Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 More than a number bump

first_imgSamsung’s Galaxy S4 — the company’s flagship smartphone for the 2013 — has been announced and unsurprisingly the handset bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor. If you take a closer look, however, you’ll find there’s more than a couple of differences between the Samsung Galaxy S3 %displayPrice% at %seller% and the new Galaxy S4.For the purposes of this compare, we’re going to be focusing on the US variants of both Galaxy smartphones. We’ll be looking at the Verizon Wireless variant of the Galaxy S3 as well as the S4.“This year we put a four on the box”For most phones out there, a year’s worth of technology evolution shows itself in some not-so-subtle ways. If you look at Motorola, HTC, or LG, it’s usually not hard to point at the phones in a lineup and tell which phone is the older generation. Design evolution is just as important to most companies as hardware iteration, but you’ll find no such glaringly obvious distinctions between the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3. Samsung’s design has survived a full generation, much in the same way that Apple maintains their design for “s” variants of their hardware line. Unlike Apple, there’s a lot more than a spec boost between these two phones — but more on that later.The Galaxy S4’s physical updates are nearly imperceptible when seeing the two phones laying side by side. Samsung’s latest flagship is ever so slightly heavier and just barely taller and wider, but also manages to be a full millimeter thinner. The jump from the 720p 4.8-inch screen to the 1080p 4.99-inch screen marks a significant increase in quality as well as a slight increase in overall size. Despite having a larger battery and a bigger screen, the Galaxy S4 is still lighter than its predecessor.There may not be much difference looking at these two phones with the screen off, but turn them on and the power under the hood is sure to show you which is the Galaxy S4.Not all Samsung under the hoodThe Samsung Galaxy S3 was a significant milestone for the company, due mostly to the ability to put the same phone with the same branding on the shelves of nearly every carrier on the planet. In order to accomplish that last year, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was never really one hardware platform. Half of the phones ran on Samsung’s own Exynos processor, while the US LTE variants ran on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor. As a result, the Galaxy S3 existed as both a quad core phone with 1GB of RAM and a dual core phone with 2GB of RAM. The experience was as similar as Samsung could make it at the time, but at the end of the day there were two very different phones with the same name.The Samsung Galaxy S4 US LTE variant is also running a Qualcomm processor, though bumped to quad-core 1.9GHz with 2GB of RAM. Their international version will once again feature a Samsung made processor, though this Exynos will have an octo-core setup. The phone will be sold in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants with the ability to expand any of these by another 64GB. The 2600 mAh battery is expected to comfortably drive the phone all day, but like the GS3 the battery is removable and exchangeable.Where Samsung may have been forced to rely on Qualcomm for their processors, the display itself remains Samsung made. There was a lot of discussion surrounding the 1080p display on the Galaxy S4, and whether or not it was possible for it to be made using Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology. Not only will the GS4 follow in its predecessors footsteps by offering the first of the new top of the line display tech, but it will also include software that adjusts the contrast and brightness on the phone contextually as well as environmentally.Clearly a busy year for SamsungThe explosive popularity of the Galaxy S3 meant Samsung’s only option was to shoot through the ceiling with the Galaxy S4. As with the Galaxy S3, hardware alone is not going to sell this phone. Samsung’s custom variant of Android has always been a little different than the rest of the kids in class, but recently TouchWiz has grown to offer a wealth of features for everyone. The unification of software tools across the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 was a great decision for Samsung, allowing their phones to offer a level of multitasking not available on any other smartphone right now. Coupled with their dedication to NFC-reliant activities and their Smart Share features, Samsung quickly gone to the head of the pack in competing with the other Android variants.The Galaxy S4 offers a whole new bundle of features, continuing the integration of Galaxy Note tools and adding in all new features alongside Android 4.2.2. The new flagship includes an IR sensor on the front to help in tracking face and hand movements. Combined with new software, the Galaxy S4 can pause video just be recognizing that your face has turned away, flick through albums and websites by detecting the wave of your hand, and the IR sensor can even be used to scan barcodes without taking a photo of them like traditional smartphones. You’ll also be able to control your television and any other IR capable piece of hardware.Samsung has also made impressive strides in their camera technology, specifically with the ability to use the front and rear camera simultaneously. These “Dual Camera” modes make it possible to edit yourself into a photo as the user, participate in video recordings of your family, or have a video chat with both cameras running in unison. These tools are provided by Samsung, but come at the price of OS level lock in. Many of these features are only usable with other Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, which is a trend the company has been moving towards for years.Final thoughtsYou can clearly see, despite looking terribly similar at first glance, there’s a world of difference between these two Galaxies. Samsung has done an impressive job releasing a thoroughly worthy update to their hardware line, and it will be interesting to see how the phone competes with the rest of the market as the year progresses.last_img read more

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