The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been on shelves for a little over six months now and already, the device has sold over 30 million units worldwide. Despite its success, rumors of another Galaxy device, the Samsung Galaxy S4, have already sprung up and the Galaxy S3’s successor is already the talk of the Android world leading into 2013. But how does the rumored Galaxy S4 stack up against the current model? Here, we take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S3 versus the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 took the Android world by storm this year. The device, which was announced and released back in May, went on to smash all of the previous Samsung sales records set less than two years ago by the Galaxy S3’s predecessor, the Galaxy S2. And for good reason. The Galaxy S3 is arguably the best Android smartphone on the market and it’s certainly one of the best Android smartphones of all time.
That being said, it’s also going to be a difficult device to replace. Of course, critics and consumers alike were saying that in the build up to the launch of the Galaxy S3 as well but Samsung proved that it could top its previous model.
Critics and consumers will be looking for the same from the Samsung Galaxy S4 and thus far, all signs point to a device that will trump the current Galaxy model. Since November, rumors of the Galaxy S4 release date and features have been swirling around. And while it may seem early, consider the fact that the iPhone 5, which was released in September, already has the iPhone 5S on the table. It’s never too soon for rumors in the world of smartphones.
But how does the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S3, one of the best selling Android smartphones of all time? Here now is a close look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 stacks up against the current Galaxy model, the Galaxy S3.
As we mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been out in the United States since June. It arrived on several carriers that month, just shortly after Samsung released it in other regions of the world and hit other carriers in the month of July. So needless to say, the Galaxy S3 has been a fixture on the Android market for quite some time now.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is obviously not out yet but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t seen a plethora of rumors regarding both its launch date and its release date.
Right now, there are four reports already that have suggested that the Galaxy S4 will be launching in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s the same conference where Samsung introduced the Galaxy S2 in 2011 and it’s certainly a viable place for Samsung to announce the phone.
However, last year, the Galaxy S3 was announced at a separate event in the United Kingdom during the month of May. Samsung likely did this for an assortment of reasons but one of them was to lessen the gap between its launch in regions like Europe and the United States. Typically, Americans have had to wait a bit before flagship Android devices arrive. By announcing the device closer to its actual release date, Samsung was able to keep Americans in the mix.
It could be that it does something similar with the Galaxy S4 and announces it at its own event and releases it shortly afterwards. Right now, the Galaxy S4 release date is pegged for the first half of the year, around the middle of it, so both MWC and a separate event are both possible at the moment.
With the design of the Galaxy S3, Samsung employs a polycarbonate material that is easy to grip and more importantly, is durable. The design itself is, as Samsung says, inspired by nature and features a slick curved design that is as nice to look at as it is to hold.
Specific measurements of the Galaxy S3 include a design that is 8.6 mm thin and weighs 133 grams. Both of those aren’t top of the line in terms of slimness and weight, but they definitely aren’t bad either.
The design of the Galaxy S4 is currently unknown and likely will be all the way up until its released. This is because, like the Galaxy S3, the device is probably under lock and key with only the people close to the project knowing exactly what it will look like.
In the build up to the launch of the Galaxy S3, several different possible devices were leaked and that was seemingly by design. Samsung wanted to keep the final look of the Galaxy S3 a secret. And it accomplished its goal.
The same could happen with the Galaxy S4. We should see several planned leaks emerge and then finally see what the device is all about come launch day. What Samsung has up its sleeve exactly is unclear but expect whatever it is to sport a thin design, a durable build quality and some tweaks to the Galaxy S3’s fantastic design.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 sports a beautiful 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD screen that offers 1280 x 720 resolution and a 306 pixels-per-inch count. That’s among the best on the market right now but the display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 will very likely put it to shame.
Rumors suggest that Samsung will be showing off a AMOLED HD display at CES that may check in at 4.99 or 5-inches in size. It apparently has 1080p resolution and a 441 PPI count which places it right up there with the Droid DNA, the first 1080p smartphone to launch in the United States. The Droid DNA launched on Verizon back in November.
The Galaxy S4 is rumored to have a display around that size and given the Droid DNA’s display, we expect Samsung to offer a 1080p display, at the very least, on the Galaxy S4.
There are rumors out there about an unbreakable flexible display but there are also reports that suggest that Samsung is not yet ready to bring that type of technology to the market and will instead just opt for the 1080p technology for the Galaxy S4.
Either way, expect the Galaxy S3 display to be trumped by the Galaxy S4’s.
One of the bigger drawbacks of the Samsung Galaxy S3 was its cameras. While Samsung included some solid cameras, they weren’t the best and weren’t even the best that Android had to offer. That honor was bestowed upon the HTC One X which included one of the best rear cameras of 2012, on par with the iPhone even.
