From New York's Radio City Music Hall, Samsung tonight launched its new Galaxy S4 flagship phone, its latest 4G LTE device and so-called "Life companion." The 5-inch phone has a 1080p display, and will be available at the end of April.
Jun 26, 2013
The wait is finally over: starting now, you can purchase two leading Android smartphones, the HTC One and Samsung's Galaxy S4, each loaded with a stock version of Google's mobile operating system. Both "Google Play edition" unlocked GSM devices go on sale today, priced at $599 and $649 respectively. Initial orders will ship by July 9th according to Google. The Galaxy S4 and One Google Play editions are being sold alongside Google's existing line of Nexus products — flagship hardware meant to showcase Android the way its creators intended.Read Article >
Today marks the first time these smartphones have been available stripped of their respective manufacturer "skins" — Sense in the case of HTC, and TouchWiz for Samsung. For end consumers, that means a user experience free of carrier bloatware and access to timely Android updates in the future. For a closer look at how these phones stack up when running identical software, check out our review.
May 16, 2013
Samsung has said it will look into ways to free up more storage in its new Galaxy S4 handset after the issue was featured on consumer BBC TV show Watchdog. Offering only 8GB of free space on its 16GB model, CNET reports that the company will review "the possibility to secure more memory space through further software optimisation."Read Article >
May 13, 2013Read Article >
Verizon Wireless will release Samsung's Galaxy S4 one week earlier than originally planned, with the Android flagship now set to arrive at stores and the carrier's web store on May 23rd. Late last month, Verizon said customers would need to wait until May 30th to get their hands on the new handset — already available from all three other major US carriers. The expedited date means Verizon will still be last out of the gate in delivering the S4 to retail, but the wait just got a bit shorter for those awaiting Samsung's latest and greatest. Price-wise, we're talking the same $199.99, but if you've already placed a pre-order, there's a good chance you'll have the device in hand before the end of next week.
Apr 25, 2013
The launch of Samsung's Galaxy S4 might be just days away, but the full version of the company's Knox enterprise security framework won’t make it aboard in time for release. Citing two unnamed people with knowledge of the project, the New York Times reports that the software will be delayed roughly until July because the company needs more time for testing, both internally and with carriers. Samsung also confirmed to the Times that the full version of Knox would not be available until "a later date."Read Article >
Knox is a multilayered security solution for Android devices that enables a separate, locked-down environment for work. All of your storage, apps, and credentials are kept separate between your work and personal environments, and Samsung provides its own app-signing process for software it deems to be safe as well as limiting inter-app communication to Knox apps. The software can also continuously monitor for intrusions, even disabling the kernel and powering down the device if an attack is detected. It’s not clear exactly which features are going to be unavailable for the launch of the Galaxy S4, but Samsung says that "all the Knox framework components come standard on the device," with "full-feature activation by solution providers and distribution channels" coming sometime after it goes on sale.
Apr 24, 2013
While the other major carriers in the US have all revealed their plans to release the Samsung Galaxy S4, Verizon Wireless has been a bit more secretive. The carrier now says that it will begin pre-orders for the S4 tomorrow, but it is still leaving us in the dark as to when it will ship the phone and how much it will cost. The news comes as other carriers have delayed their launch plans: T-Mobile expects to sell the phone online starting on April 29th, while Sprint will have the phone available online on the 27th. Both were forced to push back retail availability due to inventory problems. AT&T, meanwhile, still plans to have the Galaxy S4 in stock online and in stores on the 27th.Read Article >
Update: Verizon tells us that the on-contract Galaxy S4 will begin at $249.99 for the 16GB model, though it will be sold with a $50 mail-in rebate. That brings it down to the same $199.99 AT&T's charging for the phone. The Galaxy S4 starts at $249.99 on Sprint, while T-Mobile is charging $149.99 upfront as part of its new "uncarrier" pricing model.
Apr 24, 2013
Years ago, people either bought an iPhone or “a Droid." Verizon’s marketing power, those insane robot ads, and maybe that just-close-enough naming convention made the carrier's Android phones virtually synonymous with their operating system.Read Article >
But now I hear people every day saying "Oh, is that the new Galaxy?" or "I don't really want an iPhone. I think I'm going to get a Galaxy." Thanks to its high quality and wide availability, not to mention Samsung's sheer brute-forcing marketing effort, the Galaxy S III became the face of the Android universe. It has sold tens of millions of units, and helped Android take huge marketshare away from the iPhone. Now Samsung's back with that device’s successor, the Galaxy S4. The new handset changes little from the GS III, but it adds a lot — a bigger screen, and a laundry list of software tweaks and features. It's a variation on a theme, a safe tweak to a strategy that’s worked impossibly well for Samsung.
