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Samsung Galaxy S4 Australian launch: All you need to know

Ross Catanzariti | April 22, 2013
Samsung will officially launch its hotly anticipated Galaxy S4 Android phone in Australia next week at an event in Sydney. Here's exactly what we know so far, what's happening and why it's a pretty big deal.

Samsung will officially launch its hotly anticipated Galaxy S4 Android phone in Australia next week at an event in Sydney. Here's exactly what we know so far, what's happening and why it's a pretty big deal.

The Samsung Galaxy S4

What is it?

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's flagship Android phone for 2013, and the successor to one of the most popular Android phones in Australia, the Galaxy S III.

The Galaxy S4 actually retains a very similar look and feel to the Galaxy S III but it includes a 4.99in full HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and comes with a number of Samsung-exclusive software features.

But it looks the same?

It does look similar but there are plenty of new features. Samsung says it has used a new moulding technology to design the plastic case. At 7.7mm thick and weighing 130g, the Galaxy S4 is slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy S III.

The pattern etched into the glossy plastic that adorns the front and back is new, as is the brushed aluminium-style finish on the sides. The Galaxy S4 will be available in 'black mist' and 'white frost' colour variants.

So, what does it do that my Galaxy S III can't?

Quite a few things. For starters, it works on Telstra and Optus' 4G LTE networks, and will also be compatible with the Vodafone 4G network when it launches in the coming months. The Galaxy S4 also supports the fastest download speeds available, up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps).

Most new capabilities are software related. The camera has a 'Dual Shot' feature that allows you to take a photo with the front and rear cameras simultaneously using selected templates. There's also a 'Drama Shot' mode takes 100 shots in four seconds, a 'Cinema Photo' mode that will create an animated GIF, a "Sound & Shot' mode which takes a picture and captures up to nine seconds of audio, and a 'Story Album' feature that groups photos together somewhat like a timeline. These are all new features that aren't available on the Galaxy S III.

The Galaxy S4 has a number of exclusive software features.

It's not just the camera that gets new capabilities, either. New TouchWiz features include 'Smart Scroll', which allows you to scroll up and down with eye movement, 'Smart Pause', which will pause video when you look away from the screen, 'Air Gesture' which allows you to swipe through photos or scroll without touching the phone, and 'Air View, which enables you to hover your finger over the screen to preview selected information on the phone.

There's also an S Translator app that can translate nine different languages using both text to speech and speech to text, 'Group Play' which can send music photos and documents to multiple devices and an 'S Health' app which aims to replace fitness tracking accessories like Fitbit. Finally, the Galaxy S4 also has a built in pedometer to track your steps.

 

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