While speed and specs are what many a smartphone and tablet manufacturer traditionally turn to when they want to make an impact, sometimes you have to go beyond these to truly innovate.
Samsung has blessed both the GALAXY S4 and Note 8.0 with an abundance of specs appeal, but these devices manage to go way beyond mere specifications.
Here we showcase 10 ways the devices are true pioneers, offering features that forge a path in the tech sphere.
1. Dream screen
The screen on the Samsung GALAXY S4 is a true innovator.
Yes, its specs are similar to those of other smartphones around on the market – 1080p, 5 inches in size – but Samsung’s display tech has been backed by some truly brilliant boffins.
DisplayMate, a worldwide leader in video diagnostics, used its lab tools to conclude that the GALAXY S4’s screen was whiter than any other smartphone, and noted that there was a 25% improvement on power consumption when compared to the GALAXY S3.
Couple this with one of the highest PPI counts around, at 441 per inch, and it positively dazzles.
2. True multi tasking with Multi Window
Now this is really clever: while other phones let you multi-task by, for example, playing music and a game at the same time, the GALAXY S4 smartphone and Note 8.0 tablet allow for true multi-tasking with Samsung’s marvellous Multi Window feature.
Your Samsung GALAXY S4 or Note 8.0 will essentially let you run two apps simultaneously on your device in a split-screen view.
So, if you fancy watching a video, you can do this and check Twitter or your emails at the same time. It will also work with things like messaging and Google Maps.
Perfect, then, for those who fancy a bit of true multi-tasking, rather than merely walking and typing on your phone!
3. WatchON on the S4 – a televisual revelation
Samsung’s WatchON app on the S4 is something of a televisual revelation.
It is essentially a new search-and-recommendation service that stops you endlessly flicking channels, and it helps you to find TV shows and on-demand video content faster and easier.
WatchON does this by searching through myriad VoD channels and it will also recommend movies and TV shows for you to watch. Couple this with all the info you need about actors, as well as reviews, and what you have is your one-stop shop for TV content.
4. Innovative features: Smart Scroll and Smart Stay
There are plenty of eye-opening GALAXY S4 and Note 8.0 features to choose from – but one that literally uses the eyes is eye-tracking, or Smart Scroll as Samsung has named it on the S4.
An innovation that can only be found on Samsung devices, Smart Scroll eye-tracking tech allows you to scroll through the web without once prodding your handset.
Samsung’s Smart Stay tech also appears on the GALAXY Note 8.0, as well as on the S4, which detects your eyes with the front camera so that the screen stays on whenever you are looking at it. Dead handy for movie fans and catch-up TV aficionados!
And if all of that wasn’t enough ’hands-free’ magic, there is also Samsung’s Air View touchless gesture control tech – a true head-turner when down the pub with your mates on a Friday night!
Turn Air View on and you can scroll through certain apps without touching the screen. Again, this is something unique to Samsung’s GALAXY device repertoire.
5. S Health software
Phones and portable tablets aren’t just for communicating any more, these are also devices that can change lives.
Well, they are if they are the Samsung GALAXY S4. That’s because Samsung has baked – healthy baking, obviously – S Health software into the phone, which will chart your daily fitness.
It will count the steps you have walked in a day (trust us, it is a lot easier to let the phone do the counting for you) and help you to become a fitter person.
6. The S Pen on the GALAXY Note 8.0
It is not just the Samsung GALAXY S4 that innovates – the Note 8.0 does as well. One of the most obvious ways it paves the way is with Samsung’s pioneering S Pen.
With this remarkably advanced digital input device you can scribble and write, as well as using it for setting up handy shortcuts and previewing things without even touching the screen.
Whether you are an artist or a business person (or both!) you will soon find out that holding an S Pen is the only surefire way to truly get the best out of your handheld tablet device.
7. Reading Mode
One of the popular things to do with any handheld device is to read. But prolonged reading on a digital screen can be something of a strain... until the Samsung GALAXY Note 8.0’s Reading Mode came along.
An innovation for digital screens, Reading Mode automatically changes the brightness of the screen to make sure you bathe your eyes in the best light. Not only that, you can annotate your ebooks through this feature, too.
8. IR features
Any couch potato will be pleased to know that the Note 8.0 comes with its own built-in infrared LED, which means that by the use of magic – well, a light-emitting diode – you can use the device to change the channels on your TV.
If this wasn’t revolutionary enough, then there is also an app – Samsung Peel Smart Remote – that allows you to control myriad TVs in your house. This essentially means that you will never have to worry about losing the TV remote ever again, and it will also make finding your favourite TV shows a blast.
9. Group Play
It may be called Group Play but this service offers up some seriously good technology, allowing you to share and collaborate on content, sharing your favourite tunes with your mates at house parties or work documents between your S4 and the Note 8.0.
Unique to the latest GALAXY devices, Group Play is ideal for those who are using tablets and smartphones for work, with collaboration clearly the theme of this app.
You can also use it for entertainment purposes, though. For example, if you want to share a song to listen to simultaneously with a bunch of friends, Group Play is the ideal way to do this.
Samsung’s collaboration with Dropbox is one of the many things that elevates it above the competition in the increasingly busy smartphone and tablet markets.
With selected GALAXY devices you get a whopping 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years.
Not only is Dropbox one of the best ways to share files with others, having the free 50GB means that you can truly use the service as a power user and not worry about your allocated memory being eaten up.
Work this in unison with the Samsung GALAXY Note 8.0 or S4 and what you have is a truly innovative service that will cost you absolutely nothing for a good few years.