Arguably the biggest event of the year for Samsung, Thursday evening's Unpacked 2013 event in New York City could very well decide what kind of year Samsung's going to have, as the Korean electronics giant is prepared to announce the follow-up to its most successful smartphone yet, the Samsung Galaxy S3.
If you're looking for any and all information related to the Samsung Galaxy S4, you've come to the right place: This page will serve as our veritable hub for all things Galaxy S4, including links to other stories we're writing all night long about the phone's specs, features, price, release date and more. Everything you need to know about "The Next Galaxy" is right here.
Samsung informed the press on Thursday that doors to Unpacked 2013 will open at 6 p.m., just one hour before the official presentation begins at 7 p.m. The official show will be closed to the public, but will be live-streamed onto the Internet (we have it for you here, and embedded below as well).
We assume the event will last roughly one to two hours at most -- just one hour if the Galaxy S4 is the only thing we're seeing today, two hours if Samsung's feeling particularly confident -- and then the press will be able to go hands-on with the phone itself. Our reporters are attending Unpacked 2013, and we will return with videos and update this page when we have them.
Samsung has a live stream page for Unpacked 2013, which features a live-updating comments system and Instagram feed. But why leave when there's a perfectly good live stream embedded below? Radio City Music Hall attendees and online viewers alike can watch the Samsung Galaxy S4 event beginning at 7 p.m. EST:
(Updated at 8:51 p.m.)
As we believed, the Galaxy S4 is powered by Samsung's own Exynos 5 Octa CPU, which was initially used in the company’s Chromebook model -- the new processor is said to have eight cores for enhanced work flow and power efficiency.
Last year's ARM-based GPU was also replaced by a new 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 chip from Qualcomm, which will help power the display and the phone's operating system (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean). The new Snapdragon chips don't quite touch NVIDIA's top-of-the-line Tegra 4 SuperChip Processors, but Qualcomm's 600s clock in at about twice as fast as the Exynos 4 chip in the Galaxy S3.
Display And Appearance
(Updated at 7:37 p.m.) It looks like Samsung is following its own formula from when it transitioned from the S2 to the S3: Make the screen a little bigger, but the phone a little thinner. The Samsung Galaxy S3 measured 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 measures the same length at 136.1 mm but slightly wider at 71.8 mm and much thinner than its predecessor at just 7.9 mm thick. Furthermore, the 4.8-inch, 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display from the Galaxy S4 was upgraded to a full 5-inch, 1080 x 1920 Full HD Super AMOLED Display with a whopping pixel density of 441 ppi.
(Updated at 8:21 p.m.) The Samsung Galaxy S4 is packed with more features centered around the human experience. The Galaxy S4 is the first phone to feature Samsung Knox, the company's security feature; Air Gesture, which lets the user hover their finger over the screen to activate the lock screen; Dual Camera, which lets you take photos and/or video with the rear and front-side cameras simultaneously to include both images in the same frame; Smart Scroll, which detects whether or not you're looking at the phone to either scroll through text or pause and play videos if you look away; and Group Play, which allows multiple Galaxy phones to link together to play the same game together. Clearly, Samsung wanted a phone more dynamic than its specs might suggest.
(Updated at 7:58 p.m.: Samsung has ended its presentation without releasing any information about the phone's price.) We fully expect Samsung price the Galaxy S4 exactly as it did the Galaxy S3. Since the Galaxy S3 has seen a price drop (Samsung is selling last year’s model anywhere between $49 and $99) Samsung can now sell the Galaxy S4 at last year’s prices. If the company follows last year's plan exactly, the Galaxy S4 may very well cost $199 for 16 GB or $249 for 32 GB. Without a two-year contract, it’s possible Samsung could also sell the new handset at $599 and $649 for 16 and 32 GB storage models, respectively, like it did last year.
(Updated at 7:58 p.m.: Samsung has ended its presentation without announcing any information about the phone's release date -- more on this later.) Last year, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S3 on May 3 but didn’t release the device until May 28, and that was in Europe. The U.S. didn’t even get the Samsung Galaxy S3 until June 21; it’s possible Samsung will roll out the Galaxy S4 in a similar manner, releasing the phone in the U.S. roughly a month after its public unveiling.
But while Samsung could certainly capitalize on building hype for a prolonged release date, we don't believe the Korea-based company would come all the way to New York City just to tell the home crowd that their Galaxy S4 release date isn't for another two months.