Samsung wants to cut ties with Android by developing its own Tizen software -- and new leaked pictures show Tizen in action on the cutting edge Samsung Galaxy S4.
The pictures, appearing on Tizen Indonesia via UnwiredView, show Tizen 3.0.
The software appears to be somewhere between Android, iOS 7 and Windows Phone. The general look seems comfortably similar for anyone used to Android, the pastel colours evoke Apple's next generation of software for iPhone and iPad, and the coloured squares echo Windows Phone's live tiles...
As you are probably aware, I started my coverage of the Samsung Galaxy S4 a few days back on my channel. Whilst I am still working on my Full Review, which will take the form of a video, now is a good opportunity to share my early impressions of some of the features.
Form & Size Before handling the device I thought it would be too big, but to my surprise, even though it sports a 4.99-inch screen it feels good in the hand. Samsung have done a superb job here, concentrating on a design that was not broken in the previous version and making the bezel around the screen super thin. One of my earlier dislikes of the Galaxy S3 was the very thin battery cover. I am happy to say that has been addressed to and the cover on the S4 is thicker and feels more robust. The materials used seem to have changed too. Yes, this is primarily plastic, but it feels more rigid. The silver band around the edges looks nicer and the overall quality seems to have improved. Maybe it is just the type of plastic used, but whatever Samsung have done, they upped their game. The large screen really does impress too, with its 1920x1080 resolution. This gives plenty of screen real estate for browsing the internet and emails. Where it really does shine is watching videos… the Galaxy S4 is certainly a smartphone that I could watch a full length video on.
S Health I love my Fitbit, which is a small device that I use to track my daily activity. It keeps a tab on my steps, sleep and food consumption (via an app). Samsung have developed their own app that uses the internal sensors of the Galaxy S4 to do more or less the same. It does not offer constant monitoring, instead you stop & start the app when you go for a walk or run. In addition you can also track food or calorie intake. The interface looks nice and from my early tests it seems pretty accurate, more or less mirroring what my Fitbit does.
Smart Pause & Air Gestures These two features may seem like a gimmick, but they are quite useful. Smart Pause is great for watching videos. The most basic way of describing it, is you watch a video, look away to talk to someone in the room and the video pauses. Look back at your Galaxy S4 screen and it instantly resumes. OK, I know you could tap the pause icon on the screen, but the feature actually works very well. Air Gestures is another great feature, but one that I will probably use a lot less. It allows you to wave your hand across the sensor on the device and have it move between photos (for example). If I am doing an action with my hand, in my opinion I may as well swipe my finger on the screen.
Accessories Whenever a new smartphone is released many third party manufacturers release cases and accessories in the following weeks. What amazes me with the Galaxy S4 is just how many were available prior to and on launch day. Cases, chargers & screen covers, all made to enhance your experience. My favourite so far is the Official S View cover (see video below), because not only does it protect the phone, but also changes the display when closed to show just the clock, date & notifications. In addition, when you open the front cover, the Galaxy S4 wakes up and springs into action.
Battery Life Although a little early for me to pass judgement (I will do that in my full review), things seem pretty good. With my iPhone 5 I just about manage a full days use between charges. In my first couple of days with the Galaxy S4 I had no problem getting through the whole day on a single charge. That is pretty impressive, considering the screen is brighter & pushing a lot more pixels, plus there is a quad core processor in this beauty of a smartphone. Add to that the fact that you could always carry a spare battery if you really need to. All this equates to a very good proposition, if you rely on your phone for long periods of time between charges.
All in all my early impressions are very positive. I test smartphones pretty much every day and can honestly say that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has caught my attention. It really could be the best smartphone of 2013.
The race has been going on for years … which smartphone would be the thinnest? the fastest? or perhaps highest resolution camera? And for 2013 it seems to be all about the screen resolution. With many smartphones all launching with 1920x1080 full HD resolution screens, what could be next?
At the end of April 2013 we will see the Samsung Galaxy S4. Yes, it is fast, has a a nice camera and a full HD screen to top it off. I personally remember when Samsung announced it. With their tongue on cheek presentation they showed us Smart Pause, where the video you are watching pauses when you look away. Next up is Air View & Gesture, where you greasy fingers do not even need to touch the screen to navigate your way around. And then we have S Health which tracks your activity, daily food intake and weight … promising a fitter you.
These features are just a few of the many new enhancements which I termed gimmicks when I first saw them. However, we all need to take a step back and think, what else could Samsung do to move this type of technology forward? And I think they are brave in trying to give us some really unique features. OK, so everyone will use S Translator every day, but if you find yourself in a foreign country, perhaps on holiday, you will be glad to have it at your disposal. I strongly believe that all manufacturers are beginning to realise that things like a high megapixel camera on a tiny phone sensor is not a cutting edge feature. Rest assured, when they react to the Galaxy S4 you will see them all squashing in tonnes of new features to their 2014 products. By then, Samsung may well have the lead that they need to take the top spot in this sector.
As with every new smartphone launch, a good selection of accessories always follow and one that caught my eye is official View Cover. Without even opening the cover you can see the current time & useful notifications, the contrasting colour of the display peeping through is awesome and… it looks very sexy too.
By now you should now that I try new smartphones out practically every day. I am an avid iPhone user, but have been tempted away with the likes of the Lumia 920 and a couple of years back, the Blackberry Bold 9900. I feel very strongly that Apple need to react to their competitors smartphones, with their lovely high res large screens. The App argument is no longer an issue either (at least where Google Android is concerned). With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4… of course I will be testing & reviewing it. Who knows, if it delivers on performance, as I am sure it will, the SGS4 might find its way into my pocket and if it does the View Cover is mine too.
