Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3: Final Round

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch date fast approaching, consumers will soon have an official look at not only the device itself but the Galaxy S4 release date as well. When Samsung’s Next Big Thing does arrive, it will be taking on a host of devices from the iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It also will likely be doing battle with its predecessor the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4: Final Round.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been a staple on the smartphone market for a little under a year now. In May of last year, after a huge build up of rumor and anticipation, Samsung announced the Galaxy S3 to replace the Samsung Galaxy S2, the latter of which had shattered sales records and started Samsung on its ascent to the top of the Android manufacturer ladder.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 will replace but also compete with the Galaxy S3.

And while the Galaxy S2 helped to start Samsung’s climb to the top, it was the Samsung Galaxy S3 that helped the company to the apex of the smartphone world where Apple, the marker of the iPhone 5, was waiting.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 arrived in regions around the world in late May, June and July and by the time it was released on Verizon in July, the device had become a best seller. The company helped its cause by pushing out a strategic and effective marketing campaign aimed at the iPhone. That campaign, along with the device itself, have helped Samsung sell over 40 million Samsung Galaxy S3’s worldwide, smashing the sales records previously held by the Galaxy S2.

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Now, nearly a year later, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S3 that is in the rear view mirror. Samsung is currently gearing up to announce the Galaxy S3’s successor, the Samsung Galaxy S4, in just a few days.

It’s a device that Samsung hopes will attain the same stature as the Samsung Galaxy S3 did in the smartphone world. And so far, rumors suggest that it will be a fantastic competitor to devices already on the market. One of those devices of course is Samsung’s very own Galaxy S3, a device that isn’t going to just disappear overnight.

Read: Galaxy S4 Concept: What Samsung’s Next Big Thing Will Look Like.

It will likely remain on the shelves of carriers as an alternative to the new Galaxy S4. That said, it means that consumers will be weighing the two, or at the very least, wondering what the differences might be.

Here, we tackle those questions and take a final look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 stacks up versus the Samsung Galaxy S3 in terms of hardware, software, release date and more.

Release Date

Samsung has invited the media to a press event set to take place on March 14th at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The company, in the invites, did not say what it would be announcing but it’s fairly clear that the event will be for the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that will be the company’s latest flagship smartphone.

Radio City Music Hall is not a small venue, it seats 6,000 plus people, and that means that the venue is a perfect place for a launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s magnitude. It also means that the company will be taking a different approach to this year’s launch.

While last year’s Samsung Galaxy S3 launch took place at an Unpacked event in London, this year’s event will be in the United States. Whispers suggest that American carriers were behind the move but whatever the case may be, those in the United States should be happy.

That’s because one of the first regions that the Galaxy S3 was released in was the United Kingdom, the same country that the device was launched in. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Galaxy S4 release date will come early in the United States, the Galaxy S3 didn’t arrive until June and July in the U.S., it does means there is a chance that it might.

Rumors currently suggest that the Galaxy S4 release date in Europe will come in April while the United States will have to wait until either May or June before it arrives on shelves. Whether or not that holds up remains to be seen but given the past, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the United States get the short end of the stick, despite the launch event taking place within its borders.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Launch Date: What Not to Expect.

Could this be the new Samsung Experience in Times Square? If so, will Samsung allow fans to get a Samsung Galaxy S4 hands on ahead of the U.S. release date? It's looking more and more likely.

The Galaxy S4 is likely going to be announced at an event in New York City on March 14th.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been a hot commodity since it first arrived on shelves back in 2012. The device, which will celebrate its one year anniversary in May, will replaced in name soon but it likely won’t completely disappear once the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes around.

Instead, carriers may drop the price down and offer it as a cheaper alternative until finally doing away with it in the months ahead. Remember, there are still carriers out there selling the Galaxy S2.

Design

The most current Samsung Galaxy S4 design rumors state that Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone will take design cues from both the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 8.0, the latter of which arrived at Mobile World Congress back in February.

Samsung has long had an infatuation with plastic design materials and it appears that it has favored a plastic design for the Galaxy S4 as a Samsung executive recently went on record talking up plastic designs and their benefits not only to customers but to the company itself.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Concept vs iPhone 5

The Galaxy S4 is said to have a plastic design, similar to the Galaxy S3.

According to statements made by Samsung executive Y.H. Lee, Samsung uses plastic designs so that it can not only offer customers a removable back and battery, but so that it can provide durable devices at a much faster rate. Opting to use a plastic design not only makes for a sturdy piece of hardware, but it also allows Samsung to pump out tons of devices to meet demand.

