Samsung Galaxy S4 – Specs, Air View, Air Gestures and Other New Features

Same width and height as the S3, but flatter on the top and bottom edge. It's also thinner, lighter than the S3. Photo from

Same width and height as the S3, but flatter on the top and bottom edge. It’s also thinner, lighter than the S3. Photo from

Finally, we are released from the clutches of rumors, leaks and speculation; the Galaxy S4 was officially revealed last night at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall. The unveiling event, full of glitz and glam, looked like an Oscar’s Awards ceremony with a pinch of Broadway, but this is a tech blog, not a theater review.

Some new software features set the S4 apart from the competition. Samsung’s tagline for the S4 is “Life Companion,” and they have begun the journey to integrate every day tools into a single device. WatchON, for example, uses infrared to turn your phone into a TV remote. In some cases, it enhances what we already do with our phones, like cool photo and video recording features. For a full list and explanation of all these new software trinkets, follow this link.

Some especially interesting features take a user’s finger off the screen, such as Air Gestures and Air View. Wouldn’t want to smudge that glorious 5 inch 1080p screen now, would we?

With Air Gestures, you’ll be able to use hand movements to control certain aspects of the phone. For example, you could switch between open browser tabs or websites, flick through pictures or skip to the next song by waving your hand left or right over the display.

Air View is particularly neat. It will allow you to hover your thumb (or finger) over items in a list, such as texts and emails, and a comprehensive preview will appear. Basically, this eliminates the need to open the text or email. For example, this can be used to quickly read an email and keep it marked as “unread.”

Here are the official Galaxy S4 hardware specs:

  • Polycarbonate body, available in “Black Mist” or “Frost White”
  • 5 inch, 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen displaying at 441ppi
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64 GB of on-board storage, can be expanded a further 64GB with a microSD card
  • 13 megapixel back camera, 2 megapixel front camera, both capable of recording 1080p video at 30 fps
  • 1.9 Ghz quad-core CPU

What do you think of the new S4? What features look cool? Completely useless? Have your say.