Galaxy S IV Announced

Samsung is currently holding a rather theatrical event to unveil the Galaxy S IV smartphone that’s been widely anticipated for months now. The event is taking place at Radio City Music Hall which has long been a place for acting, something that doesn’t appear to be lost on Samsung’s event organisers who have put on quite a show tonight of the phone being used in real world situations. They’ve even recruited broadway actos like Will Chase to perform the unveiling for them. A great way of differentiating their offerings from Apple’s and quite refreshing.

One of the best ways the acting has reveled the functions of the phone was in a small segment of the show where two actors can’t speak the same language, so the phone acts as a translator. Quite a powerful feature, and one that reminds us of why we love our smartphones so much.

So onto the actual details of the phone itself, many of which were rumoured just a few days ago. The phone has a remarkable 1080p 5″ display which really puts displays on other Android phones as well as the iPhone to shame. The processor is a super speedy 1.9GHz quad-core snapdragon, the rear camera is 13 megapixels and can record video in 1080p Full HD, the front facing camera is 2 megapixels. It comes with several options of in built memory – 16GB, 32GB or 64GB but also contains a microSD port allowing you to extend this up to an additional 64GB. It’s also got 2GB of RAM and a 2600mAh battery, and will run on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Most of this is exactly as rumoured without any real surprises.

The design is pretty much as leaked a few days ago, with a metallic bezel but still using plastic for the back panel. Despite a textured appearance the phone feels smooth to the touch.

Of course the big announcement is, as expected, on the software side. While eye tracking was originally rumoured what we’ve ended up getting is head tracking, which isn’t quite as useful but still will change the way we use our phones. For instance if you’re driving you can control the phone without touching it simply by moving your head to swipe to accept a call. Pretty important as a way to avoid breaking the law on driving while on your phone. It’s also useful for pausing videos if you get distracted and turn away, for instance if a friend asks you something from across the room.

The phone also gets NFC which hopefully should take off this year (finally).

Other new features include Apps Samsung are releasing for the phone. These include the translation app mentioned earlier which will start with nine languages: Chinese, English U.S., English British, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese. There’s also a app that converts data in the real world into data on the phone, for instance scanning a business card details into the contact book.

Samsung have also launched a wristband that goes along with the phone for those of you who like tracking your physical activity, similar to the Jawbone Up product.

All in all it looks a great phone, but one that feels familiar due to all the recent rumours and one that disappoints a little in that many of the more exciting rumours haven’t come to pass.

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Galaxy S IV Announced

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