Anticipation for the Galaxy S4 is off the charts and it could be that Samsung is going to need to provide millions upon millions of Galaxy S4’s to keep up with the demand. So, consumers should not be surprised to see a design made up mostly of polycarbonate plastic, just like the Galaxy S3’s.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is also rumored to have a physical home button, just like the Galaxy S3, but it’s rumored to be much thinner sporting a design that could be as thin as 7.9mm. The Galaxy S3 is 8.6mm and weighs 136 grams.

Rumors also suggest that the Galaxy S4 will have a larger display than the Galaxy S3 but that shouldn’t translate into a much larger device. As we saw with the iPhone 5, companies can simply make the device a bit taller without sacrificing width.

Display

Both previous and current Samsung Galaxy S4 rumors suggest that Samsung is not only going to be increasing the size of the display but that it’s also set to make some improvements in both the resolution and perhaps the gesture departments as well.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 display is supposedly going to check in at either 4.99-inches or 5-inches in size. The resolution is said to be full HD 1080p with a pixel-per-inch count over 400. Should all of that be true, and there is no reason to doubt that it is, it will mean that the Galaxy S4 will feature better looking content on a screen that is a bit bigger than the Galaxy S3’s.

The Galaxy S4, seen here in our concept, is expected to feature a bigger display.

The Galaxy S4, seen here in our concept, is expected to feature a bigger display.

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 sports a display that is 4.8-inch in size with 720p HD resolution and a much lesser 306 pixel-per-inch count. Both screens will display good-looking content but content like movies, images and text will look sharper and more picturesque on the Galaxy S4.

Size and looks may not be the only thing separating these two displays however. Samsung is also rumored to potentially be including a sensor that would allow users to make touch less gestures.

This type of technology has been around, it can be seen in both the Sony Xperia Sola and Pantech Vega 4G LTE, but it would allow Galaxy S4 owners to control content without actually having to touch the screen.

This type of on board technology is less likely than a full HD 1080p display but until the device arrives, it’s impossible to say if it’s true or not.

Camera

The most recent Samsung Galaxy S4 rumors suggest that Samsung will be including a 13MP camera sensor inside the Galaxy S4. If that’s true, it will likely be a huge upgrade over the 8MP sensor found in the Galaxy S3.

Possible Samsung Galaxy S4 sample photo.

This is a possible Galaxy S4 photo sample. Notice the detail.

Photos, which were thought to have been taken with the Galaxy S4, show a device that is sporting a 13MP camera sensor and quite possibly a Sony 13MP sensor like the one found in the Sony Xperia Z.

If that’s true, and it’s possible that it is, it could mean that the Galaxy S4 offers HDR video recording, a 10 frame-per-second burst photo taking speed, and quality low-light photos.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 struggled in the low-light environments so it could be that the Galaxy S4’s not only bests it in that department, but just about every other area of photography as well.

Specs

While the Samsung Galaxy S4 is still a rumored smartphone, it has an impressive list of other specifications that are rumored to be on board the final product when it arrives. Here now is how the rumored Galaxy S4 specs match up against the very official Galaxy S3 specifications.

First, the Galaxy S4.

  • 4.99-inch Full-HD 1080p SoLux Display
  • 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core Processor/Exynos 5 Octa Processor
  • 16/32/64GB of Storage
  • 13MP Camera
  • 2,600 mAh (Removable)
  • 2 GB RAM

These are the Galaxy S3’s specs.

  • 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 Processor
  • 16GB/32GB Storage (MicroSD card slot)
  • 8MP Camera/1.9MP Front-Facing
  • 2100mAh Battery (Removable)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • NFC

The first specification of note is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is heavily rumored to be coming with a current-generation quad-core processor. The United States variants are said to be using a Snapdragon 600 while other variants will use the Exynos 5 Octa quad-core processor from Samsung. No matter the case, the processor should help to not only provide better performance than the Galaxy S3, but also better battery life as well.

Speaking of battery life, second, the Galaxy S4 is rumored to have a larger 2,600 mAh batter on board which could mean that it will dominate the Galaxy S3 when it comes to how much usage owners can get out of it.

Third, the Galaxy S4 will likely follow suit and sport a non-removable battery which means that owners should be able to tack on an extended battery if they so choose. No word on the microSD card slot but it’s likely.

And finally, fourth, the Galaxy S4 is said to have a number of accessories including a wireless charging kit, something that was promised for the Galaxy S3, but never hit shelves.

