The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the gift that keeps on giving because while it has been on shelves for several weeks now, the device has seen a number of new, important developments emerge that potential owners and current owners alike need to know about.
In March, Samsung introduced the new Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that was heavily rumored in the months prior to its arrival and a device that replaced the Samsung Galaxy S3 at the company’s new flagship smartphone. The device comes with all of the qualities of a 2013 flagship smartphone including a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, 13MP camera, slim and lightweight design and powerful software to boot.
Carriers in the United States and around the world began offering the device in late April after a bit of a wait and now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is as widely available as devices like the HTC One, iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4.
Of course, while the device is on shelves, the situation around the Samsung Galaxy S4 is ever evolving with new developments taking place on a near daily basis. Already, we’ve heard about several new Samsung Galaxy S4 devices that will be making their way to shelves later on this year. Those devices have seen new information emerge in recent days.
We’ve seen a new Samsung Galaxy S4 confirmed for arrival in late June and one that should be appealing to those that don’t like all of the software features that Samsung attached to the original model.
And of course, we haven’t even seen one of the more popular variants of the Galaxy S4 emerge yet in the United States.
With all of that in mind, it’s time to take a look at the situation surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S4 as we recap five more things that consumers should know about Samsung’s current flagship smartphone.
Verizon Galaxy S4 Release Date Change
One of the more important things that consumers need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S4 at the moment is the release date change that occurred with the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4.
The device, which will still be the last major Galaxy S4 to arrive in the United States, saw its release date change from May 30th to May 23rd, a full week earlier than was expected.
This is not only big news for those that pre-ordered the device through Verizon, but for those that maybe wanted to get some hands-on time before making the purchase.
What this means for other retailers is unclear. Staples confirmed to Gotta Be Mobile that it would be carrying the device on May 23rd but other retailers like Best Buy, Walmart and RadioShack remain mum. We imagine they will follow suit but at this point, that’s unconfirmed.
Samsung Looks Into Storage Issues
In the weeks since its arrival, some Galaxy S4 owners have been in an uproar over the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with tons of its internal storage eaten up, right from the get go, making the purchase of a microSD card a very necessary one for most people. As we’ve pointed out though, the microSD card is essentially useless with the Galaxy S4 as users can’t use it to store many of their important files.
Compounding matters is the fact that AT&T remains the only carrier willing to offer a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4. The four other carriers seem content with their 16GB models with Sprint and T-Mobile avoiding the question when asked, U.S. Cellular leaving the door open a tad and Verizon telling us that it won’t be offering one.
Samsung has been listening it seems and the company confirmed that it’s investigating and may attempt to free up space through software optimization. TouchWiz, the Ui over Android on the Galaxy S4, is likely a big reason why much of the Galaxy S4’s space is taken up at the start.
When or if Samsung decided to initiate a fix is unclear at this point but at the very least, owners should be happy to know that it’s being looked into.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is Real
Those that are unhappy with the current Samsung Galaxy S4 are soon to get some serious options. The first of those options is the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, also known as the Google Edition, that emerged at Google I/O 2013 yesterday.
The device is going to be similar to the original Samsung Galaxy S4, only, it’s going to take some hints from Google’s Nexus smartphones. That means quick updates, that means stock Android software, and that means an unlocked bootloader for customization. It will also come with 4G LTE capabilities, something the Nexus 4, Google’s current Nexus, does not have.
Google announced a June 26th release date on the Google Play Store with a $650 price tag attached to it. It’s an expensive device, but it’s one that prospective Galaxy S4 owners should certainly know about.
Galaxy S4 Mini & Galaxy S4 Activ Take Shape
The Galaxy S4 Nexus isn’t the only new Samsung Galaxy S4 on the way. In fact, there are two other Galaxy S4 variants that will be coming to shelves, sometime this summer it seems.
The first is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini which has leaked out numerous times in recent days including a full-fledged leak in front of the camera. We now have a good idea about what the device looks like, similar to the Galaxy S4 with some differences, and we now believe it will be coming sometime in the next few weeks with an arrival on AT&T likely.
Specs are said to include a 4.3-inch qHD display, 8MP camera, large 2,100 mAh battery, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Galaxy S4 software features and a dual-core Exynos processor.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Activ is the other Galaxy S4 model and it, like the Galaxy S4 Mini, is expected to debut by the end of July. It also is thought to be heading to AT&T with specs similar to the larger Galaxy S4 only with a design that is both water and dust resistant. Thus, the Activ name.
First Big Update Nowhere in Sight
Finally, Samsung Galaxy S4 owners and future owners should know that there isn’t a big software update in sight for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
While it appeared that Android 4.3 or Android 5.0 might arrive at Google I/O, Android enthusiasts were left without a new update meaning the Galaxy S4’s first big Android update is now up in the air.
With Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie likely not coming until later this year and Bluetooth SIG confirming “native Android support for Bluetooth Smart Ready technology available in the coming months,” Android 4.3 seems like it will be the next update for the Galaxy S4.
Exactly when it rolls out is unknown however which means the first big update to the Galaxy S4 is still no where in sight.