The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec


By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 15, 2013 | 3 min read

Yes, the Samsung S IV Galaxy phone, unveiled in New York last night in the Korean company's first American launch , is bigger - a full five inches, well deserving of the new word "phablet".

It didn't initially attract rave reviews - although that could be because the journalists didn'd have time to take it all in, so we'll let the excellent video do some of the work.

The overall feeling, said a Forbes writer, is that Samsung has put out an interesting update but nothing truly revolutionary. "This is an incremental offering, with a number of decent software touches closing the gap with what other devices ."

On CNET a writer says, "f you're looking for Samsung's new Galaxy S4 to define a novel new era of smartphone greatness, it's time to temper your expectations."

There are however are some big things to look out for:

* Eye-tracking: The page scrolls pages up and and down depending on your eye movement. The phone knows when to go to the next page . Watching a video? The phone pauses if you look away. Impressive - but surprisingly, things like the next idea caused more ripples…

* The ability to use the phone with gloves and/or interact with the phone without touching the screen (eg. in case of sticky fingers) .

* The cover interacts with the phone, with a small window allowing you to answer the phone or check basic SMS without opening the cover.

* Samsung is coming up with its own version of Siri, with voice driven commands for email, text messages and more.

* S translation does automatic translation.

* Health tracking technology lets the phone measure your heart rate and blood sugar.

The launch show was held at Radio City Music hall.

On CNET Jessica Dolcourt adds,"Compared with the extremely successful Galaxy S3 that came before, it's a firm stride forward rather than a giant a leap. By super-sizing the screen and packing in so much specialised software, the GS4 sets itself even farther apart from the iPhone.

"The problem is, based on my brief time with the Galaxy S4, very few of the extensive list of enhancements stood out as a killer, must-have, cannot-possibly-live-without feature. The TV control app that works with the IR blaster is perhaps one exception.

" I do think that Samsung has accomplished what it's set out to do in pushing its Galaxy brand forward. "


More from Apple

View all