The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been one of the best-selling smartphones of the year with Samsung selling more than 30 million units across the globe. The company will likely try and repeat this kind of success next year with the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung’s presumed successor that already has rumored features and a couple of rumored launch dates.
Samsung’s yearly Galaxy smartphone has become one of the staples of the Android market, something that isn’t surprising given the quality of smartphone that has come to represent the series. With each edition of the Galaxy smartphone, Samsung has improved upon the previous version. And we expect the company to introduce an improved smartphone over the fantastic Galaxy S3 with the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 isn’t expect to arrive until next year but already there are rumors swirling around about Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy S3. From some high-end features to several possible launch dates, the Galaxy S4 has already been tossed into the rumor mill many weeks before its launch. And while much of what has been said about the Galaxy S4 is just rumor, we can make some educated guesses about what to expect from the Galaxy S4 based on those rumors and Samsung’s previous releases.
We have already taken a look at what to expect from the most important details regarding the Samsung Galaxy S4, its features and release date, and now it’s time to take a look at what consumers and enthusiasts shouldn’t expect from the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date and features.
Galaxy S4 Release Date
Launch at CES
There have been whispers about a Samsung Galaxy S4 launch taking place at this year’s CES 2013 in Las Vegas. Consumers should not expect this to happen.
One, the Galaxy S3 is still selling well and Samsung won’t be feeling pressured to launch a successor that early in the game. Two, Samsung likes to keep its product cycles close to a year. With a release of the Galaxy S4 in January, it will only have been seven months since the release of the Galaxy S4. And three, there are two other rumored launch months.
Right now, there are two rumors regarding the launch of the Galaxy S4. One suggests that it will be at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona in February. Certainly possible given Samsung’s past at the event. The other says that Samsung will announce the Galaxy S4 in April. Given that the Galaxy S3 was announced in early May and released in late May, April seems much more likely at this point.
Whatever the case may be though, don’t expect the Galaxy S4 to launch at CES next month, it’s too soon.
Release Date Beyond Summer
While the launch date is hard to pin point, the release date is far less difficult. With the Galaxy S3 hosting its birthday in late May, the rumored launch dates taking place in the first half of 2013 and the iPhone 5 rumored to be coming out either in the middle of 2013 or in the fall, Samsung will more than likely release its Galaxy S4 before the end of summer.
Both the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 were released in May and there have been rumors of a mid-2013 release so at this point, May is the date that users should circle on the calendar for the release of the Galaxy S4.
One Single Release Date
That being said, Samsung still have a habit of releasing products with staggered release dates. Just look at the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 which arrived on an assortment of release dates in the United States. Don’t expect Samsung to take a page out of the iPhone 5′s book with the release of the Galaxy S4.
So while the release date could come in May, carriers in the U.S. at least will likely release the Galaxy S4 where they see fit which could mean June or even July.
Galaxy S4 Features
One thing that has stayed consistent with the Galaxy S smartphones is the price. Last year, while the Galaxy S3 release date in the U.S. was sporadic, the pricing was consistent with carriers besides T-Mobile offerings the device up with a starting price of $199.99. Don’t expect anything to change this year.
The Galaxy S4 will almost certainly come with an on-contract price tag of $199.99. Some U.S. carriers also offered the 32GB Galaxy S4 and those who want more storage should expect to pay around $249.
There is a report out that states that phones with flexible displays are coming to the market in 2013. However, rumors about the Galaxy S4′s display, which is supposed to be AMOLED and 1080p in nature, have not stated that the display is going to be flexible OLED.
We expect the full 1080p and massive amount of pixels-per-inch to be the big draw of the Galaxy S4′s display. HTC just released a phone called the Droid DNA which offers 1080p resolution and a whopping 441 pixels-per-inch. Samsung is rumored to be playing catch up with a 4.99-inch AMOLED display with similar specs. That display will likely be the one on the Galaxy S4 but at this point, a flexible display seems to be far off in the distance.
Lack of T-Mobile 4G LTE Support
T-Mobile will be bringing its 4G LTE network to the United States at some point in 2013. The carrier is mum about a specific date but expect it to be in time for the arrival of the Galaxy S4 which will almost certainly be sporting 4G LTE connectivity.
The carrier’s Galaxy Note 2 has hidden 4G LTE support which the carrier says might be enabled with an update once 4G LTE goes live and if 4G LTE isn’t out by the time the Galaxy S4 hits, expect the same for it as well.
There isn’t a chance the Galaxy S4 arrives without 4G LTE support for T-Mobile.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Don’t expect Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to be on board. There are rumors that the device may have Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as its operating system and that was bolstered by Google’s announcement that Google I/O will be taking place toward the end of May. The features of Google’s new operating system are as of yet unknown.
While it seems liek a bit of a stretch that a non-Nexus smartphone would get a major update that quickly, if any smartphone were to get a major update early, it would be a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Samsung has been deligent in getting out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its customers and we also know that Google launched an Android APK this year that was supposed to help bring major updates to phones faster. Maybe the Galaxy S4 will be one of the first benefactors of that.
At the very least though, expect Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
With the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung released some pretty powerful software features for the camera, for sharing and for multitasking. Don’t expect Samsung to sit on its hands with the Galaxy S4 software this time around.
Whether it’s refining some of these current features or introducing some new powerful additions, the company will almost certainly enhance its flagship smartphone with some tantalizing software.
Happy Verizon Customers
Those wanting a Galaxy S4 shouldn’t expect to be happy campers once the Galaxy S4 is announced. Verizon typically releases its device last, pushes out its software updates much later than its competitors – look at the Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update and locks up device bootloaders.
Unless pigs start flying, all three of these things likely will occur with the Galaxy S4 next year.