Apr 24, 2013
AT&T customers may be the first to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone in the United States, but T-Mobile buyers may suffer a wait. While the "uncarrier" originally planned to begin online sales of the Galaxy S4 smartphone on April 24th, T-Mobile now says that online availability has been delayed five days to April 29th as a result of an unexpected inventory delay. Amusingly, it was also an unexpected inventory allotment which allowed AT&T to begin its early preorder deliveries, but perhaps it's just a coincidence.Read Article >
As far as we know, T-Mobile will still begin selling the Galaxy S4 at physical retail locations on May 1st. Sprint will sell the Galaxy S4 on April 27th, and Verizon has yet to commit to a date. Read T-Mobile's apology below:
Apr 22, 2013
Cellular carriers are racing to put the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone on sale as fast as they possibly can. AT&T may have just gained a slight lead, telling early pre-order customers they may be receiving their devices as soon as April 25th.Read Article >
In case you're looking to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S4 on AT&T and don't have a pre-order, however, the carrier also tweeted that the 16GB model will be available to purchase on April 27th from its physical retail stores. That's the same day that Sprint will formally offer the Galaxy S4, which will also go on sale at T-Mobile on May 1st. Verizon has a sign-up page for the phone, but hasn't announced a launch date beyond "coming soon."
Apr 17, 2013
T-Mobile has confirmed availability of the Samsung Galaxy S4, opening orders on April 24th for an upfront cost of $149.99 as part of a 24-month plan. The operator ties the handset to its new contractless Simple Choice Plan — which starts at $50 a month — also requiring customers to make 24 monthly payments of $20. As expected, the Galaxy S4 will go on sale in T-Mobile stores on May 1st.Read Article >
Apr 16, 2013Read Article >
AT&T has become the first US carrier to open pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4, offering the 16GB White Frost or Black Mist variant in select areas for $199.99 on a two-year contract. The carrier says it expects Galaxy S4 orders to ship by April 30th, hitting mailboxes by May 3rd. Currently, only the 16GB model is available to order, suggesting AT&T will slowly open up pre-orders for the 32GB handset in the coming days. However, it comes just as AT&T begins shipping the HTC One, giving HTC a two-week head-start over its larger rival. Currently, AT&T order pages are experiencing some issues, so if you are unable to complete your order, we suggest you keep trying until it does.
Apr 3, 2013Read Article >
Last week, AT&T announced pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 would begin on April 16th, and it also said the device would cost $249.99 with the requisite two-year contract. Now, AT&T has clarified things a bit — the 32GB model will indeed cost $249.99, but the carrier will also sell a 16GB version for $199.99. On the surface, this gives Samsung price parity with the entry-level HTC One — but the $199.99 One comes with 32GB of storage. Whether or not extra storage will be enough to sway consumers from Samsung's flagship over to the HTC One remains to be seen, but HTC also has a bit of an advantage with an earlier launch — there's still no word on when Samsung will actually get the Galaxy S4 into consumers' hands, while the One will be available at AT&T in just over two weeks. Still, with both devices sitting on store shelves at the same price, the HTC One will definitely have its work cut out for it.
Mar 18, 2013
"While the women are cooling off, why don't you tell us about S Health?"Read Article >
That line, uttered with complete sincerity, was the capstone on Samsung's hour-long Galaxy S4 launch event — an event designed to captivate fans with Broadway spectacle, but which instead elicited sharp criticism for its one-sided portrayal of women, including a bachelorette party skit that featured women saying the S4's Air Gesture feature would be useful while their nails dried and a drunk woman ogling a shirtless gardener. The S4, watching her eyes using its Smart Pause feature, halted video playback while she took in the view.
