Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Look Back at Samsung’s Iconic Galaxy S4: 10 Years Later


One decade has passed by since Samsung launched the Galaxy S4. And, because it turned out, the Galaxy S4 stays one of the hottest Android smartphones of all time. After unveiling the Galaxy S4 in Could 2013, Samsung launched the phone on April 27 of the identical 12 months. It’s about to show ten years outdated, so we thought “now” could be the good time to take a retrospective take a look at the Galaxy S4.

From at the moment’s perspective, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t look like a giant deal. However again in 2013, the Galaxy S4 was all the hubbub. And the hype was warranted, as the S4 was the first to introduce many options that later turned normal throughout Samsung phones and even units from different manufacturers.

Earlier than we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s have a fast recap of the outdated specs. Right here’s what the Galaxy S4 needed to provide:

  • 5.0-inch Tremendous AMOLED FHD show with Gorilla Glass 3 safety
  • Octa-core Exynos 5410 28nm SoC, that includes 4 Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, 4 Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, and a PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM and 16/32/64GB of eMMC 5.0 storage expandable through microSD
  • A single 13MP digital camera with [email protected] video recording and a 2MP selfie digital camera ([email protected] recording)
  • 3.5mm headphone port, GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2,600mh battery
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean (later up to date to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop) with TouchWiz on prime

The Galaxy S4 had a plastic again and body. Not like earlier fashions, it lacked an FM radio. And in contrast to extra fashionable phones, the Galaxy S4 didn’t have a fingerprint scanner or an IP mud and water resistance score. However that wasn’t a giant deal in 2013, as a result of no person knew what they had been lacking.

Galaxy S4 throwback: A “first” in a number of classes

The Galaxy S4 was the first Samsung phone to boast a 1080p show. The S4 variant launched in June 2013 (GT-i9506) was additionally the first commercially out there phone to boast LTE Superior capabilities.

The Galaxy S4 was additionally Samsung’s first smartphone whose selfie digital camera may report 1080p movies. Some newer phones from different manufacturers, resembling the Xiaomi 13 Extremely launched this week, haven’t overcome the 1080p selfie recording ceiling even at the moment.

And talking of the digital camera expertise, the Galaxy S4 was the first in the sequence to interrupt the 10MP foremost digital camera decision barrier, because it boasted a 13MP sensor — a giant improve from the Galaxy S3’s 8MP digital camera. After all, these days, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a bonkers 200MP major digital camera.

And as soon as once more, for the first time ever, the Galaxy S4 allowed customers to seize photographs utilizing the rear and entrance-going through cameras concurrently via the “Twin Shot” image-in-image mode. Different attention-grabbing modes the S4 adopted (some from the Galaxy Digicam) embody:

  • Sound & Shot: It permits customers to report an audio clip once they seize a photograph.
  • Drama Shot: It combines a shifting factor from a number of pictures right into a single photograph.
  • Eraser: Customers can take a number of photographs with this mode and take away parts from an image.
  • Story Album: This characteristic coluld create albums of the person’s every day occasions. Customers may flip digital image albums into laborious copies of photograph books, report sspecial events in occasion albums, and report travels in journey albums.
  • Animated Picture: It might enable Galaxy S4 customers to report quick animated GIFs. These GIFs may very well be looped, reversed, and edited in numerous different methods.
  • Distant Viewfinder: This characteristic may forged the digital camera viwfinder and controls to a special machine utilizing Wi-Fi Direct.

And to prime it all off, the Galaxy S4 was the first in the sequence (even forward of the iPhones of its time) to have devoted video recording and photograph seize buttons in the digital camera viewfinder. All phones earlier than the S4 got here alongside required customers to change between a photograph or video mode. What a dreadful notion… Right now, some of these quality-of-life enhancements are anticipated. However we shouldn’t neglect that we bought up to now progressively, with every new technology of phones.

Additionally price noting is that the Galaxy S4 was the first in the sequence to boast an IR blaster that will enable it to change into a common distant for a lot of units.

And at last, the Galaxy S4 is one of the solely two Samsung phones to have shipped with a constructed-in thermometer and a hydrometer sensor. The opposite machine was the Galaxy Word 3, which we could take a better take a look at later this 12 months on its tenth anniversary. Keep tuned for that.

Not each Galaxy S4 sensible characteristic stood the take a look at of time

Earlier than One UI, there was TouchWiz. And when it got here to sensible software program options embedded into TouchWiz for the Galaxy S4, Samsung had some fairly wild concepts, many of which haven’t stood the take a look at of time. Listed below are a couple of:

  • Good Pause, Good Rotation, and Good Scroll: Good Pause would pause movies robotically when the Galaxy S4 detected that no person was taking a look at the display screen. Utilizing comparable rules, Good Rotation prevented the display screen from rotating by detecting the place of the person’s face. And Good Scroll allowed the Galaxy S4 to robotically scroll webpages primarily based on the person tilting the phone or their head.
  • Air View and Air Gesture: Air View allowed customers to entry info with out touching the display screen, just like how the S Pen does it. Air Gesture, nonetheless, was a extra complicated and arguably much less helpful characteristic that allowed Galaxy S4 customers to regulate the phone with out touching the show. Air Gestures included gestures to just accept calls (Air name-settle for), browse the picture gallery (Air Browse), transfer dwelling display screen icons (Air Transfer), and scroll via pages (Air Leap).

Samsung’s 2013 flagship was an enormous business success

The Galaxy S4 represented one of the largest leaps in Samsung’s S-line historical past. Apart from a handful of significant {hardware} upgrades, the Galaxy S4 additionally launched tons of intelligent software program options and new methods to work together with the phone. And though some of these options had been moderately gimmicky and never essentially all that helpful, Android smartphone customers lapped them up. Even US President Barack Obama is claimed to have used a Galaxy S4 at one level.

Samsung bought 10 million Galaxy S4 items via pre-orders in the first two weeks. In two months, Samsung shipped greater than 20 million Galaxy S4 smartphones. And by the finish of the first six months on the market, Samsung had bought 40 million Galaxy S4 phones.

The Galaxy S4 is now often called one of the best-selling phones of all time. Samsung is estimated to have bought a complete of 70 million items. Consequently, the phone outsold even the iPhone 4S launched in 2011 (~60 million), the iPhone X in 2017 (~63 million), and the iPhone 4 in 2010 (~50 million). It additionally outsold most Samsung phones, aside from a couple of, resembling the 2009 Samsung E1100 characteristic phone (~150 million).

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