Thursday, March 14, 2013

Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Full Summary

Didn't watch the UNPACKED event? No worries we've got you covered. This article will summarize everything that happened during the conference and some of the key items about the S4.

The show started off following "Jeremy Maxwell's" story, and with JK Shin taking the reins for the announcement. Of course he goes on with the usual innovation speech, and how the new S4 changes lives. And this time it wasn't all just gimmicks. Samsung has been trying really hard now to change their image of a copy cat to an image of an innovator. Something Apple has had for a long time.

The S4

So lets get to the main attraction of the show, the S4 came with all the usual spec bumps you would expect, yet squeezing it all in to 7.9mm frame, only .3mm away from the iPhone 5. This is something that Samsung is sure to be proud of. But let's not get carried away, the S4 is dominated by a 5" 1080p AMOLED display. Remember this isn't an AMOLED Plus panel meaning that the screen still uses the PenTile matrix. But at 441 ppi it shouldn't be an issue.


On the connectivity side, this phone is loaded, with WiFi in the a, b, g, n, and ac flavors, and Bluetooth of the 4.0 variety, this is certainly an updated handset. This phone also has support for 3G and a handful of 4G bands and is expected to roll out on to 327 mobile operators world wide. An IR blaster is also integrated into the device. And the occasional MHL 2.0 in the Micro USB.


Though the CPU was never officially announced, the International variant is expected to have an Exynos 5440 with eight cores, four A15 cores and four A7 cores. While the U.S. variant is expected to have a Snapdragon 600. This time both variants will ship with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The S4 comes with either 16/32/64GB included all of which are expandable with the help of a MicroSD slot. The optics on this polycarbonate slate feature a rear facing 13MP camera and a 2MP front facing. The battery has been bumped up to a 2,600 mAh capacity, which is only 500 mAh away from the Note 2. The S4 comes loaded with all the usual sensors, yet it also has some odd ones as well, featuring a temperature and humidity sensor.

Colors and Accessories 

The phone only comes in two colors right now; Black Mist and White Frost. It will also launch with a variety of accessories, including a pouch, flip cover, protective case, and S View Cover. The S View Cover has an integrated transparent cut out, the cut out is used to show notifications and other information when the cover is on.


Samsung has put a lot of effort in to their software trying to make TouchWiz helpful instead of a nuisance. Below is a list of software features highlighted in the announcement.

  1. Smart Scroll - Tracks your eye so you can scroll without touching the display
  2. Air View - Allows you to hover your finger over the display to open up previews 
  3. Sound and Shot - Essentially attaches a audio clip to an image
  4. S Translator - Spoken and written translation in nine languages
  5. Group Play - A feature from the Nexus Q taken further, allows you to create a group playlist and let certain people gain access to certain speakers
  6. Samsung Knox - Splits your phone in to two partitions, one for work and one for personal use
  7. Dual Camera - Takes videos and pictures using both cameras and inserting both streams into one video or picture
  8. Drama Shot - Takes 100 pictures in four seconds and stitches them together
  9. Eraser - Speeds up the camera's shutter and allows you to remover subjects from the background
  10. Dual Video Call - Streams a feed from both cameras to a person in a video call
  11. Air Gesture - Allows you to use the phone without touching the display

Wrap - Up

Obviously Samsung is trying hard now to wriggle in to Apple's market share. The S3 gained iPhone owners' interest and now the S4 is supposed to gain their attention and hopefully their two-year contracts. But Samsung is creating an ecosystem of their own. By branding everything with a "S" it's reminiscent of branding that Apple does. Instead of a "S" there's an "i", this may cause a problem for Google, since Samsung already holds a large amount of influence on Android, they essentially control most of Google's paying market share. If Samsung decides to create their own app store and media marketplace like Amazon has now, it may spell trouble for Google. But for now the S4 seems to show that Samsung will keep on innovating and hopefully convert some iPhone users to Android.

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