Samsung has launched its flagship, the Galaxy S4, in India for an official price of Rs 41,500.
The Galaxy S4 was announced back in March and the leading smartphone maker in the world has once again married top-of-the-line hardware and unique software experience overlaid on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest version of the OS.
The phone itself looks very similar to the Galaxy S3, but there are some slight aesthetic changes. Notably, the back is a lot flatter and the sides have also been straightened out. Overall, it's less curvaceous, although nothing like the bold changes we were told to expect.
The Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch display with a full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution and is covered with Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. Samsung's official name for the display is “full HD super AMOLED” and it has a pixel density of 441 PPI.
Galaxy S4 is available from today for Rs 41,500
The rear camera is a brand new 13-megapixel module and the front-facing snapper is a 2-megapixel unit. Samsung has packed in a lot of features in the camera firmware. The primary camera can take more than 100 shots in four seconds, according to Samsung, and users can keep the ones they like. Then there's “Sound and Shot”, which seems like a bit of a gimmick at the moment. It lets you record five seconds of audio before you take a photo. Just like fellow Korean LG, Samsung has also included a 'Dual camera' mode, which takes shots with both the front and back cameras and integrates them into a single scene. The device is also equipped with 12 shooting modes, including Drama Shot, which allows you to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse.
The Galaxy S4 comes with all the connectivity features one expects from a flagship. There's support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which also runs on the standard a/b/g/n bands, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE Cat 3. There's an IR blaster here, which is making a comeback of sorts into smartphones after a brief exile. The battery sounds wholesome at 2600 mAh. Initially, the S4 will be available in 16, 32 and 64 GB versions.
The S4 has a 13-megapixel camera
Of course, there are a whole lot of other software features that come with the new and improved TouchWiz. The Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features got leaked in the build up and they are present here. “Smart Pause” lets you pause a video simply by looking away, with the clip resuming playback when you look back, while “Smart Scroll” lets you move through web pages without looking at the screen. While this is not exactly what was rumoured, Samsung says the S4 recognises the user's face looking at the screen as well as the movement of the wrist and moves the content to match the user's movements.
A very neat addition is Group Play, which syncs multiple phones to use them as stereo speakers for music playback. You can also share photos, files and games with your selected friends without needing a dedicated network.
The Galaxy S4 is also a full-blown fitness tracker thanks to the addition of S Health. The phone's sensors can monitor your fitness level and surroundings; it'll integrate with a number of Samsung accessories as well. There's a built-in pedometer, which is fairly standard but Samsung has given the phone the ability to measure the ambient temperature and humidity of the room, all of which is taken into account by S Health.
What will the battery life be like?
Samsung also added some touch-free gestures – Air View and Air Gesture – to the S4. Air View lets you preview messages or images and pull contextual data by hovering your fingers over the screen. Air Gesture allows you to control the music player, answer calls or scroll through pages without having to actually touch the screen.
Here are the key specs of the Samsung Galaxy S4:
- 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
- HSPA+, LTE, GPRS/EDGE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR and A2DP
- GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
- MicroUSB 2.0 with MHL, USB On-the-go, USB Host
- 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, Simultaneous HD video and still image stabilisation, 1080p video recording.
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p video recording @ 30fps
- 16/32/64GB internal storage with microSD card for further expansion up to 64 GB
The Galaxy S4 comes with a 2600 mAh battery, which should ideally take you through the day with moderate use. Of course, real-world battery performance would vary from user to user.
The S4 will launch in black and white initially, along with a slew of accessories.
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