The Samsung Galaxy S4

This coming Saturday, Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, goes on sale.

Smartphone Battles

2009-2012 smartphone market by provider

Global smartphone market share by provider.

Like with most mass market technology, there is a war going on in the smartphone industry. In 2012, according to market analyst firm ICD, Samsung controlled 30.3% of the global smartphone market, 59.5% up on the 19% of the market it controlled the year before.

There is no doubt that Samsung is currently the dominant force in the smartphone market. The firm seems to slowly be winning its battle with Apple, and looks set to take on Google next, with rumours that it soon plans to ditch Google’s Android operating system altogether.

Nokia are predicted to make a comeback (how successful I am unsure) thanks to Windows RT, and makers of BlackBerry, RIM, are also looking stronger in 2013 after the release of BlackBerry 10 earlier this year.

Galaxy S4

Samsung are trying to steal even more of the market from its competitors with the Galaxy S4, so it has pulled out a few stops, maybe not all the stops, but quite a few, to make sure that the phone is a success.

So, the phone has loads of new features, to make it slightly better than its predecessor – the S3.

The S4 has a slightly bigger (5mm to be exact) screen, boasting a whole 5 inches of full HD display, which no doubt gives it amazing clarity. The new phone is also slightly thinner than the S3.

You can buy a Galaxy S4 in black and white, or as Samsung like to call them: black mist and white frost. I have never looked at a phone before (smart or not) and thought “that looks like frost” or mist, but maybe the S4 really does; or maybe it’s just marketing.

Touch and use even with gloves - Samsung Galaxy S4Samsung claim the latest edition of its Galaxy is usable even with gloves on, hopefully reducing the cases of zombie fingers – Jonny, you might be able to use it! ;-)

The phone has various other new features, such as Samsung WatchON, which connects your phone to your TV, turning your phone into a remote control.

Another new feature is the multi-speaker capability – if you have more than one handy, you can sync them together to create a better quality of sound.

The S4 will also come with built in 4G compatibility, which the original S3 didn’t. If a fast internet connection is important to you when you are on the go, then the S4 is probably a better choice than the S3.

Eye-Tracking

Probably the most exciting new feature of the Galaxy S4 is the new eye-tracking technology. The phone uses its front camera to monitor the users eye movements, and uses can use this function for a host of different activities.

One of the features which uses the eye-tracking technology is video playback. If you are watching something, and then look away, the device automatically pauses the media for you. Furthermore, eye-tracking technology can be used to scroll up and down a page, without the need to even touch the screen.

Photos

There are two interesting developments in the photographic area of the phone, the first is that you can now add audio snippets to pictures, to enable you to catch even more of the moment. You can also merge video with picture, creating partially animated pictures – sort of like the photographs in the Harry Potter films.

The S4 can also use (and display) the front and rear camera simultaneously, which shows that its quad-core ARM processor is pretty quick!

Your Thoughts

So what are your thoughts on the S4? If you are getting one, do let us know!

Do you think that Samsung have done enough to fend off the competition from its closest rivals?

Personally I think the S4 looks like it is set to become the best smartphone on the market when it goes live at the end of the week.

24 thoughts on “The Samsung Galaxy S4

  1. Hey Christopher,

    Well, with the introduction of iPhone 5 in the market, its more understandable why Samsung Galaxy S4 has made some stops. Like what you’ve said, Samsung is leading the battle of the smartphones and I guess Samsung is not yet ready to give its throne to their competitors. Anyway, the preview of Samsung S4 is quite amazing and in my opinion, they will still be leading the others. But, I certainly agree that Nokia has plans of their own so Samsung should never confident. Nevertheless, thanks for sharing this interesting post.

    • Christopher Roberts

      I am glad you liked the post Farrell, it’s what we are here for!

      I see the market becoming even more competitive in the near future. RIM are right back in the picture with BlackBerry 10, the iPhone 5 is still making waves and at the end of this week Samsung are going to throw their grenade (the S4) into the mix. Not to mention Nokia, which I think we both agree is potentially a serious contender due to the new Windows 8 style operating system.

      Thanks for sharing your views Farrell, welcome to the community :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  2. Hello Christopher,
    There is no doubt about Samsung’s dominance in smart phone’s market as it has many smart features in it (as you explained above) for the users and also it is cost effective as compared to other smartphones. I love Samsung smartphones not only for their features but also for the great quality they maintain.

    • Christopher Roberts

      So if someone offered you an iPhone 5, a Lumia 720 or a Galaxy S4, I assume you would take the Samsung Ankur?

      Would you still choose a Galaxy if the iconic Android operating system was replaced with something of Samsung’s own design?

      Thanks for adding your view, welcome to the blog :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  3. It’s interesting to see how the war between Samsung and Apple brings on the market such smartphones that have lots of power and lots of features, although it occurs to me that the design is always the same.

    I guess that Nokia have their chance in the future, their phones are some of the best looking ( the best looking in my opinion ), and the marriage with Microsoft proves to be a winner, but time will tell.

    Don’t you think that a 3 horse race between Samsung, Apple and Nokia will be awesome? :-)

    • Christopher Roberts

      Indeed it would, but imagine how competitive things would get if Samsung moved away from Android and Google decided to try and get in on the action…

      FYI, if you check out our comment policy, you will find loads of great tips to ensure you get the most out of your comment – like using KeywordLuv which lets you link to your site using keywords, but still have your name display in your comments. :-)

  4. It is very possible that in the near future, we will have something like this :
    1. Samsung with it’s own OS, Tizen
    2. Apple with…well, with them
    3. Google’s Android with Motorola
    4. Nokia with Microsoft

    But apart from the hardware battle, what do you think about the software one? It’s between 2 operating system giants, Microsoft and Apple ( which are very restrictive about their software) and 2 open source operating systems.

