After months of speculation, hype and rumors, Samsung today announced the Galaxy S 4 the company’s best selling flagship phone with new enhanced camera applications, hover-style gesture features, and a slew of baked-in apps and services. ArsTechnia, Engadget, The Verge, C/Net, and TechCrunch have coverage.
The new Android handset comes with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing camera with their own new features. Users can now add audio to photos, adding “another dimension of detail to the visual memory to be created.”
An eight-core Samsung Exynos 5, which uses ARM’s big.LITTLE technology, will meld together four fast CPU cores with four slower but more power-efficient cores, and seamlessly switches between them. However, the US market will get the alternate 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, similar to the HTC-One with uses a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600.
The Galaxy S IV also features a dual-camera view to take photos with both of the front- and rear-facing cameras at the same time. The camera also has an “eraser,” which allows users to erase people (like photo-bombers) out of photos.
Gesture control lets you scroll vertically or horizontally without actually touching the device. Users will also be able to perform “Air Gestures” by hovering their fingers above the handset.
The “Air View” functionality lets you finger hover over things like a date to see additional information.
Another feature that could come in handy for frequent business travelers flying internationally is the S-Translator. Currently supporting nine languages, the feature handles speech-to-text and text-to-speech. It’s integrated into messaging apps, and using the optical reader, it also translates written words.
Rumors predicted you’d scroll the screen with your eyes using eye-tracking software within the GS4. Turns out, that’s somewhat true. Smart Pause and Smart Scroll let you tilt the screen up or down while looking at it. Smart Pause, halts a video you’re watching when your eyes dart away, then resumes when you start paying attention again.
Samsung has not yet revealed pricing. Samsung plans to stagger releases worldwide in April and May. In the U.S., Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Cricket Wireless will all get the Galaxy S4 (along with Sprint MVNO Ting). Samsung hasn’t yet shared plans for other countries.