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Samsung Galaxy S4: All you need to know - plus pictures, video

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Samsung yesterday (March 14) took the wraps off its new flagship smartphone the Galaxy S4.

The handset comes with the latest Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), and runs Samsung's new super-powerful 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor, backed by a huge 2,600 mAh battery.

Here are the top ten features worth knowing about the phone that Samsung hopes will topple the Apple iPhone.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone launch at Radio City Music Hall, New York

© PA Images / Jason DeCrow / AP

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone launch in New York



Bigger, brighter screen, but no design revolution

The Galaxy S4 continues the same design principles as the previous flagship Galaxy S3, although in a slightly taller and more rectangular body. At 7.9mm thick, it is thinner than the S3 and also slightly lighter, at 130g to the S3's 133g.

Some smart design by Samsung has created a minimised bezel around the 5-inch screen, an increase on the 4.8-inch display in the S3. The S4 gets what Samsung claims is the world's first Full HD Super AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1920x1080 and boasting an impressive 441 pixels per inch (ppi), trouncing the iPhone 5's 326ppi.

Samsung has fitted the display with Corning's new Gorilla Glass 3 for extra toughness from scratches, although the fact that the S4 is not fully water- and dust-proof puts it behind Sony's Xperia Z in the durability stakes.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 handset on display in New York

© Getty Images / Allison Joyce

The Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone in white

© PA Images / Jason DeCrow / AP

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone in white



Dual cameras

The S4 certainly keeps pace with the Xperia Z in terms of camera, as it features a 13-megapixel rear snapper, and 2MP front camera. The headline feature on the S4 is Dual Camera functionality, enabling both front and rear cameras to be used at the same time for stills and video.

Users can select eight different ways to combine images taken by both cameras, such as a small picture inside a larger one. The Dual Video Call function enables people to make a video call and at the same time show friends or family what they are looking at during the call.

Story Album

Story album is essentially a portal for automatically storing and organising photos in albums. Any photos taken on the Galaxy S4 are gathered and sorted according to the user's timeline, geo-tagging information or specific events, such as birthdays or holidays.

Samsung says that these story albums can be ordered and delivered as physical albums through its partnership with Blurb.

JK Shin introduces the Galaxy S4's Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features

© Getty Images / Don Emmert/AFP

JK Shin introduces the Samsung Galaxy S4



Eye Tracking

Samsung wants to make life easier for its consumers, and that means taking the load off their fingers. Using its front camera and accelerometers, the Galaxy S4 detect the user's face, voice and motion to perform a range of actions without needing their digits to touch the screen.

Samsung Smart Pause is a system that means when users are watching a video, the phone automatically pauses the film when the person looks away, and then starts up again when they look back.

Samsung Smart Scroll allows the user to scroll their web browser or emails up and down just with their eyes. The system recognises the person's face looking at the screen and the movement of their wrist, and then automatically scrolls accordingly.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone in white

© PA Images / Jason DeCrow / AP

Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone in white

People eagerly check out the Galaxy S4 after its launch at Radio City Music Hall

© Getty Images / Don Emmert/AFP

People eagerly check out the new Galaxy S4



Air View

Air View on the Galaxy S4 involves hovering a finger over items on screen to preview the content. So, users can peek at content on emails, S Planner, image galleries and videos without having to open them. Air View also works on the internet browser to offer a magnified view of information and pictures.

Air Gesture is a feature that means users can change music tracks, scroll up and down on a web page and accept an incoming call just with a wave of their hand.

S Health

Samsung also cares about the health of its users and so has included a system on the S4 for keeping up to date on health and well-being.

S Health uses sensors built into the device to monitor health status, and then makes recommendations for improving the person's quality of life. It also offers a food diary, exercise diary and sleep monitor options.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 handset on display in New York

© Getty Images / Allison Joyce

The Samsung Galaxy S4



Smart Translator

The Galaxy S4's Smart Translator can decipher nine different languages. Ideally suited to travellers, instant translation is available on Smart Translator across both speech-to-text and text-to-speech.

Working similarly to Google Translate, the system can be applied to other applications, such as email, text SMS and Samsung's ChatON system, for translating messages in other languages.

Group Play

Group Play enables multiple users to access music, photos, documents and games at the same time without requiring a WiFi AP or cellular signal. For example, the share music option allows multiple users to have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync.


4G

Alongside 3G, the Galaxy S4 also supports supports HSPA+42 Mbps and 4G LTE, meaning users can access much faster mobile internet connectivity on the device.

The LTE version supports up to six different band sets, allowing it to function in most LTE coverage areas in the world, as well as access global 4G roaming onto other networks.

EE intends to offer the phone on its 4G network and Vodafone has said that it will sell the phone as 4G-ready, for when its own 4G network rolls out in the summer.

© Engadget



Gaming

Samsung did not cover much on the gaming possibilities of the Galaxy S4 in its press conference, but Engadget was able to go hands-on with a special Samsung-made accessory that turns the phone into a portable games console.

The Xbox-style gamepad connects to the phone via a clamp and Bluetooth connection, enabling the user to more easily play a range of advanced mobile games. It is expected to launch in the summer.

When can I buy the Galaxy S4?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available from April 26 in the UK from the Samsung Experience Store at Westfield Stratford City and all other major mobile operators and retailers.

Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse have announced that they will be stocking the device on all the major networks. Pricing on contract or SIM-free for the S4 have not yet been announced.

> Samsung Galaxy S4 launch: Retailers, analysts react
> Samsung Galaxy S4 poll: What features excite you most?

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