    • Christopher Roberts

      No doubt unless Samsung have a really secure patent around the technology, you can bet the next iPhone will include a similar technology Neil!

  5. Samsung Galaxy S4 looks like an amazing phone but not for S3 users. There are no big improvements and I think S3 is good enough for most users. I dont say that there is no point to buy S4, but as a S3 use I am not gonna spent more money for something similar.

    Nice post, thanks for sharing, Kostas.

    • Christopher Roberts

      If you were offered an S4 for free Kostas, would you take it, or do you think that it is so similar, there wouldn’t be any point?

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to Technology Bloggers :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  6. I would not recommend buying the S4 when the only variant of it that is available is the 16GB one that has only 8GB available for use. The SD card won’t help because you can’t store apps on it. While the phone’s specs are fantastic, the 16GB version might as well be called the “Paperweight Edition” because that’s all you can use it for.

    • Christopher Roberts

      Never heard anyone call a smartphone a paperweight; a pretty expensive one at that Daniel!

      Thanks for adding your view, welcome to the community :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  7. Hello Christopher,

    I admire the new specs of Samsung GS4 compared to the GS3. Although, some people are criticizing the new Samsung smartphone because they think that the new specs are not very practical to use. I don’t agree with them. I believe that those smartphone companies who made new innovations, practical or not, will definitely dominate the market. People always look for something new nowadays.

    • Christopher Roberts

      So you think that innovation and novelty is what people look for Ronaldo, not practicality?

      Interesting view :-)

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to Technology Bloggers!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  8. Hello Christopher,

    First of all nice post.

    The Samsung Galaxy S4 has to features from the future If I can say that :). The hardware is amazing (my first computer didn’t had such processing power) and interface that Samsung created for the Android is fluid and very friendly. I like that Samsung Galaxy S4 allows more freedom to the user, comparing to Iphone that is very restrictive.

    One of the features that I like the most is the Eye Tracking. I hate when I’m reading an article on my Galaxy Nexus and after a few seconds of idle the display backlight is turned off or the device is locked.

    But the Samsung Galaxy 4 has some disavantages. First is the big price that the device it can have in certain countries and the second one is the design. For some reason Samsung is afraid to change the device shape and use more vivid colors ( hey take a look at the Lumia’s shape and colors). Personally I had it with white and black smartphone and I would expected from Samsung Galaxy 4 to be a smartphone that I couldn’t find some similarities with other previously devices from Samsung.

    I the future if the price for Galaxy 4 will drop I might think to trade my Galaxy Nexus for a Samsung Galaxy 4.

    • Christopher Roberts

      Wow, sounds like you have done a lot of research into the phone Dan!

      I like the point about colours. The biggest providers only seem to like black, white and blue. Why not make more colourful phones? Maybe they wouldn’t sell as many cases…

      Thanks for adding your view Dan, welcome to Technology Bloggers community :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  9. Samsung has given Apple some real competition, but I can’t find myself buying something I know the company blatantly copied from Apple. I also believe since Apple handles the hardware, software and services, they create a better product. Can’t wait to see what Apple has in store for the iPhone 5S.

    • Christopher Roberts

      Hi Phil,

      Interesting view! What did Samsung copy from Apple?

      If you mean technologies, arguable Apple have also stolen a lot from Samsung! Apple did release the iPhone before Samsung got their Galaxy to market, as they did with the tables, however the technologies the phones contain have been evolved by both companies.

      Thanks for the comment :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

      • Hi Christorpher,

        The list of things Samsung has copied from Apple is too long for this comments section.
        Here is a link with some photos to give you an idea.

        http://nicklazilla.tumblr.com/post/29202801252/samsung-is-apples-biggest-fan

        I followed the court case where Apple received a billion dollar judgement against Samsung and the engineers for Samsung were documented coping straight from the iPhone.

        Not to mention Google CEO Eric Schmidt was serving on Apple’s board when the iPhone was being developed. Later, he resigned from the board and Google revealed they too were working on a mobile operating system.

        Apple has been copied by 2 companies they though were a allies. It guess that what happens when your on top, everyone is gunning for you.

        • Christopher Roberts

          A very interesting view you take Phil!

          As high profile commercial rivals I wouldn’t have ever thought that Apple, Google, Samsung or indeed Microsoft would ever have felt a sense of union, and doubt they ever considered their competition allies.

          The link you added does have some examples, however some aren’t real and others don’t show the full story.

          For example, Samsung brought out their F700 (arguably the first smartphone) to market a whole year before Apple brought out the iPhone! Steve Jobs was developing a tablet, and maybe after seeing Samsung’s phone he thought they would jump on the bandwagon and bring out a phone instead of a tablet.

          Yes there have been a few high profile cases where Apple have sued Samsung, however there are many the other way too. The Daily Mail report how Apple has been banned from selling certain iPads and iPhones in the US because they infringe Samsung patents. Also the Telegraph have reported that Samsung are suing Apple because the iPhone 5 has copied some technologies developed by Samsung.

          It’s swings and roundabouts. Apple like to portray themselves as innovative, but very few of the big firms actually have major, genuinely original ideas.

          Feel free to respond :-)

          Please remember I am just here to stir up a debate ;-)

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