Last night in New York, Samsung revealed its new killer phone – Recombu was there to fondle the big but beautiful Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s made of polycarbonate – plastic to you and me – and is lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S3, even though the screen is bigger. It’s now a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a remarkable 441ppi resolution – that’s Full HD.
The design is improved, looking snazzier and more elegant. But though it’s no taller than last year’s model and even narrower and slimmer, it packs a lot in.
The camera is a whopping 13-megapixel resolution and has gee-whiz effects like adding sounds or video to still pictures, erasing unwanted background elements or amalgamating images for cool results.
You can even shoot video on the 13MP rear camera and 2MP front camera at the same time (below) – good fun if you want to record what’s going on and your reaction simultaneously.
There’s a health awareness element, too – the phone has a pedometer built in that knows if you’re walking, running or climbing stairs and a thermometer and humidity sensor knows how your body temperature is doing.
And then there are the features controlled by your eyes. Smart Pause is ingenious: if you’re watching a movie but look up from the immersive screen to check junior’s behaving himself, the video pauses. Look back and it starts playing again. We tested this and it worked flawlessly.
It uses the front-facing camera to achieve these effects. And that’s utilised for Smart Scroll. If the phone knows you’re watching it, when you reach the bottom of the web page you’re reading, say, you tilt the phone and the content scrolls upwards. This could have been confusing or uncomfortable, but it really works.
The 1.6GHz eight-core processor means everything we tried on the handset worked fast and smoothly. Samsung promises the 2,600 mAh battery will glide through a day’s use and since it’s removable you can always swap it for a fresh cell if you need to.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a striking, elegant and highly innovative handset that combines snappy design with imaginative features. Set for launch on April 26th, it‘s going to be huge.