As Samsung’s Live Stream of their Galaxy S IV event was going on, Twitter was abuzz with people talking about the utterly painful nature of the actual event and how difficult it was to watch. I personally haven’t experienced such an uncomfortable event since Qualcomm’s CES 2013 Keynote, however, it appears that Samsung outdid them in terms of both awkwardness and probably cost as well.
If you are a masochist and want to watch the whole event for yourself, it’s available on YouTube here. We actually linked you to the point where the presentation starts because they ran traditionally late (they edited the link to remove the waiting time so we put in a new link). What was really smart on Samsung’s part, however, was that they ran Google ads that embedded themselves into certain tech websites such as our very own website.
Upon mousing over the banner, the actual live stream would pop up and you could actually watch the live stream while still on BSN*. We found this an incredibly cool feature for Samsung to employ while their live stream was going on, and is definitely an innovative way of promoting their product and brand.
But perhaps they should have spent less time and money on marketing and more on actually innovating in terms of hardware. These sentiments were mirrored by HTC’s President Jascon MacKenzie that told CNET, "I went from laughing to actually feeling embarrassed at some of the acting." During that very same livestream HTC also sent out a tweet which yielded quite a bit of attention from both the press and regular twitter users. It went, "So…how off-Broadway is this production? #theNextBigFlop #HTCOne" This tweet alone got 362 retweets and 82 favorites and 182 tweets mentioning the hashtag #NextBigFlop. This is in reference to the actual presentation and the device’s specifications compared to the HTC One that was launched not too long ago.
Needless to say, this stunt is yet another guerrilla marketing attempt to counter Samsung’s gigantic PR push that they’ve been doing leading up to this event. We’re not sure if HTC planned this ahead of time or if they were motivated by LG’s recent move in Times Square (the same place where the Samsung event was being held). We said that we would personally reserve our opinion about the Samsung Galaxy S IV until it was announced and it looks like our expectations were in line with what actually ended up coming out from Samsung.
Now, for the nitty gritty. The Samsung Galaxy S IV will ship in two configurations, the global version and the LTE version. The global version will feature an ‘Octacore’ 1.6 GHz Exynos 5410 processor featuring ARM’s big.Little architecture which combines four ARM A15 cores with four ARM A7 cores to reduce power consumption. This Exynos 5410 chip also features a PowerVR SGX544MP3 from Imagination technologies. This will be paired with an Intel XMM6360 which is capable of DC-HSPA+ 42Mbps in most global markets.
The US version and subsequent versions with LTE enabled will sport a 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quadcore, which is also known as the MSM8960T which features a Category 3 LTE modem capable of speeds of upto 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink. The MSM8960T also features the same GPU as the APQ8064 which is the applications processor without the LTE modem built-in. This GPU is the Adreno 320, which we found to be quite impressive in the Optimus G we reviewed and the HTC Droid DNA we’re currently testing and will have a review of shortly. Both chipsets will ship with 2GB of RAM and the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.2
The phone itself will ship with a 4.99" SuperAMOLED display with a resolution of 1920×1080 using a pentile pixel pattern. It will also feature a 13 megapixel main camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. Samsung included a ton of photo software features that allow for better photography with a long list of features including: Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call, Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Cinema Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports.
The phone will support WiFi 820.11 a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC and feature an IR LED enables you to control televisions and other IR blaster-friendly connectivity. It will also feature MHL 2.0 which enables for the USB connector at the bottom of the device to operate as an HDMI cable via a special cable which can also charge the phone simultaneously. It is also packed with a ton of sensors including an accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyroscope, Barometer, Temperature and Humidity, and Gesture. With that many sensors, there is a lot of possibility we could see some innovative applications from developers.
The phone is still very plasticy like its predecessor but this time is thinner than ever coming in at 7.9mm and having a removable battery cover to allow access to the 2600 mAh battery and microSD card slot which allows for an additional 64GB of expandable memory on top of the stock 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.