The Galaxy S3’s cameras can do all of the basic things like shoot 1080p video and they are backed up by some fantastic software, but it’s becoming clear that Samsung will likely improve the cameras with the Galaxy S4.
Thus far, rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 will be sporting a 13MP camera in the rear. Megapixels aren’t everything but it would be shocking to see Samsung not outfit its next-generation Galaxy device with a fantastic camera. Consumers want it and it would help to make the phone a better all-around device.
Look for the Galaxy S4 to sport, at the very least, better cameras than the Galaxy S3 and quite possible one of the best rear cameras that money can buy.
Besides the camera, display and design, the Galaxy S3 is an extremely attractive device. It has a speedy processor, lots of storage options, lots of RAM, a decent sized battery and of course, Near-Field Communication support which allows it to take advantage of Google Wallet or ISIS mobile payment services. Here is a full rundown of 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
Because the Galaxy S4 is still in the shadows, most of its features remain firmly in the dark. However, rumors do state that it will have a quad-core processor, that may be Samsung’s Exynos 5440 processor.
The rest of its specs are unknown though we suspect that at the very least it will have a large battery, NFC, 2GB of RAM, and several storage options like its predecessor, the Galaxy S3.
One other things that consumers might expect is built-in wireless charging which is available on devices like the Nexus 4 and Droid DNA and could possibly be coming to the Galaxy S4 as well.
Samsung made it a mission to get software out quickly to its flagship Galaxy devices and one of the benefactors of that new found policy was the Samsung Galaxy S3 which was one of the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices to receive the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. In fact, as of today, all five Galaxy S3 variants in the U.S. now have Android 4.1.
Android 4.1, before Android 4.2, was considered to be the best version of Android which means that the Galaxy S3 is now even better than it once was. Better yet, Samsung likely isn’t done. The Galaxy S3 should at the very least get Android 4.2, possibly in a swift manner and it will almost assuredly get Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as well. Who knows, maybe the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be close to first to that as well.
Fact of the matter is, the Galaxy S3 runs a fantastic version of Android, sports some powerful TouchWiz features including Multi-Window View which will be coming to U.S. owners in the next year, and relatively fast upgrade times. Not bad for an aging device.
The Galaxy S4 may have a leg up on the Galaxy S3 though as it may include the bright spots from Samsung as well as a new version of Android, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie is likely going to be coming at Google I/O in May and rumors suggest it will be on board the Samsung Galaxy S4 when it arrives.
At the very least, it will have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. So, at the very least, expect it to launch with some relatively fresh Android software and quite possibly, some powerful features from Samsung’s end as well.
The U.S. is spoiled in that Samsung offers the Samsung Galaxy S3 on the five biggest carriers in the country. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon all offer the Galaxy S3 on their networks. Everyone besides T-Mobile offers the device on their 4G LTE high-speed network which means that the device can pull down speeds 10 times faster than typical 3G.
T-Mobile’s device does run on its high-speed HSPA+ 42, which at times, is comparable to 4G LTE. So the Galaxy S3 is no slouch in the data speed department. That won’t change with the Galaxy S4 and actually, there should be more options for customers looking to snag the next-generation version of the device.
That’s because, the device will almost assuredly become available on all five carriers once and again and given that T-Mobile will be launching its 4G LTE network in 2013, the device should come capable of running on its new network, something that the Galaxy S3 does not offer.
No carriers have been rumored thus far for the Galaxy S4 but it would be surprisingly to see any of these five miss out in 2013.
One of the nice aspects of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the fact that because it has been out for several months now, it’s price has fallen dramatically from the original $199.99 and $249.99 price tags that it used to have.
Now, the device is featured at low prices, particularly at Amazon Wireless where the device is often available for as little as a penny. Even when it’s not on sale, the Galaxy S3 price is often lower than many high-end smartphones. Right now, Verizon’s Galaxy S3 is $60, AT&T’s $80 and Sprint’s is a penny. T-Mobile’s device is a little harder to get and is much more expensive.
T-Mobile’s Galaxy S3 has had a premium on it and it checks in at just under $300 on-contract with a price at $280. Once the Galaxy S4 launch gets closer, we imagine that the price will drop.
The Galaxy S4 should follow a similar price format as the Galaxy S3. There are currently no rumors to speak of but it would be strange to see Samsung move out of its sweet spot and offer a 16GB Galaxy S4 for anything lower than $199.99 on-contract.
Keep in mind, that price will likely be undercut by Amazon soon after the devices launch but it won’t be as deep as the discounts on the Galaxy S3 right now.