an eye-popping full HD (1080p) resolution and 441 pixels per inch density that’s over a 100 pixels higher than even the iPhone’s Retina display.
Naturally, as the world’s leading panel-maker, Samsung is sure to squeeze all its expertise and high-tech display technology into making this truly stand out from rivals.

Samsung Galaxy S4 design

Although details remain thin on the ground, supply-chain chatter suggests the Samsung Galaxy S4 could debut an aluminium unibody design to make it sturdier than its predecessors, while building on the much-loved ‘nature-inspired’ form factor of the Galaxy S3.
Samsung Galaxy S4 mock-up placeholder (small)

Samsung Galaxy S4 connectivity

As with most high-end smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be loaded with a host of connectivity options. At the very least it’s expected to offer 4G LTE support, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Near Field Communication (NFC), Assisted GPS and a microUSB port.
Reports also suggest the Galaxy S4 could boast the latest, fifth-generation (5G) chips for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, offering even faster and more reliable data transfers than before.

Samsung Galaxy S4 wireless charging

Based on patent filings and an FCC certification, it’s believed that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be capable of wireless charging, making fiddly charger cables truly a thing of the past.
samsung wireless charger
While wireless charging is not new to smartphones, Samsung’s take reportedly uses a more advanced method enabled by resonant magnetic coupling technology that would allow the Galaxy S4 to be charged from up to two metres away.

Android Jelly Bean and Nature UX user interface

Samsung Galaxy S4 will run on Google’s superb Android operating system – most likely the latest Jelly Bean edition.
Along with features such as Google Now, a personal voice-guided assistant that sorts and displays all kinds of information in a nifty card-based interface, Android Jelly Bean is also home to all of Google’s best apps and services installed out of the box, plus offers hundreds of thousands more to download from Google Play.
Android Jelly Bean
Of course, because this is a Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S4 will feature the latest iteration of the Nature UX user interface, as well as upgraded versions of all the ‘smart’ features that are exclusive to Samsung devices.
Better still, if Samsung’s recent patent filings are anything to go by, this will bring intuitive touch-free gestures and eye-tracking technology to enable you to control the handset with minimum physical contact and possibly even pause videos and scroll pages using your eye movements alone.

Memory and Colours

Based on reliable intel, the Galaxy S4 will be available in three storage variants of 16, 32 and 64GB.
A microSD slot should be included to expand that by a further 32GB, plus free cloud storage from Dropbox to easily access your files on a host of other devices.
Initilally, the Galaxy S4 is likely to land in two colour options: black and white. However, down the line we expect Samsung to release more colourways, along the lines of the nature-inspired pebble blue and marble white hues of the Galaxy S3.

Exclusive: EE to sell Samsung Galaxy S4 from 28 March

Exclusive: EE to sell Samsung Galaxy S4 from 28 MarchExclusive: EE to sell Samsung Galaxy S4 from 28 March
A source speaking under the condition of anonymity told ITProPortal that UK mobile phone operator EE will start selling Samsung’s new handset, the Galaxy S4, on 28 March which will be the last Thursday of the month and, incidentally, the last working day before the big four-day bank holiday weekend.
The source told us "the new samsung [Galaxy S4] will be available to pre-order from 28th March".
That’s only two weeks after the official launch of the Galaxy S4 and in comparison, the Galaxy S3 launched, almost four weeks after it was announced in London. The push will happen both instore and online.
The launch to market is likely to happen simultaneously on other networks as well with Phones4U and Three having already put up registration pages. As a reminder, the Galaxy S4 will launch in New York City later this week on 14 March and Samsung has already released the first official picture of the handset via the Twitter account of its US mobile arm.
An early, preliminary analysis of that picture shows that the handset has a smaller display, probably a 4.44in one, and that the S4 could well be smaller than the current S3, a move that would make sense as Samsung tries to differentiate the S4 from the Galaxy Note 2.
It’s worth noting that the S3 Mini has a display size of 4in while that of the Galaxy S2 reaches 4.3in. You can read more about the genesis prior to the launch of the Galaxy S4, from the first rumours to the official confirmation of its existence, on our dedicated article, all you need to know about the S4.

