In just a few days, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to launch around the world, replacing the aging Samsung Galaxy S3 as the companyâ€™s premier Android-powered smartphone. However, despite its age, the Galaxy S3 remains a viable option for many consumers looking for a new piece of hardware.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most anticipated smartphones in recent memory with consumers and itâ€™s a device that figures to become a staple on shelves for the rest of 2013 and beyond. Of course, the Galaxy S4 wonâ€™t be without serious competition, from outside competitors, and also from internal ones as well.
One of those devices is the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsungâ€™s previous Galaxy S smartphone which launched last year and became the companyâ€™s top selling device, selling over 40 million devices around the world since May of last year. And while the Galaxy S3 is going on a year old, it remains an extremely solid pick for those that are looking to invest in a new smartphone.
4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 1280Ă—720 resolution
1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 Processor
16GB/32GB Storage (MicroSD card slot)
8MP Camera/1.9MP Front-Facing
2100mAh Battery (Removable)
2GB of RAM
5-inch Full-HD 1080p Super AMOLED HD Display
1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core Processor/Exynos 5 Octa Processor
16/32/64GB of Storage
2,600 mAh (Removable)
2 GB RAM
First thingâ€™s first. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will feature a quad-core processor, up from the Galaxy S3?s dual-core processor. While the U.S. will be seeing the Snapdragon 600, most of the rest of the world will be getting the Exynos 5 Octa processor which utilizes eight-cores. Both processors will be upgrades over the Snapdragon S4 found in the Galaxy S3, and will offer not only better performance, but enhanced battery life.
Second, the Galaxy S4 will follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S3 and be available in three different storage options with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. Availability will likely differ from carrier to carrier though the devices should also offer 64GB microSD card support for expanded storage.
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S4 display has upped the ante and brought full HD 1080p resolution to a Samsung smartphone for the first time.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Super AMOLED HD display is a full 5-inches in size which is larger than the 4.8-inch display on the Galaxy S3. Samsung has also outfitted the new Galaxy S with a 1080p resolution display that features 441 pixels-per-inch. Samsungâ€™s Galaxy S3 sports a display that features 720p HD resolution and a much lesser 306 pixel-per-inch count.
What this means is that content on the Galaxy S4 display is going to look richer, crisper and sharper than content on the Galaxy S3 making the former a more suitable option for those that watch a lot of movies or consistently browse the web on their phone.
The Galaxy S4 display also utilizes the new Gorilla Glass 3 technology that we saw at CES and which is three times more resistant to scratches that Gorilla Glass 2 (found on the Galaxy S3), but also boasts a 40 percent reduction in the number of visible scratches once scratching does occur.
Samsung has also outfitted the Galaxy S4 with touch less gestures. What this means is that owners are able to use the display without physically touching it.
For instance, Air Play allows for Galaxy S4 owners to hover their finger over an email to show a preview of it without actually opening it. Itâ€™s similar to the feature found on the Galaxy Note 2, though Galaxy S4 owners who havenâ€™t to use an S Pen to take advantage of the feature.
Another feature is called Air Gesture, and this will allow owners to change a music track, browse the web or accept a call simply by waving their hand. These features are not found on the Galaxy S3 and never will be due to the lack of an infrared sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 boasts a 13MP camera, up from the Galaxy S3?s 8MP camera. While we havenâ€™t been able to dive in head first yet with the Galaxy S4 camera, early reports suggest that the camera can hold its own against the iPhone 5?s in both the photo and video departments.
One of the weaknesses of the Galaxy S3 was its poor performance in low light and thus far, the Galaxy S4 is looking like it has improved in that area as well.
Samsung has also put some powerful camera software on board the Galaxy S4 as well. One such feature is called Sound & Shot which allows owners to record small snippets of sound to attach to a photograph. This could be handy, for instance, when signing Happy Birthday during a childâ€™s first birthday celebration. Instead of just having the photo, users can add some sound to make a better memory.
Another feature is called Dual Camera which uses both the front and rear camera to put the Galaxy S4 user in the photo. Users can then choose from a variety of effects to help better blend in with the photo.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 arrived with big time software back in 2012 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 has attempted to follow in its footsteps with Samsung unleashing a number of powerful software features, many that we have detailed above.
While the Samsung Galaxy S3 still toils on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Galaxy S4 will be arriving with the most current version of Android, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
This means that it will be outfitted with features like improved Google Now, Quick Settings, Photo Sphere, lock screen widgets and more. It also means that the Galaxy S4 is in a better position to receive the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update.
Samsung has also loaded up the Galaxy S4 with a number of new additions to its TouchWiz software. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will not only include the software features already on the Samsung Galaxy S3, but it will also offer some new powerful features that take advantage of its hardware.
The Galaxy S4 is coming with two features, Smart Scroll and Smart Pause, that have been rumored for quite some time. Smart Scroll allows users to use their eyes to scroll a web page while Smart Pause pauses content on the device when users look away.
Samsungâ€™s new Galaxy S4 features an IR port so users can control their home entertainment system without an extra remote. Samsung calls the feature Samsung WatchON. It also comes packed with something called S Voice Drive which is an in-car version of S Voice and S translator and which can automatically translate between a number of languages.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is currently available at AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon for $199.99 on-contract, the same price that it was released for last year.T-Mobile offers the device for much more than that, though its new 4G LTE enabled Galaxy S3 could come with more affordable off-contract pricing as T-Mobile shifts from subsidies.
We still expect carriers to release the device for $199.99 on-contract however. T-Mobile will likely offer it with different pricing though the carrier remains silent on specifics.