The Samsung Galaxy S4 has quite possibly been the most heavily rumored Android smartphone of all time. However, rumor will become reality tonight when Samsung finally announces the heavily rumored successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3. Those rumors have all led up to today’s announcement and now, here is a look at everything we think we know about the Galaxy S4 just ahead of its launch.
Tonight, at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Samsung will for the first time announce a Galaxy S device on stage in the United States. Previous announcements took place in London, United Kingdom and at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The Radio City Music Hall, which seats over 6,000 persons and features a orchestra pit, is the perfect venue for a spectacle that should be the Galaxy S4.
Over the past few months, the Galaxy S4 has been one of the most heavily rumored smartphones for 2013, even beating the iPhone 5S in terms of volume of rumors. Every day, the device has seen something leak whether it’s a possible hardware feature, a set of alleged benchmarks or a possible look at one of its carriers. There has been no shortage of rumors.
What started as mild whispers though has transformed into what looks to be a near perfect image of the Samsung Galaxy S4, its hardware and its software. Samsung has typically done a great job of keeping its flagship devices under wraps but this year, everything has seemingly leaked. However, the device still remains rumored and uncertain ahead of its launch as some rumors have been shot down while others have emerged as late as today.
In an effort to hold consumers over until today’s announcement, the event is set to kick off at 7PM EST and 4PM PST, we now take a look at the most credible Samsung Galaxy S4 rumors in an effort to paint what could be an accurate depiction of Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy S4.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date
Rumors about the Samsung Galaxy S4, to date, have been scarce. Rumors have suggested that Samsung will release the Galaxy S4 in Europe in April, just a month after the announcement and similar to last year’s Galaxy S3 release. No specific dates have been mentioned thus far.
As for the Galaxy S4 U.S. release date, it has been rumored to be taking place in May or June, something that was backed up today by an announcement from Sprint MVNO, Ting.
Ting revealed today that it expects to offer a pre-order for the Galaxy S4 in six to eight weeks with the device shipping out a couple of weeks after that. That lines up with the rumored May and June timeline for the Galaxy S4 release though it still doesn’t confirm a specific date for the device’s arrival.
What it does potentially mean though is that Samsung will only announce a release window for the U.S. tonight rather than specific release dates. In the past it has left specific dates to individual carriers who have launched their devices on different release dates.
Galaxy S4 Design
In the days leading up to the Galaxy S4 launch, a Samsung executive went on record touting the company’s polycarbonate plastic designs, which it has used with the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2 saying that they provide durability, a removable back which consumers love, and it also allows Samsung to produce a ton of Galaxy devices to meet demand.
Leaked photos, some coming as recently as a few hours ago, all suggest that the Galaxy S4 will feature a plastic design along with metal around the sides, something that we saw a possibility in Samsung’s first teased Galaxy S4 photo.
It’s also supposedly going to have a home button, like the previous versions of Galaxy smartphones and previous rumors have suggested a frame that measures in at 7.9mm thin though that has been disputed today by a claimed full review of the Galaxy S4, saying that the device actually has a 7.7mm frame.
It’s possible that this is a dummy device, and not the real thing, but it’s looking like the Galaxy S4 will be thin, made of plastic, and sport a home button at the very least.
Galaxy S4 Display
All along the device has been rumored to feature a 4.99-inch to 5-inch display and consumers should at this point expect a Galaxy S4 with a 5-inch Super AMOLED display, bigger than the 4.8-inch display on the Galaxy S3.
Rumors suggest that it will feature 1080p resolution which translates into 1920×1080 pixels. The device is said to use green PHOLED technology with its display which is said to be 25% more efficient than previous AMOLED displays which could mean increased battery life for the Galaxy S4.
All of this should also mean that the Galaxy S4 features incredible looking text, images and video, perfect for those that love to consume a ton of content on their smartphone.
