The brand-new flagship smartphone, which runs the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, improves hardware significantly and it piles on the features. Compared with the extremely successful Galaxy S3 that came before, it’s a firm stride forward rather than a giant a leap, but it raises the bar again for Samsung’s competitors. And by super-sizing the screen and packing in so much specialized software, the GS4 sets itself even farther apart from the iPhone.

After many months of speculation and rumour, Samsung has finally revealed those long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S4 specs. The onstage presentation from New York tonight wasn’t too heavy on technical details, but an accompanying press release tidied up a lot of the loose ends and confirmed a lot of what we had expected.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 is only a little bit bigger than its predecessor, despite having a larger display (see below). It measure an impressively svelte 136.6×69.8×7.9mm. This makes it roughly as wide as the S3, but around 5mm longer, and a little slimmer by around 1mm. It shouldn’t feel bigger to hold, then, although reaching for the notifications bar at the top of the screen while using the S4 one-handed might be a bit of a stretch for some.


As long-suspected, the Samsung Galaxy S4 display measures 4.99in diagonally and has a Full HD resolution (1,920×1,080 pixels). That should give a pixel-per-inch figure of 441PPI, ahuge increase over the 306PPI seen on the Galaxy S3.

It’s worth noting however that this figure isn’t directly comparable to that of LCD-based Full HD handsets – such as the HTC One. This is because Samsung continues to use a Super AMOLED display with a PenTile pixel arrangement, which simply put means there’s only two colored sub-pixels per pixel instead of three. The reduced colour resolution is made up for in excellent contrast and blacks that AMOLED provides (as well as lower power usage), but it’s a matter of taste which you prefer.


ARM has been touting its big.LITTLE concept of processor design for some time, but the new Exynos octa-core processor is the first time we’ve seen it in practice. The eight cores are divided in two, with four high-power, complex core to do the heavy lifting and four smaller, power-efficient cores for more mundane tasks. The architecture is designed that the S4 can switch seamlessly between them.

Samsung quoted a speed of 1.6GHz for the processor as a whole, but we don’t know if that applies equally across all cores. Either way, it will be intriguing to get our full suite of benchmarks run to see just how powerful this new design is.

It should be noted that the LTE version of the handset looks to be using a different quad-core chip-set running at 1.9GHz – most likely a Qualcomm chip based on the S3 LTE, though no details are yet available.


The battery on the S4 is an impressive 2,600mAh. That’s around 500mAh bigger than the S3’s battery and bigger than the vast majority of batteries used in smartphones today. With such a big battery it shouldn’t have any problems providing all-day power.


We’ll go into far more detail on the Galaxy S4’s camera in another article, as it has numerous clever new features. The specs are fairly typical of what we’d expect these days from a flagship device. The main camera has 13 megapixels and is designed around a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor for better low-light sensitivity. Though no mention was made of image stabilization or the aperture – which means they are unlikely to be stand out features.

The front camera is also based around a BSI sensor, this time a two-megapixel example. It can record Full HD at 30fs. Again there are no aperture figures for this part.


2GB of RAM was to expected on the S4,, as it now seems the norm for high-end Android smartphones. There will be 16GB of storage on-board, plus a micro SD card slot to add up to 64GB more if required. 32GB and 64GB storage options are a possibility in the future.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 will apparently come in both 3G HSPA+ and 4G LTE flavours. The LTE version will use a different chip-set, but will have broad support and will work on UK 4G frequencies. EE – the only 4G network at present, has confirmed it will be selling the new handset – no surprise there.


Despite all the modifications Samsung has made to the S4’s operating system, it will come running an up-to-date Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. This means you get the slickest version of the operating system beneath the manufacturer’s tweaks.

Software features:

Samsung also announced the following new software features for its flagship device:

  • Smart Pause: Pauses a video when you look away and automatically resumes where you left off when you look back at the screen again.
  • Smart Scrolling: Automatically scroll up or down emails or websites by looking and tilting your wrist.
  • Air View: Enlarge photos and content, preview emails and speed dial by hovering your finger over the screen. 
  • Air Gesture: Ability to accept calls, change music or browse the web and your photos with gestures without touching the device.
  • S Voice Drive: It uses Galaxy S4′s built-in navigation system and lets you make calls, send messages, and check the weather with voice commands. When a message comes in, it alerts you and also reads the message and lets you reply or cancel.
  • S Translate: It allows you to translate between 9 languages using text-to-speech or speech-to-text — which means you can type something and have it spoken aloud, or use your phone to record a snippet of spoken language and translate it into text that you can read.
  • S Health: It comes with updated S Health app. It takes advantage of the built-in pedometer for tracking steps and uses the temperature and humidity sensor to tell you the current status of surroundings for your activities.
  • Dual Camera: It allows you to take photos and video by simultaneously shooting with front and back facing camera, so that along with the photo and video, you can also capture your reaction.
  • Dual Video call: Lets users make and receive a video call while showing the recipient what you are looking at during the call.
  • Sound and Shot: You can also record the sound when you take a photo.
  • Drama Shot: It is an upgraded version of Burst mode. It can take 100 photos in four seconds, and  presents those images in an easy-to-manage collage.
  • Group Play: Wirelessly connect multiple Samsung Galaxy S4 phones to play games and share photos and documents.
  • Story Album:  Allows you to create a photo album based on special occasions. Also allows you to apply themes and chose various layouts and get them printed through Blurb.
  • WatchOn: It allows you to remotely control your TV and set-top boxes. It also suggests different programs based on your preferences and provides program schedules.
  • Adapt Display: It ”learns” what you are viewing and adjusts the display’s brightness accordingly. It comes with 7 automatic modes and 4 manual modes to provide the optimal viewing experience.
  • Adapt Sound: Adjusts the volume and tone based on your environment, sound source and your preferences.