10 reasons to look forward to the Samsung Galaxy S4

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10 reasons to look forward to the Samsung Galaxy S4

Now that the month of April is upon us, we’re only a few weeks away from one of the biggest smartphone releases of the year: the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I was lucky enough to attend the international launch event in New York a few weeks ago, and was able to get some hands-on time with this device. Here are the top 10 things I’m looking forward to most in Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone. 

1. The eight-core processor. Seriously, this just blows my mind. I don’t even care if there aren’t any third party apps that support it. The bragging rights of having an eight-core smartphone will be reward enough.

2. The dual camera function. This lets you shoot photos and videos using the front and rear cameras simultaneously, with the front camera feeding a ‘picture-in-picture’ thumbnail into the photo taken by the rear camera. Given I hate handing my smartphone or camera to other people so that I can be in the shot, this feature means I can actually be in more of my own photos. 

3. Replaceable battery and microSD slot. Call me old-fashioned, but I like having the freedom of being able to swap out the battery for a spare and upgrade the phone’s main storage. Samsung is the only vendor that continues to offer both of these options as standard inclusions on its smartphones.

4. The Smart Pause function. This automatically pauses the video you’re watching when the front-facing camera detects that your eyes are no longer on the screen. I watch quite a few movies and TV shows on my smartphone, and something like this simply makes sense. 

5. The upgraded camera interface. Samsung has rolled many of the camera software enhancements that it introduced in the Samsung Galaxy Camera into the GS4. If you’re like me, my smartphone camera is the one that I use most often for taking photos, as I always have it on me, so any improvements to the UI get my vote of approval. 

6. Cool camera pre- and post-processing options. Wonder where Samsung channeled all that eight-core processing goodness into? Mainly the next-gen camera and video features, such as the ability to create a composite action photo from a burst sequence of consecutive shots on the fly, and the ability to shoot a “moving picture” (aka an animated gif) where certain parts of the frame are frozen. I’m not sure whether I’d actually use these features much, but they’re good fun to show off.

7. The S Health features. I love my fitness gadgets, and the built-in pedometer and S-Health app (which covers exercise, diet, sleep and other well-being metrics) means I can leave my Fitbit One, JawBone UP and Nike+ Fuelband at home. Samsung will be releasing a range of accessories that work with the S Health app, such as the S Band (a Jawbone UP-style wristband), scales, and a heart-rate monitor. 

8. The S View Cover. This is easily the most innovative official smartphone case that I’ve ever seen, with a clear pass-through window that displays a portion of the GS4’s screen for basic info like the time, missed calls, new text messages and any new notifications. It doesn’t come as standard in the box, but I can see this being one of the most in-demand accessories for the Galaxy S4. 

9. The 5”, 1080p, HD Super AMOLED display. The Galaxy S4 isn’t the first smartphone to offer a 5” Full HD display, but it is the first once to throw the HD Super AMOLED display technology into the mix. Some people aren’t a fan of the overly saturated tones of Super AMOLED, but I’m personally a sucker for the vibrant colours and excellent contrast. 

10. Motion control. Samsung made a big deal about the various motion control gestures you can use for controlling the Galaxy S4 without touching it. I can’t see myself using the motion control gestures for scrolling up and down a page or switching between browser tabs all that often – and in my initial tests, it only seemed to work half the time – but it’d be quite handy for changing music tracks when I’ve got the S4 setup in the car or on a desktop dock. 

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