First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING
No need to stroke screen, claims embargo-busting journo
Samsung's new Galaxy S4 smartphone isn't being launched until 2300 GMT today - but the first review is already online with technical specifications and videos of it in action.
And it suggests there's no need to touch the mobile's touchscreen to make it work.
A few journalists bagged early access to the new handset on condition they honour an embargo, but China's IT168 Phone Channel seems to have broken that agreement and published a comprehensive review of the new handset available to all through the magic of Google Translate.
What that article claims is in the smartmobe isn't terribly surprising: eight processor cores running at 1.8GHz packed in Samsung Exynos silicon, and a screen just a smidgen under 5 inches boasting 1920 x 1080 pixels with a quality the reviewer reckons is equal to Apple's Retina display. We're told it also has a PowerVR SGX 544 graphics chip, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of firmware flash, Android 4.2.1, eyeball-following page-scroll tech and cameras.
The hardware matches what's already been leaked, with the only notable addition being an infrared transmitter for controlling televisions and exchanging business cards with anyone still wielding a Palm Pilot.
The reviewer also tried dropping the phone onto a Qi charger for some wireless energy, but without any luck as we'd expect.
More interesting is the addition of proximity detection to the display, allowing the user to manipulate on-screen elements by hovering a finger over the screen as well as touching it. This is only used to preview graphics at the moment; the Android interface doesn't lend itself to the "mouse-over" interfacing possible though proximity, but if it's reliable then the innovation has considerable potential.
The Samsung Note range supports proximity when using the stylus, so extending that to a finger is technically unsurprising; the question is how far Samsung is prepared to extend Android to make use of it.
And proximity fingering isn't the only innovation - the rumoured eyeball tracking is evident, and demonstrated, pausing on-screen video when it detects that one has looked away from the display with optional control of scrolling too. It's hard to judge how useful that will be, but it has a decent wow factor and sure to upset those drinking companions still clutching their iPhones.
It's possible the review isn't genuine, but the details, photographs, and video evidence, combined along with the knowledge that embargoed hardware is knocking about, conspires to make this very compelling indeed, and bodes well for the Samsung handset when it does launch this evening.
The only disappointment is that the really cool features, the ones which will make this handset stand out above the others, are things we'll have to use before we can say if they're useful, and for that we'll have to wait a few more days at least. ®
Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?
Looks great. iPhone and iOS are increasingly looking like a trip down memory lane. Can Apple do something special with iPhone 6 to meet the challenge or are we set for more legal tedium from the 'lets litigate not innovate' company?
the rumoured eyeball tracking is evident, and demonstrated, pausing on-screen video when one looks away from the display
That's going work really well for the people who look away from the screen when there's something they fon't like/are scared of appears. Can just imagine someone watching a nature program on this when suddenly:
Aargh - a spider, quick look away, wait a few seconds, it will have gone now, look back, aargh - its still there, look away again, wait a bit longer,. look back - its STILL THERE! etc etc etc
the fanbois jumped on this quick.
I suspect once Apple "innovate" these same features they will suddenly be great and needed, just like the "we don't need a bigger screen" arguments....
Re: 8 processor core? 8?
I think it's big.LITTLE - 4x low-power ARM A7 cores which will be used most of the time and 4x A15 which can be switched to _instead_ of the A7 cores when things get demanding. (A7/A15 are binary compatible).
I wouldn't be surprised if the A15s barely get used, but it should make for better battery life, and 8 cores sounds great on the marketing.
Anti-freeze is a BAD idea to put into a washer reservoir! De-icing fluid is a better idea.
Keep the anti-freeze for the radiator.