With less than a week to go now before the Samsung Galaxy S IV is introduced at a special event in the city of New York, we’ve compiled a little round up of the almost certain, possible, and unlikely features of what will certainly be this year’s biggest release on Google’s Android platform.
We’ll start with the bread-and butter, including the specs and form factor, before assessing some of the rumors we’ve seen floating around recently.
First and foremost, there’s little debating that the fourth Galaxy S device will pack in a large display. Samsung has long since favored the 4-inch+ bracket when designing flagship smartphones, and with the recent successes of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II – both of which go beyond the 5-inch mark – the suggestions of a 5-inch AMOLED (or 4.99-inches, for those with a love of decimals), would seem on the money.
Of course, a large display with a low dpi count is basically worthless, but that doesn’t seem as though it will be the case with the Galaxy S IV. Reports strongly indicate the S IV will be treated to a beautifully-crisp 1080p resolution, which would offer unrivalled sharpness when viewing videos, images, or surfing the Web.
Sources recently also waded into the argument with claims the AMOLED display will consist of "Green PHOLED", a material which allows for better efficiency, which is in turn great news for battery life.
As far as the processor, we had expected to see a 1.8GHz quad-core offering, but recent reports suggest it will in fact contain Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa eight-core processor. As impressive as that does sound on paper, one has to wonder whether there’s really any value in essentially over-qualifying a device for the tasks it carries out. Samsung loves pushing the boundaries, so it’s a possibility; but at this stage, we’re inclined to suggest the Korean company will, sensibly, opt for the quad-core.
The Galaxy S III boasts an 8-megapixel snapper, and while we know there’s more to a camera than megapixels, the S IV is expected to pack a 13-megapixel rear shooter. The less-considered front-facing camera will likely offer 2-megapixels for video chat apps such as Skype.
Wireless Charging, NFC, And Collaboration With Visa
It seems more than likely that the S IV will support wireless charging, and while NFC like Galaxy S III is also a certainty, it also looks as though it will be tied to some description of Passbook-esque app. Meanwhile, Samsung has also struck an NFC deal with Visa to implement the credit card company’s technology to a set number of its handsets over the next twelve months, the first of which could possibly be the S IV.
Eye-Tracking For Scrolling
Reports, later corroborated by a publication over at the New York Times, suggest Samsung will introduce a "Smart Scroll" feature, which tracks your eye movements in order to scroll pages down as you read them in a seamless fashion. The idea only really emerged in the past week or two, but with Samsung’s Smart Stay feature offering a somewhat similar, thinking-for-the-user experience, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
It’s certainly something that, if Samsung were to pull off, would make the process of reading a great deal easier. Sure, performing a scrolling gesture is not particularly taxing, but if you like to roll hands-free, Smart Scroll would make the process that tidbit more enjoyable.
Floating Touch Aspect
Rumors have suggested the S IV will offer “floating touch gestures,” something the ever-informed SamMobile has corroborated having claimed to have received a tip-off. This would allow users, as with Air View with the S Pen, to hover over certain features of the interface; offering preview or additional information.
Other Key Specs (OS, Storage, Design)
The Galaxy S IV is expected to pack in a healthy 2GB of RAM, LTE capabilities, and run on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. Storage configurations will likely consist of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, with two different launch colors making for a total of six unique handsets from the get-go. The pebble blues and shiny reds could be making way for black and white launch models akin to the iPhone range, but even if that does wind up being the case, don’t be surprised if Samsung introduces some of its more bespoke flavors later in the day.
The outer shell, whatever the colors may be, will likely consist of a similar plasticky material seen in previous Galaxy generations.
Whatever shape the Galaxy S IV does eventually take, and whether Samsung, as also rumored decides to ditch the home button / microSD slot when announcing next week on March 14th, we’ll have all the details here at Redmond Pie, so stay tuned!