Later today in New York, Samsung plans to introduce its latest flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S 4. I’ll be covering the event live from Radio City Music Hall starting at 4pm PT (7pm ET), as Samsung introduces what will likely be the most scrutinized phone in the Android world.
Samsung is coming off a strong year, during which it has practically assumed control of the Android market as rivals like HTC, Motorola, LG and others have faltered. We already know an awful lot about the Galaxy S 4, and here are a few stories to whet your appetite while waiting for the event to start.
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So that’s a wrap of the fast and furious event. Instead of waiting for the mob scene to see the new phone and share thoughts, you can get a preview. I already had a short amount of time with the new Galaxy S 4 and here are my first impressions: http://gigaom.com/2013/03/14/samsung-galaxy-s-4-hands-on-shows-nice-hardware-but-software-is-the-star/
Enjoy, and thanks!
Hands on time for everyone now. Hope they brought like 3,000 phones. :)
And just like that, the curtain fell, so the play is over. Seems like a wrap up. Very interesting way to tell a story, but it was a whirlwind of information!
Here’s a nifty accessory: S View Cover. Looks like the old flip cover but has a transparent display to show small bits of data.
Wow, there are tons of features… and it sounds like Samsung will show them all….
And Samsung is getting into the personal health tracking market. S-Health app along with an S-band, body scale and HR monitor.
No sign of eye-tracking scrolling, but Smart Scroll and Pause are part of the package. Look away from a video and it pauses. Tilting the phone — when looking at it — will scroll text.
Here we go: Air Gestures. Wave over the phone to scroll up or down, switch browser tabs, or view pictures. Look Ma: no hands!
Samsung’s ChatOn messenger app gets a boost too: 3 way calling thanks to dual camera mode. Screen sharing is also supported. I see the kids going nuts over this….
So Group Play can set up multi-channel sound, which is kind of interesting. And you can play games together or share pics too.
Group Play shares music up to 8 Galaxy S 4 devices; I suspect over a peer to peer Wi-Fi network. Hard to say…. the girls of Miami are dancing on stage now.
Now the story takes us to Long Island. Will’s phone needs both personal and work features. But wait…. we’re off to Miami in the play. I’m going to need Google Maps soon if this keeps up.
A big push now for Samsung Hub as a centralized app store: Books, movies, TV shows, and more. I find two stores (Hub and Google Play) potentially confusing, so Google may need to do more Play marketing…
Like some of the recent Nokia handsets, the GS4 screen works with gloves. Handy today, given how cold it is in town.
S-Voice demo shows improvements, making it similar to Siri to my ears. Just sayin…
Interesting: Samsung Smart Switch is a downloadable computer app to get data from one phone to the SG4. Looking for some iPhone switchers, Samsung?
Looks like S-Voice has been upgraded to work in the car: Bigger fonts and more text to speech services. Definitely looks easier to use in the car.
Up next: Samsung HomeSync, a terabyte drive for the house that connects to the GS4 via NFC.
Our little play now takes us to Paris. My motion sickness is kicking in…..
Story Album offers templates to smartly gather images and data from the pictures. Looks pretty easy to make these. You can print out hard copies of the albums through Blurb for $10 to $30. Normally, you’d do this from a computer; nice to do this on a handset.
Now it’s Adapt Display, which optimizes the screen for what you’re doing: movies, e-books, email, etc…
S-translator works with Email and Samsung’s ChatOn messaging app. Handy!
You type your sentence and the app speaks the translation in up to 9 languages. Supports both text to speech and speech to text.
And now Scene 2 in this little show: In Shanghai using S-Translator to ask for directions to the bus.
And moving on…. we’re getting features thrown at us every 30 seconds: Air View does indeed use a finger to hover over the screen and interact with it.
Eraser function removes photobombers – slick! It scans for movement in the background and can erase objects.
Drama Shot is up next. It takes up to 100 shots in 4 seconds. You select some as a single image collage; nice for action shots!
Here’s Kevin’s hands-on look at the Galaxy S 4: http://gigaom.com/2013/03/14/samsung-galaxy-s-4-hands-on-shows-nice-hardware-but-software-is-the-star/
And now Jeremy is tap dancing like a fiend. Maybe I was too early on the Tony Award comment…
If a postcard could talk, that is.
Sound & Shot is another new feature: captures several seconds of sound along with a still image. Kind of like a talking postcard.
Ah, works with video or still images. Very nice.
Here we go with the Dual Camera software feature: it uses both front and rear camera at the same time. Kind of like a picture in picture feature. So you can take the pic and be IN the pic.
The event just shifted to a Radio City show now. Jeremy, of course, is an actor. I don’t see any Tony’s being awarded here….
The battery gets a boost to 2600 mAh capacity and is removable.
Ships with 2 GB of RAM and 16/32/64 GB capacity options plus micro SD expansion up to another 64 GB. Typical sensor package plus temperature and humidity.
Camera time: 13 megapixel on back and 2 on the front.
IT’s a 4G LTE radio up to 100/50 Mbps (up to hexa band), Cat 3. Wi-Fi 802.11a/c is in there (called it!). Bluetooth 4.0 BLE and an IR remote.
TouchWiz is still here and looks the same; no radical changes so far. There was mention of hovering your finger over the display, though.
The 130 gram phone is 7.9 millimeters (thinner than S 3) but basically the same form factor. Yet the screen is larger: 5 inches at 1920 x 1080 res. 441 pixels per inch – whoa!
So it looks very much like the Galaxy S 3 but is thinner. Perhaps some metal around the side, but mostly plastic looking.
“It will make your life richer, simpler and fuller,” says Shin.
And here it is: The Galaxy S 4 …. Life Companion. Starting by end of April, phone will start rolling out to more than 330 countries.
Show us the phone! (Oh, wait… did I say that out loud?)
A mention of S-Health and a pic of a wearable band. Samsung getting into health tracking?
He’s starting to talk about some of the possible phone features as ideas or concepts: Smart Scroll, Air View, Dual Camera that puts you in the picture that you’re taking. S-translator to talk with people around the world.
Shin says Samsung innovation is inspired by people, alluding to customer surveys for product improvements.
J.K.Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s mobile division has the stage talking about the rumor, speculation and buzz. C’mon J.K., you guys might have let a little bit of info slip, no?
Will: This phone will help us with our “life tasks”.
There’s actually a whole orchestra here in the pit for the event. Very classy!
Jeremy is in the house with Will Chase, our MC. Good thing Jeremy didn’t forget to bring the box!
I bet he opens the box. Just guessing….
Oh! Here we go! A countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. we’re getting started with the young kid commercial.
Sadly, there’s not even really good music while we wait. I thought this was a music hall?
Given the number of people still trying to get seats, it’s no surprise the event is late to start. Passing the time looking for Rockettes in the audience. None spotted so far.
I will give Samsung some credit: even if the Wi-Fi isn’t flowing, the drinks in the lobby are.
T-minus 5 minutes and people are still pouring in. Funny note: Girls in HTC One gear were outside passing out hot chocolate and drinks.
The Samsung event is gearing up. TONS of people trying to get in every entrance to Radio City Music Hall. Connectivity is questionable. Is Radio City like an anti-radio place?