Samsung’s Galaxy S4 won’t be revealed until Thursday but the phone is already getting the buzz typically reserved for an Apple iPhone.
The Galaxy S3 was the first Android phone to truly tango with the iPhone; the S4 will be bigger, sharper and faster, trumping its predecessor in practically every regard. With the iPhone 5 getting refreshed this summer, Samsung needs to make a big statement if the company wants to sell the 10 million phones a month it is reportedly ordering from suppliers.
Here's what to expect from the next generation of the company’s blockbuster flagship.
5-inch HD screen
There’s no fighting the trend: Phones keep getting bigger and so is the Galaxy S4. A 4.99-inch Super AMOLED 1080p screen was spotted at CES, and tech watchers believe it's the screen for the new S4. That means the phone would have a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 with 440 pixels per inch (PPI), up from the S3, which is already a substantial 4.8-inches. But bigger is better, right?
Here comes Jelly Bean
The S4 will be running Android 4.2. Code-named Jelly Bean, the latest update to Google’s mobile operating system promises a brand new camera experience and a novel new way to type.
An eight-core processor?
It’s possible that Samsung will equip its new flagship with its powerful Exynos 5 Octa eight-core processor, making the S4 one of the most powerful phones on the planet, but the company might save it for the Note III. Instead, recently leaked photos seem to indicate a quad-core processor running at 1.8 GHz, up from the 1.4-GHz chip in the S3.
13-megapixels by 2.2 megapixels
There aren’t too many details about the camera, but most reports indicate a 13-megapixel camera accompanied by a 2.2. megapixel front-facing camera.
4G LTE and 802.11 ac -- a faster Wi-Fi specification -- make sure the S4 keeps up the pace.
Perhaps the most exciting rumors is the prospect of eye-tracking technology that will enable the phone to detect when you are finished reading a page and automatically scroll for you, according to a New York Times report. It will even pause your video when you look away.
A big complaint against the Galaxy SIII was that its plastic materials felt cheap and lacked the heft of the iPhone’s sleek aluminum unibody. But fans hoping for a switch to metal are out of luck. Samsung is sticking with plastic, Y.H. Lee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division, indicated to CNET, citing the need to balance aesthetics with durability and manufacturability.
Wireless charging capabilities
The Galaxy S4 will have the ability to charge its 2,600-mAh battery wirelessly with an optional dock, according to Samsung blog SamMobile.
Ready in April?
Although the SII and the SIII were both released in May, the S4 is expected to go on sale sometime in mid April after the 15th, one month after its planned announcement.
Leaked images on a Chinese forum seem to confirm most of the rumors. The photos showed a 5-inch phone with textured plastic and a metal band. And while the phone’s screen is bigger, some of that extra real estate is cancelled out by a smaller bezel. Stay tuned for our complete coverage Thursday.