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Galaxy S4 released in SA

Yesterday, in Johannesburg, Samsung unveiled the much anticipated Galaxy S4, offering a range of new features, a longer-lasting battery and bigger screen. SEAN BACHER rounds up the major new features the phone has to offer.

The Galaxy S4 uses a larger screen size and battery which when combined with the minimised bezel measures 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm and weighs 130g. The body is crafted from Polycarbonate, making it more durable than phones using standard plastic shells and is available in two colour options – Black Mist and White Frost.

‚”All the features of the Galaxy S4 were developed based on the insights and needs we found from our consumers all around the world,‚” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa.

The Galaxy S4 has a full HD Super AMOLED 5-inch display at a resolution of 1080×1920 with a pixel dimension of 441 pixels per inch. New to the Galaxy S4 is S Travel offering a range of images of videos on travel destinations.

The phone is equipped with a 13 megapixel rear and a 2 megapixel front camera and it features a Dual Camera function that allows both rear and front cameras to take simultaneous photos and videos. When capturing images, users can choose from a variety of frame effects which blend the two pictures naturally and also adjust the size of the small picture inside the big one.

The camera functionality extends beyond Dual Camera, as the device is also equipped with many shooting modes including ‚’Drama Shot’, which allows you to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse, and ‚’Sound & Shot’, which stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken.

These photos can then be stored in a photo album, with the new ‚’Story Album’ function. Content such as SNS posts, memos, location and weather information, as well as photos and videos, are automatically gathered on the phone to create a photo album which is personalised around your timeline of special occasions and events.

With its Group Play function, music, photos and games can be shared with those around you, without using a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal. This feature enables users to connect directly with others to share, play and co-create content and entertainment instantly. The Share Music option allows users to have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync.

The Galaxy S4 brings all people closer together by breaking down language barriers. It makes international travel easier, with S Translator which provides instant translation, using text or voice translation on applications including email, text message and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech to text and text to speech.

The Galaxy S4 supports HSPA+42 Mbps and an LTE version of the device will be available a few weeks after the initial launch.

Possibly one of the most innovative features on the Galaxy S4 is Smart Pause, which pauses a video the minute your eyes leave the screen. When eyes return, the video continues from where you last left off.

Also new to the Galaxy S4 is Samsung Smart Scroll, which allows for fingerless scrolling. The phone tracks eye movements and scrolls as your eyes move up or down.

Air View allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. You can even see a magnified view on the Internet browser, or a phone number saved in the speed dial on the keypad. With Air Gesture, users can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.

Samsung’s S Voice Drive allows users to activate commands via voice control when driving – nothing new there, but I suspect it will be more accurate than other phones. Once connected with a car Bluetooth, the phone turns into driving mode, converting text to speech, allowing for a true hands-free driving.

The Optical Reader feature automatically recognising text, a business card or QR code information, and provides functions like translation, call, text message and search.

The new S Health feature is a combination of sensors built within the device that systematically and automatically monitor your health and surroundings.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available from all cellular retail outlets from tomorrow with a cash price of R8 499.

* Follow Sean Bacher on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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