It’s finally here! Samsung announced one of the most anticipated smart phones of the year, introducing the Galaxy S4 to the world. This phone is the next step in the evolution of the popular Galaxy S line of phones. The S4 comes with some expected features, such as a 13 mega pixel camera with upgraded photo and video software and a slightly larger 2600 mAh battery. It also includes 16/32/64 GB of built in storage with removable microSD card slot. As expected, the S4 will run the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. It’s also loaded with tons of health conscious exercise and dieting software, meant to enhance your quality of life. As a fat, out of shape tech blogger myself, I didn’t pay much attention to that crap. While there are lots to like, below are the 5 most awesome features of the new Samsung Galaxy S4.
ScreenYou can’t talk about Galaxy S series phones without talking about their gorgeous screens. The Galaxy S3 was a standard bearer for what a beautiful smart phone display should be. The Galaxy S4 upholds those high standards. It comes fitted with a gorgeous 5 inch HD Super AMOLED display, packing in 441ppi. To top it off, the screen is made from Corning’s new Gorilla® Glass 3, making it one tough SOB.
It appears Samsung has worked some real magic with this next new feature. Samsung’s Group Play enables users to share music, photos, documents and games across multiple devices without using Wi-Fi or cellular signal. For example, Samsung claims users will be able to “have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync to create the best party atmosphere.” This sounds like an upgrade to the Samsung S3′s All Cast feature. I am not a fan of the All Cast feature because it was too many steps for users to sync up, making the feature more of a hassle than a benefit. Hopefully, Samsung has worked through these kinks and Group Play will be beneficial.
Smart Pause and Scroll
Expanding on their “smart line” of features that started with Smart Stay on the Galaxy S3, Samsung unveiled Smart Pause and Smart Scroll. Smart Pause will control video you are watching, “the video pauses when you look away then it starts right up again when you are back.” Smart Scroll enables you to scroll your web browser or email without touching the screen, by monitoring your face and the movement of your wrist. I was really excited last year with the announcement of Smart Stay because I do a lot of reading on my phone. Unfortunately, I could never get this feature to work for me. I assume that it is because I wear transition lenses and it interfered with the phone reading my eyes. It’s nice to see Samsung pushing innovation in these gesture areas. Let’s hope these features work in the practical world as well as they are advertised.
Touchless Gesture Features
Samsung is taking the touch out of the touch screen with their new Air features, Air View and Air Gestures. Air View allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. With Air Gesture, you can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand. I love the idea of not having to touch the screen of my phone to do basic tasks. It will help to keep that beautiful screen more fingerprint free.
WatchONI am still waiting for all of the Google Home items that Google showed off at I/O two years ago. Samsung is making a move into the home automation field with the Galaxy S4 with their WatchON feature. The S4 will “transform into an IR remote to control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner.” I love this because I am very much into consolidating as many devices as possible. The more I can do with a single device, means the less things I have to misplace.
The Galaxy S4 isn’t a game changing device, but Samsung has packed it with enough power and features to make it a solid follow up to the Galaxy S3. If your contract is up and you’re looking for a new phone, this would be the phone that I would recommend. The screen is gorgeous, yet, not too big to manage, and it’s got plenty of fun, innovative features to try out. Although, if it’s anything like the Galaxy S3, you’ll find yourself trading out the Samsung Features out for the comparable Google versions because they just work a lot better.So what do you think of the Galaxy S4? Is this the phone you are lusting after, or do you have another phone you want to purchase? Let me know in the comments below.