Thursday night, the world got a first glimpse at the "next [next] big thing" from Korean tech giant, Samsung. Streaming the event live on the company's YouTube channel, Samsung revealed the successor to their best-selling smartphone: the GalaxyS4. Those in attendance at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY were lucky enough to play around with the phone first-hand and experience the new features being brought to the table, some of which could change smartphones from here on out.
If you have owned a touchscreen phone before, you may have noticed that sometimes the screen reacts while hovering a finger over it. Samsung has taken this inconvenient flaw, developed it further, and turned it into a legitimate feature. The idea to reduce finger smudges has resulted in a screen that swipes, scrolls, and clicks without needing to physically touch it. As if that was not enough, the GalaxyS4 offers never before seen eye-tracking technology that scrolls through web pages and pauses video playback depending on where the user's eyes are looking. Android keyboard SwiftKey recently upgraded their app to include swipe texting, similar to Swype. It was announced that this will be the GalaxyS4's native keyboard, a partnership that is both surprising and welcomed by the Android community.
Many are claiming he Samsung GalaxyS4 will finally by the phone to out-sell Apple's iPhone5. It's thinner than the than its competition, but it does not sacrifice durability. It's only 0.31-inches thick (0.01-inch thicker than the iPhone5) with a Super HD AMOLED touchscreen that is 1-inch larger and protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 2. When it comes down to tech specs, the Galaxy S4 is galaxies ahead of Apple's latest offering. Its pixel display density is 115 pixels/inch greater, bringing the resolution to a full 1920x1080 (the iPhone5 only supports 1136x640). Users will get the most out of that screen with the incredible 13 megapixel rear camera (2 megapixel in the front). The GalaxyS4 has Google's Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system at its core and powered by a 2,600 mAh battery nearly twice as powerful as the iPhone5's 1,400 mAh battery.
The two cameras are actually capable of working in sync with one another. While taking a picture with the rear-facing camera, the user can insert a picture of themselves into the photo using the front-facing camera simultaneously. This effect might seem a little cheesy in photos, but for video calls it is genius. Now, the person on the other end of the line can see both the person using the phone and other people in the background without someone needing to stretch their arm straight out in front of them self. The phone can even combat "photo-bombing" by taking multiple pictures and creating a sort of composite of the images to erase any unwanted photo intrusions.
Unfortunately, we also don't know how much the phone will cost and Samsung has not reveled when the GalaxyS4 will be available, but consumers may expect it to hit shelves later this year. In the United States, it will be available on all major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.