5 features the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone should have
Rumors abound about which features will adorn the Samsung Galaxy S4, the purported successor to the phone maker’s flagship Galaxy S III. As you’d expect, Samsung has been tight-lipped about this highly anticipated phone, which is scheduled to debut tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. But I thought it would be fun, during this information blackout, to use my Samsung soothsayer skills to give you a glimpse of what Samsung will show us tonight—or at least what the company should show us. Here goes:
A larger, sharper display. Samsung has always been big on screens, though the Samsung Galaxy S III’s 4.8-inch screen is starting to look a little puny next to the 5-inch screens on the HTC Droid DNA and the upcoming Sony Xperia Z phones. These phones have another advantage: 1080p resolution (versus 720p), which means a home for every pixel of an HD video and an easier time reading the tiny text often encountered on calendars and photo captions.
Wireless charging. When it comes to wireless connections, no phones have more options than Samsung Galaxy S phones, which have made sharing large files with phones near and far practically effortless. But it’s time for Samsung to add charging to its huge arsenal of wireless features. Wireless charging means no more fumbling with adapters and their sometime tricky jacks: Just lay the phone down on a special mat and voila, your phone begins to charge.
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This feature, built-into the Nokia Lumia 920, is also available as an aftermarket add-on for many other smart phones, including Apple iPhones. Samsung phones, like those from other phone manufacturers, have completed the first step: supporting the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard. Now their batteries should be modified to support Qi.
A smarter camera. Samsung phones were among the first that allowed you to take multiple shots of a group of people, and then choose the best individual facial expressions from the different shots to form one “perfect” picture. But others, like Nokia, have upped the ante with apps that literally erase passersby who may have strayed into your otherwise perfect snapshot, as often happens when you’re shooting in public spaces. Another feature, on the LG Optimus G and upcoming BlackBerry 10 phones starts snapping pictures even before you click the shutter button, just in case your subjects flashed their best smiles before you said “cheese.” Time to push the button, Samsung.
A tougher, water-resistant design. One brief dunk into the sink or a puddle would spell the end for most smart phones. Protection from such disasters usually meant slipping your device in a bulky aftermarket case or buying one of those bulky “rugged” phones. But some of the newest, sleekest models, such as the Sony Xperia ion and Huawei Ascend D2—both arriving to the U.S. market in mid 2013—will keep working after a significant soaking. Come on, Samsung, take the plunge.
An immortal battery. Big screens and wireless connection can take their toll on battery life. One way is to make the battery bigger, like the 3,300-mAh battery in the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD. But there are other ways: Both Sony and Huawei claim their upcoming phones have propriety software that can squeeze an extra 20 to 30 percent of longevity out of their batteries. Quad-core processors have also proven to be more energy efficient than single and dual core chips.
We’ll report on what Samsung actually does announce later today. Stay tuned!