At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone looks almost identical to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S3. At 5 inches wide, it’s slightly larger than the 4.8-inch S3, yet it weighs about the same and is slimmer too.
In Singapore stores from April 27, 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE does actually have plenty to offer, even for those who aren’t tech addicts.
Besides making your Instagram shots more picture-perfect with its 13 megapixel camera, here are five top reasons why you’ll want this Samsung smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S4. ALL PHOTOS: SAMSUNG SINGAPORE
1. Multitask better
With the amount of multitasking that we do these days, a faster mobile processing speed is not to be ignored. You’ll want to be able to switch with ease between apps and the web links that you tap on, with as little of a time lag as possible.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is packed with better hardware that in theory, should make this phone faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3; for instance, it has almost twice as much RAM memory (2GB) compared to the latter.
If you’re still holding on to a 3G phone, the 4G LTE wireless network that the S4 is equipped with will also up your data-roaming speed. Downloading and uploading those videos and Facebook photos will be even more of cinch.
2. Improved camera functions and features
You’ll be able to take better pictures than ever on a smartphone — the S4 features a 13-megapixel rear camera, a step up from the 8-megapixels on the Galaxy S3, which are already among the frontrunners for some of the best smartphone cameras around.
The new camera features are handy perks too.
If you’ve ever had bystanders unwittingly ruin your perfect shot, the S4’s “eraser” tool can blur out the photobombers for you. Or rid your older photos of an ex, if you would prefer.
The "eraser" tool on the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera app
You can even “animate” your photo with the camera’s burst mode. Create animated GIFs of your cat’s antics or your friends’ attempts at imitating the latest dance craze.
The long exposure "Drama Shot" mode can capture moving action in one continuous shot
Video-calling your friends and family gets easier too, with the phone’s dual video call function.
Besides having a live video chat, you’ll be able to show your friends exactly where you’re at and what you’re looking at while you’re chatting with them on the video feed.
3. Touch-free “air gestures”
Call these first-world problems if you will, but be it while we’re in an overcrowded train or are snacking on greasy potato chips, there are plenty of moments we wish we could go truly “hands free” with our phones.
With the S4’s new “air gestures”, it seems that you can. Hover your finger over a photo album to preview the snaps in it. Wave at the screen to scroll up and down through your Twitter newsfeed.
The "Air Wave": Wave at your phone to flip through pages, or scroll through your browser
The touch-free technology is handy when you’re on a winter holiday too. You’ll be able to use your phone while you’re keeping your gloves on.
4. Eye-tracking technology
There’s also an “eye tracking” technology to keep things even more hands-free. Look away from the screen to pause the video you’re watching, then look back to play it again.
The “smart scroll” function will allow you to scroll through what you’re reading by just tilting your head upwards and downwards, while you’re looking at the screen. You’ll just have to ignore the curious stares, if you insist on doing this while you’re on the go.
The "smart scroll" on the Samsung Galaxy S4
When we tried the Samsung Galaxy S4 prototypes, we found the “air gestures” far easier to use and more responsive than the eye-tracking feature. We’ll have to wait to see if there’s more use to the “smart scroll” after the novelty has worn off.
5. Use foreign languages that you don’t know
The “translate” function is integrated onto the SMS and email functions on the S4 to help you to read and write your emails and text messages in nine different languages.
That means you don’t have to switch in between apps to translate a phrase, as you typically would on most phones.
On top of that, it can even “speak” for you in any of the nine languages. Play recordings of the pre-set phrases to help you ask for directions for instance, while you’re travelling abroad.
The S Translator function may just give you a chance to chat up that cute guy abroad
While some “lost in translation” moments are to be expected, the basic phrases will still be useful in a foreign land.
6. First look at new Android apps; freebies included too
Besides a limited period free subscription of The Straits Times app, you’ll be amongst the first to try out the newest Samsung apps that are preloaded onto the Samsung Galaxy S4; including our very own herworldPLUS app.
You’ll be able read our latest stories on fashion, shopping, beauty and more ever so easily with this new mobile app.
Early birds will get a few extras thrown in — customers who pre-order the phone will receive the Galaxy S4 with an accessory pack worth $160. The pack includes a car charger, desktop dock and a HDTV adapter.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE is available in Singapore from April 27, 2013, at $998 without a mobile phone contract, in two colours: Black Mist and White Frost.