Software

Samsung has done a fantastic job of keeping its flagship Android devices up to date. A prime example has been its work with the Samsung Galaxy S3 which was one of the first devices to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and for which Samsung also rolled out an incremental update called the Premium Suite that brought a ton of new features to the table including the Galaxy Note 2’s Multi-Window View.

The device still hasn’t been updated to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the most current version of Android, and it’s possible that Samsung might be waiting as the Galaxy S4 is heavily rumored to feature not only Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but a number of new Samsung-created features as well.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 Update May Add Smart Scroll.

TouchWiz Nature UX debuted with the Samsung Galaxy S3 last year and included a number of powerful, smart features. It appears that Samsung will follow suite with the Galaxy S4 as current rumors suggest a number of “smart” software features that could ultimately end up being offered under the Nature UX 2.0 banner.

The Galaxy S4 will almost certainly feature new software.

The Galaxy S4 will almost certainly feature new software.

Recent whispers indicated that the Galaxy S4 could have at least three new features on board including one called Smart Scroll which would allow users to scroll the screen using their eyes, one called Smart Pause which detects when a users head is moving away from the screen and presumably pauses content automatically and another called Samsung Orb which is said to be Samsung’s version of Android 4.2’s Photo Sphere which allows for 360 degree panoramic photos.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is already rumored to be getting Smart Scroll, at the very least, but don’t expect the device to get all of the Galaxy S4’s software features as Samsung will want to make sure there is a clear separation between the devices.

Carriers

So far, two Samsung Galaxy S4 carriers, at least in the United States, have emerged. The very first was the AT&T Galaxy S4, which showed up in a user agent string many weeks ago. That leak was then followed up by a more recent leak which showed software supposedly pulled from a Galaxy S4 running on AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

In addition, a device thought to be the Verizon Galaxy S4 variant showed up in benchmarks flaunting both its hardware and software. At this point, those two carriers appear to be locks however given the Galaxy S3’s launch and success, it would be strange to see other carriers miss out on the Galaxy S4.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Features, Specs, AT&T Revealed in Screenshots.

Samsung released the Galaxy S3 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless last year. All but T-Mobile’s utilize 4G LTE data speeds where can be up to 10 times faster than standard 3G data speeds.

It could be that the Galaxy S4 follows a similar launch pattern and debuts on all five of the largest service providers in the U.S. If that’s the case, expect it to run on the 4G LTE networks of all five,

Price

No pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S4 has leaked but consumers should expect it to start at $199.99 which is the sweet spot that carriers are using to attract customers.

It’s also the same price that the Galaxy S3 arrived for last year, expect for at T-Mobile, where it was made available for $280 on-contract. Other carriers offered it for $199.99 or $249.99 for the larger 32GB model.

The Galaxy S4 will likely come with a $199.99 price.

The Galaxy S4 will likely come with a $199.99 price.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has also seen deep discounts at retailers like Amazon which offer the phone with pricing much cheaper than carrier pricing. For instance, while the $199.99 price has stayed intact, Amazon has been, for quite awhile now, been luring in customers with price tags that can dip to as low as a penny.

This will, at some point, apply to the Galaxy S4 as well.

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T-Mobile, which is shifting to unsubsidized pricing for 2013, will more than likely offer the Galaxy S4 with different pricing should the device launch on its 4G LTE network.

Comments

  1. Matt says

    They better not make the back plastic. That’s the one of the reasons I returned mine for the nexus 4.

  2. Rob says

    Looks amazing and I am happy that they stuck a quad core in the U.S. version of this phone.
    On a more negative note there is still no rumor that the s4 will have digital audio out through usb??? When will Samsung figure out that people REALLY want to be able to charge and play music at the same time???

  3. anthony says

    The plastic back is super durable. .. and allows battery swaps etc. Dropped mine on concrete plenty of times and the plastic saved everything else with barely a scratch. Nexus 4 would be great being vanilla, but telling me I cannot change the battery or add memory on my own phone us just plain rude, almost a shade of apples arrogance.

    Bring on another beautiful phone Samsung. Just make sure your android update rate is sorted out!

  4. Aminur Rahman, Khosru Frankfurt /Germany says

    I think Samsung s 4 will Break all Records of Mobile Sales Record.
    I am just waiting anxiously for the New Samsung Model.

  5. sonster mata says

    I think that the samsung galaxy. S3 is a great phone but the samsung galaxy would be better

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