Even though there’s no official word from the South Korea-based phone maker yet, all the tech blogs are talking about the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs and rumored features lately. Since today seems to be the day the Android world stood still, I’ve decided it’s time to recap all the Galaxy S4 rumors, as the next-gen Samsung flagship smartphone will definitely be one of the most popular smartphones of the Android environment.
Samsung’s most powerful smartphones are always wearing the Galaxy S logo, a line-up debuted by the South Koreans in March 2010, when GT-I9000 was officially introduced. The Galaxy S legacy was continued with models that became more and more popular, and, in May last year, Samsung Galaxy S3 saw the light of day, the fastest-selling Android-powered smartphone ever.
Because of the huge popularity of the Galaxy S smartphones, and because of the Samsung vs Apple war, there’s always a lot of buzz created around the launch of the new Samsung flagships. Samsung Galaxy S4 makes no exception from the rule, and the release date and specs have already been the subject of the tech gossip.
Most of the Samsung Galaxy S4 articles talk about the release date of the highly-anticipated smartphone. With Samsung launching its flagship smartphones in different time frames, you can’t make a pattern based on its previous product releases, therefore guessing the release date of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is not an easy job.
The first Galaxy S was announced in March 2010 (available for purchase as of June, the same year), followed by the Galaxy S2 introduced in February 2011 (market release was in April 2011), and Samsung Galaxy S3 in May 2012 hitting the stores during the same month.
As I mentioned above, accurately predicting the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is not an easy task, but reports are indicating that the next-gen Samsung flagship will be announced mid-March, followed by an early April market debut. Personally, I tend to believe that a mid-March Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is on the cards, and I will explain why right away.
Samsung would want the Galaxy S4 to hit the market soon enough to hurt iPhone 5’s sale, but also soon enough not to be hurt by iPhone 5S’ (iPhone 6’s) debut. The South Koreans should also keep an eye on the other high-end Android smartphones announced by its rivals, like Sony Xperia Z, HTC M7, or LG Optimus G Pro.
Xperia Z was launched by the Japan-based phone maker at CES 2013, and it’s expected to debut in March. Even though the M7 (reportedly marketed as HTC One) and Optimus G Pro were not confirmed by the Asian companies, the first one is expected to debut on February 19th (HTC confirmed an event for that date), while the latter one is expected to be introduced at MWC 2013. Both HTC M7 and LG Optimus G Pro are expected to hit the market in early Q2 2013.
If Samsung announces the Galaxy S4 mid-march, the fuss created around its launch will draw the public’s attention from the other Android flagships, while an early April market release will allow Samsung to secure a lot sales before the iPhone 5S debut, and, in the same time, to steal enough of iPhone 5’s market share. As usual, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be responsible for hurting iPhone 5S’ sales, but that’s a different story.
Judging by the displays fitted on the high-end Android smartphones released so far, it seems that the 5-inch full HD units will be the standard in 2013. Therefore we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S4 to bring a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels with an impressive pixel density of 441 ppi. The South-Korea based company will most likely use Super AMOLED technology for its display.
Other reports are indicating that Samsung Galaxy S4 might come with touchless gestures. This basically means that you will be able to use your finger in a similar way the S-Pen can be used on the Galaxy Note 2: by simply hovering the finger over certain content, various information will be displayed on the screen.
There are a couple of question marks around the chipset fitted inside the Samsung Galaxy S4, too. There are sources pointing that the next-gen flagship will come with Samsung’s proprietary dual-core Exynos 5 Dual processor, which delivers better performance than the current Exynos 4 Quad, courtesy of the Cortex A15 cores.
But the South Korea-based company is usually fitting its best processors inside its flagship smartphones, and since the new octo-core Exynos 5 Octa chipset was unveiled at CES 2013, it will probably be the processing unit to underpin the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Exynos 5 Octa is a chipset manufactured on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture, packing four Cortex A15 cores at 1.8 GHz for the tasks requiring a lot of processing power and four 1.2 GHz ARM A7 cores for the basic tasks, which are supposed to improve the battery life. Even though the Exynos 5 Octa chipset repotredly packs a tri-core IT PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU, it seems that the unit that will make it under the hood of the Galaxy S4 will come with an octo-core Mali-T658 GPU.
Samsung Galaxy S4 will also receive an upgrade when it comes to the camera unit. While the last two Galaxy S generations came with 8 megapixel cameras, Samsung Galaxy S4 will reportedly boast a 13 megapixel camera. The latest smartphone releases have proved that the manufacturers are capable of improving their cameras especially when it comes to the software, with video and picture stabilization and other such features.
Just like its successors, Samsung Galaxy S4 will run on Google’s mobile operating system. Samsung is using its proprietary user interface, dubbed TouchWiz UI, on top of Android, and to many of the smartphone enthusiasts, it’s one of the best UIs out there.
This year, the Samsung Galaxy S3 impressed with the features that came along with TouchWiz Nature UX. I’ll remind you of Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct Call, Pop-up-Play, and now, after the Galaxy S3 got the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update, the improved notifications area, customizable toggles and Multi View.
Because the Galaxy S4 is supposed to debut mid-March (which might be pretty accurate) and Google will reportedly announce the next Android iteration in May at Google I/O event, the Samsung smartphone will definitely not run Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie out of the box.
Galaxy S4 will come pre-loaded with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and probably a new version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, while the next-generation Samsung phablet will be company’s first smartphone to run Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as it leaves the factory gates.
The other technical specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S4 might not sound as impressive as the CPU, display or camera. The terminal might come with 2 GB of RAM, WiFi in all standards, LTE, microUSB, NFC chip, and 16/32/64 GB of internal storage expandable via microSD cards.
Because it will have to accommodate a 5-inch display, Galaxy S4’s body will have more room for a bigger battery. Sources are indicating that the terminal will come with a 3,000 mAh battery, that paired with the Exynos 5 Octa chipset (70% more battery friendly than the Exynos 5 Dual) should be able to keep the Galaxy S4 awake through about two days of moderate usage.
Talking about the battery, the latest reports are revealing that Samsung will include wireless charging technology inside its next flagship smartphone.
So far, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a well-kept secret as no leaked photos have hit the web yet, but we will probably be able to have a look at its design as the release date comes closer. We’re expecting it to be similar in size with the Galaxy S3, but a bit thinner and lighter than the current generation flagship.
Anyway, Samsung never failed to surprise us over the past couple of years when it came to its high-end terminals, and we are sure that the Galaxy S4 will make no exception. What will be the “wow” factor for the Samsung Galaxy S4 in your opinion? Please let us know in the comments section below.