The Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to sell well. Regardless of how well Samsung markets it or how much reviewers rate it, the Samsung Galaxy S brand is a juggernaut that can’t be stopped.
Samsung Galaxy S4: Features and specifications
But if it is well marketed, if it is highly rated, then it might be the first real Android phone to challenge the iPhone in global sales. The S4 has a small period of weakness to exploit before the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 is released, and it’s in this critical period that the tastemakers will operate. So – without further ado, here are the five most critical features that these mavens will point to as evidence of why the ordinary man or woman in the street should pick up a Galaxy S4 instead of an iPhone.
5. Control your home theatre
If you’ve got an HDTV and maybe some speakers too, you’re going to want this feature: The Galaxy S IV includes an IR Blaster, allowing it to serve as a universal remote, controlling your television, stereo and any other A/V equipment you’ve got set up. Getting started is easy, and finding your phone has got to be easier than finding the remote, right? The Galaxy S4 also includes a visual TV guide, allowing you to ditch the awkward and dated vagaries of most smart TV interfaces for something truly next-gen.
4. Gesture control
Gesture control is always in this weird place between gimmick and real world utility, but I reckon the Galaxy S4 will finally tip the scales towards real functionality. The S4′s gesture control is subtle, augmenting the existing touch interface instead of serving as an awkward replacement. The S4 will let you scroll through web pages and messages by tilting the phone down. If you’re watching a video and you look away, the video will pause. If you want to navigate through a gallery of photos, you can swipe in front of the screen. All of these examples serve in niche use-cases where gesture control makes sense, instead of being shoehorned to fit every occasion. It’s this kind of laid back sensibility that will cause gesture control to catch on, until it’s a standard feature that you’d miss elsewhere.
3. Rich hardware
The Galaxy S4, of course, is the top of the line when it comes to hardware and specifications. That much is expected. There is an octa-core processor (in some territories, but not the UK or US) and beautiful five inch 1080p display. But where the Galaxy S4 gets interesting in the sensors that it carries, including some that just don’t exist elsewhere. Namely, there are humidity and temperature sensors, allowing checking the current conditions to become way quicker and easier than needing to check with the internet for a location maybe close to you. It also ties into the S Health app, which we’ll cover a bit later.
2. Camera software
In cameras too, Samsung have put in the requisite good hardware – there’s a 13 megapixel unit on the back and 2 megapixels on the front. But where they really shine is in the number of modes and features employed on the S4, many taken from the Android-powered Galaxy Camera that was released last year. There’s an eraser mode, which allows you to remove photo bombers and passers by automatically. There’s a dual shot mode, where you can shoot video or pictures from both cameras simultaneously. There’s a drama shot mode, which takes a composite photo of a subject in motion. There’s even a cinema photo mode, which brings the popular subtle animation of Cinemagraph to the world of Android. In every instance, the Galaxy S4′s camera software will encourage creativity and allow photographers a strong toolkit.
1. S Health
Perhaps the breakout app demonstrated at Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York was S Health, an exercise and fitness app that took the functionality of accessories like the FitBit or Nike Fuel Band and brought it into the phone itself. Now, your phone can monitor your surroundings, tell you how many steps you took and record what you eat. I can forsee a big market for that kind of functionality, particularly for those that would never go out and buy an accessory for the purpose. And for those accessory fans, there’s a range of Galaxy S4 accessories like a wireless scale and a heart rate monitor if you want to go all-in.
The Galaxy S4 has a unique opportunity here. While the HTC One needs to have excellent reviews and good marketing to stay competitive, the Galaxy S4 could roll regardless. But if Samsung hit a home run with their promotions and the Galaxy S4 receives critical acclaim, they could finally have the phone on their hands to move the iPhone into second place… and that’d be quite a feat.