To get knee-deep in the guts of the S4 all you need is a Torx screwdriver, a drop of elbow grease and a shocking disregard for the phone you've just dropped north of a monkey on.
Unscrew nine screws and the front and back of the phone come apart, giving you access to the S4's innards. The video reveals the important bits are easy to get at and simple to remove, replace and repair.
The only problem is the Gorilla Glass screen covering the 5-inch Super AMOLED 1080p display, which would be pricey to replace.
The model that's been disassembled is the quad-core version that's coming to the UK and US, giving us a good look at the 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM. An alternative model boasts eight cores, with two quad-core processors on Samsung's own Exynos A5 Octa chip.
The Galaxy S4 might be too big, and the Galaxy S III might be too old. If you suffer from this Goldilocks dilemma, Samsung will probably come out with a cure soon, maybe even as early as June/July. And it was only a matter of time, too, because the very same thing happened last year.
An alleged Galaxy S4 Mini has been spotted in the wild and it’s certainly smaller than what was announced earlier this month. Even though Samsung has promised S III users the S4’s features will come over to the older device, the company seems more than happy to heap more Galaxies upon the world.
Here are the supposed specs, according to SamMobile: a Super AMOLED qHD display (256 ppi), a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 and Android 4.2.2. Additionally, the device may sport dual-sim slots, so, you know, you can rock two phone numbers.
The device itself looks identical to the S4, which is expected—just smaller and no doubt aimed at the lower-tier market. Time to move over, S III.
As ubiquitous as wireless printing has become, there remains the occasional hoop to jump through for printing from mobile devices if you don't happen to have either a special app or iOS gear that supports AirPrint. HP and Samsung are teaming up to remove many of the headaches for the Galaxy S 4: when the phone launches in April, it should have setup-free WiFi printing to almost 200 HP inkjets and LaserJets, as long as any given printer is either on the same network or is otherwise accessible through direct printing. Don't expect ubiquitous support, though. Beyond being limited to the one phone, you'll have to stick to some of its preloaded apps, including the browser, contacts, email client, photo gallery, Polaris Office and S Note. It's far from a truly universal solution, then, but the two partners are at least promising zero-setup printing on both the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II through firmware updates coming later in 2013. We'll take the approach if it saves time snagging an old-fashioned boarding pass or someconcert tickets.
Gadget accessories company, Proporta, has released its collection of cases for the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Adopting its wealth of experience in protective, fashionable accessories for the latest technology innovations, the line-up of Galaxy S4 cases includes signature Proporta favourites, fashion brands and fresh designs.
Leather Case with Aluminium Lining - £29.95 Leather Style Flip Case - £24.95
Lynnette Prigmore, Head of Product at Proporta, expressed her delight at the announcement of the new S4 and commented on the accompanying cases: "In the world of Smartphone tennis it would appear that Samsung has had the first serve for 2013 and, in some areas, raised the bar for mobile technology with a new S4 rammed full of features. For the industry and Proporta, where we continue to manufacture our own branded, British designed accessories as well as producing cases and sleeves for a number of global fashion and lifestyle brands, this makes for a very exciting time. As with any new device launch, it's a race against the clock for the accessories market; our design team will once again have initial designs ready for pre-order first thing - with many more designer cases to follow in the next few weeks."
Union Jack Case - £14.95 Screen Protector - £4.95
Quiksilver Hard Shells - £19.95 each 'Redemption', 'Blue Checks', 'Black' and 'Echo Beach'
In the Android landscape, Samsung is an unrivaled titan, sitting atop the highest possible perch of smartphone glory and supremacy. Over the past few years, the company has gone from tepid challenger to olympic gold medalist. The Samsung Galaxy S sparked a revolution back in March 2010, and four iterations later, the Korean company is releasing its biggest Galaxy product ever—probably its biggest gadget across every product lineup it offers—the Galaxy S 4. Finally, at last, it’s here.
Samsung describes its new super phone as one that will get you close to what matters in life, designed in a way to heighten the user experience. It’s not a thing you only hold and look at and occasionally make calls on; the S 4 is, according to Samsung, something that understands the value in relationships… believes in the importance of an effortless user experience… empowers your life, helping take care of your well-being.
The overarching theme, you see, isn’t a focus on specs—they are decidedly next-gen, as expected—but how software and technology can improve your experience in a positive way. So there are features like Dual Camera, Dual Video Call, Story Album; Group Play, Share Music, S Translator, Smart Pause, Air View, Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, S Voice Drive, Optical Reader, WatchON; S Health, Adapt Display and Adapt Sound. That’s an enormously overwhelming laundry list of new features, all designed to make everyday use seem more natural and painless.
What is supposedly the first press shot of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has emerged online.
The photo was first published by Sam Mobile, which claims to have received it from an "insider at Samsung", who was unable to provide any further detail on the Galaxy SIV. Unsurprisingly, we're approaching this with plenty of caution after the deluge of fake snaps of the Samsung Galaxy S3– just take a look at our gallery.
Button-less The big talking point is the missing home button - will Samsung really do away with the physical button given that it has remained a Samsung staple even on its most recent handsets such as the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Premier?
Although the design of the phone shown here is very similar to that of the Galaxy S3, the screen appears elongated compared to the older phone suggesting we'll see onscreen Android keys – something which Google has wanted manufacturers to adopt even since Ice Cream Sandwich was launched.
We're not holding out any hope that this is the real deal as the image could easily have been faked, but this will surely open the floodgates to more images claiming to show Samsung Galaxy S4 over the coming months.