Mar 16, 2013
Samsung's press conferences are often polarizing — from the heights of weirdness at CES 2011 to the depths of boredom at CES 2013. For the launch of the Galaxy S4 on Thursday, the company clearly wanted to make as big an impression as possible, with a presentation that was kitschy and bombastic, but accessible. (It was also offensive to some and Samsung was called out for portraying women in insulting stereotypes). But Samsung's presentation at Radio City Music hall went far beyond its song and dance for press and fans, and the company took to Times Square, turning it into a mammoth billboard for the S4.Read Article >
Mar 15, 2013
When Samsung brands one of their gadget announcements with "Unpacked," you can usually tell you're in for something weird. Samsung weird. The Galaxy S4 announcement didn't disappoint, but it was strangely effective in showcasing the gigantic list of features Samsung introduced. If you missed it (or if you want to relive it), Samsung has posted the event in its entirely on YouTube. Check out the video below for the tap-dancing-est, sideways-car-iest, slightly misogynist-iest, and S-feature-ist phone announcement you've ever experienced. Of course, if you can't handle the full hour, there's always our full preview, our take on what this phone means for Samsung, and plenty of other coverage in our StoryStream.Read Article >
Mar 15, 2013Read Article >
While nearly every single detail of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 leaked ahead of its Unpacked event this evening, the company did save one trick up its sleeve: the Galaxy S4 will work with gloves. The feature is essentially the same as what we saw from Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920 last year — you can use your phone in the cold without having to buy special handwear. No word if it’s the same Synaptics technology under the hood, but we wouldn’t be surprised.
Mar 15, 2013
So here we are, fully irradiated in the afterglow of another blockbuster launch event from the Android juggernaut that is Samsung. Another year, another overwhelming set of new features, and another amazing campaign of hype and anticipation-building. Only the new phone looks just like the old phone. Isn't that supposed to be a cardinal sin?Read Article >
Until today, it was believed that only Apple could get away with mildly refreshing its flagship smartphone device without suffering an apposite dip in sales and consumer interest. Now, Samsung is emulating the Cupertino strategy in a bid to prove that it is every bit the globe-conquering big timer that Apple is. The Galaxy S4 design is, quite literally, the Galaxy S III’s design expanded to a 5-inch screen size. It moves Samsung further away from Apple in terms of pure specs and measurements, but it closes the distance between the two mobile leaders in terms of strategy.
In addition to new hardware features — like a 5-inch, 1080p display — much of what separates the Galaxy S4 from its predecessor are software features. Naturally, owners of the Galaxy S III are wondering if they'll be able to get some of the features via a software update, and it sounds like Samsung is planning to do just that. In an interview with PC Mag, Samsung VP of Product Planning Nick DiCarlo said "anything that we can do that's not dependent on hardware like infrared, we'll definitely bring to all the flagship devices."Read Article >
Other than that, there's a scant amount of information, but we can hazard a guess at which features will not make it to the Galaxy S III. "Air View," which senses when your finger is hovering above the screen, requires hardware that isn't built into the S III. The same goes for the smart TV remote app, which depends on a built-in IR blaster, and the S Health fitness tracker app, which uses a built-in pedometer. Camera features and the improved eye tracking functionality in the S4 are likely candidates to make it over to the Galaxy S III, however. Also, considering Dicarlo's use of the phrase "flagship devices," it's possible the Note II will also see a software update. We're following up with Samsung now to see if we can get any more details.
Mar 14, 2013
With momentum on its side, Samsung is hoping the just-unveiled Galaxy S4 will cement its standing as the most successful Android manufacturer for yet another year. By timing its announcement several months after the launch of Apple's iPhone 5, Samsung is in a great position to leap ahead of Cupertino in terms of hardware specifications. And, at least on paper, that's exactly what it's done. But Samsung's other Android competitors are determined not to cede the market and have made compelling products in recent months, led by HTC's stunning One. Since we haven't yet had extensive time with the Galaxy S4, we're left playing the numbers game for now, but let's look at where Samsung's new flagship falls.Read Article >
Mar 14, 2013Read Article >
As part of its Galaxy S4 announcement, Samsung has introduced the "S View Cover," its new take on the humble phone protector. The S View Cover looks much like Samsung's flip cover for the S III, but a cutout reveals a small section of the S4's screen. With the cover closed, it displays a portion of the display (presumably an "S View") that includes things like the time and notifications fitted to the cutout's size, so you can check what's going on without lifting the cover. The basic idea reminds us of the Samsung Continuum, a 2010 phone with a small second "ticker" screen for messages or news updates. It's another of Samsung's laundry list of features for the Galaxy S4, but unlike the Continuum, the S View Cover doesn't involve any trade-offs for people who would prefer not to use it.
