Monday, 7 January 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 release date ?in: Mobile Phones
Our Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs & price rumours article will grow to accommodate even more speculation as the months roll on. So save this page and keep checking back for regular updates
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 launched to much critical acclaim when it was unveiled in May last year, we awarded it our Best Buy award and it still remains our top pick Android handset. No wonder, then, that speculation surrounding the launch of its follow-up is mounting.
While Samsung is keeping tight-lipped on its future product launches, a series of 'leaks' and 'source quotes' claim the South Korean firm is putting the final touches to its fourth-generation flagship handset - almost certainly to be called the Samsung Galaxy S4. Here, we round up all the latest speculation to find out what to expect.
Samsung has released a teaser video hinting at the company's plans for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013 in January, promising 'something new' for fans of its products.
Sadly, the company's short video - available on YouTube - is somewhat short on details and heavy on marketing, but it seems likely that the company is planning to use the event to unveil a next-generation Android device - most probably the Galaxy S4.
Although the S3 was released just over half a year ago, it faces some stiff competition in the market from the likes of the Google Nexus 4.
Sharing much of the specification of the Galaxy S3, the Nexus 4 is significantly cheaper - at least, if you can wait the five to six weeks required by Google's back-ordering process due to unexpected demand - and comes with the latest Android 4.2 'Jelly Bean' software with numerous improvements and bug fixes, including a clever 360-degree panoramic photo mode.
As a result, it seems likely that Samsung has seen sales of its Galaxy S3 handset grind to a halt - something it will be keen to address soon. It's possible that an announcement will come at CES next week, but given the lagging nature of the US mobile market, it's far more likely that Samsung will hold off at least until MWC in late February at least, and our money would be on a standalone launch event nearer to the middle of the year.
As expected, leaks surrounding the S4's suspected price tag have been thin on the ground, although we can expect it to cost as much as the S3 when it launched back in May - a wallet-busting £499. Once again though the tough competition from Google's own Nexus 4 device may force Samsung to lower its price in order to compete - unless of course the hardware specification is a big step forward.
On contract you're likely to be looking at £30-40 a month minimum, and considerably more with a 4G service such as EE. This will be an expensive handset, though probably still a little less than the iPhone 5 costs.
According to sources speaking to Taiwanese industry rumour site DigiTimes, the S4 will include a 5in Full HD display with an impressive 1920x1080 resolution, following a trend starting with rival HTC's Butterfly handset. Such a display would boast an impressive pixel density of around 440 pixels per inch (PPI) - significantly above the resolution of Apple's Retina display technology. Such a big display, however, would certainly blur the line between the S4 and Samsung's own tablet-phone hybrid Galaxy Note 2 device.
Another seperate rumour supports this ever-increasing screen size mania, including a report from The Korea Times suggesting that a new entry in the Galaxy Note family, imaginatively dubbed the Galaxy Note 3, will include an impressively large 6.3in Full HD display - which would maintain the gap between the devices.
Another rumour has pointed to the use of a flexible display technology, previously demonstrated as a stand-alone product by Samsung, to give the Galaxy S4 an unbreakable screen. Sadly, this may not come to pass - at least, not until the Galaxy S5 is ready - with The Verge quoting an anonymous source as stating that commercial implementation of Samsung's flexible display technology in smartphone devices is "still a while off."