Less than a year after it released the biggest competitor to Apple’s iPhone, Samsung announced an update to its flagship Galaxy smartphone. The Galaxy S4 is bigger, faster and all-together greater than its predecessor. Hosted at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the unveiling presentation features skits, dancers and a plethora of young men in suits. While some critics noted that the theatrics may have been over the top, there’s no denying that Samsung made a powerful statement with this release.
With Apple in between major updates and competitors HTC and Blackberry struggling to gain a significant share of the tech market, the stars could be aligning for the Korean-based manufacturer.
Samsung’s Galaxy line has always placed a premium on size, and the S4 continues the trend toward phablets (phone/tablets) with a 5-inch 1080p screen. A larger screen means it requires more power, so Samsung pumped the Galaxy S4 with a higher battery capacity. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, the Galaxy S4 features a removable battery. Other conventional upgrades include higher-resolution front and rear-facing cameras and a faster processor. There is no doubt that S4 is an incredible piece of engineering, but consumers have come to expect features that carry a “wow” factor. Enter eye-tracking technology. This feature tracks users eyes and pauses videos when they look away from the screen. Turn back and the paused video will resume seamlessly.
Available with 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage, the Galaxy S4 has ample room for music, documents and other media files. Users could potentially use this space as a backup for desktop files. Read any MyPCBackup review forum and you’ll find plenty of users searching for data protection. With impressive external features and a ample power under the hood, the Galaxy S4 is probably more capable than its PC competitors.
Samsung has tailored its schedule based on Apple’s iPhone update patterns. Since it introduced iPhone in 2007, Apple has updated its only phone every year. After the second generation device, iPhone 3G, however, only every alternate update was a significant hardware upgrade. Samsung caught on to this pattern. Last year Apple released a significant upgrade with iPhone 5. Many experts expect a more subdued upgrade in 2013, so Samsung jumped at the chance to steal headlines.
The announcement of a new iPhone will certainly garner attention from tech-savvy consumers, but unless it deviates from its current schedule and unveils a significant upgrade, 2013 will be known as the year in which Samsung gained ground.
According to Gottabemobile.com, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available through T-Mobile on May 1st. Two weeks later, Google is expected to introduce the first device(s) since it bought Motorola at Google I/O, a tech development conference. Right now, the battle for dominance in the mobile industry is a two-horse race, but but search-giant Google figures to bring a fresh perspective to mobile devices. Apple figures to host its annual iPhone presentation sometime over the summer, and all of the major smartphone providers will duke it out during the holidays.
Neither Apple nor Samsung will ever own the smartphone market completely, but for the first time since Apple introduced its revolutionary mobile device, Samsung seems to have earned a reputation that stands at the same level as Apple. We might see lines out of the doors of Galaxy S4 retailers next month.
Photo credit: E-Plus Gruppe Photostream