In some ways, the Samsung Galaxy S IV, now officially official after months of Samsung trying to pretend maybe it wasn’t going to update its flagship mobile product, is very much a standard high-end smartphone. In some other ways, it’s pretty strange. To wit…
The Basic Stuff
The specs are largely what you’d expect for a flagship phone. The processor is a 1.9 GHz quad-core or 1.6 GHz octa-core, depending on the market, and that’s a lot of oomph for a little phone. The screen is a five-incher, it’s 7.9mm thick, it’s got front and back facing cameras, with the back camera toting 13 megapixels, it runs Jelly Bean, and it has the usual array of sensors. Internal memory is 16 to 64 GB and of course, there’s a microSD slot.
The Useful Stuff
That said, once you dig into the features, it’s pretty interesting. Apparently the phone will have an on-board translator that works without a cellular connection, although I’m more than a little skeptical of how this will work in the wild.
It also apparently will come with health sensors standard, in the ongoing crusade to make every single thing we own be able to tell us that we’re fat. There’s also Group Play, which lets you share media without using WiFi, and syncs music playback between devices.
The Weird Stuff
By far the most interesting/creepiest feature is the fact that the Galaxy S IV comes with eye-tracking software, removing the need to actually use your finger to scroll a web page. It will also sense when you look away from a video and pause it, although we really hope that’s an optional feature.
I’m not sure how much we needed eye tracking from a phone, but, well, there it is.
Next there’s the WatchON, which essentially turns your Galaxy S IV into a remote. Again, how necessary this is is debatable, but it is kind of neat, if a bit of a novelty.
Then there’s stuff like Dual View, that lets you use both cameras at the same time; Drama Shot, which strings together photos into a time lapse and sounds quite a bit like Vine; and Optical Reader, which scans business cards and seems a bit redundant in a phone, which can download a dozen different “digital business card” apps. Seriously, who uses this stuff?
Like we said, conventional, yet weird. You’ll be able to find out for yourself soon: It’s out in April.