Mar 14, 2013
Last year Samsung launched its health-tracking app S Health, and the company has a new version that takes advantage of some specialized sensors in the Galaxy S4. The phone features a built-in pedometer for tracking the number of steps you take — or run — during the day, much like Fitbit's line of devices. However, sensors in the phone also allow it to measure the ambient temperature and humidity of the room you're, all of which feeds into the S Health app itself. Diet tracking is integrated as well, with the app pulling able to pull caloric information from a database of common food items.Read Article >
Like earlier versions of the app, the new S Health can also sync with third-party blood pressure monitors and glucose meters — all over Bluetooth — providing a comprehensive look at your overall health trends. Samsung is going a step further for fitness fans, however, with several new accessories. The S Band is a pedometer bracelet, meant to track your steps when you don't want to carry the 5-inch Galaxy S4 around with you; users then sync the data from their run or particular activity back to the phone when they're done. Samsung also showed brief glimpses of its own Body Scale and heart-rate monitoring bands that will work with the S Health system.
Samsung is taking advantage of its latest marquee phone launch to expand on the "natural interactions" that the company first introduced with the Galaxy S III, as has been heavily rumored in the lead-up to today's reveal.Read Article >
First up, the Galaxy S4 is borrowing "Air View" from the Galaxy Note II; the feature allows you to hover over certain items to preview content. In the Note II it functioned with the S Pen stylus, but the S4 now offers the same feature with your finger. It can be used to magnify webpages, bring up expanded information from emails and calendar events, preview videos, and expand galleries without opening them up. You can also get a pop-up of your appointments for the day by hovering over the calendar, and you can bring up a power control widget by hovering over the top right corner of the notification drawer. It's also been integrated into Flipboard — which originally launched on the Galaxy S III — and it allows you to peek at what's behind tiles in the app.
Mar 14, 2013Read Article >
Not only can you control your media center directly, but also check current TV programs, discover on-demand content with Samsung's Media Hub, and purchase it from the phone, then watch it on the TV or your device itself. At Mobile World Congress, the company called it Video Discovery, and you can see our video demo on the Galaxy Note 8.0 below. Now, it's called WatchOn, and we'll let you know if it differs in any significant way from what we've already been shown.
Mar 14, 2013
Samsung's Unpacked events are nothing if not spectacles, and tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City the company used the time to introduce its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. The S4 succeeds the wildly popular Galaxy S III, and brings with it a litany of new features and tweaks — though at first glance, you might not even notice it's different.Read Article >
The GS4 looks a lot like the Galaxy S III or the Galaxy Note 8. A lot. The phone’s nearly the same size as its predecessor, despite having a larger 5-inch, 1080p Super AMOLED screen that is the first of its kind in a smartphone. The GS4 is taller but thinner (just 7.9mm) than the GSIII, and is lighter as well. Samsung’s basic design ID hasn’t changed, which is unfortunate: the GS4 is plasticky and feels much cheaper than a device like the HTC One, though Samsung at least squared the edges slightly and added just enough texture that it doesn’t feel slick or slimy like the GS3 does. But from the colors – “white frost” and “black mist,” or just white and black if you’re a human — to the ports and buttons to the way it feels in your hand, Samsung hasn’t changed the way it thinks a phone should look.
Mar 14, 2013
Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 at its Radio City Music Hall event in New York City. JK Shin, Samsung's head of mobile communications, teased a number of the leaked features that we expected to hear and then finally introduced the new handset, which looks just like what we saw in earlier leaks. The phone will launch on 327 mobile operators in 55 countries starting at the end of April, with 3G and 4G / LTE versions available, and its polycarbonate case will initially be available in two colors, white and black.Read Article >
The 5-inch screen features a 1080p resolution, as expected, is covered with Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, and it's known as a "full HD super AMOLED" screen with 441 pixels per inch. The phone comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi (which also runs on the standard a/b/g/n bands), Bluetooth 4.0, and Cat 3 100 / 50 Mbps LTE, and also comes with an IR blaster like the HTC One. Key specs include a removable 2,600 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage. Also of note is the new processor — either a Samsung Exynos 5 or Qualcomm Snapdragon
S4 Pro600 processor, depending on the region. (Update: we learned the day after Samsung's event that the Qualcomm processor Samsung is using was not the Snapdragon S4 Pro but the more powerful Snapdragon 600.)