Hordes of journalists descended on Radio City Music Hall for a somewhat chaotic Broadway-themed event, eager to see the company's fourth-generation phone.
Kicking off the launch, J.K. Shin, president of Samsung's mobile communications division, described the new phone as "a life companion for a simpler life", adding that the S4 is "slimmer yet stronger" than its predecessor, the popular S3.
The S4, he noted, is just 7.9 mm thick and weighs 130 grams, compared to the S3, which is 8.6 mm thick and weighs 133 grams. Samsung's latest offering also has a 5-inch screen, compared to the S3's 4.8-inch display."In our view, the S4 possesses all the relevant new features for an industry-leading product," wrote ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall, in a note released on Thursday. "Most importantly, it features a large canvas (i.e., 5.0" AMOLED display) which we believe is critical as users look to converge smartphone and tablet functionality into one device." Offering both 3G and 4G capabilities, the S4 also runs version 4.2.2 of Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. The phone comes with either a 1.9-GHz quad-core processor or a 1.6-GHz octa-core processor, depending on the market. Shin said that the phone will be available via 327 mobile operators in 155 countries by the end of April. U.S. telecom giant AT&T (T) quickly issued a statement on Thursday confirming that it will offer the S4, although the company's Web site does not say when the device will be available. Sprint (S) said that it will offer the S4 in the second quarter, and promised to provide additional details, such as pricing, in the coming weeks. Like Apple at its iPhone 5 launch last year, Samsung made a song and dance about new camera capabilities on Thursday night. Key enhancements include a 13-megapixel camera and a host of other features. These include Dual Camera, which allows simultaneous use of front and rear cameras, and Drama Shot, which presents a series of shots as a collage in a single frame. The Galaxy S4 also offers new forms of interaction, such as Air Gesture, which lets users navigate the phone without touching it, and Air View, which lets users preview, say, email content, by hovering their finger over the screen. "These ideas have been perceived from our observation of real life," said Shin. "It's innovation which literally helps people live every day."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV