Samsung Galaxy S4 is the latest Smart Phone from Samsung Electronics in its Galaxy Series. First Galaxy series smart phone was introduced in 2009. With this series, Samsung had started making Android based OS smart phones. It rose to fame with its very first Galaxy S, in June 2010. Subsequently every other S, series smart phone - Galaxy S, Galaxy SII, Galaxy SIII and now Galaxy S4, has met with huge success.
Background - Samsung Galaxy series is the largest and most popular range of Smartphones in the world. Samsung, started its journey as a trading company in 1938 and accounts for approx. 17% of South Korea's GDP today. Headquartered in the capital city - Seoul, this multinational conglomerate ventured into various fields - electronics, heavy Industries, construction and engineering, life Insurance, aerospace and defence etc. Electronics, especially mobile phones and semi conductor are the biggest business for the group.
Galaxy S4 was launched on 14th March 2013 in US among much media hype and fanfare at Manhattan's iconic Radio City Music Hall in the New York City. India saw the launch on April 26, 2013. Successor to one of the most successful models from Samsung ever - Galaxy S3, S4 is being pitched as the most advanced phone present on the planet today. It's design is driven by the vision to - experience life without boundaries and limitations in order to live richer, simpler and more fulfilling life - and this is the reason why Samsung is calling it a "life companion" as stated by J K Shin, President of Samsung Mobile at the launch event. As per him, S4 shall completely change the experience in four areas - an improved camera, better connections with friends and family, tracking one's own well being and improving health and making life easier through various innovations.
Camera on S4 is a huge leap from S3, 13 MP rear camera enables the user to the record sound for good 9 seconds while capturing the memory in a still picture. It's an autofocus camera with Zero shutter lag and sports an LED flash. Best Face feature takes multiple shots for a group of friends and allows the user to select best face for each one of them showcasing everyone at their best. For capturing the action pictures, Drama Mode takes multiple photos and combines them in sequence that tracks the action across the screen keeping the background static. Other key features are Cinemagram, Panorama, HDR. Secondary camera in front is good - 2 MP. With Dual Camera function, S4 can simultaneously take a photo from rear as well as front camera which can put the picture of the person taking it along with the people clicked with the rear camera leaving no one left out of the group.In order to promote the habit of playing and sharing more with friends and family, The Group Play feature encourages the users to play games together, share music, pictures and lots more without a Wi-Fi connection or cellular network, making it a lot more easier and intuitive. The Translator on S4 takes this vision a step further as its equipped to translate voice or text into nine different languages. Through Home Sync, S4 also enables to store ones favourite movies and programmes from TV through an Android-powered set-top device.
Galaxy S4's new S Health is aimed at empowering the user by keep an up-to-date track of health and overall well being, gathering data through a range of sensors/ peripherals such as the S Band, Body scale and HRM heart monitor. All of them keep a check on weight and over all fitness by keeping a track of exercise and eating habits.
Other innovations which make life easier are Smart stay - keeps a track on the eyes while a user is watching a video and keeps the screen on without any interruption, Smart Pause pauses the video the moment user looks away from screen and subsequently resumes it once detects the gaze back on the screen. Smart scroll automatically scrolls the page up and down depending on the direction of the eye movement on the screen. As Samsung claims, the phone has got an instant, effortless and accurate touchless interface. In hover mode, Air View enables to preview pictures, e-mails and even flip though the music list. It also allows to take call with a wave of hand. Lock screen recognises the finger from a distance of 2 cm and adds to the fun of air gesture.
A large display yet impressively light weight, with dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, S4 is slimmer than S3 by around 8% and is lighter as well - only 130 gm making it the lightest smart phone available from Samsung. Fun doesn't stop here, at 441 ppi S4 packs a 5-inch (4.99) Full HD Super AMOLED 1080 x 1920 screen. Such high resolution makes it one of the finest displays available in the world. The best smart phone from Samsung till date adorns an Octa-core 1.6 GHz Exynos 5 CPU, with 2 GB of RAM once again making it one of the fastest processors we have in the phones today. It's not only fast but smart as well - if only a basic application like receiving call or opening a file needs to run, only a part of the processor comes to play. However, if a resource intensive application like motion sensing video game or HD movie is on, extra functionality of the processor kicks into play providing a super fast response even if multiple applications are used at the same time. Such on-demand functionality makes it 70% more energy efficient than S3 and a bigger battery - 2600 mAh compared to S3's 2100 mAh is icing on the cake. New version of Touchwiz Nature UX user interface is a delight. Latest Android OS - Jelly Bean 4.2.2 provides extra notifications bar to toggle pretty much any feature from NFC to Group Cast to Eye-tracking. NFC on S4 goes an extra step, users can use the phone to pay for daily requirements using the PayWave app, this works without any validation from networks. S4 can securely connect to office network using Samsung Knox and with the TV at home using Samsung Home Sync<. It also streamlines the movies, music and books on new Samsung Hub much faster. The list of new features on this 4G enabled device is quite long - new Samsung Story Album automatically creates an album similar to timeline in Facebook and exclusive tie-up with book-printing specialist Blurb allows to get hard bound copies of the pictures at a very nominal price.
Variants and Price (India) : Samsung Galaxy S4 is available in two colours - White Frost and Black Mist - in 16, 32 and 64 GB internal memory storage options. Memory on 16 and 32 GB can also be upgraded to 64 GB through micro-SD Card. Price in India is Rs. 41,500/- for 16 GB variant.
Post S4 launch, the S4 portfolio has recent additions:
Galaxy S4 Active - A rugged version of Galaxy S4, which is dust and water proof. This one comes with
-5 Inch HD screen
-1.9 GHz Quad-core Processor
-2 GB RAM
-16 GB Internal Memory
-8 MP Main Camera
Galaxy S4 mini - It's the true miniature version of flagship Galaxy S4 with most of the features present but in a more compact size.
-4.3 Inch Super AMOLED screen
-1.7 GHz Dual-core Processor
-1.5 GB RAM
-8 GB internal memory
Galaxy S4 Zoom - This one takes the picture clicking to the next level with 10x Optical Zoom.
-16 MP Main Camera
-4.3 Inch Super AMOLED screen
-1.5 GHz Dual-core Processor
-1.5 GB RAM
-8 GB Internal Memory