As we inch closer to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Release date in the U.S., we learned that the AT&T plans to charge $250 for the Samsung Galaxy S4, $50 more than most flagship smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 showed that shoppers are willing to pay more for what they see as a higher value, and it appears that Samsung and AT&T are planning to rely on a similar appeal for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
AT&T announced the Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders start on April 16th, but did not announce the official AT&T Galaxy S4 release details. T-Mobile did announce the Galaxy S4 release date at an event earlier this week, telling customers the phone is coming to T-Mobile on May 1st. And the kicker for T-Mobile is that the up fornt price of the phone is just $99 — followed by 24 monthly installments of $20. That’s still a big gap in pricing.
T-Mobile is on a big push to separate from the rest of the carriers with new plans and trading wireless contracts for payment plans on phones, so they may be the odd one out when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S4 price tag.
Verizon and Sprint did not announce any pre-order details or Galaxy S4 pricing yet, but there is a high likely hood that the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on these networks will stick closer to AT&T than to T-Mobile.
By keeping the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 higher than the average phone there is a bigger area for carriers to play with Samsung Galaxy S3 pricing and perhaps more room for a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini if it ever makes its way to the states.
5 Reasons the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Worth $250
The Samsung Galaxy S4 arrives with some features we haven’t seen all on the same phone before. When Gotta Be Mobile was on hand for the announcement, one of our writers described it as a conglomeration of some of the best features found on the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC One and other flagship devices.
While there are other smartphones with similar features, the combination of the features listed below make the Galaxy S4 worth looking at, even with the higher price.
5-inch 1080P HD Display with Extras
The Galaxy S4 isn’t the first smartphone with a 5-inch display or even the first with a 1080P HD display, but it does deliver a collection of features that help to justify the price — and not just due to the fact that the screen is really expensive.
The 1080P Super AMOLED display looks great in person, and the fact that Samsung was able to deliver it in a package that is the same size as phones with a 4.7-inch or 4.8-inch display helps.
In addition to the sharp-looking HD, the Galaxy S4 display allows users to control the phone with gloves on, something that anyone in colder regions can appreciate.
Rounding out the display is the ability to use Air View. Thanks to sensors, which also add to the cost, the Galaxy S4 can sense when a finger is near the display and show more about what is happening, allowing users to get previews in a video, see more of a photo or preview a message.
Motion Control and Eye-Tracking
Samsung took the motion control and eye-tracking from the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and supercharged the capabilities for the Galaxy S4.
With eye-tracking and motion sensing, users can control the Galaxy S4 one-handed, during a number of convenient tasks.
The video below shows the ability to scroll a web page with motion and eye-tracking, by titling the phone forward or back. This could come in handy while reading in bed, while holding a drink on the beach or other times when only one hand is free.
Users can also use motions such as swipes above the screen, to answer a call when their hands are dirty or to scroll up or down a webpage. A good use case for this would be while cooking with ingredients on your hands.
With eye-tracking the Galaxy S4 can also keep the screen active when a user is looking at it or it can pause a video when the user looks away withe ht new Smart pause feature.
Micro SD, Replaceable Battery and Wireless Charging
The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers a trio of features that are not found in most flagship phones these days — expandable storage, a replaceable battery and the option for wireless charging. Yes, we see one or two of these features in some devices, but due to design choices or cost typically users need to pick which is most important.
Samsung’s decisions to use a plastic design with a removable back offers the ability to carry a second battery or purchase a larger Galaxy S4 battery to go further without the need for a battery case.
When the back is off, users can add more storage for as little as $10. Amazon offers numerous Micro SD cards that can add 16GB, 32GB or more storage to the Galaxy S4 without the need to jump up to the next $100 model, like the iPhone 5.
While the Nokia Lumia and Droid DNA feature wireless charging, there are not good options for the HTC One or iPhone 5. The Samsung Galaxy S4 features an official wireless charging kit that will let users add wireless charging without adding much bulk to the device. rumors point to the price of this accessory at $50 with a release in late April.
Dual Camera Modes & Eraser
Another cool feature on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the ability to put yourself in the photo or video while holding the device.
With the Dual Shot mode, users can superimpose a photo or video from the front facing camera over the shot taken with the rear facing camera. The result looks something like the video below.
This mode is one of many software features built into the Galaxy S4 camera app. Samsung smartphones typically offer more features in the camera app than their competitors.
Another mode is Eraser, which allows users to remove objects from photos. For example this mode should help you cut out a photobomb, or a passing tourist that walks into your perfectly composed vacation photo.
Multitasking Prowess in a Pocketable Form Factor
The final reason the Samsung Galaxy S4 is worth the price is that the 5-inch HD display allows users to multi-task on the screen. This isn’t your standard Android or iPhone multitasking — but two apps on the screen at once multitasking.
With this feature, the Samsung Galaxy S4 lets users use two apps one the screen at once, allowing users to mix fun and work or watch a video while keeping twitter open.
When paired with a bluetooth keyboard, the Samsung Galaxy S4 should offer a very portable productivity experience, something we enjoyed with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
The biggest catch here is that Samsung and carriers may offer different apps as part of multi-tasking (based on our experience with the Note 2) which coud limit the usefulness for some users.
HTC claims the Samsung Galaxy S4 is “more of the same,” and talks down many of these features, telling Engadget, “Looking at the software features of the S4, we think Samsung spent more on marketing than innovation.” Some users may agree, but the combination of these features go a long way in making up for the higher than average Samsung Galaxy S4 price.