Samsung unveils Galaxy S 4

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Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 is the first smartphone to come preloaded with Visa’s mobile payments function payWave, and features ‘smart pause’, allowing users to control the screen with their eyes

Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy S 4, a five-inch smartphone which features new technology including Samsung smart scroll and smart pause – which allow users to control the screen with their eyes.

The device, which will go on sale in the UK on April 26 in the Samsung Experience Store at Westfield in Stratford, runs on an octa-core processor and has a 2,600 mAh battery.

It runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, has user memory of 16 GB expandable to 64 GB and a 13-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is 4G-compatible, and is the first smartphone to come preloaded with Visa’s payWave function, which means mobile payments will be commercially available on the device globally.

Other key features include ‘dual camera’ – which allows users to take photos simultaneously with the front and back camera and then blend the pictures together.

It weighs 130g and is 7.9mm wide. Samsung say “all major operators” will stock the device, which will be available in black and white, from April 26.

Samsung vice president of IM division Simon Stanford said the Galaxy S 4 was inspired by customers.

“We have listened to what consumers around the world want and taken the intuitive technology from the Galaxy S III a little further. Combining this with superior hardware has led us to develop the Galaxy S 4, the ultimate smartphone inspired by our customers.”

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Ovum’s principal device analyst Tony Cripps said that although the device will further cement Samsung as the world’s number one handset and smartphone vendor, the company must take a “tighter grip on its ecosystem [Android].”

Cripps said: “While Samsung continues to grow its shipments impressively the company undermines its own position in the broader ecosystem by providing Google a huge mobile platform from which to influence consumers, application developers and advertisers.

“It is very difficult for Samsung to achieve that level of influence itself while it depends on Google to supply device software and key applications and services through Android.”

Cripps said lacking its own operating system places Samsung at a disadvantage to Google and Apple, although the Korean manufacturer could “still have a very worthwhile business selling huge volumes of devices.”

On the eve of the launch, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said the fragmentation of Android – in other words, the existence of many different versions – poses a problem for consumers.

Operators

Three confirmed prior to the Galaxy S 4’s launch that it will be selling the new device, though it did not specify when. It will run on Threes ‘ultrafast’ network, and unlimited data plans will be available, the operator said.

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