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Galaxy S4: Many firsts in smartphone market, Samsung focuses on innovative software features

The touchscreen can be used even with gloves and employs Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which has native damage resistance and is three times more scratch-resistant.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 16, 2013, 07.07 AM IST
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NEW YORK: At a packed event in New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall, Samsung took the wraps off its highly anticipated new flagship mobile device, the Galaxy S4. As many were expecting, it has a 5-inch, full HD Super Amoled screen, 13 megapixel camera, eight-core processor and several other firsts in the smartphone segment. It weighs only 130 gm and is 7.9mm thick.

There are other nifty upgrades done to the hardware as well. The touchscreen can be used even with gloves and employs Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which has native damage resistance and is three times more scratch-resistant that its previous version.

The S4 also has built-in wireless charging (available in select regions). The device does include upgraded hardware as compared to the previous flagship phones, but the focus this time is more on innovative new software features rather than raw power.

The phone will come with the latest Android 4.2 version and an upgraded TouchWiz user interface.

Some notable additions include active dual cameras that can include the picture taker in the frame (works with video too); Sound & Shot that stores some audio with still photos; Eraser mode that takes multiple photos and can remove unwanted elements from the frame; Smart Pause that pauses a video if you look away; Smart Scroll that automatically scrolls pages up or down; Group Play that allows you to share multimedia with nearby devices instantly and Share Music that lets you connect to seven other devices to play the same music in sync. Samsung’s own ChatOn messaging application has also been upgraded to support voice/video calls with 3-way calling.

The camera interface is also upgraded and is now similar to the one found on the Galaxy Camera.

Interestingly, Samsung has also included some features that were previously only possible with a stylus. Features like Air View and Air Gesture let you hover with your finger to see more content or simply use intuitive gestures to scroll up or down on a webpage, answer a call or move to the next photo/music track. S Voice Drive lets you control the phone with voice commands while driving. The device also includes an Infrared emitter, so that you can use it like a universal remote control.

Galaxy S4 will also be the first phone to come with Samsung Knox security suite. The suite provides various enterprise features that makes it easy to manage and secure work-related apps with a password.

Personal apps and data are kept separate without any password protection. Certain markets get the 1.9Ghz quad-core version (Qualcomm Snapdragon processor) while others get the 1.6Ghz octa-core (Samsung Exynos processor).

In all likelihood, India will get the octa-core version. It will initially come in two colours, black and white, with more colour options to follow in the year. Availability is set for April end. Samsung promises a new simultaneous rollout across 155 countries. While no pricing details were announced, we expect it to be priced at Rs 39,990 (for the 16GB version).

Galaxy S4: Many firsts in smartphone market, Samsung focuses on innovative software features

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