Recent reports indicate Samsung might be releasing its follow-up to the extremely popular Samsung Galaxy S3 sometime in mid-March. But what will the alleged device have in the way of features and specs?
There isn’t much information about the alleged device, rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy S4. Information about the Galaxy S4 is scarce, which is similar to last year's situation, where many of the reports about the Samsung Galaxy S3 were false leaks. Sources familiar with Samsung's alleged plans told the Verge that the design of the new model is a “tightly guarded secret" and the company plans on focusing on eye-catching features over specs.
"The leap in cool new features from [Galaxy S3] to the next flagship will be bigger,” the Verge’s source said.
5G Wi-Fi Combo Chip?
However, some interesting new reports shed some light on what exactly those aforementioned “features” are. According to a report published by T3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will feature a 5G wireless combo chip. And T3 says the new handset will include both dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, as well as faster 5G cellular speeds.
5G speeds are comparable with a tethered Internet connection, which means the combination of fast Wi-Fi and potentially faster 5G means the Samsung Galaxy S4 could be as fast as a computer connected to the Internet via Ethernet.
The reports specify the 5G Wi-Fi combo chip as a Broadcom BCM4335 chip. According to Broadcom’s press release announcing the chip, the BCM4335 is the “only combo chip to address unique interference challenges in systems with both 4G LTE cellular radios and wireless connectivity” and improves the wireless range of devices, which allows users to watch HD video and download large files faster than they could on devices using older chips.
Samsung may not be putting an emphasis on specs, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t planning on improving on the chips and hardware in the alleged Samsung Galaxy S4. IDigitalTimes reports the Galaxy S4 could include Atmel’s MaXTouch S controllers, which allow users to interact with their devices without actually touching the screen. The article notes the addition is similar to existing features on current Samsung devices: Galaxy Note 2 users can utilize an S Pen, which allows the user to hover over the screen and use a feature called Air View.
The difference between the S Pen and MaXTouch S controllers is that the MaXTouch S allows users to interact with the screen with their finger instead of holding onto a pen. This makes sense since the Galaxy Note 2 has a much larger screen size than the Galaxy S3 (5.55 inches to 4.8 inches, respectively) and using a pen on such a smaller screen can be quite a hassle.
Simliarly, the rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 may feature a brand new Exynos 5 Octa processor. The Exynos 5 Octa was developed by Samsung and initially used in the Samsung Chromebook -- the Chromebook used the Exynos 5 dual-core, which is a slightly different version. Not much is known about the Exynos 5 Octa, but judging from the name, the processor may have eight cores. IDigitalTimes hypothesized the processor would have four high-powered and four low-powered CPU cores to ensure that the device never suffers from any sort of stalling or lagging.
With Samsung’s success with the Galaxy S3 -- now the best-selling Android smartphone ever -- the company hopes to improve on its predecessor in every way. The company could have some increased competition, however: The iPhone 5 bumped its screen size up from its standard 3.5 inches to 4 inches, in an effort to compete with the larger phablets like the Galaxy Note 2, which are slowly becoming increasingly popular. With rumors of an even bigger iPhone on the horizon, Samsung will need to watch out for its biggest rival.