The Samsung Galaxy S4 world tour of 11 countries made a stop here with an impressive launch ceremony at the spectacular ‘Kingdom of Dreams’, an entertainment destination at Gurgaon, India.
While the S3 was touted to be ‘Designed for Humans and Inspired by Nature’ Samsung positions the new Galaxy S4 as Life Companion , a device that would play a constant role in our daily life, taking care of our varied needs, aspirations and imaginations.
We will take you through our hands-on the Galaxy S4, our first impression as well as the launch event.
Galaxy S3 was the king of Android Smartphones last year and it’s successor, Galaxy S4 befits a grand venue for its launch and Kingdom of Dreams was an apt choice.
The event was hosted by lovely ex-Miss India- Miss. World, Diana Hayden.
Official launch, the moment. Galaxy S4 was launched by Vineet Taneja, Samsung India’s mobile and digital imaging business and B D Park, Samsung Electronics president and CEO (South West Asia)
The launch happened amidst brilliantly choreographed dance numbers by Shiamak Davar’s troupe who kept the audience mesmerized by their high-voltage performances.
Before we got the actual hands-on the device, Asim Warsi, V-P Samsung Mobile India ran us through the important features of S4.
My favourite feature among the many new additions that finds its way in Galaxy S4. Dual Shot allows both the front and rear camera to work together simultaneously and capture the images we see on both sides. So next time when you are behind the camera and shooting either pic or video, you would not be left out.
A Cinemagram like animated photo mode encourages you take animated GIF for a lively action.
While Galaxy S3 tracked your eye movement for its Smart Stay feature, Galaxy S4 takes the smart feature a step ahead by sensing your gaze and pausing automatically while watching videos.
Not just that videos, now you can scroll web pages just by your eyes. Sounds Sc-Fi? Look forward to our video review shortly where we will explain in details the features.
Remember the Air view feature in Galaxy Note 2? The Air View feature arrives in S4 sans the S-Pen. It powers you to flip through web pages, photos, answer calls or scroll through music by simply hovering your finger over the screen. It also keeps the screen clean from finger marks.
S-Health app makes good use of some new sensors that finds its way into Galaxy S4. Doubling as a health trainer, the S health app S Health app monitors how much you’ve walked, calories you’ve burned and what your daily intake.
Story Album allows the user to storify their pictures based on locations or events and organize it for you to go through your memory banks. User can also get their favorite pictures printed online and get it delivered.
A handy feature for people constantly on move, S translator provides for real-time translation and translates what you say, text and will even convert emails, SMS messages and ChatON IMs that is fully or containing sentences in language you don’t speak.
The included IR blaster in Galaxy S4 which allows you to control your TV and can do more than just changing channels or controlling the sound. It can also suggest programs based on your preference, provide schedules etc.
Other notable features in Galaxy S4 includes Group play, Eraser shot, Sound and shot etc.
Currently I use S3 as my primary phone and though the new Galaxy S4 features a slightly bigger 5-inch display, surprisingly the device was very comfortable at my palm. It snuggle neatly and has a slim profile and lighter than its predecessor.
Featuring an impressive 5-inch full HD 1080 p (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) Super AMOLED panel packing up an eye-popping 441 ppi. The hardware internals are beasty too with a 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip, 2 GB RAM, running the very latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, 16 GB internal storage expandable by upto 64 GB and a 2600 mAh battery.
The side profile marks the change in design from the S3. There is a faux metal band that neatly wraps the side and gives a more premium look to the device.
Falling into sub-8mm thickness category and measuring 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and weighing just 130 gms it is thinner, lighter than the previous generation flagship device.
The body is still plastic like in rest of galaxy device but with over 30 million devices S3 devices sold, Samsung would see no practical sense in changing the casing not atleast for Galaxy S4, when the market force is on its side. Personally, I have no qualms about the plastic casing used.
On the rear you find a 13 mega pixel camera, complimenting it is a 2 mega pixel front camera. Camera features include Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR. Alongside, the innovative camera features we talked about earlier.
Side by side S4 and S3 looks strikingly similar. On close observation, you will find S4 has shaved off a bit of bezel to accommodate the bigger display.
With a MRP price of Rs. 41,500, Samsung Galaxy S4 goes on sale 12 noon onwards tomorrow, April 27th. It will be available at the Samsung Premium Stores in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai tomorrow and pan India thereafter.
So can Galaxy S4 be a worthy successor to the immensely popular S3? Critics might say Samsung failed to bring in a all-new fresh design like how HTC came out with its One. Nay sayers might claim the software features are just fancy gimmicks but I would disagree with them. With almost all Android biggies failing to rake in cash, Samsung has made buckets of cash piled up basking on its Android success. Consumers had no qualms making S3, the most successful Android device yet in history. So why would Samsung rock it’s boat by bringing in an all-new design change immediately? The enhanced software features even though few might be gimmicky and not much in use in daily use helps in adding value to the device and making it a talking point for the buyers. Samsung knows that people like to boast about their phone’s smart features to their friends and relatives, we do right? Still features like double shot, sound and shot, S Health are a great addition that will have a practical use to be a life companion.