Samsung Galaxy S4 will have 2,600mAh NFC battery

Samsung Galaxy S4 will have 2,600mAh NFC battery

Samsung's Galaxy S4 will have a wirelessly charging NFC battery

Leaked pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S4 show that it’ll feature a 2,600mAh removable battery packed with built-in NFC capability.
A close-up shot of the battery pack allows us to see the ratings of 3.8V 9.88Wh, which can be used together to calculate the mAh rating (Wh x 1000/V), which in this case gives 2,600mAh.
However, said close-up also clearly shows the label ‘Near Field Communication’, implying the battery itself has NFC capabilities.
The most likely outcome of this is support for wireless charging, just like Nokia’s Lumia 920 and the Nexus 4. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of wireless charging for the Galaxy S4 though, rumours from earlier in the year strongly implied the handset would feature the technology.
The battery pack has a bit more juice in it that the Galaxy S3, which was rated at 2,100mAh, but a bigger boost might not have been necessary as recently rumoured information suggests the phone will sport Green PHOLED display tech.
Displays are often the main culprit for battery drain, but the Green PHOLED display is said to be 25-33 per cent more efficient than competing screens.
Not only that, but the Galaxy S4 will allegedly have Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa eight-core chip, which will feature both a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 1.8GHz setup and a Cortex-A7 1.2GHz cluster alongside.
Processors are next in line as the second biggest drain behind the display and this configuration is intended to make the phone capable of running at a lower speed for a more power-efficient state, but also able to ramp up the power for intensive tasks.
The overall effect should be longer device life on a single charge, but when you do run low wireless charging via a dock will take the hassle out of the process.
Samsung’s avoidance of bumping the battery up to 3,000mAh + should also mean the device retains a relatively slim profile.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Confirmed Early for Carriers, Retailer

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Confirmed Early for Carriers, Retailer

While Samsung won’t be unveiling the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date until this Thursday in New York City, a pair of carriers and a retailer in the United Kingdom have decided to jump the gun and confirm their plans to carry the Galaxy S4 in the future.
On March 14th, Samsung will take the wraps off of the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that has been heavily rumored for several months now and has had just about every piece of it leak to the surface, including its release date.
Carriers and retailers have already confirmed the Galaxy S4 for arrival in the UK.
Carriers and retailers have already confirmed the Galaxy S4 for arrival in the UK.
Current rumors suggest that the device will become available in Europe in April, after launching in March, and while that’s not confirmed quite yet, two carriers and a retailer in the United Kingdom have decided to confirm their plans to host the Galaxy S4, well ahead of the actual launch.
ThreeUK and EE, two carriers in the United Kingdom, have teased their support for the upcoming Galaxy S4. While ThreeUK has put up a full splash page for the Galaxy S4, EE has only shot out a tweet telling customers and potential customers that the Galaxy S4 is on the way. And while it doesn’t come right out and say it, we see no reason why the carrier would be promoting a phone that wouldn’t be coming to its network.
This could be the Samsung Galaxy S4.
This could be the Samsung Galaxy S4.
In addition, Phones4U also has a full sign up page set up so that customers can find out when the new Galaxy S4 will arrive on its virtual shelves. None of them have confirmed a date for release which means that those looking to purchase the Galaxy S4 are still out in the cold when it comes to a specific Galaxy S4 release date.
That said, all of the blanks should be filled in come Thursday when Samsung shows off the Galaxy S4 for the first time.
At the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Samsung will be showcasing the Galaxy S4 and all it has to offer. The device is rumored to be a high-end smartphone, unsurprising given that it will be replacing the Galaxy S3, a device that has sold over 40 million units worldwide.
Rumors suggest that the phone will feature a 4.99-inch FHD display, a quad-core processor, a 13MP camera sensor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a design that resembles the Galaxy S3 and is made of plastic, and unique software features that might make up the new TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0.
Thus far, only AT&T and Verizon have emerged as potential carriers in the United States though we expect them to be joined by others when the announcement finally arrives.

5 Thoughts on the First Samsung Galaxy S4 Photo

5 Thoughts on the First Samsung Galaxy S4 Photo

Last night, Samsung once again teased the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 release, however, the tease was much different than the teaser videos that it has been releasing over the past few weeks. Instead, Samsung showed off a photo of what very well could be the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that is supposed to arrive this week.
Over the past few months, Samsung Galaxy S4 rumors have been plentiful. While none of them have been confirmed just yet, there really isn’t a stone that hasn’t been unturned.
Samsung teased this Galaxy S4 image last night.
Samsung teased this Galaxy S4 image last night.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 display is all but confirmed to be 4.99-inches, its processor is likely going to be quad-core of some kind, possibly the Exynos 5 Octa, its camera looks like it will be 13MP, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is more than likely going to be on board, and the device is likely going to have some powerful, smart features courtesy of Samsung.
Its release date has been no stranger to rumor either as its currently thought to be arriving in April with a release in the United States coming in either April or May. For those that follow Android devices from rumor to release, the fact that all of this has leaked out shouldn’t be surprising. Samsung devices often see their hardware and software emerge ahead of their announcements.
However, Samsung has in the past, managed to keep a tight lid on the actual device with its looks and overall design only emerging on the day of the launch event. And that’s exactly why it was odd to see the company tease a Samsung Galaxy S4 photo like it did last night.
The photo only partially shows off what appears to be a smartphone and while it doesn’t reveal much, there are a few things that we can seemingly glean from the image. There are also some questions that we have about the photos appearance.
Here now are five thoughts on what is believed to be the first official Samsung Galaxy S4 photo.