In addition, Samsung is said to have added sensors inside the Galaxy S4 that will allow users to interact with the display without actually touching it.
These floating gestures will evidently act like the S Pen does with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, allowing owners to simply hover over content with their finger to display pertinent information. It will also evidently allow users to control the web simply by waving their finger.
Galaxy S4 Camera
While the Samsung Galaxy S3 featured an 8MP camera, the Galaxy S4 has been heavily rumored to feature a 13MP camera. Rumors have suggested that the camera might feature a Sony Exymor RS lens like the one found in the Sony Xperia Z and a leak today seems to point to that being the case.
This should translate into better low-light images, crisper all-around photos and perhaps, HDR video as well, a feature that is currently only found on the Sony Xperia Z.
In the front, the Galaxy S4 looks to have a 2MP camera which should be perfect for those that love to video chat with friends and family members.
Galaxy S4 Specs
As for the rest of the hardware, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to feature a quad-core processor. In models outside the United States, it’s looking like it will be the Exynos 5 Octa 5 quad-core processor that Samsung announced at CES 2013.
The Exynos 5 Octa is a quad-core processor that utilizes a set of four separate cores depending on phone usage. High performance will be handled by the more powerful Cortex A15 cores while the low-level usage will be tackled by the four Cortex A7 cores. Samsung says the Exynos 5 Octa provides better battery life and performance over previous Exynos 5 chips, including the Exynos 5 chip found in the Nexus 10 tablet.
In the U.S., the processor is expected to be a Qualcomm 600 quad-core processor, a chip that was also announced at CES 2013. It is also said to provide better performance over its predecessors.
The device has been rumored to be coming in both black and white color options with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage variants and it should have a microSD card slot on board for expanded storage. A more recent rumor suggests it will come in white and blue color options with more coming later.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is not said to have wireless charging built-in but instead will likely feature a removable back that allows users to install their own back for wireless charging, possibly using Samsung’s own wireless charging kit.
That should also mean it will have a removable back which will allow owners to easily replace the battery or even install an extended battery for more battery life. The battery is rumored to be 2,600 mAh, much bigger than the stock battery in the Galaxy S3.
Galaxy S4 Software
The Samsung Galaxy S4 seems likely to be coming with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Jelly Bean, and one that has not made it onto very many non-Nexus devices. In fact, the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z, two Galaxy S4 competitors are running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
This means that it will have access to a number of nifty features though we’ve heard that Samsung might be replacing at least one with its own piece of software.
Samsung is rumored to be loading the Galaxy S4 up with its own TouchWiz software including some new features. Samsung Orb is rumored to be its version of Android 4.2’s Photo Sphere which allows users to take 36-degree panoramic photos. It’s also said to have a feature called Smart Pause which will pause content when the user looks away from the phone.
Swiftkey is also rumored to have enhanced the Galaxy S4’s keyboard with accurate predictive typing abilities and the device is rumored to have something called Smart Scroll which will allow owners to scroll through content simply by using their eyes.
Consumers should expect the device to be far from vanilla Android with Samsung’s style, look and features stamped all over it.
Galaxy S4 Carriers
Thus far, we’ve seen a number of carriers confirm the Galaxy S4 for their networks, well ahead of the actual launch event. UK carriers Three UK and EE have confirmed the device for arrival with EE confirming it for its 4G LTE network.
In addition, Sprint MVNO Ting has confirmed the device for launch in the weeks ahead which seems to point to a release on Sprint’s 4G LTE network as well.
So far, the only two U.S. carriers that have emerged in rumors are AT&T and Verizon but consumers should expect more major carriers than just those two to host the Galaxy S4.
Galaxy S4 Price
No word yet on the Samsung Galaxy S4 price though we don’t expect it to be above $199.99 on-contract for the 16GB Galaxy S4. The only difference might be the T-Mobile Galaxy S4, if it arrives, which will surely be offered using T-Mobile’s Value Plans, which are unsubsidized.