The Galaxy S III is the best-selling Android smartphone ever. So it was awfully big news when Samsung recently announced a special press event on March 14 (that's tonight!) to unveil what's probably going to be the Galaxy S IV. Will the new Galaxy tout an even bigger screen? Will nifty new hardware upgrades lead to the iPhone 5's obsolescence? (Kidding.) Here's everything we know about Samsung's next flagship phone:
1. It'll be announced in the U.S. first
Last year, Samsung announced the Galaxy S III in London, but this time, the company's pulling the curtains off in New York City as confirmed at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona, Spain. Then the company sent this tweet:
Why New York? "We introduced the Galaxy S III in London last year, and this time we changed the venue (to New York) ... as we were bombarded with requests from U.S. mobile carriers to unveil the Galaxy S IV in the country," said J.K. Shin, the head of Samsung Mobile.
2. Its screen probably won't be "unbreakable"
Before the Consumer Electronics Show, a few tech blogs reported that the S IV would be the first handset to use flexible AMOLED screens — a really tough, malleable material that makes a display virtually crack-proof. Unfortunately, it looks like that's no longer the case, and the screen will be similar to the ones we're used to. "Flexible screens are still a while off," one source told The Verge. So what will its next-gen display look like? It's expected to have a higher resolution, at 1080p. And according to some sources, it may even see a slight size bump to 4.99 inches.
3. It might have a swanky new camera
The S IV will reportedly use Samsung's new Orb technology, which allows users to better capture 360-degree snapshots. Essentially, the camera will automatically compress big, landscape photographs for an easier time uploading to sites like Facebook. A few days ago, unnamed users apparently testing the S IV's cameras uploaded some photos to Google+. (The shots have since been deleted.) EXIF data revealed large pixel resolutions at 4128 x 2322 (9.6 megapixels), which, based on its 16:9 aspect ratio, seems to suggest that the Galaxy S IV will be a 13-megapixel shooter.
4. It'll be pretty fast
Here's a quick rundown of the purported specs, according to a leaked spec sheet:
• Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
• 1.9GHz Qualcom Snapdragon 600 processor
• 2GB RAM
• 16/32/64GB storage options
• Removable SD card slot (up to 64GB)
• 13MP rear-facing camera
• 4G LTE support
• Multi-purpose / Dedicated camera button
• Bluetooth 5.0
• 3100 mAh battery
UPDATE: New rumors suggest that inside, the SIV will house an Exynos 5250 — Samsung's beefy quad-core processor.
5. It might have touch-less touch
The Galaxy Note II has a new feature called Air View that allowed users to begin new actions by hovering over something with their S Pen stylus. Here's what it looks like:
According to a few tech blogs, the S IV is rumored to employ similar technology for a "floating" touch feature, which would introduce a new dimension to all the typical pinches and swipes.
6. Eye-tracking technology
According to The New York Times, the Galaxy SIV may have a previously unseen feature that tracks a user's eye to determine where to scroll. When a user reads an article and their eyes reach the bottom of a page, for example, the software will automatically scroll down for them, allowing them to read the rest of the text. As the Times points out, Samsung filed a trademark for "Samsung Eye Scroll" in the United States back in February.
7. And here's what that all might look like
Not to leave anything to the imagination, new leaked videos from China purport to show off a bunch of the S IV's innovative new features. (Via SammyHub)
Here's what "touch-less touch" — a.k.a. "floating touch" — may look like:
The S IV's swanky new unlock screen:
And its rumored eye-tracking technology (note how the tester looks away from the video at the 0:43 second mark):
Sweet stuff, huh? Of course, these might very well be elaborate fakes (and we do mean elaborate), but it's starting to look more and more like the cat's out of the bag. In any case, the phone is expected to officially be unveiled tonight 7 p.m. EST in New York City. I'll be there — so follow me on Twitter (@ChrisGayomali) for live updates.
This article was last updated on March 14. It was originally published on Feb. 25.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
Subscribe to the Week