An Odd, Uncharacteristic Tease

In the past, Samsung has kept the designs of its devices under lock and key prior to their launch. The company made sure that the final design of the Samsung Galaxy S3 didn’t emerge until the day of its launch and the company did not tease the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 design, other than a short little snippet in a teaser video, prior to its launch last year at IFA.

So this photo, which was posted on Samsung’s Twitter and Facebook pages last night was a little bit of a shock given its past. Especially if this winds up being the real Samsung Galaxy S4. And at this point, there is no reason to believe that it’s not the real deal.
Samsung is known to use subterfuge in order to keep the designs of its devices a mystery ahead of launch, but this doesn’t feel like a fake. Instead, it feels more like an actual tease of the design.

Have Samsung’s Notorious Walls Fallen?

Prior to Samsung’s release of the render, photos of what allegedly could be the actual Samsung Galaxy S4 surfaced in China. The device looks very similar to the Galaxy S3 and the front somewhat mirrors the render that Samsung released last night.
This purported Galaxy S4 image leaked out of China earlier this week.
This purported Galaxy S4 image leaked out of China earlier this week.
Because Samsung decided to only partially reveal the render last night, it’s impossible to say whether these two devices are one in the same. However, the overall look of them appears to be quite similar and that could mean that the device that has leaked out not only in photos but on video as well, could in fact be the Galaxy S4.
This alleged image shows a curved Galaxy S4.
This alleged image shows a curved Galaxy S4.
If that winds up being the case, it could mean that Samsung’s notoriously strong security has been penetrated and that it, like Apple, was unable to stave off unwanted eyes.

Expect Curves

We’ve heard rumors that the Samsung Galaxy S4 could feature a boxy, more rectangular design. Leaked cases have even suggested that that might be the case. And while cases certainly aren’t the best source of rumors, they have been dead on about designs in the past.
Despite the rumors and leaks, Samsung’s image shows a device that isn’t sporting a rectangular design but a curved one instead. In fact, it looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Concept
Our Galaxy S4 concept features curves as well.
Does this mean that the Galaxy S4 will featured a curved design that was once again inspired by nature? No, but it certainly makes it more probably than a funky rectangular look.
So at this point, consumers should expect a Galaxy S4 with a curved design.

Silver Band Could Be Metal

We’ve heard a rumor in the past that Samsung could be complimenting the overall plastic design with some metal, possibly aluminum, around the side of the Galaxy S4. Our Samsung S4 concept showed what a Galaxy S4 with a metal strip might look like.
The Galaxy S4 render from Samsung shows off what appears to be a glistening strip that is all the way around the Galaxy S4 and it could be that it’s the metallic band that we’ve heard about.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that it’s just the light from the upper left of the image hitting the render but given the previous rumors, it’s entirely possible that it’s hinting at a metal band.

Missing Features

The timing of the release of the render isn’t the only odd thing about the Samsung Galaxy S4′s first photo. What’s also strange are the lack of any buttons on the rest of the device.
We took the Galaxy S4 photo and adjusted exposure and shadows in Aperture to reveal a better look at the actual device. From the image, we can see that it likely has a volume rocker on the left hand side, but oddly enough, other crucial things are missing.
We adjusted the Galaxy S4 image looking for clues.
We adjusted the Galaxy S4 image looking for clues.
For one, there is no speaker grille above the Samsung logo. We also don’t see any sensors which would likely help with the touch less gestures that Samsung supposedly has planned for the display. There is also no visible front-facing camera though it may be hidden in darkness.
So what this means is that while this might be teasing the design, it’s certainly not the full one. Samsung has to leave something to the imagination right?
Fortunately, we only have two days left before we find out what’s real and what is simply just rumor as Samsung is set to announce the Samsung Galaxy S4 at 7PM EST in New York City.