A Whole New World: Samsung’s New Galaxy S4


Anis Vijay Modi
Staff Writer

For the first time in a long while, the ball in the “iPhone vs. Android” game is in Apple’s court—and no one is sure what they are going to do with it. To be fair, it is not Apple’s fault. It seems that, in its quest to catch up to the technological juggernaut, Samsung is finally going to eclipse the iPhone with its own groundbreaking product—the Galaxy S4.

The phone’s new design is significantly slimmer than its predecessor (7.9 mm against the S3’s 8.6). Its screen has been magnified from the older 4.8” to a bigger 5.0” AMOLED display. The phone’s photographic abilities have taken a leap forward, as the rear camera has been upgraded to 13 megapixels, compared with the S3’s 8, and the front camera provided with full HD support. Despite the rumors that the international version of the device will feature an 8-core processor, the U.S. version of the S4 is destined to maintain the S3’s quad-core. Showing its ability to take criticism, Samsung has replaced the S3’s plastic cover, which troubled many costumers, with a solid glass and metal framework designed to give the new phone a more high-end feel. It is safe to say that hardware-wise, Samsung is shooting for the top of the phone market with great success.

The Galaxy S4 is also going to be packed with a pile of new features that definitely set it apart from other competitors, including Apple’s iPhone. The new Air View feature is Samsung’s way to try and redefine the touchscreen era, simply by making touch unnecessary in some cases. By predicting the user’s actions, the feature responds to fingers hovering over the screen, saving consumers the trouble of even pressing down on the phone. This feature is connected to another set of features that are all designed to predict and “make life more comfortable,” the company added. The motion sensors that have been introduced into the Galaxy S3 have been improved, and the result is striking. The phone can now also recognize eye movement. So, for example, a video stops playing when the user turns his head away from the screen. Another cool use of this technology is the fact that an article or an email would scroll down as your eyes near the bottom of the screen.

Samsung’s focus on “sharing experience,” as the company put it, continues well into the S4’s features. A number of devices will be able to share music among them, in the sense that they could serve as simultaneous speakers to the same track. Imagine something like a surround sound system made up of S4s. The familiar abilities that come with the NFC chip, such as the Galaxy Beam and Google Wallet, will remain an integral part of the phone’s operating system. If you were looking for “the next big thing,” look no further.

“It believes in the importance of an effortless user experience, and makes every moment of your life very meaningful,” Samsung stated in a press release accompanying the S4 announcement. I have a hard time thinking a mobile device can “believe” in something, but the new installment in the Galaxy series seems to stop just short of having human capacities.

In a surprising announcement made in New York last month, Samsung has launched the S4 in the United States. The company followed with a swift punch as it promised to deliver it to U.S. carriers as early as late April. Expecting widespread demand, Samsung is covering the country with the new phone. The Galaxy S4 will be featured on the shelves of T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, C Spire, Cricket, and Verizon Wireless, while also being sold in an expanded list of stores including Costco, Staples, and Target.

The flurry of mobile devices Samsung has been releasing in the last few weeks, ranging from enlarged Samsung Notes to mini Galaxy S3s, suggests that the company is trying to stretch the boundaries of today’s phone markets. The Galaxy S4 looks like a product that pinpoints all of these demands together. The installment in the Galaxy series promises to carry over the success of its predecessor and maybe even get the company some new followers.

Chances are that, if you are reading this week’s issue of The Bottom Line, the S4 is already on the shelves of T-Mobile, the first American carrier to launch this device. In reality, if you want to grab this new perk, you’re going to have to keep calm for a couple of months until pre-orders are all done with. One thing is sure—it is well worth the wait.