After months of speculation Samsung has launched the Galaxy S4 at an event in New York.
The flagship handset will be available on April 25th in the UK.
As expected it’s a big screened, tooled up, flagship device – and Samsung will be looking to replicate the success it had with the preceding Galaxy S3. 327 mobile operators world wide will carry the phone.
This isn’t just about a specs upgrade - a lot of the emphasis is on new ways of interacting with a phone, such as gesture control, eye tracking and a number of other smart features.
Check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 hands on.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera
The S4 has a number of new camera features, some of which are based on using the front and back camera simultaneously.
Dual Shot lets you take two pictures simultaneously (with the front and back cameras) and merge them together – having the rear shot as an insert in the main image, for example.
Dual Recording does the same thing, but for video.
If your photo has been spoiled by a blurred image of a person moving quickly in the background, Racer Shot will remove it.
Sound Shot will record nine seconds of sound at the point of capture, which can be tagged to the photo.
Drama Shot takes a burst series of snaps and combines them to create one photo – this is pitched as ideal for action shots. So if used to capture a diver leaping off a cliff, there would appear to be eight bodies arcing through the air.
Meanwhile, Cinema Photo lets you select still shots from video and create gifs. The Galaxy S4 also comes with Story Album, a feature which helps you group photos by analysing the location, surroundings and recognising the people in the images.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Specs
As you’d expect, the superphone is tooled up with the latest components.
Processor: Exynos 5 Octo 1.6MHz
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB. Up to 64GB with Micro SD
Screen: 5-inch Full HD super Amoled 441PPI
Camera: 13 MP front camera, 2MP rear camera
Video: 1080p recording
Operating system: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
Dimensions: 69.8mm 136.6mm, 7.9mm thin
Samsung Galaxy S4 features
The phone has a number of gesture and ‘eye reading’ features, some of which can be found in its Note series, but most of which are brand new.
Having registered the fact you’re looking at it, Smart Pause will pause the video you’re watching if you look away from the screen, and then resume when you look back.
Wave your hand in front of the screen without touching it and Smart Gesture will pick the movement up, allowing you to scroll across or down. So you can browse pages or navigate the phone without actually touching the screen. A waving gesture can also answer a call.
With Air View you can hover your finger over message to preview it – a function seen on the Galaxy Note series. This is pitched for use taking a peek at emails, calendar items and Flipboard Videos instead of having to fully open them. You can also scroll through screens by tilting the device, thanks to something called Smart Scroll.
S Health is a series of - you guessed it - fitness features – including a pedometer, calorie counter, and humidity sensor. It will track your exercise and keep you updated on progress.
If your TV has an IR receiver, Watch ON allows you to pair it to the S4, change channel, select a video on demand, or pull down information.
Group Play lets up to eight S4s link up via NFC or manually to play games or listen to the same songs.
S Translator recognises nine different languages and works both ways, translating your text and then listening to the person's response it shows you the reply in your own native language. It can also be embedded into email, chat or messaging.
Samsung Optical Reader picks up QR codes, and can read things like business cards and know what information it needs to pick out for your records, apparently.
You can also share the screen with another S4, and share annotations, make three-way video calls and duel camera video calls.
Adapt Display is a new tech that comes with the Galaxy S4's large 5-inch Full-HD display, by analysing the surroundings and the type of content you're viewing the screen is optimised.
One of the major updates to the screen is the fact that you can use the Galaxy S4 whilst wearing gloves, placing it alongside a limited number of other hansets including the Lumia 920.
There’s no word on price yet, but the S4 will be available from all the major networks in the UK at the end of April 2013.
Read our hands on of the Samsung Galaxy S4.